‘There you are! It’s about time little lady,’ Maxen beams at me and jumps from his seat to give me a hug. My brother and I are very close. I’m his baby sister and everyone can see he adores me. Though there are days we could pull each other’s heads off. But that’s sibling love is all about I guess. As his arms are wrapped around my shoulders I can’t help but feel miserable, knowing that I had to go. I swallow the lump in my throat and when he let’s go of me I follow him to the table. Eight chairs, plates and knives are set upon the table. Seven pale family members chatting carelessly. I plop down in my seat, the one I’ve claimed ever since we live here, and wait for Luciah to speak. There’s some kind of head of the family in every household. A mother, a father mostly. Maybe an uncle or an aunt or grandparents. We respect them as we respect every member of a family. Because we’re equals.
But here, in the Lancaster household, we have a leader. Someone we look up to and respect deeply. He says, we follow. It’s something we live by.
We get quiet slowly, sensing Luciah is about to say a few words for Maxen his birthday.
‘Today we celebrate yet another year of our brother’s life,’ Luciah gestures toward Maxen with a smile ,’It’s been quite a ride, Maxen, but you’ve proven to be strong enough to stand tall in the toughest situations. And for that I will hand you a gift later today.’
Luciah gets a somewhat stern look on his face as he says this. Slight tension is to be seen at the corner of his jaw.
‘May prosperity and good health help you stay on this path and may we all enjoy your company for all those years to come.’
The calm authority in his voice makes me flinch. Or it’s probably more the words he uses that give me a small sting, as if someone tries to hit me.
And I’m not the only one, but Maxen himself though doesn’t move an inch.
He knows what he’s done, he knows for what purpose. And in my eyes he’s never done anything wrong. On the contrary, he’s the reason I’m still sitting here smearing butter on a piece of freshly baked bread.
As the others get back into the relaxed atmosphere, I’m still stuck with the feelings of unease. Holding a speech is Luciah his thing, not mine. Let alone when I have to come up with bad news.
After breakfast, we gather in the living room where my brother opens his presents. He may be twenty-three but his excitement upon tearing wrapping paper from the gifts is infectious. My mood lifts a little as the most random stuff gets revealed from its wrappings.
Why would a guy need a facial mask scented like coconut?
Apparently it must have been a joke, since Maxen threw the package toward my other sister Caroline. She, of course, catches it without a problem.
‘Alright guys! Time for a snow fight!’ Nora then exclaims followed by two children jumping from their seats and running toward the hall to get their coats.
I believe that I used to enjoy those snow fights. I have always loathed the winter season. Its cold, wet and windy climate never appealed to me. But the snow though…
When there was a snow fight I´d be on the front row, gathering as much of fluffy ice as my hand could handle before aiming at my enemy. Building a snowman could have me occupied for hours and still not bore me. Watching the puffs of flakes flutter down from the sky had me calm.
I wish snow would stay the way it is in warmer temperatures, but that´s just impossible.
Nowadays I don´t really care. It´s harsh to think of a childhood memory that way, but maybe it´s the frustration of not knowing.
I can only remember these things vaguely or by someone telling me. But my own images of the past have gone.
I push my thoughts away, getting my own coat and boots so I can join them nonetheless.
´There´s something wrong.´
A/N: Well,...wondering what's wrong? I am too...
Find out in the next chapter!