I woke up very early this morning, restless and bothered, itchy for the day to happen. As dawn broke orange, the city was revealed. I’ll never get tired of watching that. The snow was gone but a gloss over the city streets indicated ice. I scanned the landscape for movement - for life - like a predator.
Lisa and I are headed back to school today, at 11am, by air, which our parents feel is the best way to avoid our old, holiday nemesis omicron (doesn’t that make us sound like secret agents?).
Once everyone was finally up, Lisa and I got our busy-on, doing the last load of laundry and final packing. Lisa, packs a suitcase, by throwing clothes in without bothering to fold them, while I meticulously fold and roll my clothes, like a marine headed for deployment.
As Lisa and I worked, Leeza (12) was lying on Lisa’s bed, on her back with her head hanging over the edge - watching us pack upside down. Her red hair looked like a thrown plate of spaghetti.
Leeza was talk, talk, talking and gnawing on a toasted bagel at the same time. “How do you feel about going back to school?” she asked us. “OH, feelings!” I gasped, “A free therapy session!” “No, really,” she said, grown serious and rolling right side up.
Leeza is cute as a button and vulnerable - I could almost feel her anxiety. As the youngest sibling I’d been left behind too - you don’t want the holiday to end and your big sister to leave - it’s a singularly lonesome feeling. I wanted to grab her, like a puppy, wrestle her and tell her I love her and I’d miss her - like my sister used to do with me. I decided that as soon as we were done packing, I would.
“My GOD,” Lisa said to Leeza, “will you PLEASE shut up! I have to think.” Leeza blushed and shrugged “I’m just making conversation, grump-face, you’ve packed a million times before haven’t you?” “Does counting to 10 make murder premeditated?” Lisa asked the ceiling.
Suddenly, Lisa dropped the blouse she’d been holding and pounced on Leeza, tickling her as she squealed with delight. In a second they’d become a ball of flailing arms, legs, hair and playful noise. I slunk out of the room to give them their sister’s goodbye.
Besides, I smelled bacon.
Copyright © Anais vionet | Year Posted 2022
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