I wake up. I hear the birds singing outside. My head is foggy, my lips dry, my throat aches. I sit up in my bed and look to my left out my window. The sun happily shines past the white fluffy clouds and blue sky into my large window. My room is illuminated. I feel like drowning in nostalgia.
I get to my feet, not believing what I am seeing. I catch a whiff of something. Sausage. I take four steps, bringing my out of my room into the upstairs hallway. My parents' door is opened as well, light filtering through their three windows and giving the room a golden glow. Something like in the movies that you don't think is actually possible. I hear the creaking of my sister moving around in her room. I turn around to face her room, waiting for her to appear.
"Breakfast!" I hear from downstairs. My head pounds. Perhaps a dream? I'm sick? I have a cold. That's it, I feel my brain grasping for reason. I look down the stairs, sunlight filtering through the small half circle window over the door. My mom stands there, alit beautfully as she gives a motherly smile and waves me down. "Get down here, now!" She calls with slight annoyance, not at all matching her facial experssion. My heart aches in confusion. I feel my sister hug me from behind. My head spins. That's it, I'm just sick. I had nightmares last night. Everything I felt was because I was fevering, delirious...
"Good morning brother, love you," My sister says standing on her toes and kissing me on the cheek before punching me in the gut and sprinting down the stairs. My abdomen braces for the impact but only feels a memory of a hit against my gut. It's not real. I shake my head, everything hurts. I look to my leg where I was bleeding. No, I was bleeding in my dream. I see a bruise. No, not a bruise. An old cut? No, it is a bruise. It is real, she just didn't hit me hard today. Dread builds in my chest as hope builds in my brain. "I love you too," She's too far to hear but it makes me feel better.
I clomp down the stairs, my aching leg slowing me down. I finally touch the cool tile at the bottom.
"You're taking forever bob," My mom calls, "Hurry up." I sit down in my favorite chair, a chair that was once my dad's but I eventually stole. Breakfast sitting in my lap, the news playing on the living room TV. We all sit around watching it, discussing our day. That's not right, I think, We normally do this for dinner... Change in schedule?
"...was your day?" I look at my dad, he's holding an empty plate of steak. I imagine emailing Daniel about the plane.
"Good, a plane flew overhead today," I tell him looking at my own plate of steak, potatoes, and asparagus. My headache still there, I want water. I suddenly stand, my leg on fire.
"That's cool, you should go play soccer with Daniel," My dad tells me. I swat at my leg in panic, I begin sweating. My throat closes on me. I can't breath. Soccer. I feel an ache grow up my shin, past my thigh and into my hip.
"He has a fever," My mom says with a frown. I fall to the ground, a sharp pain shooting through the back of my head. I can feel the sweat drip down my spine and my hands are sweaty. The pain right behind my eyes...
"Yes but he needs to play soccer with Daniel so he can close the door." My father responds.
"We need medicine," My mother says, smiling even though her voice is panicked. "His leg is infected."
"But what about Will?" My father asks without moving his mouth, watching the news.
"Rippy," My mom begins. But I'm too caught up with my dad's questions. Will. What about Will? The boy I left. The boy I didn't save. The one whos pulse was never checked. My shin explodes as if hit. I jerk it toward me and I roll, falling off the floor for millenia before suddenly being in a dark, stale, freezing room.
I open my eyes, Mrs. Bain leans over me. Mr. Bain and Victoria hold down my body. Mrs. Bain looks at me softly, concern creased in her brow, "You'll be okay honey..." I feel myself drifting away again. Past the sweat, past the freezing, past the fever, aches, and pains. Back to the morning with sausages and birds. And little sisters kissing you goodmorning.