Tomorrow, I will be helping my little sister, Neekers move into her dorm room. It seemed like it would be a long time in coming. In some ways, it has been. In other ways, it’s been like sleeping and finding that someone ran off with the clock and the calendar.
But before I let the thieves run too far, there are a few things that need to be said. Really, they need to be written down, so that they don’t disappear somewhere.
1. I’m the one who carried you into the house the day that we brought you home from the hospital. I don’t know why Mom and Dad let me. I was seven-almost-eight and I had already skinned every elbow and knee I owned walking down that same sidewalk. They had a perfectly good eleven-year-old and a perfectly good fourteen-year-old, either one of which could have done the job. I sort of imagine myself grabbing you and bolting, like I’d gotten the last cookie from the cookie jar.
Silas was rarely awake in time to see the sun come up, let alone up, dressed, and walking outside in the crisp last moments of darkness. The air was chillier than he thought it should be, but it had been less than half an hour since he had been asleep under a stack of warm blankets as thick as his arm. It could have been the comparison that made him tuck his chin into the collar of his coat, not the actual bite in the fall air.
It was quieter than he expected too. He had never been so aware of the pattern of the pavement on the main streets, but without a crowd, or even a single passerby, the rectangular, cross-hatched bricks were the most interesting thing in sight. All the doors they passed were closed, as were the windows, except for the few that had swung half open in a forgotten way, like they had bounced when someone slammed them shut. The seller’s carts that took up space on certain street corners were now only boarded up boxes, and while the breeze touched his hair idly, there was nothing hanging out for it to toy with. He expected an echo of his heels at least, but even that noise seemed to be missing, dulled into nothing in the city still asleep.