It was Saturday and I was glad to sleep in. Mind you my version of sleep in is 8:30. Normally I would be up at 6 and at the auto shop at 7 but I had weekends off.
Waking up I got dressed and went down stairs. The family was already having breakfast. My mom made her usual Saturday morning spread, bacon, eggs and pancakes. Of course my dad had his plate loaded with pancakes. My mom was pouring herself some orange juice and refilled Madison glass.
"Morning everyone." I said
"Morning," my dad replied. Some pancake flying out his mouth. My mom looked at him in disgust and he just smiled in apology.
"Really, Daniel, it's a simple rule, swallow, then talk." My mom lectured him.
"Yeh, Dad, what are you a wolf?" I joked.
My dad, burst out laughing, and Madison startled in fright. My heart instantly went out to her. She was like a wired bunny, constantly hyper-aware. She smiled in apology, but it came out more like a grimace. It killed me that my sister didn't know how to smile anymore.
We knew that only acknowledging the action, would make her more uncomfortable, so I just went on like nothing unusual happened.
"So what are you plans for today?" I asked my parents.
"I just need to go to the store to pick up food for the week. And your father is going for a haircut. " Said my mom nonchalant. My dad, groaned in agony. He hated getting his hair cut. Said it was a wolf thing. Utter rubbish. I got my hair cut every month. He just couldn't stand sitting in a barber chair for ten minutes. I think he thought it felt like too much pampering. My dad was one of the most manly men you ever saw. Looked like a lumberjack and hated being fussed over.
"Don't groan. Your hair is a mess and you keep shaking it out your eyes. If you don't get it cut soon then it will annoy you so much you'll grab a scissor off your desk and cut it like you normally do. I don't like walking around with a man that has an uneven haircut." She said, grabbing a slice of toast.
I just shook my head, the two of them were comical. I looked over at Madison and nudge her elbow. She looked up at me through her overgrown bangs.
"Ready to go?" I asked softly. She nodded her head and grabbed her bag. Slinging it across her shoulder she walked out the door.
"Goodbye. " She said softly.
"Goodbye, have a great day." Responded my dad and my mom.
Getting into my truck I closed the door and left. Every Saturday, Madison and I would head into town. We would always stop at the same stores. First the bookstore, where she would look at the newest arrivals. Some days she would buy something, most days she wouldn't. Not surprisingly, she had read most of the books in the store.
Then we would head over the music store where I would always buy a cd or two. Afterwards we would walk around a bit and would wait until lunch time and grab a burger at the diner. It was a simple routine, nothing major. But it was the only connection I had with her. It was the only time I could see her somewhat normal. Yes, she wouldn't speak, but she made a effort to be a part of the world.
I think it was because she knew how much I needed it.
I was waiting for her to pick a book. She would walk down each aisle, browsing over the sections in there entirety. Then she would stop at one she was interested in and would slowly drag her finger over the based of the spine of each book. I knew when she stopped she found something she wanted. She would pick it up, read the back and then read the last chapter. I guess she wanted to know how it ended before it began.
Sometimes, I think she wished she could do that with her life.
I looked at her pretending to browse for the sake of the shop owner. Suddenly, Madison froze, her eyes became unfocused looking at nothing in particular. Her fist clenched as if she was trying to grab something. As quickly as it happen, it went away. She straighten up and looked at me to see if I had noticed.
I was about to ask her if she was alright but she shook her head and continue to browse. She made as if nothing had happened, but I knew something was up. She seemed jittery.
We walked over to the music store, but she kept looking at her watch and then at me. Strange.
I browsed not finding anything in particular, mainly because I was trying to figure out what was going on with Maddy. She was looking out the window, biting her nail. It was as if she was waiting for someone. Soon, I gave up trying to look for something and told her I was done.