This chapter's for dramali, who thinks that I am as funny as I think I am :)
If I would’ve known that all it takes is some face-time with death for people to show concern for me, I would’ve been putting myself in deadly situations more often. When they released me from the hospital (after a CAT scan and lengthy check-up) my brothers almost spilled blood fighting about who could have the privilege of taking care of me. Okay…so maybe they were fighting over who would have to be stuck with me…but that point is mute. The main thing is that it was about me.
As I predicted, Sage lost, which is why he is now applying salve and gauze to the eighteen stitches ranging from my ear to my chin, and the other nine stitches on the left side of my forehead. All I can think about all of the ridiculous stories I will be able to tell after my face is unthreaded.
“Oh my gosh, Tarra! What happened?”:
a) “I was attacked by a ferocious rabid pygmy sloth-shark. It was absolutely terrifying.”
b) “I went skydiving from a helicopter above Death Valley…and I forgot a parachute.”
c) “I fell from the top branch of an Evergreen tree and landed in a pile of prehistoric camel dung.”
d) “After forgetting my parachute while skydiving from a helicopter above Death Valley, I was attacked by a ferocious rabid pygmy sloth-shark, and when I climbed to the top branch of an Evergreen tree to escape, I slipped and landed in a pile of prehistoric camel dung. It was an absolutely terrifying experience.”
“Why don’t you clean out your own wounds, ugg-face?” Sage groans as he peels back the bandages and makes a disgusted face at the sight of my bruises and developing scar tissue.
I roll my eyes and smirk at him, “You know how I freak out when I see blood. Plus, I’m mentally unstable. It comes with benefits, such as your unpaid, unconditional slave labor.”
“I never agreed to babysit Frankenstein,” he whines.
“I know you didn’t, dear brother,” I smile tauntingly, “Because Gingy’s fist settled it for you.”
Sage lifts up the sleeve of his shirt to expose a yellowing bruise, about the size of Ginger’s large hand. He smiles, “I let him win.”
I chuckle quietly as he begins to stand up and grab his arm to pull him back down. “Hey, Sage?”
“I love you,” I tell him. I haven’t told my brother that I loved him in a long time, but watching him take care of me has reminded me that Sage isn’t such a bad guy after all.
“I love you, too,” He ruffles my hair softly, “Now what do you want?”
“Will you stay with me?” I ask, not entirely keen on the idea of being left alone after my encounter with that thing…whatever it was. The day after, I didn’t see it. I could still hear the ruckus and smell that awful smell, but no more boogie-man. I still don’t want to take my chances of running into one of those things again. “I’m scared.”
He sighs, but I can’t decipher whether it’s a positive or negative sigh. “Yeah, sure.”
He slides under the sheets with me and adjusts the wool blanket closer to my neck and puts an arm around my shoulder. “Just don’t get your zombie cooties on me, okay?”
Smiling as an answer to his question, I scoot closer and place my head on his chest. When we were younger, we shared a room and I go down to the bottom bunk to snuggle up with him when I had bad dreams and vice versa. I remember those times as he rubs my back and I close my eyes to feel my head rising and falling in sync with his chest.
I miss spending time with my brothers, specifically Sage. Ginger and I were never really close, as I was only an immature eleven-year-old when he was graduating, but Sage and I have been at each other’s throats ever since I came a year after him. I’ve realized that it’s because we’re so alike. We’re fiery and sharp-tongued, yet patient when it comes down to quality over quantity, which results in never-ending debates. We’re ambitious and a little too confident for our own good, which means we are constantly competing over the stupidest things. And we both have way too much fun arguing, which is why we never shut up.