Bad News

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Clove and I sit in her living room, her feet in my lap while we sit on each end of the couch. "What am I supposed to do this week?" She asks me. She's lost with out Cato. To be honest, I am too. I have no one to pick on. The boys are lost without their "kid brother." Cato's the youngest boy in the group.

"I really don't know," I say, clicking on the TV. "Wanna watch Charlie Brown?"

"Sure," she says and we watch a little bit of It's Christmas, Charlie Brown! Then, her phone rings.

"Hello?" She says. "Hey, babe." She smiles. "Just hanging out with Glimmer. . . Uh, huh. . . I miss you."

"Can I talk to him?" I whisper.

She nods, smiling. "Hey, Glimmer wants to talk to you, okay?" She stands there for a minute. "That's rude!" She shouts, smiling. "It's okay... Alright... Bye." She hands the phone to me and walks out, crying.

"Hey, loser." I say.

"Hey, idiot." He says.

"So, how's the visit with your grandma?"

"She's not doing too well," he sounds sad.

"You don't think—" he cuts me off.

"Doc says it's a matter of time. They just can't do anything else for her. Y'know?" He says. "Listen, I may not be back until after Christmas, okay?"

"Alright," I say disappointedly.

"Aw, cheer up, idiot." I hear his smile in his voice.

"I'll pick on someone else," I smile.

"Okay. Hey, I think the phone's about to go—" the line goes slack.

"Clove?" I walk into the bathroom.

"What do you want?" She asks, sobbing.

"You okay?" I crouch in front of her.

"Why wouldn't I be?" She wipes a tear away.

"I know," I hug her. "I hate it, too."

"I was hoping to see him on Christmas Day. I was hoping to surprise him by telling him I love him."

I smile. "You love him?"

She nods. "Very much."

"Maybe he'll be back before then," I say, rubbing circles into her small back.

She sniffles. "Maybe."

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