Skylar's mom always has cupcakes. Or cookies. Or cake. The last time I went to her house, it was golden yellow cupcakes topped with chocoIate frosting and sprinkles.
Oh how I would love to get my hands on one of those gems. Skylar's mom doesn't skimp on the frosting either, piling it as high as humanly possible. I lick my lips and close my eyes, picturing myself lapping up the delicious goo with my tongue, working the edges to keep the fluff manageable and to ensure not a single bit is tragically lost to the floor. But my favorite part is peeling back the paper and biting directly into the side of one of those treats. The cake slowly dissolves in my mouth and I can taste it all. The butter. The sugar. I asked her once, as I sat at her kitchen table devouring the goodies she lay before me, why her cupcakes always tasted so good. Her answer was that she uses special ingredients. Extra butter. Real vanilla. Love. A typical mom answer.
Well typical for most.
I wonder if it is even possible to accept Skylar's invitation to play at her house. Maybe if mom is in a good mood. Maybe, just maybe, if she isn't passed out on the floor, or lying in bed sick with "the flu." Perhaps if that new man mom brought back to her bedroom the other night- the one that left her fluttering about the house, humming softly to herself- the one that made me and my siblings exchange puzzled glances and giggles as our mother picked us up, hugged us, kissed our cheeks and faces- perhaps if he had come back. Perhaps if he had made her happy again. Then maybe, just maybe I could manage permission to slip away from the house.
The thought makes me smile to myself. The last time I went to Skylar's home I was able to shove five cookies in my pockets without anybody noticing. Five cookies that I brought home. Five cookies that I gave to my younger siblings. Five cookies that they devoured greedily, revelling in the same sugar induced euphoria that I was able to experience earlier. Five cookies that enabled me, for once, to be a good big brother. Five cookies to bring a little joy into their otherwise sad existence.
Oh how I hope. I hope. I hope that if there is a god up there, that he hasn't forgetten me. I hope that he hasn't forgotten my younger sister and brother. I hope that even if for a little bit, he could make mom happy.
And I hope I can be a good big brother.
For Little Brother.
For Wee Sister.