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Pen Your Pride


A blank stare was all I gave the mousy-haired delivery girl in front of me. Not only was I slightly angered, but cold now, too, because a swift wind pranced around the entrance of our house.

“I thought I said that two of the three frozen yogurts would be red velvet. Why is one of them pecan-flavoured?” I asked with a sickly sweet smile. The girl’s teeth started chattering, but probably not from the weather. My questioning look couldn’t have been more peeved.

“I’m really sorry, Miss. It must have gotten mixed up with someone else’s order...” she trailed off, and her eyes skittered all over the street, probably looking for a quick escape. I didn’t blame her.

Grasping my twenty dollar bill tightly, I shoved it in her direction and mumbled something about not worrying about change.

“Thanks, Miss! Really sorry about the mix-up... Well, alright then, have a good one!” she exclaimed and tried to poke her head in the door as I slowly shut it with a longing goodbye.

The frozen yogurts were chilly against my fingertips, so to keep them as warm as they could be next to a container of ice, really, I drummed them quickly and felt so much more relieved that I had food therapy. I allowed myself to pig out on sweets only once in a while, and tonight I’d have someone to pig out with, my-

“Mom! Hurry up downstairs, the movie’s almost starting! I’ll eat your red velvet!” I yelled from the couch I was snuggled up on. There was something missing though, about the warmth it was supposed to provide; the fact it didn’t at all, and it felt very, very cold and empty.

I closed my eyes gently as a creamy spoon of the dessert swished around my mouth. It was pure bliss, so good I wanted to scream, sort of like someone upstairs...

“Wait,” I whispered to myself, my eyes snapping open and trailing to the top of the stairs. Yes, I could hear it, a faint bicker constantly playing out. Maybe my brother was playing online video games with his friends and was hollering at his loss?

I placed the two of the frozen yogurts on the coffee table, held the one I was feasting on in my hands, and left the dark room to scamper up the stairs.

Now the lone argument was getting louder. Strangely enough, once I’d made it to the top, it sounded like a female voice. Mom was most definitely scolding Adrian for staying up late.

Making sure he was in his room, I tip-toed to it, and opened the door, which creaked creepily, only to find the lights turned off, and a bundle of sheets rolled up in a ball. Adrian was breathing heavily under the covers.

“You asleep, kiddo?” I asked, and after I thought I saw a small twitching movement, which I concluded was a nod, I turned around to leave the room.

In the smallest voice, my little brother mustered, “Go to your room. Don’t bother Mom and Dad.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. Then I shut the door and tried hard not to stumble in hallway.

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