Word Count: 525
Everyone likes you, Rayn. Joe hates you, but he still likes you better than he likes me. It’s not something I held against him, that was just how it had always been. I was the scary big brother kind of role in his life, the one that sort something out, or fix it if it needed fixing, or waiting for him after school so kids thought twice about picking on him. It suited me, that role.
Joe and Rayn argued with me ‘til I gave in and relented. I was still entirely convinced that the mountains were our best bet, but I was outnumbered, and Rayn was more than persistent enough for the both of them.
Once we’d figured it was safe enough to go outside, we took a set of car keys that Joe had spotted and clicked the button on the key fob ‘til we saw which car it was unlocking. It was one of those new, shiny Land Rovers. You know the kind. The kind moms get to pick up their precious little babies from school in and block the whole fucking road while they’re at it. That kind.
But on the other hand it was big enough for all three of us and the weapons we got from the warehouse, and it was one of these new ‘I’m gonna sit here and pretend I’m good for the environment’ things, so the chances were it wouldn’t use up too much gas.
“Fuck it, that’ll do. Get the stuff from the car,” I said, opening up the car and emptying it out. There were fucking golf clubs and a little pink bike with those training wheels on the back in the trunk and a baby seat in the front.
I tried to make sure the other two didn’t see the bike or the baby seat as I got rid of them, but Joe came around the side of the car just at the wrong time.
“You want some help with that?” he asked.
“I’m good,” I muttered, standing between him and the bike so he couldn’t see.
“What is it?” his eyes narrowed slightly and I knew he was gonna figure it out, even before I fucked up and just told him it was nothing. When someone says it’s nothing it’s always something. I just didn’t think fast enough. Of course, Joe saw through me like, instantly. “It was theirs, wasn’t it?”
“Nope. Nothing to see here, kiddo.”
“I’m not a kid, y’know,” he argued.
“Well you’re hardly grown up. Just go help Rayn load the car, ‘kay?” there I was trying not to upset him by not letting him see the bike, and then I go and say something like that to him. I didn’t mean it to upset him, but he managed to take it the wrong way and got all moody with me anyway.
“Age doesn’t define how grown up a person is, especially not in this world, not anymore,” he told me, turning around and walking off to help Rayn, misery written all over him. I let out a heavy sigh, feeling just a little bit bad about it.