Three weeks earlier.
“Alex, have you got your rucksack? I can’t find it… Alex, where have you g-” she turned around, her eyes widening in surprise. “What are you wearing?”
“What, they’re my new je- what’s wrong with them?” she was trying not to laugh and he looked around his person, looking for something stupid with his clothes.
“Two guesses.” She said simply, laughing lightly.
“I dunno, just tell me.”
“Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig rip… somewhere… obvious,” she said quietly, averting her eyes as soon as she’d spoken. He looked down, flushed bright red and turned away. “Hey! I’m your wife, aren’t I? I know you back to front.” a pause, where I know what she’s going to say, “And inside out.”
“Yeah, uh, not you I’m so worried about.” He grinned sheepishly at me and disappeared from the kitchen.
“Alex, put your old jeans on!” she called after him, “they’re in the bottom of your suitcase. And don’t mess up all of your clothes. I folded them up neatly especially!” she chided as she heard him trudge up the stairs.
“I won’t,” he called back and she sat down on the stool by the work surface, rolling her eyes.
“He will.” she sighed and turned back to the washing up.
Typical him, he wouldn’t even think twice about turning out everything in the case and throwing it all across the bedroom floor. I knew because I’d seen him do it half a million times on residential school trips. Especially the one to Iceland. That was quite funny actually; he’d thrown everything onto the floor, and proceeded to begin sifting through it for his Mp3 player, which was lying on his bedside table.
He was banned from leaving the room that night because of it. I laughed, but snuck him a few bottles of Coke, and Calli came up at about midnight to console him, and some other stuff. We played cards, I think, and Cal accidentally rubbed it in... Well, it might have been accidental, there’s no real way to tell with her, she can be quite cruel when she wants to be, but she gave him a kiss goodnight and he seemed quite pleased with that. I smile as I think about it; Calli catches the grin and smiles back.
“He never changes, does he?” she laughed and poured the washing up water away, then grabbed a tea towel and started to wipe the kitchen surfaces dry.
“How does this look?” he says as he returns, brushing himself down, “sorry about the room.”
“Room? What did you do?” she questioned quietly, rolling her eyes and yawning, “No, wait, let me guess, is everything all over the floor?”
“Yes, Mum.” He half smiled and Calli shook her head, a half laugh leaving her lips, “I’ll go clean it up.”
“No, leave it, drink your coffee, I’ll do it now.” she rose from her seat and yawned again, “don’t bother trying to do it, just leave it for me to do…” she strode out of the kitchen, coffee mug in hand, then there was a shout and a crash as she drops it. Alex jumped up and ran after her, his cup still spinning on its saucer. I went after him, worried about my sister, even though I knew he was more than capable around her.
“It’s OK, I’m fine, Alex, I promise.” I heard her protesting, knowing he is fussing all over her.
“Look, I said I’d go up and do it in a minute.” she laughed disbelievingly, “You didn’t need to go up there, you know it, I’d have done it eventually.”
“Yeah, and as well as that, pigs can fly and snakes live in large castles in the sky with running water.” Alex smiled at her disbelief, “don’t look at me like that, you know I’m right. It would have been there until about midday tomorrow; fifteen minutes before you two go off on your little stag week with Ryan.”
“Are you still completely sure about me going Cal?” he said, looking down at the floor, “I’ll stay home if you don’t want me to g-”
“Did I say that? No. I know you’re sensible, and you wouldn’t go and shag some random pole dancer, because I know you love me, and I know you’re not a drinker. Or a junkie, for that matter.” she grinned and kissed his nose. “I don’t mind you going, as long as you pack up your bag again.” she laughed and looked down at her feet.
“What?” he said into her ear as he tried to help her stand up, “does your ankle hurt?”
“No… You’re sitting on my knee, and not in a sexy way.”
“Oh! Sorry!” he jumped up and helped her to her feet properly. “You sure you’re not hurt?”
“Yes.” she maintains, picking up the shattered shards of her coffee mug and yawning again, “oh Alex… you’re so sweet sometimes, just a bit dim.”
“Ugh.” Mock insulted, Alex leaves her and goes back into the kitchen, returning to the scene of the accident with a cloth to wipe up the coffee. “Typical you Calli. You don’t think about me, ever, do you?” he says, sounding vaguely disappointed.
“All the time, sweetheart, all the time.” She finished the conversation with the peaceful statement and a gorgeous smile that she reserves only for Alex as she wanders up the stairs, smiling mildly to herself as she does so. Alex follows, and for a second I wonder if they want me to come to, then Alex shouts for me to give him a hand at packing his bag. I put my mug up on the sideboard then follow, finding Calli sitting, cross-legged on the floor folding up the clothes that moments ago had obviously been strewn across the carpet. She sighs and passes the blue shirt to Alex, then looks up at me.
“Alright? Where’s your bag? Did you pack it properly?” She says questioningly, cocking her head to one side.
“Yeah. It’s in the boot of the car.” I say, then sit down on the bed and help Alex to put each item neatly back into his suitcase. I’ve been conditioned to the same actions as Calli has, perfect packing skills, decent organisation (Calli got the ultimate skills in that sector), good academic skills, decent people skills, and good luck in love. Well, she got the good luck in love. The list of my previous dates have been; a broke authoress, a crap actress, an ugly secretary… and it goes on and on and on. Which sucks, but I know Alex is good with Cal. So it evens itself out.