My body ached as I was anchored to my pillow by my sleep-deprived skull. It seemed like ages since I could curl up underneath my blankets and wake in a decent position. Today one of my legs collapsed off the side of the bed, and the other was bent above my thigh. My left hand was crushed between the gap made by the wall and my bed. My right was slid under the pillow as it should be.
This was my regular Excitus: a slap in the face by an alarm clock and a yawn into the twilight. A simple life, granted, but I never found it a bore.
To my left was a loud roar, which jolted me upright. I quickly turned to the sound, laughing at the source. “Was that really necessary, Wyatt?”
The beast stretched his body, and sat on his bed across the room, “What? When was the last time we had a long rest?”
“Well, we could get better rest if we didn’t stay up cramming. I told you we shouldn’t wait for the last minute anymore but does anyone ever listen to me?” I answered.
“Sorry.” Wyatt put his hands up for dramatic flair, “But you know I’m not good with time.”
“I’m no timekeeper myself, buddy. Maybe if you hadn’t dropped your watch in the lake—”
“Hey,” whispered Wyatt, “Quiet down about that. Grandma still doesn’t know—”
“And I’ll make sure Mrs. Sands does if you keep me up tonight.”
“Fine! Just don’t say anything!”
I ran my fingers past my lips like a zipper. Wyatt nodded in consent, and we both walked to the kitchen, where Mrs. Sands met us with breakfast. Her fingers groped the pan as she lifted it away from the stove and towards the table. Her hands were calloused and stiff. She never had arthritis, but her aging muscles had begun to deteriorate. And for ten years she continued to care for Wyatt and me.
Using her spatula, Mrs. Sands scraped the omelettes onto our plates. She struggled somewhat to separate the eggs from the pan, causing them to slither sluggishly onto both our plates. Our forks raised in the air and tore a chunk of our omelettes.
For ten years, Mrs. Sands cooking improved. I thought this year she finally reached her pinnacle, because today’s omelette was a masterpiece. In a decade she had perfected the omelette, which just enough cheese, meat, and egg to blend together.
“Wow grandma!” shouted Wyatt, “These are amazing! How am I going to live without you?”
“Yeah, how will you?” Mrs. Sands wondered, rolling her eyes.
I coughed jokingly, “He won’t.”
“Hey!” yelled Wyatt, reaching across the table to grab my collar.
“Wyatt, eat your breakfast! What did I say about fighting in the house?” scolded Mrs. Sands.
“Mrs. Sands, when have you said anything about fighting in the house? Has that ever been an issue?” I asked.
“Well, no, but I’m sure that’s because I made that very clear when you moved in, Elijah. It’s good to know you listened to me all these years, unlike someone here,” she turned her head quickly towards Wyatt, and folded her arms across her chest.
Wyatt was too preoccupied with his legendary omelette that Mrs. Sands had to stand there for a few moments before he noticed, “What? What did I do?”
Mrs. Sands and I laughed as Wyatt frowned in confusion.