A Few Minutes Older

"I just can't sit here and do nothing." Ricky stamped his feet. 

Elliot sighed, knowing that there was nothing he could say to his brother to calm him down. If Ricky wanted to throw a tantrum, he would. If he wanted to get mad, no one could stop him. Ricky had been that way as long as Elliot could remember--even before he could remember.

Ricky had been the fussy baby that never seemed to get enough to eat or get enough attention. Elliot, on the other hand, was the easy going baby. As long as he was fed and changed on a regular basis, he never made a sound. Of course, neither of the twins could remember that. Their mother had filled in the details.

"What can you do?" Elliot decided to try again, though he knew he wouldn't likely succeed.

"Mother needs us--"

"But," Elliot interrupted his brother, "she needs--"

"She can go to the hospital," Ricky said, cutting his brother off as well. "And we can stay home so that we are still close to her."

"We can't stay home by ourselves." Elliot shook his head. "We're only 14."

"That's all right, younger brother," Ricky replied. "You may not be old enough, but I am."

You're only a few minutes older, Elliot though as he shook his head again but said nothing in reply. He had tried again, against his better judgement. It wasn't like his brother had any real power to change what had already been decided, a plan that was already in motion.

Elliot turned away from the window and pulled his suitcase out from under the seat. After opening it, he lifted the top shirt and picked up the picture of his mother he had placed underneath. 

"Did you even pack?" he asked Ricky who was still looking out the window.

"A couple changes of clothes. Why?" Ricky did not bother to look at his brother.

"Because we are probably going to be with our aunt for a long time."

"No, I won't be there long."

"But what about school?" Eliott asked.

"I told my friends I would see them when the new year started."

"That's only in a few weeks," Eliott reminded his brother.

"If I'm forced to stay against my will," Ricky replied as he turned to face his brother, "I just won't go to school."

Elliot lowered his head and emphatically shrugged his shoulders. Oh well, he thought.

Then the train whistle rang, signaling the next stop--their stop.

The End

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