T H I R T E E N
As soon as the bell rang, I hightailed my butt out of the school parking lot as fast as I could. I was 10 minutes late picking up Ares.
I sighed in relief when I saw his school up ahead and thanked God for making his school so close to mine.
I parked and ran to his classroom, hoping that he wasn't alone and scared. When I finally arrived I paused in disbelief and watched through the door window as my younger (normally shy) brother was talking to a girl classmate excitedly.
He must have been telling her a story because he was waving his hands around wildly and talking fast. The girl was fascinated and I saw them both giggle when Ares finished his story.
I was so engrossed with watching them that when a throat cleared from behind me, I nearly jumped out of my own skin.
I quickly turned around and was met with an older woman giving me a welcoming smile, Ares's teacher "Isn't it adorable. They seem to be getting along quite nicely if I do say so myself"
"I'm sorry" I said sheepishly "I'm just not used to him adjusting this fast"
The woman gave me a sympathetic smile "It's alright hon, I know how it is. I was an army brat once and remember moving around constantly too"
I gave her a forced smile "Oh No! Nothing like that. My mother is a freelance artist and is constantly looking for new inspiration. She thinks by traveling to new places allows her to connect to nature. I guess being her kids, we get to connect with nature too. I guess"
The woman smiled again "That's a neat way to think about life" she motioned for me to follow her "You're Ares sister, aren't you?"
"Yes" I followed her fast paces "How is he doing by the way? Any trouble?"
She paused outside the classroom and shook her head "Ares is the sweetest little boy I have ever met. Very helpful and very mature for his age"
I beamed "So... He did fine today"
She nodded "At first, he was hesitant to interact with the other children until Madison came to play with him. After that, he was fine"
I heaved a sigh of relief and the weight from my shoulders loosened a bit "Thank you, I really appreciate you staying after school with him. I promise I won't be late again"
She waved my concern away "Don't apologize sweetie. It's my job to watch these beautiful children"
I smiled and opened the classroom door. When Ares saw me, his face lit up and he ran to me. I caught him halfway and lifted him up in the air.
"How's my favorite brother?"
He giggled "I'm your only brother Sissy"
I laughed and put him down "True. Now go get your stuff and say goodbye to your friend"
He ran to his desk and grabbed his backpack before waving to the girl.
She giggled and blushed "Bye friend!!!"
He ran to the door and I scolded him "Don't be rude Ares. Say goodbye to your teacher also"
He blushed and mumbled his goodbye.
I laughed and followed him outside. Since he was underweight and extremely small for his age, I put him in his toddler seat.
I hoped into the driver's seat and turned around to face him "How was your day buddy?"
He beamed "It was good sissy! I made a new friend!!"
"Oh really?" I turned back and started the car "Was she nice?"
"The best sissy!!!" He started talking about his day and I listened to him intently. I gave the appropriate head nod or "hmm" whenever he asked me a question or stated something.
When he was done with his story and the light turned red, I looked at him through the rear-view window "That's great buddy, I'm glad you found a friend. Now what do you want for dinner?"
He paused and looked at me "Spaghetti!!!"
I laughed and then pulled over before quickly typing in local restaurants that served spaghetti. There was one in town that had five stars so I quickly plugged the coordinates into my phone before turning back onto the road.
After five minutes of silence, Ares asked me an interesting question.
"Sissy, are we going to be eating with Grandpa?"
I stayed silent
I honestly didn't know what to say.
Ares was such a loving person that I couldn't tell him that his grandfather, our grandfather, didn't really have much interest in us, it would crush his little heart. Since our grandfather clearly stated to only call him if one of us was dying, I can most likely conclude that he wouldn't be too please with me if I asked him to have dinner with us.
In fact, I am 100% percent sure that if I called him, he would most likely stuff and hang me on the wall.
"Uh...Ares, Grandpa is busy tonight. Maybe he can have dinner with us tomorrow night?"
He never lost that smile "Okay sissy. I hope he doesn't get sad that we ate dinner without him"
I gave him a weak smile "He won't. I promise"
Later that night
After Ares was feed, bathed, and his homework was complete, I ushered him to bed.
"Good night baby" I kissed his forehead before wrapping the blanket around him.
He blew me a kiss "Night sissy. Sweet dreams"
I closed out the light and shut his door quietly before going back downstairs to finish my homework.
I stopped in the kitchen when I saw my grandfather decked out in a head-to-toe camouflage outfit. He was standing by the coffee machine, watching as the coffee dripped into the pot.
I cleared my throat but he continued to watch the coffee drip.
"There's spaghetti in the fridge" I said, hoping to started up a civil conversation.
He continued to ignore me "There's a desk in your room. You don't have to do homework in here"
"My room is connected to Ares's. The light keeps him up"
He nodded and we were engulfed in silence once again.
"Look," I said "I know you don't want us here. Trust me, if I could, I would have stayed back in New York with my brother. The only reason I am here is because Mom said that it would be nice for us to know her father. Let me be honest with you, up until a couple of days ago, I didn't even knew you existed. Now, I'm starting to figure out why my parents hid you from us"
He poured himself a cup of coffee before turning toward me with raised eyebrows "Girl, there are things you can't even fathom to understand. Are you really that naive to think that your mother would drop you off on my doorstep without a logical explanation? Don't you think that if she had other options, she would have taken them?" he started to walk toward the back door "Trust me Kassiopeia Nyx Dimitriou, there are things out there that are far worse than me. Remember this, just because you didn't know something existed doesn't mean that it didn't know you existed"
With that, he left me alone in the kitchen.
Could he get any more cryptic?
Suddenly, my earlier conversation with Ares popped into my head.
Great, I forgot to ask him if he wanted to have dinner with us tomorrow