The piercing crash of broken glass fragments followed a steady flow of staining, black, steaming coffee which was now splashing down off the granite countertop as a rush of hands and napkins padded down against the mess -- trying to contain it before the drops flowed against the egg-shell-colored kitchen tiles.
“Shit, I’m sorry, Mom.” An older boy with dirty-blonde hair that covered his face in elegant tangles of wispy curls grabbed for more paper towels and a gentle hand laid atop his as he trembled to clean up the chaos unfolding before him, soaking into papers laid out in uniform stacks.
“Don’t be sorry, Theo. It was only an accident.” The woman gingerly smiled at her son, pressing down the rest of the forgotten tape into the box. She quickly labeled it for the kitchen and moved it onto the floor with the stacks of boxes that were already neatly prepared for the moving truck.
He frantically shoved the rest of the dirty paper towels that he held in his hand into the trash bin before washing them as he dried his hands on his wrinkled shirt.
“I’ll finish with this. Can you check on Harper and Sam for me, and make sure they are finished in their rooms? Only a few things left out for the ride there, they know that.” She tossed the soaked papers into the trash and gave Theo a reassuring squeeze on his shoulder as he passed by her and began his retreat up the stairs to find his younger siblings.
Giggles erupted from around the corner as the weight of the boy caused the stairs to creak on each step. He reached the top of the stairs and shoved the door open as he lay his body against the frame and picked at his finger.
“Mom said you guys can only keep a few things out for the drive.” He muttered into the air, looking down at the ground where toys were still scattered around, talking to no one in particular.
Towers of blocks were knocked over by giant dinosaur figures that trampled over them as laughter shook the room again while the blocks tumbled down around the two younger kids.
It was apparent they were able to easily ignore the boxes that were half-filled around them in the otherwise empty room.
“Mom said...” Theo began again, and the light-blonde-haired, petite-framed girl looked up with baby blue eyes that sparkled in the sun against the frame of the window.
“We know, Theo.” She smiled up with two missing front teeth at her older brother and threw some of the blocks into the box closest to her. “Are you bringing your friend?” The little girl, Harper, asked of her brother. Theo stared blankly from the door, not wanting to pose any type of answer to her questioning glances.
“He’s not my friend.” Theo grumbled towards his sister before walking down the hall. He turned a dark corner, pushing another large wooden door open, this time though he did it with more of a particular slowness. “He doesn’t want to help us.” Theo muttered to himself as he looked out the window of the only house he ever really knew as home.
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