December 13, 2009

In Which Had Discovers the Worst Something Ever

April 19, 1164

For the fifth time that afternoon, Had trudged up the stairs and turned the corner, his eyes falling on his sisters as they busied themselves with the ark. Nanalie, it seemed, was trying to keep Asalaye occupied with every possible story she could think to play out with the dolls, but it didn't take a genius to see that neither the younger nor the older sister was truly convinced that everything was just fine.

"So... what's happening, Had?" piped up Nanalie as he brushed past them and collapsed onto the couch. "Can we go back downstairs yet? Not that we aren't having fun up here, of course," she added for Asalaye's benefit.

Had shook his head. "No. They're still in the bedroom, alternating between fighting and barely talking."

Fighting. He still couldn't believe it. Not once in his memory had his parents ever done more than bicker over whose turn it was to change the baby's diaper or who would go to the village to buy some bread, or some other casual banter of the like. But now, they were actually hissing at each other, speaking with such venom that their words were barely distinguishable through that closed door that had always been open once upon a yesterday. When he had knocked on the door--if only to give them a brief distraction--his father had simply shouted for him to go back upstairs. Shouted... Had's father never shouted.

At least, not until now, he hadn't. Would this be their home from now on? All this shouting and fighting and the three of them confined upstairs until it temporarily ceased? Or would their parents' anger just fizzle out eventually, leading to a barren, empty household where their father slept on the couch and nobody dared speak anything more personal than a simple request of "Please pass the salt"? To Had, this almost seemed worse--at least the anger was something.

Yes, it was something... but it was the worst something ever.

"Had?"

He looked up to see Nanalie standing in front of him; he must have been too lost in his own thoughts to notice her. "Yes?"

Nanalie rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet, her lip curling inward. "Had... when do you think we can go back down? Asalaye's getting restless."

Had sighed. When he had first become a brother, he had vowed to answer any question his sister might have had; now, it seemed she had asked the one question he could not. "I don't know, Nan--I don't know."

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Dinuriel said...

Sorry about the short post. It's rather bad timing too, since I have a busy week ahead of me--all of my exams, then heading home for Christmas. SPEAKING OF WHICH... will I be posting over the holidays? Almost definitely... but probably not as frequently, since I've got a ton of catching up to do with everyone back home and I promised my mom I'd do some baking. So... yeaaah. Might be slow going on my front... but that's okay, 'cause it's Christmas :)

Phoenix said...

:( It's never easy to hear your parents arguing when you're a kid. I imagine it's even less so when you're not used to hearing it!

Good luck on the exams Van!!:) And have a safe trip home! Enjoy your fam and don't worry about updating!

Dinuriel said...

Yeah, I remember being a kid and having to listen to my parents argue every once in a while. They didn't argue very often, though, so I guess I lucked out there. Still... it's never fun, for any kid :(

Thanks Phoenix :D

Gayl said...

Poor kids...it must be horrible to have a peaceful happy home and then all of a sudden your parents are angry and fighting and you don't know how that changes things.

Dinuriel said...

Yeah. I don't really know what that's like (my parents always fought with my brother and/or me a lot more than they ever did with each other), but I imagine it must be horrible :(