“Are you still mad at me?” Emerson asked as him and Berjes gazed up at the clouds.
Berjes thought for a moment. “No– but I do wish you hadn’t said that.”
That one question made Berjes think again. “I didn’t want us to waste one of our last moments around Mindy arguing like that. I want her to remember everything she loves, so then she’ll come back and we can all be a family again.”
“I don’t think it’s that simple,” Emerson replied. “Besides, if that’s your reasoning, then why are we out here when Mindy’s still here?”
“I need to think– by myself– for a little bit. You can go back inside if you want.”
Emerson nodded and got up. Berjes had been acting this way a lot more lately– always wanting time by himself, wanting to talk without any of Emerson’s comments. He tried to be understanding, but he just didn’t get it– maybe it was just Berjes’ way of dealing with things. Or maybe it’s a sign that he’s getting older and doesn’t want to play childish games with you anymore.
Inside, the first person Emerson saw was Everett, who gave a hesitant smile and wave. He shook his head, joining his brother on the couch and hoping that whatever Saturday morning cartoons he was watching weren’t too dumb.
A minute or so later, the front door slammed shut. “Berjes?” Emerson called, but his brother didn’t answer, and there were no footsteps.
Later, he would realize just how left out of everything he was. Just like Everett.