Angie...... wake up, Angie..... come on, rise and shine!..... Anggiiieeeee, wake up!.... I'll put Ger10 on your bed....
My hand shot up and I grabbed Chris's hair, "If you put that cat on me, I will kill you."
"No need to bring violence into this." Chris said calmly, "Now get up."
I groaned and sat up. Chris instantly put a spoon in my mouth and said excitedly, "Try this!"
"Okay." I said, removing the spoon from my mouth and thinking over the taste of the odd substance that was now in my mouth whether I liked it or not. It was kind of grainy, but really good.
"What is that?" I asked and Chris beamed.
"Tofu pudding." He said, "Alice and I made it."
I cocked my head to the side, my hair hanging in front of my face. "What? Is she here?"
Chris nodded, "Yeah. She said she would help me with the whole vegan thing."
Oh, crap, he still remembered that. I was hoping he would forget.
I got up and told Chris I would be right out. I changed and went into the kitchen, only to see Alice and Chris making smoothies. Hmm....
Dad was sitting at the kitchen table and he didn't look the least bit happy. When he noticed me, he gestured for me to come to the table. I walked over to Dad and he whispered,
"Can I talk to you?"
I nodded and we went into the living room. His voice low, Dad said to me, "Where did this whole vegan thing come from? Was it your idea?"
I shook my head, "No way, Dad. It was not my idea. Chris just came to lunch yesterday...."
I hesitated. Should I tell Dad? I thought, He might get mad....
Dad nodded for me to go on, his face softening. I sighed and said, "He claimed to be on a diet... because he thinks he's fat."
Dad sighed heavily, running his fingers through his hair. He didn't say anything for a moment, but eventually said, "Chris?"
"My Chris?" Dad said, trying to figure out the hidden puzzle beneath the obvious (which could be somewhat difficult, saying that there is no hidden puzzle), "My boy.... is on a diet.... because... he thinks he's.... fat?"
I nodded slowly, "Yeah. That's often why people go on diets."
Dad glanced into the kitchen, where Chris and Alice were making smoothies.... What? Brown smoothies? Yuck!
Chris turned on his ipod and Lady Gaga started playing. Predictable much?
Dad gritted his teeth, the way I do sometimes.
I studied him and said cautiously, "Hey, you okay, Dad?"
He nodded and said, "I'll see you later, Angela."
He patted my head and walked through the kitchen and past Chris.
I called after him, "Hey, doesn't Chris get a head pat?" I don't know why I thought that was important, I just did.
Dad looked at me, at Chris, and back at me. He smiled suddenly and walked over to Chris.
"Hey, Chris." He said.
Chris turned around, a little surprised, "Hi." He said cautiously.
Dad hesitantly hugged Chris, but looked happy to hug his son, maybe even a little nervous. Surprised, Chris hugged him back. Looking at me, Chris mouthed, What did you do?
Dad broke away and smiled awkwardly, "I'll see you later, Chris."
He tousled Chris's hair and glanced at me for approval before he left for work. I almost laughed and I nodded.
Once Dad had left, Chris stared at me, "Did you drug him?"
I laughed, shaking my head, "Nope. You know, in some households, hugs are quite common."
Alice shook her head, smiling a little, "Not in mine."
I thought about this. I thought families were supposed to do things like give out hugs and make scrapbooks and go to see Santa Claus at the mall (We have actually gone to see Santa before. For twelve years in a row, actually. I stopped enjoying it at about age eight, but Chris insisted on going every year. Which was a little stupid because he would cry every single time).
Chris, Alice, and I walked to school together that morning. I half expected Geoffry to appear out of nowhere and ruin everything, but he didn't.
In homeroom, I looked around for Mouse, but didn't see her. In English, I asked Leo where she was and he said, "Oh, she's not sick or anything. I think she's playing Hooky again or something...."
Mouse came to school during third hour (math). She complained about Leo's mom not letting her skip school because she was going to be late anyway.
"Why were you so late in the first place?" I whispered to Mouse. She shook her head and said, "Not important."
A kid sitting nearby grinned and he said, "On a date with Lydia Wood?"
Mouse turned around and threw a math book at the kid's head and was sent to the principle's office. What a shock.
I sighed. Thanks, kid, I didn't need to talk to her at all. Well, it's not like it's that unusual for Mouse to be late, so I shouldn't have to pester her about it. I thought.
I sat down by Chris at recess and, before I could ask for his therapy, he said, "She had Jessica fix her uniform."
I blinked, "What?"
Chris looked up from his book, "Jessica? That's Leo's mother.
When I still stared at him blankly, Chris said, "Mouse was late today. You were going to ask me why I thought she was late, am I correct?"
I closed my mouth, thinking this over. He had totally nailed it.
Chris nodded, "Leo told me, I'm not psychic."
I nodded stupidly, "Okay...... Wait.... Leo's mom can sew?"
Chris shrugged, "Who knew? What surprised me is that she was willing to do something for Mouse."
I nodded again, "Yeah.... So Jessica made the uniform bigger?"
Chris raised an eyebrow at me, "No, she made it smaller."
I shrugged, "I don't know. How'd she do it?"
"Beats me.... What kind of question is that?"
"Trying to make an interesting conversation."
"Good luck with that, Ange."
"Thank you. I'll need that."
Gee, my brother and I have such interesting conversations.