And the Little One said …
by Jack Koebnig
‘… roll over, Sam! I’m serious. Make room.’
Although Amy’s voice was turning frosty, and Sam knew not to push his sister, he claimed the duvet they were supposed to be sharing and pretended to be asleep.
Amy leaned over, saw that he was smirking. ‘Don’t make me …’
‘Don’t make you what, sweetie?’ their mother asked. She was leaning in the open doorway, her right shoulder pressed hard against the inside of the wooden frame. Amy’s eye dropped to the drink cradled protectively in her mother’s hands and knew it wasn’t her first.
Amy knew it was useless to argue her point, as useless as getting her father to turn down his music (which incidentally she could hear blaring in all directions from the open-plan living room) but she thought she’d give it a go: ‘It’s Sam, he’s taking up all the bed and he won’t move.’
‘It’s only for a couple of days,’ she said, sipping her drink, the ice cubes clinking hollowly against the inside of her tall glass. ‘Just until the paint dries.’ Amy didn’t know why they had to repaint her room. She liked it just the way it was. ‘Now, go to sleep. Both of you.’ Amy watched her stagger off in the direction of the loud music.
Another hour crawled by but Amy still couldn’t settle.
She had one last fight with her brother before speaking briefly with her parents in the kitchen; it was a nonsensical conversation populated with raised voices, breaking glass then blissful, uninterrupted silence.
Amy continued to watch the laminate turn red, unaware that she was humming until the familiar tune took on weight, and she sang, smiling: ‘… and the little one said: roll over. Roll over.’