Little Brother

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Standing there like a pair of tweedles, our round stomachs pouting, we stared blank and bored down the old brown staircase, wondering about science things.

Well, the Newton guy Mom told us about said gravity is what happens when things fall.

Like the apple.

Yes. Like the apple. Anyway, we should test it. For science.

Maybe they’d put our names in the science book!

Little brother didn’t quite understand how life worked yet. Our science experiment wouldn’t get our names in the book, but I didn’t tell him that. I knew he’d go away if I showed him how the world goes, because it’s a sad thing, and scientists need to be happy to make science things happen.

Maybe we could. But we have to experiment first!

I watched his face crumple up while he tried to make ideas. I held my breath so I wouldn’t distract him, but I didn’t see any light bulbs come on. Finally, he slumped against the wall.

I’m tired. Science ideas are hard.

Good thing you have me! I already have an idea. It’s a great idea.

Oh! Tell me!

I wait a minute, because waiting makes him excited. My ideas need a lot of excitement to make them feel good. So I wait a little minute, like I’m thinking, see? His face starts to get frowny and I know I have to tell him quick or I’ll lose him.

Okay. Here it is. If the apple falling taught Mr. Newton about gravity, what would a person falling teach us?

But when people fall it hurts.

Science is about sack-rifices, little brother. Like how you give up your lunch to Freddy when his mother forgets to pack him one.

I think that made little brother understand. He nodded and got smiley again.

So how do we ex-pear-ment?

It’s like this. You stand at the edge of the stairs and I’ll push you and we’ll see what happens. Maybe people are different from apples.

Okay!

Ready?

He’s still smiley when he nods and then I push but he doesn’t float like I thought maybe he would. He falls. Like the trash can when I dropped it doing chores yesterday, except he’s a lot more bendy. A lot more bendy and red. More like the apple, I guess.

Momma came running around the corner when she heard the last thump sound. When she saw little brother and his red, she stopped being Momma. She picked up little brother and something was wrong. A grey lady held little brother and got tears. I know what tears mean.

I walked down, real slow. Saw little brother how she held him. His face was crumpled, like it was earlier, up at the top of the stairs, back when he was thinking.

He wasn’t thinking anymore.

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