“Ma,” Trajan exclaimed over his shoulder, hoping to send the words down the hallway and around the corner into his mother’s bedroom. “Where are my white socks?”
“I don’t believe I’m wearing any socks,” she announced, tossing the covers aside, contented by the sight of her bare feet staring back at her.
“I didn’t accuse you of wearing them,” he replied, burying his elbows deeper into his top dresser drawer.
He took care to pull his voice back inside his own room. He had been left to converse with silent walls since his brother’s passing. He’d poked his head inside his mother’s doorway earlier that morning, asked whether she wanted some breakfast. She thanked him for being so considerate, sending a fleeting smile in the direction of the open doorframe. But, no, she didn’t need anything to eat. At least she was talking today, sitting upright for a change, her pink robe adding light to the room. He didn’t want to risk upsetting her with the drudgery of life’s mundane little details. The likelihood that he would miss his soccer match if he couldn’t find his white socks was not the conern he wished to see push his mother back into the shadows. His mother had been his brother’s biggest fan, with Trajan close on her heels. She nurtured the bond between mother and sons, spending time with each in carefully measured doses to ensure that either child got equal shine. But Langston, the older by a full three years, held a direct line to her heart. The bright beam of her happiness rippled inside of him, rippled, rippled, then sank.
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