Short Stories

Disappearing Act

It’s embarassing that my spelling’s worse than it used to be…I had to check if I’d spelled “disappearing” right. Heh… ANYWAY. Another LAPH short between the Ashanra bros. *pats them both*. And it’s not too long, too…guess I can be short.

May 1, 444 EoP. Wednesday 18:37

“Robby…you really have to stop disappearing so much.”

Given that he’d been buried under the covers with a t-reader, Robert hadn’t heard Jovan’s words the first time. When Jovan repeated them, the worm in his cocoon peeked out to give his brother a disdainful look. “What are you talking about? I’m not a magician’s rabbit, idiot.”

Undeterred by his brother’s foul mood, Jovan bounded on his bed. “I mean, idiot, that I’ve actually been asked by no less than two people where you are. I’m so proud of you, you little stinker! And just after a week and a half of being at school!”

Equally unfazed by his brother’s cheer, Robert crankily rejoined, “Yeah, I have no idea what that’s about. Tell them to leave me alone.” As an emphasis, he used his foot to gently shove his brother off his bed.

“You should respect your teachers, Rob,” Jovan grumbled as he picked himself off the floor and yet again bounced on Robert’s bed.

“Haven’t respected you ever and you aren’t my only teacher anymore.”

A cold rush of air chilled Robert when his covers were thrown off him. “Oh, come on,” he grumbled and hugged himself tighter. He was only wearing a thermal undershirt and thus felt the lukewarm air more sharply and coldly than necessary.

“Come on, indeed, Robby! Tell me how you made Finn’s little sister and that Gregory classmate of yours like you so much!” Jovan laughed, shaking Robert.

With a stiffled sigh, Robert finally gave up on reading and shut his t-reader off to glower at Jovan. “You really are annoying, you know that?”

“See?” Jovan’s index finger near poked his face, giving Robert full view of the white ring permanently stuck there. “This is what I’m talking about, this expression here. Gregory told me to thank you for your kindness, and Denise said that she wanted to invite you over to the city or the café with her friends as a thanks for helping her learn how to take notes. When did you get this popular with that face?”

Tempted to shove his brother off again, Robert opted to sit up straight instead. “I still don’t get what you’re talking about.” Briefly, he went over the nonsense Jovan had spewed. Oh…right…I guess I helped Greg a little, but it wasn’t a big deal. And Denise is just friendly. How did Jovan jump to that conclusion, though? His mind… That just means that Denise and Greg are nice people.

He repeated his thoughts to Jovan, who smirked. “Beautiful. I see you’re finally realizing that superheroes are not the arrogant prats you thought them to be.”

I do really hate it when he’s smug, Robert mused, conveying his hatred by deepening his scowl. “What are you so smug about? That prejudice was mild up until you took this job, you know? So really, my prejudice and judgments are your fault, and you should be thanking the kids in my classroom for being too nice to make the attempt last.”

Jovan merely chuckled and ruffled Robert’s hair. “Well, that probably makes sense somewhere in that mind of yours. I’m just happy to see that you’re actually making friends.” He grinned at his brother.

“They’re really not—” But seeing Jovan’s look of mingled relief and sincere happiness for him clamped Robert’s mouth shut. He flopped back upon the bed, instead. “It’s only been a week, Jovan…stop jumping to conclusions.”

The bed suddenly sprung up as Jovan lifted his weight off it. “I know, I know. But still, I’m happy you’re getting along with some people. You’re usually so…”

“Uh huh…” Robert shook off his brother’s insulting compliment as he returned to his book. “Now let me read…don’t you have papers to grade or something?”

Jovan’s sighs were always loud and overdone. And here was another one, complete with him lifting his head, hands on the back of his neck, and then sighing again as he dropped his head exaggeratedly to look at Robert.

“So dramatic…” Robert muttered, turning his back on the young teacher.

With a laugh, Jovan released the drama and thwapped his brother’s back. “Fine, fine…I’ll go now. But, Rob, please promise you’ll try and spend more time with people who want to be your friend—oof!”

His speech was cut off by a pillow…which Robert had thrown at his stomach.

“Okay, out,” Robert huffed, jumping up and pushing his brother out of their dorm and into the hallway. “I’ve already promised to give this school, my classmates, and my teachers a chance. I’m not making any more promises, you stinkin’ extrovert. I can’t spend eight hours with people and not die of exhaustion. Get out.”

With Jovan successfully kicked out without the keys, and the door locked, Robert dived under his blanketed hole and returned to his t-reader.

Outside, his brother chuckled, which Robert duly muffled by ways of adding the second pillow over his free ear. And still, he sort of heard…

“Oh, hey, Finn!”

“Huh? Jovan? What’s the matter?”

“Do you have size 11 shoes?”

“Yes…?”

“Is it okay if I borrow a pair of your shoes, then? My brother has brutally kicked me out.”

“Ah…okay…”

“Awesome, thank you so much.”

Well, looks like you’re also making friends, Jovan. And hearing that exchange, unable to fight a smile, Robert dissolved into the world of Orilem again.

I wish I was as kind as Robert is when kicking people out. If someone was annoying me while I was reading, fire and knives would be involved. Blood would spill and screams of regret would fill the air. *looks out into the distance*

But this is a PG-13 read, so he just grumbles.

Anyway! I hope you enjoyed…see you next Thursday!

©Lemon Duck, 2021. All rights reserved.

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