And Other Stories


Something Missing

It had been a normal Thursday, all in all. Brittany had woken up a bit late, made herself breakfast, went through her checklist of standard morning rituals, and was out the door in time to make it to school. She lived fifteen minutes away from her high school, and the weather didn't mandate the shelter of a vehicle, most days. The school day passed without much event, or rather plenty of event, most of which not being noteworthy in the slightest. Brittany was not the kind of person who kept a diary, although she might have looked like one. Friends were chatted with, work was assigned and completed, and none of the classes taught anything particularly revelatory. The rest of her day at home was fairly normal, too, supper and some time spent with her older sister, Alexa. She went off to bed early, already anticipating the weekend, not that there was anything in particular she had planned.

Brittany woke up in the middle of the night. At least it seemed like it, but the clock by her bed read off a time closer to very early in the morning, though the lack of light flooding through the curtains meant it was still before sunrise. Groggy as she was, Brittany would have quite liked to turn back in for a bit more rest, but a throbbing headache vetoed that idea. Reluctantly climbing out of her bed, she made for the kitchen, and the little cabinet that housed the medicines. She passed her sister on the way, who seemed very surprised to see her, although Brittany paid her little mind as she fetched the pills. A few quiet moments passed before Alexa angrily spoke up, loud enough to make her little sister's head throb. "Where the hell have you been!?"

Brittany returned that with a groan, and twisted the cap off of the bottle of pills before answering. "I've been in bed, obviously. I'm just getting something for a headache. What are you up for at this hour?" She sounded tired, as she fished out two pills and screwed the lid back on. Her sister didn't look to be in pajamas, now that she stopped to think about it.

"Now is not the time for jokes! Don't you understand that I've been worried sick for the last few days? Tell me where the fuck you've been, Brittany!" The surprise had drained out of her face, replaced by anger, and it showed even more in her voice. After a moment, she calmed a little, and concern took over her expression. "Look, just tell me what happened, okay? And be honest. I'm not going to get mad at you unless you deserve it."

Brittany had by this point learned that being yelled at while grappling with a headache was especially unpleasant when you weren't awake enough to really understand what was going on, but the first two problems thankfully had a way of fixing the last one. She furrowed her brows, confusion written on her face. "What are you talking about? I've been here since last night, where else would I be? You saw me go to bed after we ate, and I'm only awake right now because of a headache. Speaking of which..." Brittany moved to fetch a cup, and with it some water to down the tablets of relief. Alexa mostly looked taken aback, for some reason, and was quiet long enough for her sister to run the tap.

"Brittany..." The older sister's face knit in a strange expression as Brittany swallowed the pills, along with a generous helping of water. She hadn't realized how thirsty she was, until she actually had a drink. The look on her sister's face still wasn't very easy to read, and confusion was plain on Brittany's face. "That was Thursday."