Lorne sat on the window sear and pressed his palm against the surface of the glass. On the street below Brett waited at the edge of their walk. William jogged down to meeting him — running late, as always. Before they disappeared, Brett waved up at, and William ran backwards a few steps to give him a sloppy salute. Lorne rolled his eyes at his oldest brother, but still smiled. Just like he’d smiled when Jonathon stopped by before school — on time, as always — to swap his library books for new ones. They remembered he was there, at least.
Their father never stopped, never waved. He always left the house talking on a cell phone, focused on whatever project was the centre of his universe this month. Lorne had tried keeping track of them once, writing the complicated names in precise letters on the pages of an exercise notebook. He gave up when he realised he only knew the names from overhearing those phone calls, never because his father answered when he asked.
It was just how it was. They were all used to it, and maybe that was why his brothers and their friend tried so hard. It made it easier.
He pulled his hand back, the sweaty palm print clear for only a second before it faded away. he flipped the latch on the window and tried to pull it open, but it held fast. Running his fingers across the frame, he found the nails she must have added after the last time. Lorne sighed and gave up as his head started to spin.
Anything that made it easier was good.