“They can smell fear, you know.” I whisper the words, so softly I think even I’d have to strain to hear them but he turns his head to stare at me, his eyes wide and filled with fear. I can’t help but laugh softly and I shake my head. “You have to be fearless, fearless!”
I can see the panic rise in him as he goes back to staring ahead at the flock of gulls standing in our way. I don’t know who this kid is, I guess his mother is in the park and I don’t know why I’m picking on him though I’m not really. I’m just teasing him. I suppose I should play nice because he might just develop a terrified view of these gulls if I keep up. I can’t help it. I guess that without Mira to keep me toned down, I’m just an evil bastard.
Well, maybe not an evil bastard but I’m not above teasing a kid about how a pack of seagulls might eat him whole if he shows fear. I don’t know why. He looks back my way again, his eyes are wide but I think the fear is starting to fade away, that’s actually a good thing. I grin at him but I sit still on my bench. I guess he came my way because of my hair. I must stand out and I don’t really care. It’s natural this way and I’m not about to start dyeing it just so I can blend in. I’m my own person and no one can tell me otherwise.
His mother looks up from her own bench, she puts her book down and looks our way. I’ll assume she’s his mother, there’s no one else looking our way. With a kid this young, I wouldn’t bring a book to read while I’m at the park. Kids like this are bound to get into trouble and run around as if mindless that they can get hurt and parents need to keep an eye on them. She’s not much of a parent in my eyes at this point.
A worried look crosses her face and I’m sure it’s because of how I look, she probably thinks I’m a punk and I’m about to hurt her kid. She’s on her feet, fast-walking my way and she sweeps her kid into her arms, earning a startled cry out of him and the seagulls take to the sky in turn in surprise. This, as a whole, gets the kid screaming again, in fear this time and I close my eyes with a soft snort.
“Don’t you dare touch my boy!” Okay, now she’s pushing it.
I open my eyes again and I look up at her calmly. She’s staring down at me as if I’d molested her kid. Something I’d never do. It was done to Mira and I couldn’t stop the man from doing that, it gives me nightmares on bad days.
“Lady, if I hadn’t caught your kid’s attention, he’d have run off into the street you were so busy reading your book. I’d suggest keeping a better eye on him next time.”
I’m not in the mood to be lectured by parents who think they know better. I get to my feet and I stretch. As I start to walk away, I hear the kid go ‘bye!’ so I turn back and he’s waving at me. I chuckle softly at the shocked look on his mother’s face and I just keep walking.
“You’re in one of those moods, what happened?” Once I got home, I went straight up to the roof. I was expecting Mira and I found him without much of an issue. In our afternoons after work, when the library closes early, he tends to come up to the pool to swim. Most of the time I stay down to just lounge in the shade but today I stayed back and just sat in the park. I know we’re drifting apart, Mira and me. Not in a bad way, we’re growing up, that’s all.
I shrug as I pull my shirt over my head and off. I take off my shoes and sit on the edge of the water with my legs in. I don’t really want to get my shorts wet though I know they would dry pretty quickly. I just don’t feel like swimming.
“I stayed back at the park after we left the library.”
“Yeah, I thought you were looking to buy something.” He splashes at me lightly and I just smile down at him.
“Nah, I just sat at the park. After a while, I guess this woman and her kid come around to play. She settles on a bench and almost immediately pulls out a book. I don’t think that kid was more than four or five, you don’t leave a kid that young without supervision. He came my way and nearly walked past me and into the street so I called out to him. There was a bunch of gulls between him and the street and I told him they could smell fear, he froze.”
I pause there and Mira quirks a brow, moving closer to rest against the side of the pool lightly so he can look up at me while I tell my mock-sordid tale.
“So at least I’m keeping him there, away from the street without even touching him. His mother suddenly realizes he’s not in the playground itself and she comes sweeping him up. Of course he’s surprised, he screams, that scares the gulls, they take off flying and that scares him so he screams again. She told me not to touch her boy and I pretty much just told her she should keep a better eye on him if she didn’t want him running into the street. I left.”
I shrug again and Mira blinks and frowns, he shakes his head. “Some parents think they’re parents only because they’ve given birth to their children. Mira’s been more of a parent to us than our real parents though the reasons are different, I know. But at least she kept us safe, kept an eye on us and made sure we were well. If that woman wanted to read a book she should have just let him play in their house or in their yard or somewhere that was safer than a park without any fencing around.”
He sees things the way I do. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who thinks that some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. I know I shouldn’t judge her, I bet she’s probably a great mom most of the time but what I saw of her today made me doubt that she could be a good mother at all.
If I hadn’t been there at that moment, her kid could have run straight into the street and there is a pretty big amount of traffic going on in that place and I don’t know if the drivers could have stopped in time to not hit him. I’m not considering myself a saviour here, I’m just thinking that some things are better kept for the home, like books. If you want to read a book, either do it when you’re on your own or around others but not when you’ve got a kid around with you.
Mira splashes me again and I blink down at him. I reach out and brush some wet hair from his face. He smiles at me warmly and shifts his arms to settle them on me instead of on the pool side.
“We’re going to be together for a long time, right? I mean, I know we’ve been sort of drifting apart but we’ll never really go out absolute separate ways forever, yes?” He sounds so worried, it hurts to think that he worries about these things. I wish he wouldn’t. There might be a time when we’ll go our separate ways but I don’t think we’ll go very far.
“Mira, you’re my brother. We’re twins. I think that all twins, triplets, quadruplets and so on all have one soul shared between the others. That or they each have their souls but it is incomplete if they do not have their brothers or sisters in their lives. You’re half of my soul. We might go our own ways eventually but I know we’ll never really be apart. Not in any way that might make it seem as though we’ve never been together in this way. Don’t worry, okay?”
He nods and shifts his weight again. I move down and I pull him up against me, nearly completely out of the water and I hug him tightly to myself. He sighs, a soft, content little sigh and he kisses me cheek with a smile. I release him carefully back into the water.
“Go on and get back to swimming, you fish.” He sticks his tongue out and disappears back under the water. I feel better already.