Craig was in no mood for a family gathering. Least of all, he did not want to meet his brother's friends. And so it was making himself at home.
He'd forgotten how much he'd missed it. His little secret room. Well, it took up a good three fourths of the floor. He'd never mentioned it to Todd. Of course, he had wondered early on, why the place was so small. He'd told him there had never been enough time to finish it. And this was it. He hadn't told him about the sliding bookcase. And just as he'd thought, nothing was missing. It had all been well kept in the dust.
Naturally, he'd spent a good part of the day counting his cash he'd hidden. A part of him was ready to hit the road. It was kind of boring being all alone. But then, he knew he really should hide out for a while. Practically, be invisible. He didn't want to get Todd involved. He really needed to appreciate the place. So he spent the next part of it sweeping, taking down cob webs. Changing the sheets on the bed. Before he knew it, he was looking through old notebooks, things he'd drawn from time to time, and realized it was all quaint again. And almost home.
But then he heard her as soon as she unlocked the door. But it wasn't long til silence. Suddenly, he felt uncomfortable. Craig took a peek to see the girl was asleep. She looked harmless enough. Still he really wanted to have some words with his brother about her being here. It wasn't exactly the homecoming he was wanting. Coming here to share a flat with a stranger.
Meanwhile, Craig had gotten by on some fast food he had brought with him. It was a soggy turkey sub sandwich that was his substitute for Thanksgiving. Naturally, it helped to down a few bottles of New Castle ale and a big bag of potato chips. He'd never really eaten like this on the run. Now it was just getting plain boring. He'd tried to sleep, but kept waking up. She woke him up with her little patters across the floor. But it was still once again, and that's when she found him.
"Oh." Craig managed to say, thinking how he could explain this.
Lucy just stood there looking at him as if she might throw the butter knife at him. "How did you get in here?" She winced hard then.
"The door." Craig gave her the obvious answer.
She didn't seem to find the humor in it.
"Lucy? Right?" Craig came closer showing his face in the light.
"You're - Ka..Todd's brother?" She asked.
"Yes." It was quiet then as if they might have both ended up in each other's little nightmare that wasn't quite so awful. That is if they didn't talk about it.
"Your..your brother was expecting you." Lucy told him.
"I'm not much for parties." Craig tried to smile, but he really didn't have the energy to do it. "You have anymore pickles?"
Lucy got out the jar and offered it to him.
"Long time since I've had one." He bit into a baby dill pickle then.
"We always have dill pickles with our peanut-butter sandwiches." Lucy smiled.
"We?" He winced.
"My mother and I." Lucy nodded. "When she was around." She slid her neat fingers through her stringy hair then.
It was then Craig notice she was just a teenager. Craig tensed then. Just what sort of sad mess had he walked into?
"Well." He took his pickle. "Guess I'll be off to bed."
"Where are you sleeping?" Lucy winced.
"Don't you worry. It won't be with you." He faded into the darkness then. Slipped behind the wall of books to his room.