"Lil' dudes," said Bro, addressing Dave and yourself. You frown, objecting silently to being called a "lil'" anything. "I'm working this weekend, and Auntie Monah is busy with some science thing, and she's taking Rose and Roxy."
Dave raises an eyebrow, still staring at the TV screen, the picture of indifference. "So?"
"So, y'all are gonna be home alone for three whole days. Think you can handle it?"
You refrain from spitting in his face. You spent the first six years of your life alone... Mrs. Paskowitz was a less-than-stellar caretaker. "I can handle the kid," you assure him.
Dave scoffs, but doesn't look away from whatever he's watching. "You're just as much a kid as I am," he says, and you can hear
him rolling his eyes.
"Uh-huh," you say, ruffling his hair. He lunges forward and punches you in the shoulder. You push him back into the couch, where he stays, huffing and pouting.
Bro raises an eyebrow. "Try not to kill each other while I'm gone. Money's in the usual place."
And he disappears. You sigh and fall back onto the couch. "What are we watching?"
Dave shrugs. "Something stupid." He takes out his phone and starts texting.
You watch whatever stupid program is on, and after about fifteen minutes, Dave looks up from his phone. "Egbutt's coming over," he says casually.
You look over at him. "Is that so?"
He stands up and goes to the fridge. "We gonna order pizza or something? Cause I'm pretty sure you, me, and Egbert can't have one egg for dinner."
You roll your eyes. "Do we have to get pizza all the time? Why not Chinese?"
"Egbert's allergic to peanuts. He'll swell up and die and then we'll have to hide his body in the laundry hamper."
"Fine. What kind of pizza does he like?"
"Hawaiian, but we're getting meat lover's."
"When's he coming?"
"Well he just left, so he'll be here in like twenty minutes."
"I'll order the pizza now. Check how much cash we have."
Dave looks inside the ice dispenser in the freezer. "Few hundred."
"Slow down, Bro," you mutter.
"Where does he even work when he's not DJing or running the site?"
You shrug one shoulder.
"I don't get why he works so much. Like, three jobs? Isn't just the website enough anyway? We're kinda loaded."
You shrug again. "What he does is his business."
"Do you think he's a stripper?"
You look up at him. "What?"
"I'unno, he has the body for it."
He shrugs. "I thought you were ordering pizza."
You roll your eyes, picking up the phone. You have the pizza place on speed dial, number two, right below Auntie Monah. On your own phone, Roxy is number one, of course, and then English, and Crocker. You order two large pizzas, which Dave scoffs at, thinking that it won't be enough. You have to agree, and get another.
Egbert shows up a few minutes later, and Dave quickly drags him to his bedroom. You wish you didn't
know what was going on in there, but what's more, you wish it didn't make you so sick to your stomach, so angry. Those are bad feelings. Wrong
feelings. Feelings that Striders do Absolutely Not Have.