TwoBeep, beep, beep.
Tyler groaned at the annoying sound of his alarm clock. He reached out blindly and slammed the ‘snooze’ button so hard his alarm clock fell of his bedside table. Tyler’s room was quiet for a few more minutes, in which he started drifting off to sleep again. Then, the alarm clock started going off again.
He groaned and threw the covers off, picking his alarm clock up off the floor and turning it off. “Could you be more annoying?” he mumbled, rubbing his eyes and shuffling out of his room.
Within fifteen minutes, Tyler had showered and brushed his hair. He walked into his mother’s room. She was sleeping. He walked over and sat on the bed next to her, looking over her. Her bright blonde hair had started graying over the past years; she was barely thirty. She didn’t need all this stress…yet, that’s what she got.
Tyler looked at the clock. 4:45 it read in big red letters. Tyler sighed softly, getting off his mom’s bed and walking out. His mom had probably just gotten back from home and got in bed.
He walked to his brother’s room. He looked at his brother for a few moments, and then decided to let him sleep a few more minutes. Stumbling into the kitchen tiredly, Tyler glanced around. The kitchen was so…messy. Like the people who lived in the house never washed them.
This, in reality, is what happened. Tyler rolled up his sleeves and started loading up the dishwasher, then started it. The rest of the dishes piled up in the sink and on the counter, he washed.
When that was done, he got out two skillets and put them on the stove, turning the stove on. He got the eggs and bacon out. Soon, he had scrambled eggs cooking and bacon frying.
Charlie stumbled into the room. Probably because he smelled food. He rubbed his eyes and walked over to the plate of bacon. Tyler smacked his hands away. “Go wash up and get ready for school, then you can eat.”
Charlie scowled, and then walked out of the room. Soon, Tyler heard the shower on. He carried the eggs and bacon over to the table with three plates. He spooned some eggs on a plate and put a few pieces of bacon on it. He grabbed a fork and carried it to his mom’s room. He knew that even if she’d only gone to bed a few hours ago, she’d be up soon. He put the plate on her bedside table and walked out.
Charlie was still in the shower. Tyler knocked on the door. “Hurry up in there. How many pieces of bacon do you want?”
“Is thirty an option?” Charlie called back.
“Uh, how about we start with two or three?”
Tyler smiled and shook his head, then walked back into the dining room. He spooned some eggs onto a plate for Charlie and put three pieces of bacon on his plate. Then, he did the same for his own.
He sat down and started eating, and soon Charlie was sitting next to him, his mop of hair soaking wet. “Haven’t you heard of a towel?” Tyler asked.
“No time for towels when there’s bacon,” Charlie said between bites.
Tyler shook his head. “Alright. Well, since we’re up so early, how about reviewing some math for that big test?”
Charlie groaned. “But I’m enjoying my morning...”
“Okay, well be prepared to not enjoy it, then,” Tyler said, thinking of a math problem. Well, Charlie had problems with his division and multiplication tables. “What’s nine times four?”
Charlie thought a few moments. “…Thirty-four?”
Tyler shook his head. “Thirty-six. Look, there’s a trick for nines. Subtract one from the number you’re multiplying nine by. That’s your ten’s digit. Now, what do you add to the thing your multiplying to get nine? Let’s try another one… nine times five.”
“Easy!” Charlie said. “Forty-five…right?”
Tyler nodded, “Yes, but that’s with fives…let me think of a kind of harder one.” Tyler took a few bites as he thought. “What’s…nine times seven?”
“Um…” Charlie thought, doing mental math. “Sixty…four? No, wait! Sixty-three.”
“Right,” Tyler smiled. “See, you’re getting it. What’s eight times three?”
“Yup. Seven times twelve.”
“Umm…I can’t do that in my head.”
“Just think; twelve times two is…” Tyler pressed.
“Twenty four..” Charlie raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, so how many twelve’s so far?” Tyler asked.
“So three more?”
“Yes..” Charlie rolled his eyes. “And three twelve’s is forty-eight, so sixty plus forty eight is…um… 108?”
Tyler clapped. “Bravo, you just did a math problem in your head!”
Charlie high fived him, grinning. He’d always had trouble with math. Tyler had, too. His dad had given him little hints and stuff that helped. Sure, Tyler wasn’t a math whiz, but he was better than he used to be.
Moreover, helping Charlie with math made Tyler feel better; one less thing for Charlie and him to worry about. Charlie didn’t have to worry about getting kicked out of the after school things he did, and Tyler didn’t have to worry about Charlie getting horribly bad grades.
It also gave Charlie something to smile about. And, if there was a God, He knew that Charlie needed something else to smile about. Tyler ruffled Charlie’s hair. “Finish your breakfast, we’ll finish up the rest of the homework you gotta do when you’re done, okay?”
Charlie nodded. Tyler stood up and took his plate over to the sink. The dishwasher was done running now, so he started unloading it. He touched one of the steaming plates and pulled his hand away. “Ouch!”
“What, are they hot?” Charlie said.
“Well, imagine that. Plates that were washed with hot water are hot.” Charlie said sarcastically, sticking his tongue out at Tyler.
Tyler narrowed his eyes. “Careful. I’m one of the people buying you those action figures. Who knows… I might just feel the need to take my hard earned money back and sell them…”
Charlie’s eyes widened and he went back to his food. Tyler smirked. Obviously, he wasn’t going to take Charlie’s action figures away. But, as long as Charlie was into action figures, there was some blackmail there. Tyler wouldn’t hold the fact that he was paying for half of his stuff over his head…much.
Once the plates cooled down, Tyler grabbed them and started unloading the dishwasher, as quietly as he could. Soon, he was done. And Charlie was also done with his food.
Tyler rinsed the remaining plates and stuck them in the dishwasher. Then, he walked over to the living room coffee table with Charlie and they started to work on his homework. It was now about 6:30. Tyler would have to leave at around seven. Plenty of time to get Charlie’s homework done.
Thirty minutes later, Tyler was helping Charlie pack his backpack. Just before Charlie trudged out the door, Tyler slipped a paper bag into his hand. “Just so you don’t have to buy lunch today,” Tyler smiled. It was a bacon sandwich.
“Thanks!” Charlie said, waving at his brother and running off to catch the bus.
Tyler smiled and grabbed his own paper bag, putting it in his backpack. Slinging his backpack over his shoulder, he walked out of the house and grabbed his skateboard.