Getting home was the best feeling in the world. I waved good-bye to Directions Man, and then ran directly into the outstretched arms of my brother. He picked me up, and spun me around a hundred eighty degrees. Coming home wasn’t going to visit our childhood house—it was getting to see him. It had been months since I had seen him last, since right after the triplets were born. I didn’t have to be his twin and good friend to see that having the triplets had definitely taken a little bit of a toll on him. He was a bit thinner, and he had dark circles under his eyes, but he looked happy. “You have no idea how good it is to see you.” He said, setting me back down on my feet.
“Likewise,” I laughed, scooping my backpack off of the curb where the bus driver had been pulling out luggage.
“No, Serious face time.” He used too fingers to point from his eyes to mine, out sign for a momentarily serious conversation, “Katie and I are through the roof that you are coming to help us. I don’t think we’d be able to survive without you.”
“You would be able to survive, but still, I’m glad to be able to offer my assistance.”
“Your faith in me is high, Sister.” Adrian took my bag before draping a heavy arm over my shoulders. “Let’s get home, huh?”
While I still believed that my brother and his wife would have been strong enough to survive, I could see why they were going insane. Katie is a kindergarten teacher, who had just started back to school the month before I got there. Adrian, the boy genius that he is, is a doctor, who was barely out of med school, and paying his dues working odd, and long hours. They had a nanny to come be an extra set of hands for a couple of hours each day, but even still, it was a lot to bear.
The two girls, Rowan and Joss, would only sleep at the same time, and their brother, Oliver, wouldn’t seem to go to sleep unless they were both awake. I thought Adrian had been exaggerating when he said that they hadn’t all been asleep at the same time since the day they were born, but after living in my old house a week, I was starting to believe him. I started back at my high school part-time job at a little locally owned movie theater, so that I wasn’t completely bumming off my doctor brother, and I was beginning to long for the annoying stupidity of customers during the long hours of the night, rocking a crying niece or nephew back to sleep.
Friday afternoon, a week and a half after I had moved back in with Katie and Adrian, was one of those very strange days when all three adults were home, and none of the three children were screaming. Granted, if Katie stopped rocking Joss in her arms, then she would wake up and start crying, which would wake up Rowan as well. Oliver, still awake and looking around with bright blue eyes, seemed to be content laying in the little cradle that Adrian was rocking with his toe. I stood near Rowan’s crib, afraid to move from where I’d laid her down, and just taken in the moment of complete silence before it passed.
To both Adrian and my surprise, there was a quick knock on the door, and Maggie came into the nursery.
“I thought Maggie had the day off?” Adrian questioned.
“She did. I asked her to come in for the night so that you and your sister could go out and be twins.”
“Be twins?” I laughed, “Adrian, did you know that we weren’t twins unless we went out?”
“Oh, that does explain a lot.” Adrian grinned, and Katie gave a little huff of frustration.
“Oh, you know what I mean. Go out, watch a movie, eat some dinner, laugh at jokes that no one else find funny, speak in a language that no one else understands. Breath, relax. Stop driving me up the wall with your stress.” She pointed an accusing finger at her husband. “You promised me you’d be less stressed when Elliott got home. You have not been less stressed.”
“I’ve been calmer—“Adrian started weakly, and Katie and I shared a look.
“You have been freaking out a bit, Adrian.” I acknowledged crossing my arms over my chest. Adrian gave me a betrayed look.
“Excellent. I have your sister on my side, so stop arguing with me, Adrian Hill. A movie, and dinner. Do not come back to this house until at least later than eight pm. Understood?” Katie ordered as she transferred the sleeping Joss into the nanny’s arm, and I mock saluted her.
“Let’s go, Ri-ri,” I teased, grabbing my brother’s arm, and pulling him ineffectively towards the door.
“Don’t call me that, Lotte.”
“Don’t call me Lotte, RI-RI.”
“See, you two are more like your old selves already. Shoo, Shoo.” Katie quite literally shoved the two of us out the nursery door.