He focused intently on the burnt bagel clutched in his hand. It was perfectly salvageable; all he need was a bit of cream cheese. Maybe a touch of Jelly. A little burnt around the edges wasn’t going to ruin the breakfast.
The fact that he was sitting on the curb, while the firefighters desperately tried to put out the flames that had once been his house—that was what was going to ruin breakfast.
His big sister came to stand in front of him. He hadn’t looked up from the bagel yet, but no one else had those paint stained vans he now saw on either side of the bagel. “Mom called me,” she offered, “I was closer than she was.”
He shrugged his shoulders, and she took that as an invitation to sit down next to him. “Also, Mike said it was okay if I offered you our guest room until this all gets figured out. It’s closer to the site in case you have to come back here. And it keeps Mom somewhat out of your hair.”
The Site, she said. That’s what used to be his first house that he owned all by himself. The site. It felt like a lead weight in his stomach, and suddenly he wasn’t so keen on salvaging the burnt bagel. He let it go and watched it fall into the pieces of leaves that had collected in the gutter by his feet.
“Yeah. I guess that would be fine.” He answered, dusting his hands together to knock off bagel crumbs. “I suppose I should go find out what I’m supposed to do. Or if I can go with you and get a shower.”
His sister shrugged, something he felt against his shoulder more than saw. “I’ll be here. For, you know, whenever.”
He nodded, and lifted himself up off the ground.