Invitations & Inventions & Laser Tag &…….Little Brothers?
I was awoken the next morning by the sound of the doorbell being repeatedly pushed.
“What time is it?” Natalie groaned as she made a sleepy transfer to her wheelchair.
“Six-thirty,” I said as I glanced at the clock.
“Make it stop!” Noel screamed. She put her hands over her ears and started to shout random things.
Chaos erupted in the Matthews house. The sound of babies wailing made me become fully awake. I heard the sound of four little feet and two big feet racing down the steps.
I heard Mr. Steve grumble as he passed the room.
“I’M COMING!” Mr. Steve shouted as the ringing started to get faster and louder.
“Charlly, its for you!” Mr. Steve shouted seconds later.
“Me?” I mumbled as I transferred from bed and into my wheelchair.
“Good Morning, Charlly,” Megan said as I passed her in the hallway. Bella gave me a smile and waved.
“Morning,” I mumbled because so far it wasn’t very good.
The roll to the door was slow. I almost fell asleep a couple of times on the minute roll to the door.
“What took you so long!” Becca Lou shotued when I got to the front door.
“Why are you ringing the doorbell at six in the morning?” I retorted.
“The-police-showed-up-at-the-B&B-and-I-overheard-them-say-they-wanted-to-speak-to-a-Robert-King,” Becca Lou said. She spoke so fast she said it all like it was one word.
“WHAT!” I screamed.
“Then-I-asked-who-Robert-King-was-and-Lou-stood-up-and-said-that-he-was-Robert-King!” Becca Lou screamed.
I was down the wheelchair ramp and on the road within seconds.
A bazillion things ran through my mind. Was Lou being arrested? Why else would the police want to speak with him? Maybe one of my grandparents had died? I remember Lou saying something about having a much younger sister. Was she in trouble?
“Charlly, have you heard a word I’ve said?” Becca Lou screamed as we past the Rivers’ cabin.
“No, sorry,” I said. “Say it again will you please?”
“Why does Lou call himself Lou if his name is Robert?” Becca Lou asked.
“You’ll have to ask Lou about that one,” I said.
When we reached the B&B, Lou’s motorcycle was still parked in the driveway. No police cars were around. I noticed that Cece Elizabeth was sitting on the porch swing.
Cece Elizabeth turned towards us when she heard Becca Lou’s frantic feet stomp up the steps.
“Girls,” Cece Elizabeth sighed, “Lou’s gone.”
“I’m sorry, Charlly,” Mom said after I asked her what happened for the millionth time. “Lou asked me not to tell you. All I can say is that he did not get arrested.”
I gave a frustrated sigh. It was now the afternoon and no one would say anything about what had happened that morning. All I knew was that the police came to speak to Lou, Lou grabbed his jacket, and left with them.
“I’m sure he’s coming back,” Natalie said as we rolled into the restaurant to hunt out a snack.
“You don’t know Lou,” I sighed.
“He left his motorcycle and his stuff,” Natalie said. “He has to come back for that at least.”
“Lou never cared about stuff. If he was out of there, he was out of there,” I grumbled.
“If you ask me Lou looked all most happy to go along with the cops,” Darcy said not looking up from what he was doing.
“Did you use the words happy, go along, and cops in the same sentence?” Natalie asked.
“Yup,” Darcy said as he handed Natalie an envelope.
“What’s this?” Natalie asked opening it.
“Invitations to my birthday par….celebration,” Darcy said as he handed me mine.
“You’re never to old to have a birthday party,” Natalie laughed as she took out the card.
“How old are you turning? Twenty-One?” I joked as I took my card out.
“Fifteen,” Darcy said.
“My baby is growing up so fast,” Ms. Donna said as she brought out some fruit.
“Mom!” Darcy shouted.
“What? It’s true?” Ms. Donna said.
At the same time Natalie said, “You have got to be kidding me.”
“Don’t tell me you don’t like laser tag,” Darcy said in a surprised voice.
” You’re having a laser tag party!” I shouted as I read my invitation. “I’m in.”
“I’ve never played,” Natalie started, “but that’s not…”
“It’s real simple, Nat,” Darcy said. “You….”
“I know how laser tag works,” Natalie snapped. “If you don’t want me to come to your party, next time just say so.”
“Huh?” Darcy asked clearly confused.
“Don’t play dumb with me,” Natalie said dropping the invitation on the ground. She started to roll towards the family room.
Darcy and I stared at each other for a second.
“Do you have any idea what that was about?” Darcy asked me.
“Nope,” I answered.
“I better go after her and find out what’s wrong,” Darcy said getting up. He turned to me. “I might need some backup.”
I nodded and rolled after the direction he went in.
“Natalie! Wait!” Darcy called as he ran down the driveway.
Natalie stopped, turned around, and folded her arms.
“I’m waiting,” Natalie said when we reached her.
“Look, Natalie, I don’t know what I did wrong, but….sorry?” Darcy said.
I let a snicker escape. Natalie looked at me.
“I don’t know how you find this funny when it affects you too,” Natalie said.
“How does it affect me?” I asked.
“You do realize that we can’t play laser tag right,” Natalie said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Why do we never use water guns in our fights?” Natalie asked.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Why do we have water balloon fights and not water gun fights?” Natalie asked.
I shrugged, but Darcy’s mouth fell open.
“Oopps,” Darcy said. “I didn’t think about that.”
“Now, I’m confused,” I said.
“Charlly, in order to fire a laser gun you need both hands free. One to pull the trigger and the other to push a button to make it fire. We are also slower than everybody else. We would be the easiest targets,” Natalie said. “We would probably never get to fire because we’d be waiting to be risen from the dead so many times.”
“Oh….,” I said understanding.
“We could play as teams!” Darcy shouted. “You guys could be on a team together and….”
“Nice idea, Darcy, but…,” Natalie started but her eyes landed on a taxi that was coming down the street.
I nearly fainted as Lou and a little mini-Lou got out of the taxi.
“I can’t believe you never told me you had another kid!” I shouted.
Lou cringed a little. He was searching for the words to say.
“I thought it’d be a nice surprise,” Lou said.
“You thought finding out that I have a for year old half-brother would be a nice surprise?” I asked.
“Yes….,” Lou said as if he was unsure of what to say.
I grunted and folded my arms. My eyes caught sight of Becca Lou and Mini-Lou, who’s real name was Jacob, playing with chalk on the B&B driveway.
Becca Lou didn’t even bat an eye when she found out that Mini-Lou was our half brother. She just took his hand and asked if he wanted to play with chalk or a ball.
“Look, Lottie, I didn’t know he existed until six months ago,” Lou said. “Trying to get full custody is why I didn’t come to see you right after I got out of rehab. When your Mom found out about him….”
“Wait! Mom knew that you had another kid with another woman?” I asked.
Lou nodded tentatively.
“Your Mom and Laz put in a good word for me,” Lou said. “The police came by this morning and told me that Jacob’s mother was arrested for DWI last night.”
“DWI?” I asked.
“Driving will intoxicated,” Lou said. “The blood work showed she was three times over the legal alcohol limit and was rather high.”
“Wasn’t that what you were arrested for?” I asked. Lou nodded.
“But I’m trying to change my life around. I hope some day she does,” Lou said.
I started to roll away. I was so mad at Lou at that moment. A nice surprise? Who in there right mind would think that suddenly finding out you have a new sibling would be a nice surprise?
“Love ya, Lou Pa,” I said just so we didn’t leave on too awful of terms.
“Love ya, Charlly Lottie,” Lou called.
I slammed the door way harder than I meant too. The sound of the door got Becca Lou and Mini-Lou’s attention.
“Come over here” Mini-Lou hollered. I rolled over to where they were drawing partly amused.
“Do you like to play?” Mini-Lou asked me.
“Sure,” I shrugged.
“Do you like to draw?” Mini-Lou asked.
“Sure,” I shrugged.
“Then this is the PERFECT game for you!” Mini-Lou shouted. He threw up his hands causing the piece of chalk in his hands to land on the ground and break.
I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I gave him a smile.
“Charlly feels like she’s too old to do chalk and play games,” Becca Lou said.
“Oh,” Mini-Lou said.
“It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a water balloon fight today,” I said transferring from my wheelchair to the ground. “I guess I can do some driveway coloring.”
“We’re drawing this town!” Mini-Lou shouted. “I saw a sign with a snowman on the way here and Mr. Lou says that there’s a statue of an elk here too!”
I spent the rest of the afternoon drawing buildings, clouds, and elks.
I stared at the invention that Darcy was so proudly displaying to Natalie and I. If you asked me the thing looked like a double pair of underwear.
“Please tell me that is not underwear,” Natalie said.
“It is not underwear,” Darcy said. “I made it out of some strong fabric that Jaci gave me.”
“You sewed that?” I asked.
“With some help from Jaci,” Darcy blushed. “Ok a lot of help.”
“Put your underwear back on! You’re in a public place where people eat!” Mini-Lou shouted as he walked into the restaurant with Lou not that far behind.
Darcy burst into titters and Natalie and I started to giggle.
“Not wearing your underwear is no laughing matter,” Mini-Lou said as Lou ordered for them.
That only made us laugh more.
“Ok, if its not a strange looking pair of underwear what is it?” Natalie asked as she tried to stop laughing.
“Let me demonstrate,” Darcy said. He put his legs through two of the legs slots.
“You look ridiculous,” Natalie giggled.
“Your about to look ridiculous too,” Darcy said. “Lou can you help me with something?”
“Sure,” Lou shrugged. He walked up to where we were standing. “What do you need me to do?”
“Can you pick up Natalie and put her in the back of this thingamajig?” Darcy asked.
Lou gave a slow nod.
“One, two, three!” Lou shouted as he picked Natalie. He put her in the sling.
“This is fun!” Natalie laughed as Darcy walked around the room with er attached to him.
“I made another one for you too,” Darcy said to me as he helped Natalie back into her wheelchair.
“So how does this slow our problem?” I asked.
“Some one on your team will carry you on their back. They’ll be your legs,” Darcy said.
“Oh,” I said nodding. “That’s actually a pretty good idea.”
“So are we good?” Darcy asked Natalie.
“More than good.” Natalie smiled.
I tried to hold my breath. The enemy was approaching. Clueless that I and my partner were hiding behind a barrier.
“Ready?” Leo whispered.
We aimed our laser beams on our target and fired.
“Not again!” Virginia screamed.
“Ha!” Leo shouted. We ran from our hiding place.
“Gotca!” Natalie shouted as she pointed her beam at my shoulder.
“I’ve been hit!” I said all dramatically.
“Hey!” Natalie shouted as Leo shot her and Darcy.
“Let’s get outa here!” I shouted. Leo ran up the ramp.
“A ha!” Yule shouted. He took out Leo.
“Cover me while I recover!” Leo shouted as he ran in zigzags.
“Stop!” I whispered. I could see Matt trying to hide behind a barrier. I aimed and fired.
“Who did that!” Matt shouted.
I silently giggled.
“Not so fast!”
Leo turned, which was a bad move because Bennet took him out.
“Seriously, man! I just recovered!” Leo shouted. Bennet smiled, but his smile turned upside down when I took him out.
“It’s no fair! You guys get attached backup!” Benent shouted. “Well, I’m a paraplegic! I should be on somebody’s back!”
Leo ran away before Bennet could take another aim at him.
“Capow!” Mini-Lou shouted as he waved his gun in the air like a maniac.
“AH!” Leo shouted. He ran right into Lou.
“Sorry, son,” Lou said. He took the both of us out.
“Dad!” I shouted.
“Sorry, Lottie,” Lou said. “Hey! Who got me!”
Becca Lou gave a mysterious laugh.
“Thirty seconds!” Someone called out.
We all ran off in different directions.
As we ran, I managed to get Noel and Emily.
I groaned as Noel got her revenge.
The lights in the room turned back on. What seemed like hundreds of people emerged from behind barriers and out of nowhere.
“That was awesome!” Jessie-Maria shouted.
“I can’t believe I actually hit somebody,” Jaci said as we pilled out of the room.
“I wonder who won,” Darcy said as he put Natalie back in her wheelchair.
“Me of course,” Leo said helping me into the wheelchair.
“Let’s see,” Regina said looking at the score board. “That’s not fair!”
“What’s not fair?” I asked.
“Charlly, got the most hits!” Regina shouted. “And Natalie got second. Darcy third and Leo fourth.”
“All right!” Leo said as he high-fived Darcy.
“You guys had backup!” Regina shouted. “It should be illegal!”
“Illegal?” Lou laughed as he tried to get the laser gun from Mini-Lou’s hands.
“Well at least against the rules,” Regina said crossing her arms.
“There are different rules for paraplegics,” Natalie said as she got her sheet.
“Not all paraplegics,” Bennet joked.
“I don’t care!” Nelson shouted. “I just want to do it again!”
“Again!” Everyone shouted excitedly.