A muffled thumping was all that reached Jeanie, but it woke her just the same. It sounded like her brother was moving furniture in the room above her. It echoed through the house, and Jeanie rolled over trying to ignore it.
But the muffled thumping was thunder from a coming storm. Sighing Jeanie tossed the covers aside and marched upstairs to see what the noise was.
She opened the door to a darkened kitchen, occasionally lit up the blue flash of lightning. Paul was sitting quietly at the table, his eyes lost in the storm outside. Jeanie stood there for a moment, unsure if Paul knew she was there. She watched the back of Paul’s head, and wondered at the intensity with which he watched the storm.
“Paul?” she whispered into the dark.
“Yeah?” he answered quietly and without alarm. He knew she was there. He didn’t take his eyes off the rain streaked windows.
“What are you doing?”
Paul didn’t answer. Jeanie slowly moved forward and stood behind Paul, letting her eyes take in the brilliant flashes outside. Every few minutes the thunder would rumble again, like an angry old man stirring from a deep sleep.
Jeanie shook her head and lowered herself into a chair at the kitchen table. Paul continued starring out the window for a few minutes more, then turned back to the table and his sister. The two siblings sat at the kitchen table in the darkness and silence. Memories of days nearly forgotten flooded their heads. Paul remembered the breakfast cereals and digging for the toy prize. Jeanie was thinking of the lectures she’d received around this table, and the thought didn’t encourage her.
Paul smiled weakly and Jeanie glared at him.