The Third Wish

by: Garvug | Complete Story | Last updated Jul 13, 2024

A young man returns to his childhood home in order to babysit his younger siblings whilst their mom is out of town for a few days.

Chapter 1

Tom sat on the couch and took a sip from a mug of coffee, then glanced at his younger brother, Levi, who was playing with toys on the living room floor. The little boy was clutching a toy racecar in his hands and studying it intently, as though it was the most interesting thing that he had seen in his six years on planet Earth.

Then Tom sneezed, almost spilling coffee onto his pristine white t-shirt, "oh shit," he mumbled.

Levi giggled and looked up from his toys, then asked "are you gonna live with us from now on?".

"No," Tom chuckled, "I'm just looking after you guys until mom gets back," he explained.

Although Tom found his brothers question endearing, he was enjoying his newfound independence the idea of moving back in with his family did not appeal to him. So when his mom had asked him to babysit his brother and sister, he was relieved that it would only be for a few days. He thought that there were many advantages to being twenty years old, but being expected to care for his siblings was not one of them.

"When is mommy coming home?" Levi queried.

Tom was sure that the boy had asked him that question at least four times since he had arrived that morning. He reached down and ruffled Levi's dark blonde hair.

"Not long, she's coming back on Monday," replied Tom.

Levi turned his attention back to his toys and Tom thought that he might be able to enjoy a few moments to himself, but then he heard the sound of footsteps in the hallway. His sister, Evelyn, had spent most of the day in her bedroom, but every once in a while she would emerge from her lair. So he braced himself for the inevitable confrontation.

Evelyn marched into the room and Tom noticed that she was frowning, that was never a good sign. Her light brown hair was hanging loose about her shoulders and she was clutching a phone in one hand.

"Have you seen my phone charger?" she queried, as her eyes darted around.

"No," replied Tom, then he made a half hearted attempt to look for it without ever actually getting out of his seat. He knew that it was probably in her bedroom, likely buried under a mound of discarded clothes. He watched her pace around the room and check every plug socket, then she let out a long exasperated sigh.

"I'm sure it was in here," she muttered.

Then he remembered that he was supposed to ask her if she had finished her homework. It wasn't an ideal time, but it probably never would be.

"Evelyn, mom wanted me to ask you...." he bit his lip and hesitated for a moment, "mom wanted me to check whether you've finished your math's homework," he said.

Evelyn glared at Tom, her cheeks flushing, "obviously I did, I already told her I was gonna do it before she left,".

"I'm just asking, there's no need to get all defensive," he retorted.

"Yeah well this is stupid," she whined, "I'm twelve, I don't need a babysitter," she added, before storming out of the room.

Levi looked up at Tom, who shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

"Right, I think gonna start making dinner," he announced, "you hungry?" he asked.

"Yeah, a bit," replied Levi, but he didn't sound sure.

Tom knew that his brother was a fussy eater and he decided to go for the safe option, something that the boy would be likely to eat without much protest.

"How about a cheeseburger?" Tom queried.

"Are we getting McDonald's?" Levi asked hopefully.

"No, I'm gonna make them," Tom replied.

"Please can we get McDonald's," he whimpered.

"No," Tom reiterated, "the ones I make will taste better," he added.

When Tom walked into the kitchen the first thing that he noticed was a discarded plate next to the sink, it was empty save for a few breadcrumbs scattered across its surface. A nearly empty glass of soda, which Tom had seen Evelyn drinking earlier, stood next to it.

Great, I'm going to be cleaning up after her all weekend, he thought.

He glanced around the kitchen and noticed the laundry hamper on the floor in the corner of the room, it was overflowing. He walked over to it and started to scoop up used clothes in his arms, before stuffing them into the washing machine. He returned to the hamper to collect another load, but when he picked up a pair of Evelyn's jeans he noticed something tumble out of the pocket and onto the kitchen floor.

He stared at it, momentarily stunned. It was a roll of bills, the cash was held together tightly by a rubber band. For a moment he wondered whether the bills might be fake, perhaps part of an elaborate prank. He picked up the wad of cash, still not quite sure what to make of it, then removed the rubber band. He flicked through a few of the banknotes and seeing that they were hundred dollar bills, guessed that he was holding at least several thousand dollars.

He looked at the jeans again, double checking that they belonged to Evelyn. But they had to belong to her, they wouldn't have fit anyone else in the house. He wondered how a twelve year old had managed to obtain that amount of money, had she stolen it off of their parents?

He knew that she had a bad attitude, but he didn't think that she would be capable of theft. Then it occurred to him that it had been over a year since he had left home and moved into his own flat, he wondered whether her behavior might actually have deteriorated more than he had realized.

He tossed the jeans back into the laundry hamper and marched towards her bedroom, clutching the wad of bills on his hand.

"Evelyn," he called.

When he reached her bedroom he stood outside of the closed door and waited for a reply, when no reply was forthcoming he knocked lightly on the door.

"What?" huffed Evelyn.

He opened the door in time to see her removing her headphones and he could still hear the soft hum of music emanating from them. She was sat on her bed, next to an open school textbook, but she seemed to be paying more attention to her phone. He glanced at the two stuffed animals which sat next to her pillow, both of which she had owned for several years, a link between her childhood and her adolescence.

"We need to talk," he said.

"About what," she replied, rolling her yes. Then she looked up from her phone and saw him clutching a wad of cash.

"About this, I found it in your jeans," he explained, holding out the money.

Her eyes widened and she hesitated for a second, then asked "why were you looking through my pockets?" in an accusatory tone.

"I wasn't, I was just doing the laundry and this fell out," he clarified.

Evelyn leapt to her feet, almost knocking over a lamp on a bedside table in the process, "oh my god I can't get get any privacy around here," she grumbled.

"Don't change the subject, where did you get all of this money from?" Tom quizzed.

She sighed and bit her lip, then looked down at the floor, "It's not what you think," she replied.

"Did you steal it?" challenged Tom.

"No," she insisted, "it's mine, just give it back," she demanded.

Evelyn lunged towards him and attempted to snatch the cash from his hand, but he backed away from her and lifted his arm above his head, using his nine inch height advantage to ensure that the money was out of her reach.

"No," he replied, "if you won't talk to me you can talk to mom about it," he added.

Evelyn, who was barely five feet tall, scowled at him defiantly. Then her resolve appeared to falter and for a moment he thought that he saw fear in her eyes.

"No, don't tell mom," she whined, "I promise you its mine," she went on.

"Then why don't you tell me where you got it from?" he questioned.

"Coz it's none of your business," she insisted, as she crossed her arms and glared at him.

For a moment it seemed as though he was looking at a younger version of Evelyn. The expression on her face reminded him of a time when they had visited a shopping mall when Evelyn was four, she had thrown a temper tantrum because mom wouldn't buy her a new toy. The thought amused him and he had to stop himself from smirking, knowing that it would only inflame the situation.

"Evelyn, there's thousands of dollars here," he said, "mom's gonna find out eventually anyway, so you might as well come clean," he continued.

"I didn't steal it," she insisted.

Tom sighed, realizing that since she wouldn't explain where she had got the money from, she knew that she would be in trouble if she told the truth. But he decided that whatever secret she was harboring would wait until their mom got home, so he turned around and left the room, taking the money with him. Good luck kiddo, he thought.

As he made his way back towards the kitchen he heard her call out "I hate you," followed by the sound of her bedroom door slamming shut.



End Chapter 1

The Third Wish

by: Garvug | Complete Story | Last updated Jul 13, 2024


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vended ยท Jun 19, 2024

Great start ! I like how realistic the characters relations and dialogs are. It feel believable, and I'm very curious to see how things will unfold between them.

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