Inside Looking Out

By Ayesha Boison

Twenty-four hours used to not be enough in a day, but nowadays it’s too much. This pandemic has the world on lockdown with nothing to do but to stay indoors.

I would go upstairs, but not too long ago I heard my brother cough. I’m just being cautious – that’s what they’re telling us all the time on the news, you know, to be ‘cautious’, and to spend all this extra time we have with our families. Call me cynical, but that just made me laugh. James and I may be twins, but that doesn’t mean we have a lot  in common.

I would’ve gone grocery shopping with my parents, but it’s the first time in a year that my dad’s been home for longer than an hour. Late last night, they announced on the news that non-essential businesses had to close down for a while. And honestly, three’s a crowd. 

I realize James has been quiet up there. Hope he’s not dead, or worse—caught something. Just because we have next to nothing in common, doesn’t mean I don’t care if something happens to him. He’s a good listener. And he’s really good at Monopoly. We used to play all the time when we were little kids. He and I would team up against our parents.

Maybe we did have something in common after all. 

Maybe if he didn’t go to play hockey on a scholarship in Calgary, and if I wasn’t so busy with the several clubs and associations that I joined at my university, we could’ve had more in common. 

Well, whatever. Who cares. It’s not like the world’s ending… Forget I said that.

I wonder if we still have the game?

It’s the first time I stood up since I sat down on the carpet an hour and a half ago. I don’t usually do that—sit on carpets—but lately I’ve grown accustomed to that spot in front of the wide window in our living room, which surprisingly has a pretty darn pleasant view of our average-looking neighbourhood.

Hopefully that Monopoly box is still in the game cabinet. Probably not, since it’s actually the only game in that cabinet which we all used to play together, and Mom’s done a lot of reorganizing in the past year. 

I stare out the window on my way to the living room: not a single soul in sight outside, which disturbs me to my core because our neighbours are always hosting some kind of community bonding nonsense that goes into ungodly hours of the night. Although, I do miss the barbecues. Mrs. Carson may be an abrasive hugger, but she makes the best honey garlic baby back ribs that I’ve ever tasted.

Now, there’s just no sign of life out there except for this creepy black rabbit sitting behind a bush on our front lawn. 

Hm. I guess that’s another thing I forgot James and I had in common. Rabbits. James always used to coax me into trying to smuggle whatever stray rabbit crossed through the neighbourhood into the house. And there were a lot. Tough luck for us. Mom’s allergic.

I finally got to the game cabinet which we also use as a T.V. stand. I press the top button on the side to turn off the smart T.V. I’ve heard enough cautionary stories from the news for today. 

Just as I put my hand on one of the cabinet doors, I get a text:

James

Joy, whatcha up to?

Wanna watch sum cat videos?

Found sum hilarious ones where they wrestle with dogs twice their size!

I can’t help but roll my eyes. At least he’s not dead.

          Not going anywhere near u
          U might have something
          Heard that nasty cough of yours a while ago

What?

Oh

I was eating gummy bears and one went down the wrong pipe

Thats all it is, I swear

So whattaya say?

I’ll give u sum gummies 🙂

I gaze at my phone screen for a moment. Looks like the list of things James and I have in common is longer than I initially thought. How could I forget about gummy bears? Every Halloween until we were 13, James and I went trick-or-treating and always got a bunch of gummy bear packets that we would split equally between us.

Instead of words, I go back to the window and snap a picture of the rabbit that was still loitering behind the bush. I send it to James:

:O

Awwwww!

Ok forget the cats

New plan–

Rabbit-napping!

U in?

Gummies still available 🙂

Call me a softie, but that actually made me giggle. I don’t giggle, unless James is concerned.

          Fine
          I’m coming

I head towards the stairs but stop just before I could climb the first step. I turn back to the cabinet, remembering Monopoly. I get the game out of the cabinet and place the box next to the T.V.

Maybe tonight, if mom and dad are in a ‘coupley mood’ as I like to call it, and this incoming ‘rabbit abduction’ scheme doesn’t get figured out in the span of two hours like it always does, then maybe we can once again have family game night.

After all, we’ve got a lot of extra time.

Copyright© 2020 by Ayesha Boison

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