When I came downstairs that first night to get some water, I could see Audrey watching the news. Of course she was watching the news. We kept trying to tell her not to watch all that shit, but she always came up with some excuse or another. The real reason, of course, was that my sister was an anxious, unnecessarily stressed teenage girl who couldn't handle the thought of missing out on something that may or may not affect her in some distant way.
I didn't scold her. Audrey was just like that, and I accepted it. Besides, there wasn't much that could make me mad at her.
Instead, for the time being, I chose to just stand there and watch. Not the news-a three second glance told me it wasn't worth my time-but Audrey. Even with only the light of the TV, I could make out her bright pink hair, dyed every time it started to fade since she was thirteen. It was practically bleached now, really, and she was fine with that. The images of politicians and businessmen reflected off her glasses in a mesmerizing way, making them all weird and distorted. The light even pointed out just how short she was-her head didn't even reach the top of the cushion behind her. Not that I was better-we both got heights that made us look like tweens from our mom, and I was only barely taller than my sister.
I sighed and walked past her. She watched me go by and nodded to me. After getting a sip from the kitchen to make my throat feel less like sand, I sat next to her and wrapped an arm around her.
"You don't need to watch this crap, you know," I said. Even if I wasn't mad at her, I could still try to advise her.
Audrey shook her head at me. "I know, Eve, I know...I just don't want to miss anything important."
I pulled her closer. "Trust me, if anything that might affect us happens, you'll find out. People have a way of spreading news, especially news they care about."
Audrey leaned against me, closing her eyes. "What if it's an emergency, like the plague was?"
I took a deep breath before I replied. Those were unpleasant memories. "Well...I don't think there's going to be another big emergency like that. Not in our lifetimes. You know that huge disasters are pretty rare, right?"
Audrey nodded. "Yeah..."
"I think you got a little messed up from the one time. And you know, that's okay. I was, too."
She bit her lip. "You still seem to handle it better than I do..."
I smiled. "Because I have three extra years of life experience, remember?"
Audrey turned to me, laughing. "Oh, don't give me that crap, you turned eighteen literally today! You're still practically a teenager like me!"
I laughed back. "Nah, I'm super old. I'll be in a rocking chair with a shotgun yelling at kids to get off my lawn before you know it."
"Can I be on your lawn?"
"If you stop being a kid."
Audrey slapped my shoulder playfully. "Wait 'til I get a car."
I grinned. "Audrey Athena Chance...even I don't have a car."
"Well, Eve Elizabeth Chance," she said as she stuck her tongue out at me. "Maybe I'll beat you to it."
"Good luck with that." I took the opportunity to grab the remote and turn off the TV. "We're going to go to bed now, all right? No arguments."
Audrey did a mock pout. "You sound like Mom sometimes."
"Correction, all the time. As your kind and loving sister, I get to split motherly duties." I extended a hand to her. "Come on, I can tell you're tired anyway."
"Okay, I'll give you that." She let me take her hand. "There wasn't anything important anyway, it's all just Park, Park, Park."
"Heh, you'd think they would have gotten tired of the president after three months." I shook my head. "I guess that's just the news for you...come on."
And so I led her to bed, tucked her in and even kissed her goodnight like the secondary mom I was. Then I plopped back in my own bed and into a bunch of dreams not worth remembering.
Someone asked me once if I ever regret not sticking around to see what the news would be covering just a few minutes later, what happened in Las Vegas that first night. I don't, not one single bit. We deserved that last night of peace of mind. Audrey deserved it.
So yeah, that's where we were when the American-Psychic Civil War started. Asleep in Seattle, blissfully unaware of what was happening and everything that would come of it. Everything that would happen to us.