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Raph and Meka walked down the lodge’s hallway to their rooms. They unconsciously moved slowly, enjoying their conversation. The young man’s right hand reached up to his right shoulder to hold the overstuffed garment bag slung over his back and a backpack was slung over his left shoulder.. The young woman carried a small satchel in her right hand and had a backpack slung over her right shoulder.
Raph had noted that his sister’s satchel was both small and, from the ease with which she carried it, he could tell that its contents were light. He almost questioned her, but decided that he needed to have faith that his sister had packed the appropriate clothes as they had agreed in their call just the day before.
“Ready to have a five year old jumping on your bed in the morning?”
“Five year olds don’t do that anymore.”
“Said by the baby of the family,” Raph laughed. “You were still jumping on the mommies’ bed when you were eight.”
“You were only able to do it because you’re undersized and shrimpy. Still are.”
“Hey,” Meka bumped her brother with her hip, “you took all the food and I was malnourished.”
“The son is always the favorite.”
“The youngest is the favorite. Except when it comes to food.”
They had reached the sisters’ room and stood for a second.
‘So, you’ll be by at 6:30?”
“Yeah, but you plan to be ready at 6:15,” Raph replied as he backed away and turned to walk to his room.
“I’m not always late,” Meka called.
Meka tossed her small bag of clothes on the floor as she rushed into the room she would now be sharing not just with Angie, but also with Serafina. The lodge had already set up the foldaway bed for the little girl. Meka looked at the locations of the remaining beds and sat on each to test its comfort. She chose the one furthest to the door, and pulled back its covers to stake her claim.
She was annoyed at Angelica, an emotion that seemed to often be an undercurrent in their sisterly relationship. The older sister was often critical and always quick to provide unwelcome guidance. Meka had enough self-knowledge to know that a part of the reason she wanted Serafina to stay with them that weekend was so that Angelica would focus her attention on the younger of her sisters.