Tim lay on his back in the dark, hand cupping his head as he stared at the ceiling. Downstairs, his parents argued. Again.
Tim sighed, then let his head fall to the right, where his younger brother, Loki slept soundly. Tim was supposed to be sound asleep too, but he’d never been able to sleep when he sensed his parents were just waiting for the boys to go to bed before the latest storm started.
He couldn’t take it anymore. Tim got out of bed and dressed in the dark, aided by the light of the full moon, which streamed through the small, grimy window.
The five-year-old stood and gazed at two-year-old Loki, then twisted to glance behind him to his teddy bear beside his pillow. With bare feet, he tiptoed over the wooden floorboards and reached for his prized possession, then pushed it through the guardrail of Loki’s bed.
“I won’t be needing him anymore, Loki. I’m a big boy now,” he whispered. “You have him.”
Tim paused again at the door and cast a final, fond look at his brother and his teddy. Then, he tiptoed downstairs, pulled on his Paw Patrol shoes, then paused and listened.
“Me or my brother, Grace!”
“Oh, Pete!” sighed Tim’s mother. “It’s not that simple. You know that.”
Tim suppressed a nervous giggle and reached for the handle of the front door. Mummy was so silly. His daddy’s name wasn’t Pete. It was Aiden.
The door was unlocked and swung open easily. Without another glance, the little boy ran out towards the gate.
“Hey there, Mini Me!” said a familiar voice. “What are you doing out here at this time of night? You should be tucked up nice and warm in bed.”
With that, strong arms swept the boy off his feet and positioned him on their shoulders.
“Daddy!” cried Tim, forgetting the argument in the house.
(Thanks for reading. Any feedback or suggestions welcome).