Part 1

Wiping my eye and clutching a pillow, I strolled out my room. As I came down the living room, I stopped for a moment and swept my eyes over my surroundings. On the right side of the room, I saw the window open. It brought the sunray in, making a yellow patch on the wooden floor. Jeffrey must have forgotten to close it last night.

Keeping my eyes on the yellow patch, I wondered how it would be to let the sunray touch my skin. Jeffrey always warned me not to get close to it, otherwise I would get sunburnt and scald my skin.

I veered my eyes to another direction, taking a glance at the wooden chair, the black-painted walls, and the other furniture. It's a little bit dark inside my house due to the color of the walls, but I felt comfortable being here. I took a step forward and heard the wooden floor creaking, smiling when I caught a sight of a dangling spider from the corner of the ceiling.

I loved spiders very much. I always caught them and put them inside an open jar for a few days then set it free on the trees. And this was the biggest that I've ever seen in my life. As it lowered down, I stepped slowly toward it with my hand stretched out and said, "Come to me, Mr. Spi—"

"Boo!" a familiar voice blared into my ears and I felt a pair of hands on my shoulder all of a sudden, which made me almost jump out of my skin. Turning around, I saw Billy showing his annoying grin.

"You scared me more than ever! I hate you!" I yelled at him, throwing my pillow at him.

Billy stepped back and simultaneously caught my pillow then hid it behind his back. He said annoyingly, "Poor little boy, I think you will not sleep well without your pillow tonight."

I dashed for him, trying to get my pillow back. But Billy managed to get it out of my reach. We were running in circle around the living room and kept ourselves away of the sunray. I yelled and ran around him, but I still couldn't have my pillow back.

I was really mad at him. Running after him, I finally managed to make him get closer and closer to the window, which meant that I had a chance to take revenge.

I pushed him, making him fall down to the floor. His right arm was exposed to the sunray. He yelled out in agony, letting the pillow go. He pulled his arm away from the sunray and clasped it with his left hand. I could see his skin turn red. Lying down and frowning in pain, he stared at me with hatred and said angrily, "Damn you, Elfand! You almost got me burnt!"

I stood near him, giving a smirk. "You deserve it." I said triumphantly.

All of a sudden he rose to his feet, lifting his hand and slapping it across my face. It was so hard that I almost doubled over. Feeling the searing pain on my face, my hands got up and covered my face and I started to cry.

"What's the fuss about?" I heard a voice from behind. "From the kitchen, I heard shouting and—hey, what happens to your brother, Billy?" asked the voice, and I felt someone wrapping his arms around me from behind. It must be Jeffrey.

Billy didn't answer. Neither did I, for the sobs choked my voice.

"Elfand," Jeffrey called my name, getting my hands away from my face. He knelt down before me, staring at me. "What happens?"

Billy, who was still standing not far from me, broke in, "He almost got me burnt, Jeffrey." He showed his scalded arm to Jeffrey. Then Jeffrey looked back at me.

"Is that true?" Jeffrey asked me.

Shaking with anger, I snapped, "He teased me! He began all this fuss!"

"But I only gave you a shock and took your pillow. I only meant to play around with you. But look what you've done to me! You might get me burnt!" Billy replied angrily, giving me a scowl.

"You deserve it!" I shouted as the tears rolled down my face. "You always tease me! I hate—"

"Stop it!" Jeffrey shouted on the top of his voice, shushing us. Then he stood up, looking at me and Billy each in turn. The ominous silence occurred between us.

"Why can't both of you stop being brawlers?" he said sulkily. Then he turned to Billy and asked, "Isn't there a better day without teasing your little brother?"

Billy rolled his eyes, saying nothing in reply.

"You are already ten, Billy," Jeffrey continued. "As the older brother you have to protect your little brother. Get it?"

"Whatever you say!" he shouted and flounced out of the room.

Letting Billy go, Jeffrey returned to me and knelt down in front of me. He sighed deeply, wiping the tears off my face.

Staring at him through the tears, I asked, "You forgot closing the window, didn't you?"

Jeffrey nodded. "I did. But that's not the way to stop your brother from being an ass. As he said so, you might get him burnt. Remember? Sunray is harmful to us vampires." His eyes looked serious but then softened.

"He deserves it, Jeffrey! He always teases me!" I shouted angrily, stamping my foot.

"Sssh!" Jeffrey shushed me by putting his finger across my lips. "Calm down, Elfand." Once again, he wrapped his arms around me, comforting me, but I just couldn't stop crying as I remembered what Billy had done to me.

I glanced back at the spider which stopped lowering down itself, hanging down in midair. Before I could say a word, Jeffrey looked at the direction where I stared at as if he had read my thought. Standing up, he brought me closer to the spider and took it.

"Look, Mr. Spider is here to calm you down. Look at its beautiful eyes." Jeffrey said, handing the spider to me. I held it and put it on my palms.

"Okay, now stop crying, will you?" said Jeffrey before he planted a kiss on my forehead. He always did it to stop me crying. I nodded, looking at the spider on my palms. Patting my head, Jeffrey went out to continue doing his chores.

I walked towards my pillow which lay on the wooden floor and took it back, pressing it against my chest. Plopping myself on the chair, I gazed out through the open window.

I had no parents and I was fine with that. As long as I had Jeffrey in the house, I would be safe and happy. Jeffrey had got no kith and kin since he was little until my parents found him. He was a loyal and reliable person. He told me all about himself, except my parents. I still had no idea what happened with both of them. Every time I asked Jeffrey about them, he always moved on to another topic. I remembered seeing my parents at the last time when I was around three. I could still remember their faces.

That night Jeffrey brought me and Billy outside. We sat down on the wooden bench in the porch, staring at the moon.

"Well." Jeffrey positioned himself between me and Billy. Gazing up the dark blue sky, he continued his sentence, "Billy, have you apologized to your cute little brother?"

Billy shook his head, keeping his eyes on the moon. The moonlight glistened on his blue eyes. Then Jeffrey turned to me, giving a smile that asked the same question.

I replied honestly, "I haven't."

Jeffrey sighed deeply, staring back to the sky. "Okay, if that's what you want. No deer meat for tomorrow. I am not going to hunt for the brawlers. If you want to eat them, go hunting by yourselves. I am not going to help." After saying that, Jeffrey stood up and walked towards the door, leaving us.

Billy looked at me. "I've been waiting so long to eat deer meat. So, I apologize." He said, stretching his hand out to me but I could see the unwillingness in his eyes.

I pushed his hand away. "You don't mean it."

"You are an annoying 8-year-old boy." He huffed.

"But you love me, don't you?" The silence occurred for a while after I threw that question towards Billy. Billy kept staring at the moon. Then I continued, "Don't you remember last year? Jeffrey was out in the forest to go hunting, meanwhile we had to wait for him to get back. I said that I was ravenously hungry and…off you went to hunt for a duck in the pond behind our house. You did it because you love me, right?"

I could see a smile appear gradually on his face. "You insisted me. So I did it." He answered.

"I know that you love me, right?" I asked him the same question, shifting myself closer to him.

"That's a stupid question." Billy was annoyed. But I enjoyed this conversation.

"Come on, reach my hand. I also want to apologize because I'd let the sunrays scald your skin." I stretched out my right hand.

Billy looked at me then reached for my hand. "Never mind. Sorry for slapping and shocking you when you were in the middle of your daydream."

Jeffrey got back. He must have heard our conversation. He smiled at us then approached us. He sat between me and Billy after the handshaking was over.

"It is going well, isn't it? Never brawl again, okay?" Jeffrey said, wrapping his arm around me and Billy.

"Okay." Billy and I answered together, although we had the same thought that someday we would brawl again. I was not sure we could keep our promise.

Jeffrey looked at me as if he had read through my mind. "Remember this," he said, putting my hands and Billy's in his. "You may not know what will happen in the future. Love your brother, do not quarrel, because you need each other to live."

I kept it in mind, not because I wouldn't quarrel with Billy, but only because I was just curious of what will happen someday in the future. Will I be there for Billy when he needs me to face the problem in the future? Will Billy be there for me when I need him? Who knows?