“The incy wincy spider, climbed up the water SPOUT!” Dimitri sang enthusiastically before he clamped his hands around the back rest of my chair, dumping me onto the carpet with a sudden thud. I landed straight on my a*s, my eyes widened in surprise before I narrowed them to fix a scowl on Dimitri.
He laughed that usual obnoxious laugh of his as he claimed my seat and rocked back and forth victoriously. "I can't believe you fell for that one." He remarked, a wide smirk present on his face.
“A*****e." I retorted as I climbed to my feet and sulkily sat down on the empty chair next to him, which I might add was not as comfortable as the chair that now occupied my obnoxious older brother.
Stupid obnoxious brother didn't seem to be as appreciative of the chair as I was because right at that very moment he was leaning back on the chair, all his weight forced onto the back legs and the back-rest pressing against the wall.
"You know how mad Mum'll get if I - wait no, you broke her new chair." I warned him but he simply shrugged my cautions away . I had no idea how he always did that, it was as if he wasn't afraid of anything.I found that same fearless-ness unnerving. Or maybe it was careless-ness?
I removed my scowl from Dimitri, it didn't seem to be getting through to him, and turned my gaze to stare out the window.
The rain was gently splattering against the windows. You'd expect the rain to set me in a gloomy mood but it didn't. The rain reminded me of how Mum used to hum that song on rainy days while we were crowded around the fire place. She never told us what the song was called, but the tune was always playing in my head whenever it was raining. The steady rhythm of the water tapped against the glass and drummed along to the tune of the song.
I dragged my eyes away from the window to glare at Dimitri again. Usually he would've apologised by then.
Instead of recieving an apology I recieved a scolding.
"Stop sulking. You're acting like I stapled a cockroach to your forehead!" He frowned at me and the intensity of my glare increased.
"You did do that once. Remember, when were camping?" I raised my eyebrows at him and he shrugged again.
"I used cellotape."
I kicked him in the shin and he smirked at me.
"Toughen up. You just turned sixteen, not six. There's no reason to get upset just because I tipped you onto the carpet." He pointed out and I narrowed my eyes at him.
"And you stole my chair." I added and he waved his hand flippantly as if to say 'Details, details.'
I rolled my eyes at him, irritated but he knew at that point that I forgave him.
Sometimes I wondered how I could always forgive him so easily. Then again, he was Dimitri.
My older brother with the seemingly unnatural vivid eyes and ruffled bed-hair.
His hair was almost touching his shoulders now.
I wasn't sure if he was trying to grow it out or if he was just too lazy to get it cut.
Dimitri suddenly sat up straight and flicked a strand of hair out of his eyes to look at me properly.
“Alistair Joseph Lycit, happy sixteenth birthday!” He said it the same way Dad had said it to him on his sixteenth birthday. Apparently a type of “ritual” that had been happening for generations in my family. I had no idea where that started from.
I pulled my eyes up to meet his but my mind fell blank when they met. After sixteen years of knowing Dimitri, his eyes never ceased to astound me. They weren’t normal; they had no round black pupil like mine. No, he had pupils just they were painted a light shade of yellow like a daffodil, it was surrounded with flames so detailed the Mona Lisa was nothing compared to it. Intricate lines etched into every flame, curling, twisting and even some jagged ones but it made a unique pattern. Mum said he had Dad’s eyes and I knew that was true, whenever I looked into Dad’s eyes I’d be filled with comforting warmth. The same comfort was present when my eyes met with Dimitri's. The only thing that set them apart was the pattern, Dad’s design made small flowers on the canvas of his eyes. My brother’s eyes made “seeds with roots” as Dad called them. He said that one day they will be flowers like his.
“Hey! Alistair.” Dimitri grumbled at me and I snapped out of the trance. Those eyes of his were so captivating, I freaked myself out sometimes how I'd just blank out while looking at them.
“Huh? Oh sorry.” I replied lamely,as I moved my eyes to the carpet where they were safe from locking with Dimitri's.
“You always do that. I can't look you in the eye without you staring at me like you're lost or something. Stop doing that, it's weird!" He growled and I removed my eyes away from the carpet to look at him, but still carefully avoiding eye contact.
"It's not me that's weird! It's your eyes that're weird! Whenever I look you in the eyes, I feel like I'm in a freaking maze!" I defended myself. Dimitri furrowed his eyebrows together before his face softened and he nodded with understanding.
“Yeah, Dad told me that I used to do exactly that when he would growl at me. That was the only way I could get away with things. But, it’s just weird when you do it to me...” His voice seemed to trail off with his thoughts, his face momentarily losing any expression.
“Do you think he'll be back soon?” I asked him and his face flickered to life, a small smile gracing his usually frowning mouth. When I saw that smile I automatically knew that he knew something that I didn't. It had been four years since his sixteenthth birthday, every day since then he became more secretive. He seemed so closed in, like he was hiding something. Everything he did seemed forced or fake.
Come to think of it that’s when I thought I noticed his eyes change. However, when I asked Dad about it he said that he couldn't see any difference.
Of course, Dad wasn't really a reliable resource of information.
He had been gone for seven years.
"Why do you keep asking me that? I don't know ." He murmered in response, looking away from me completely.
I frowned at his response. He always said that whenever I asked.
'I don't know.'
But I know that he knows.
“Dimitri, what’s wrong?” His stern face started scowling at the floor, with his hands massaging his temples. Bags slowly appeared under his eyes, ripples gathering at the corners of his mouth in a smile. Our tan skin was what we Lycits were famous for, everyone we met would compliment it and envied its warm glow. Dimitri’s skin though, it was nothing like before, it became pale, like winter was biting at his skin. Veins showed all over his body, almost looking translucent. The warm glow dissapeared, it’s like he was wearing make-up and just rubbed it all off. His cheek bones jutted out, along with his jaw line, as his skin hugged his face tightly. This was a Dimitri I had never seen before.
The only thing that hadn't changed were his eyes, which remained emotionless. It was almost like trying to look through windows that had the blinds shut.
Dimitri caught me and my slightly shocked expression and he rested a hand comfortingly on my shoulder.
"I'm alright Alistair." He assured me and I scrambled backwards in my chair slightly, my chest rising and falling as I absorbed his strange appearance.
“My a*s you are all right! What happened to you?! You look like you got into brawl,” I panicked. What the heck was wrong with my brother? I have never seen him this like this before, he looked just fine a moment ago.
Oh God no, please no... “Dimitri please don’t tell me you have cancer!” Aunty Nat had cancer; this is exactly what she looked like, but without the bulging muscles, before she died. After we buried her dad left “Keep with your brother he’ll protect you, and look after your mother she’ll need her little man around now that I won’t be here. Dad needs to go on a liitle trip, i'll be back soon.” The words rang in my ear. “Dimitri you can't.." I stood furious my fists clenching, my voice failing me, ready to punch him over.
In one fluid motion Dimitri hit me across the face and pushed me down into my chair.
“Stop being hysterical you idiot, I told you i'm all right.” he sighed “You can see past it now can't you? you can see the real me” he mumbled, sounding ashamed.
“If you mean the sick looking b*****d right in front of me then yes I do!” damn him and massive strength. Why wasn't I as strong as him.
“Alistair don’t joke, now’s not the time for joking. If you can see my real state then your eyes, your power, must be starting to form.”When he stared into my eyes it felt like he was scanning my mind. The flames around his pupils starting to rotate.
“Di-Di-Di-Dimitri, your eyes! They’re moving, they’re rotating, what the heck Dimitri what’s wrong with you!!” my voice quivered. Abruptly I stood up backing away slowly Dimitri’s eyes still locked onto mine. The new chair thumping on the ground.
“Dad said to wait until midnight but I need you now! I cannot fight alone anymore.” Dimitri sprung forward from his chair and covered my eyes with his massive hands..
“What the heck Dimitri! What’re you doing?!” I tried to break his grip but he was the body builder not me.
“It’s time you learnt a little about our family history.