“It feels so odd..”
“This is probably the last time I’ll make this bed..”
Ember had graduated high school, gotten accepted into a school of design- which I think was named Melon’s School For The Artistically Inclined- and today she was packing up her belongings before heading out to the city with her boyfriend Hydrangeo. Ember was always a great sister to have around. She wasn’t the type who was completely girly in the way she presented herself each day, but a bit tomboyish as well. She would always play football with us when we needed an extra player, and boy, she wasn’t afraid to get dirty or ram a player down.
My parents took it the hardest I guess. Seeing their eldest child and only daughter leave the nest caused Mom to break out into tears, whereas Dad wished her well when she moved in with her boyfriend. Ember only smiled, but we could all sense that she was holding back tears as she bid my parents goodbye before they went in, and only the three of us; me, Balt, and Pyro, were left.
“Make me proud while I’m gone Pyro. You’re the only one left who knows how to trim Mom’s hair just right, and your taste is just as good as mine, maybe even better!” Pyro brightened up with Ember’s words. He’d always spent the most time with her, and everything she did, he wanted to do as well. To hear that he was doing better than her was probably the best thing he could’ve heard.
“Surf, you’re gonna do great while I’m gone, I just know it. I mean, you’ve got a beautiful girlfriend and you’re one of the most friendly Berries in Medley City!” Ember edged closer to me, indicating that she was ready to hug me. I stood back a few steps and shook my head slowly. Everyone knew Ember’s hugs were capable of killing a bear, and I wasn’t ready to die just yet. “Maybe another time..” I mumbled to her. Ember shrugged and laughed before moving onto Balt.
“C’mon Balt, don’t you want to wish me goodbye? Who knows, maybe I’ll get married and you’ll never see me again!” Ember gave us a prime example of her guilt trips, the only way Balt would agree to anything sentimental for her. He may be the smartest and the strongest, though when it came to family, he was a bit of a pushover.
“Nah.. I’m good.”
“Oh, so you won’t miss me? That’s alright..”
“Ergh.. a bit..”
“There’s the Balt I know and love! Don’t worry you three. I’ll definitely be back next year when you’re all eighteen. Someone’s got to dress you properly for adulthood!” “But you’re barely an adult Em..” I said, but she waved it off before saying goodbye and joining up with her boyfriend. The both of them walking away towards his car. Neither to be seen by us for probably another year.
“They’ll be fine Em.”
“But they’re my little brothers, I’m always worried.”
“That’s why you’re a great big sister.”
-One Year Later-
“Some things never change, do they?”
“WAKE UP GUYS!” I heard a familiar voice yell out, causing each of us to groan in unison as we groggily got out of bed. To our surprise, it was Ember, with a smile on her face. “Get something to wear and meet me out front” she said before walking out of the room.
“Hey Surf!” Lav waved as we approached what looked like a makeover stand. I didn’t think much of it as we got closer to where she and Ember were standing.
“I did tell you I’d dress you properly, didn’t I?” Ember said cheerily behind us as I gulped nervously. “This exclude me, right? After all, I haven’t faltered in my taste.” Pyro side-stepped away from Balt and I causing Ember to chuckle. “Yep. I was referring to these two lugs. I’m taking care of Balt’s outfit, while Lav works on Surf’s.” With a push, Balt got up onto the platform.
“Well this looks as if you put on the first thing you saw.”
“You barely gave us time to get ready. So yeah, it is.”
“Oh hush. I think I can figure something in accordance to your style.”
“Yes Balt. Everyone has their own unique style, and I’ve got yours figured out.”
Em quickly assembled a curtain around Balt to prevent anyone else from watching as he changed into the clothes she handed him over the metal rim of it. As soon as Balt said he was done changing, Em quickly lowered the curtain and revealed Balt in his new threads.
“Balt! You look great! Then again, I knew this would go excellently.” Balt rolled his eyes and looked at himself in the mirror. From the reflection, I could see the slightest of smirks forming along his mouth.
He immediately turned to face Lav, “What. See something you like?” he said as if I wasn’t standing a few feet away. Lav recoiled, “N-no” she said as she looked away. I tried my best not to show my annoyance towards Balt as I passed him to step onto the platform next.
“So I talked with Em about something you could wear..”
“Mhm. I think you’ll like it” she said as she closed the curtain around the two of us. Separating us both from the others as she told me to hand her all my current clothing except the boxers I was wearing. I took off my jacket and shirt, just as I heard the metallic snipping sound of scissors behind me. I gulped and handed my clothing to Lav. She wrapped a black gown, meant for haircuts, around my neckline.
With a silent goodbye to my hair, Lav got to work with trimming my hair. I watched as golden bits of my own hair fell infront of my eyes onto the pedestal I stood on. Lav made sure to keep me from looking at my reflection, even as she dusted leftover strands of hair from me and handed me my new threads.
Lav asked me to close my eyes before I heard her lower the curtain. She spun me around to face the mirror and said “Open.”
“Wow..” I said, with obvious disappointment in my voice. Lav began to frown and was about to say something until I took quick notice and forced a smile. “I love it.” Lav smiled widely and whistled, “Good, because you look incredibly handsome with short hair.” I saw in the mirror’s reflection as Ember approached from behind and patted my shoulder. “Finally, no more long hair, huh?”
Slowly I muttered under my breath; “Yup..”
“Surf, at least try to smile!”
Ember had been trying for several minutes to force a smile out of me in my ‘new look’. She’d even resorted to tickling, to no avail.
“Please? Or else I’ll have to let Lav know you don’t like it..”
“Much better!” Ember said as she took the picture, and with a flash, my new look was recorded for the first time. It’ll take some doing to get used to having short hair…