Part 4 – The Sinclairs

The cottage had a beautiful front garden, though not yet all in bloom. The walls were white and shone in the setting sun. The windows had old shutters on them and the door was an old wooden door, very beautifully crafted. Even the handle seemed to be the original handle, although a little shined. When we stepped inside we came straight into the kitchen. It seemed to be the center of the house, because I could see doors and hallways and stairs everywhere I looked. To the right was a small guest bathroom. Beside it was a door that led into a small but cozy living room. Beside that was a stairway to the second floor. To the left was a long hallway with at least one door leading into some sort of a room. It was closed.

Right in front of us, however, was a large dining table with eight chairs around it. There was a vase full of daffodils at the center and place settings for six people. I stared at the number of settings. Were they so used to having people over for dinner that they always set the table for extra, just in case?

“Wash your hands, David!” said a stern woman’s voice from the other side of the table. She was standing with her back to us, stirring a pot. It was the woman from the calendar, David’s mother. I recognized the hair. She still wore it long and there was no sign of gray in it. David sighed quietly and went into the guest bathroom. I watched him painstakingly scrub his hands with a rough brush and soap. When he was finished he handed the soap and brush to me. I looked at it in surprise.

“She’ll ask you to do it, anyway, once she finds out you were in the barn,” he whispered. I reluctantly took the cleaning instruments and began scrubbing off non-existing dirt.

“Hey, Little B,” said a mail voice, and I heard a chair being moved.

“Hey, Little B,” said two voices at once, and more chairs were moved. I glanced out from the bathroom. Three men had just sat down at the table. This at least explained the extra settings, but who were they? And why did everybody call David Little B?

Thinking that this day was getting more and more curious every moment, I hurried to dry my hands and sit down beside David.

“Who are you?” one of the men asked as I sat down. Everybody else looked up and seemed very surprised to see me, including David’s mother.

“Nikki Chase,” I said as I looked around. “Who are you?”

“She’s my French tutor,” David said without looking up from his dinner. Everybody started staring at him now, even more surprised. “Nikki, these are my brothers, Frank, Roy and Wyatt, and this is my mother, Jolie.”

I nodded to them all as David introduced them.

“You can call me Jo, dear,” said his mother. “David, why do you have a French tutor?”

“Because our French teacher is an idiot,” David said casually and put a large bite of chicken into his mouth. Roy and Wyatt both sniggered.

“That’s not very nice, David. Show some respect to your teacher,” his mother said sternly.

“Oh, no, it’s true, she is an idiot,” I said, just as casually as David had. Roy and Wyatt broke out laughing. Jo looked at me for a few moments, on the verge of telling me off like she had done with her son. “It’s all right; I have plenty of respect for teachers, just not for idiots.”

This time David started laughing, too. Now I had seen him grin, smile and laugh, all in the same day. Why didn’t he ever do any of those things at school? They all became him so well. He had such a cheerful laugh; he managed to get everybody else laughing with him, his mother included.

“So, you’re David’s brothers,” I said, looking curiously at the three men. They were all young men. Roy and Wyatt looked like they could be twins. They both had the same brown hair cut in the same way, same blue eyes and same charming smile, and even the same movements while they ate. “Are you …?”

“No, we’re not twins!” Roy said annoyed. “Everybody always assumes we are, but we’re not! I’m ten months older than Wyatt!”

“But, to be fair,” Wyatt added. “We were born in the same year, Roy in January and I in November, and we were in the same class all the time we were at school, and we do look alike.”

“And you’re both electricians,” David said. “Working at the same place.”

“OK, we have a lot of similarities, but we’re still not twins!” Roy said determined.

“What do you do?” I asked Frank.

“I’m studying architecture at University, but I’m an artist at heart,” Frank said and pointed at a picture on the wall. It was a blurry kind of a painting of Dale from far above. It was very beautiful. “Little B stores a lot of them in his barn, on the upper floor, if you want to take a look. I’m very proud of my work.”

“Why do you all call him Little B? It’s not like he’s very little.” I asked looking them all over. Although they were all sitting down, I could see that none of them even came close to David’s height.

“It’s got nothing to do with size, but age. He’s our little brother, Little B,” Frank said. “I was the first Little B. Leo came up with it. Then Roy was born, and then Wyatt, but David is the youngest, so it got stuck to him. He’ll be Little B forever!”

“Who’s Leo?” I asked, hoping I wasn’t annoying them with all there questions. But none of them seemed to mind.

“Leo is my eldest. He moved out three years ago. He’s a carpenter, with his own business and everything,” Jo said and smiled in a strange way.

“You have five boys?!” I asked amazed. “And here I was thinking four was more than enough!”

Jo laughed.

“I used to teach, before I had David, at the boy’s school. Not your school, the other one. I know how to handle a group of rowdy boys.”

“Oh, yeah, you used to go to Royal Dale. There are a lot of rumours around about why you transferred,” I said to David. He laughed again. I smiled wide with him.

“I know, my favourite one is that I was the one who set fire to the old gym, and got expelled because of it. It is a fair assumption, though, the fire did happen the year before I transferred.”

“Hey, I set that fire, don’t take credit for my work!” Wyatt said outraged. I stared at him. He grinned back. “It was an accident, but it was me.”

“So why did you transfer?” I asked David, half-laughing.

“For the very simple reason that Royal Dale has barely any crafting workplace, just a few sawing machines and a welding pen. Dale Prime, however, has a large crafting studio with plenty of equipment and every student who wants can come there and work on anything they want, at almost any time they want. I’ve spent so much time there now; the teacher who manages the place made me his assistant and gave me a key.”

“I guess, since you’ve heard those rumours, you’ve also heard about the bet?” I asked. David nodded with a full mouth.

“What bet?” Wyatt asked. He looked very curious.

“One boy in our class got dared into asking David why his hands are always so dirty. He said he was going to do it on the last day of school. Because of this, there’s a bet going on about what his answer will be. The most popular one is that he plants a tree every time he comes to school, somewhere on the way.”

Everybody laughed merrily at this idea, David included.

“I’m actually considering giving that as the answer,” David said laughing. “It’ll be fun seeing the looks on their faces.”

I thought I had never enjoyed a meal like this before.

Twitter Facebook MySpace Stumbleupon Reddit Delicious Digg Click to share with other social medias

Tell me what you think!

Your thoughts