One World Away

Chapter 11 Aftermath

Aris Scarlet awoke to Sunday morning of January 16th. . . and despite being wrapped in two layers of blankets, was still reeling from his arduous walk home from school the night prior.

"It's cold. . ." He whispered to himself. The lack of heat was unbearable, leaving him shivering even under the covers. A sigh left his mouth as he buried himself deeper in his pillow. Every part of his body was freezing and it was painful. . . His limbs were sore and his gut and head ached as he tried to move, a groan leaving his mouth as he surrendered to his fate. He was not getting up today. . .

     And so, he didn't. Aris shut his eyes and tried to drag his mind back under so he could sleep, but he couldn't no matter how much he tried. . . And so, he accepted that fate as well. The boy simply took a deep breath and tried to just relax. . . until a knock came through his room.

     "Aris, it's time for breakfast." His mother called out from beyond the door. "Aris? Aris. Aris!" Once again, Meris Scarlet found herself picking his lock with her hairpin and infiltrated her son's room. . . "Oh my- are you okay?!" She quickly rushed to her shivering child and began to check on him. Feeling his breath on her hand, and just his cold his skin was, it was clear that something was very wrong. . . "Siris! Get me some heat packs! Iris, make some tea! Elis, get me some blankets! NOW!" Their mother's words were absolute and more than loud enough to be heard, the three scrambling to get what they ordered to.

The first to arrive was Elis, who had buried herself in two big blankets. Despite Aris's resistance, his mother peeled off the sweaty blankets and replaced them with the two bigger ones. Soon, his father arrived and the heat packs were placed between the two blankets.

"Geez kiddo, I didn't know you could make fevers go backwards." Siris quipped to try and lighten the mood.

"Fevers can go backwards?" Elis asked incredulously.

"Apparently." The father replied while the mother bit back a sigh.

"Could you please take this seriously." Meris commanded with a glare, sending a shiver up her husband's spine.

"O-Okay, just wanted to lighten up the mood. . ." The redhead murmured.

"Is Aris going to be okay?" The youngest child inquired nervously.

"He'll be okay, sweetie. He's just a bit cold." The raven haired woman assured as she glanced back to her son. The poor boy was still shivering. . . "Iris!"

"Coming! Coming!" The eldest daughter yelled from the hallway. She entered the room with a mug of tea, averting the gaze of each of her family members. . . Meris took hold of the mug and inched it toward Aris carefully.

"Aris. . ." Her eyes narrowed as the boy as he turned his head away. He hated tea. . . "Aris." Begrudgingly, the boy turned back and let his mother do as she wished. As the liquid moved into his mouth and down his throat, it took all his remaining power to not gag or choke. Once it was over, he let himself fall back into his pillow and sighed. Now that his situation was under control, Elis and Siris were able to leave, following by Iris, leaving only the mother-son combo. "If you need anything, I'll be right there. 'Kay?" Meris assured softly, placing a kiss on the boy's forehead before quietly leaving him to his thoughts. . .

     It wasn't long before his older sister silently returned to his room.

     "Uhh. . . Hey, Aris. . ." She greeted cautiously. His body was positioned toward the wall opposite of her, so she didn't quite know if he was awake or not. Regardless, she needed to get something off her chest. . . "Um. . . Sorry. I was careless. . . I forgot about you, and now this happened. . . So, I'm sorry." Iris whispered. . . She truly was sorry, that much Aris could tell. "If there's anything you need, leave it to me. It's the least I can do. . ." Her brother slowly shifted beneath the covers, his bright blue eyes meeting her emerald. . .

     "You said sorry. . . That's enough." The young woman really didn't understand her little brother. . .

     "You're weird, you know. . . But, I guess thats what makes you, you." She let out a small laugh and planted a kiss on his forehead. "Get well soon, Aris. . ." Soon, it was just the boy in the room. . .

     "Weird. . . .*

*Sarah Household - Dahlia*

     Unlike her first friend since moving, Dahlia was not suffering from the cold nearly as badly. She was enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate at at her desk whilst working on her latest art piece.

     "Dahlia, Chrys, lunch time!" Aster summoned.

     "Coming!" The girls yelled in unison before stepping out of their rooms and heading to the dinner table. Their meal was cup ramen, mostly because their mother did not really feel like cooking.

     "Ooh! Sis, what was it like staying at the school?" Chrysanthemum asked curiously.

"It was. . . kind of fun. Everyone just kind of hung out and played board games. It was basically just a really big sleepover." The freshman summarized the experience nicely.

"So, nothing interesting?" Aster questioned with a raised brow.

"Unless getting absolutely destroyed in every board game I played counts, then not really." Her eldest daughter stated with a sigh. "I don't get how Aris is that good at chess! I think I have him, but then all of a sudden he has nine ways to checkmate me!" The elder brunette donned a mischievous smile. . .

"Okay. . . Tell me more." She nudged her further.

"Ugh, don't even get me started on his luck! I've never seen someone have so many Draw Fours in Uno before!" The younger brunette exclaimed in frustration!

"Who's Aris?" The kindergartener inquired cluelessly.

"Your big sister's boyfriend-"

"HE'S JUST A FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Dahlia screamed, cutting off her laughing mother!

"Bleh! Boys are gross!" Chrys declared, sticking her tongue out in disgust.

"Yes! Yes! Boys are super icky! Don't believe mom-"

"I don't know, Aris seemed like a not gross boy."

"STOP IT!" The two bantered back and forth while the youngest of the trio glanced back and forth, struggling to keep up with what was being tossed around.

"AND THATS THAT!" The two brunettes concluded the argument before turning to the dazed little girl.

"So, what do you think?" Aster asked with an innocent smile.

"I think. . . that. . . he's a friend who is also a boy?" Chrysanthemum answered fearfully. . .

"YES!" Dahlia cheered victoriously as the mother simply shook her head and smiled. "Now, can we please stop talking about this?" She requested.

"No." The freshman facepalmed. "Is he the first friend you've made?" Her eyes snapped up in surprise at the question her mother prompted.

"Um. . . Yes." She muttered awkwardly.

"I told you it wouldn't be so hard. . ." Aster locked eyes with her oldest daughter, their shared dark hazel aligning as Dahlia realized. . . it actually wasn't that hard to befriend Aris.

     "Oh. . . I probably should've got his number yesterday."

     "Oh my, already at that stage?"