The ticking of the alarm clock had Cassian rolling his lidded eyes. Was it already seven in the morning? His body groaned in retort as he rolled over on his side. He was too old for this he thought as his left eye opened slightly, adjusting to the light filtering through the blinds on the window. Tiny specs of dust danced and whirled in the sunlight. A half smile painted his lips as he watched it. Something was beautiful about the way the specs of dirt caught in the air. It was like they had finally been given the spotlight, finally given an opportunity to be seen as beautiful. The door creaked open slowly and a silvered haired woman poked her head through the crack and smiled at him. “Good morning Cass.” Edith Maddox said with her gravelly voice. A full smile slipped past his lips, something rare for Cassian, as he yawned happily. “Morning Nan.” He replied, body arching as he scratched his exposed stomach.
“You’re going to be late if you don’t get up now you know.” Nan said warmly as she gave him a small wink. Cassian had always loved his grandmother. She was the only one since the accident that he could stand to be around aside from Toby. Something about the way her long silver hair toppled up in a bun on her head made him think of his mother. “I know Nan, I know.” He yawned as he sat up and raked a hand through tangled curls. He loved and hated those things. The way they always fell into his eyes or the strange obsession girls had with them. He swung his feet to the floor and stood, back arching as his arms sprawled wide and he leaned up on his toes.
“Tobs already up?” he asked as he grabbed his t-shirt from the previous night and tugged it over his head. Toby had a habit of stealing the biggest hunks of ham at breakfast and Cassian would be damned if he wasn’t going to fight for it today. Usually he wouldn’t bother, instead opting for a cup of black coffee and the articles of newspaper his grandfather had already finished reading. “In the shower as we speak, not sure if he slept last night.” Nan said as she walked down into the hallway. A heavy sigh left Cassian’s lungs as he padded his way out of the room and towards the kitchen.
It was a rather small thing, the kitchen; only big enough for one small round table in the middle of the room, the stove and oven and a small sink that could barely hold the dirty dishes. Cassian rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand as he blindly searched for the cabinet knob. He eventually found it, swinging it open and grabbing a coffee mug. He never had liked coffee before, more of a tea drinker but he needed the extra boost of caffeine today. Pouring a cup he yawned again before making his way to the table and sitting down. Picking up part of the paper Cassian scanned over the obituaries. It was a new habit picked up after his parents had died. He’d scan each name wondering if he’d met them on the street. A few of them he knew here and there but most of the names were strangers, nothing more than ink on a page.
“Anyone we know?” Tobias asked as he reached over to steal Cass’s cup. The older Maddox boy swatted his hand away as he continued reading. “Not today. Maybe tomorrow.” he said with a shrug as he folded the paper and leaned over towards his brother. Whispering softly against the shell of Toby’s ear, Cassian spoke quickly. “I know you didn’t sleep last night. Why didn’t you crawl into bed with me? You know I wouldn’t have told you no.” Toby was about to answer when Nan cleared her throat loudly. “Eat up boys. You’re leaving for America in less than four hours and you need to leave on a good English breakfast.” She scolded as she went back over to the stove.
Toby glanced over and smirked. “S’alright, we got a 12 hour plane ride. I’ll sleep then.”