COMMEMORATION

“This one tops it.”

“Ha! You made a funny! Skydiving… ‘tops it’…? Ha!”

“John, shut up.”

“That’s no way to talk to your brother.”

She narrowed her eyes, tipped her head down. The Look.

“Look, Gina-”

“No, John, you have to stop this. you almost lost your job over ‘Elephant Appreciation Day.'”

“That wasn’t fair. It wasn’t my fault the zoo was so crowded that day. Then the traffic. I really thought I could get some appreciating done on my lunch break.”

“And you got yourself permanently barred from The Bean Sprout on ‘Hug a Vegetarian Day.'”

“That was strange. I thought they’d be more receptive.”

The Look again.

“John. Why do you have to be so weird?”

John’s eyebrows peaked. “I think most people – including you – would say the answer’s in the question.”

Gina sighed. It was true. Their whole lives, John = weird.

“But skydiving, John? Seriously? You could be hurt or worse. Just last week there were two stories in the news of people dying on their first jump.”

“And no room left to print the billions of non-tragic stories of people like me – blessed and golden.”

“Billions? Golden? John, I can’t bear the thought of losing you. Mom is gone. Dad is…well, Dad. John, it’s just been you and I since the womb. The Tucker Twins.”

“Weirdo and the Brain.”

Gina smirked. “Brain. Right. How brainy am I, Ms. Three-Time Divorcee.”

“They were jerks.”

“My point exactly.”

John ran his finger around the rim of his coffee cup. Softly, he said, “I watch the calendar and the commemorative days because it gives…order, I guess. And then I do whatever it says to make it…tangible.”

She smiled at him. She loved him so much sometimes her heart hurt. “Tangible order.”

John nodded.

“I get that. I would just prefer to not have your insides tangibly spread across the countryside.”

He shrugged, grinning, and took a swallow of coffee.

“Hey!” she said, her face brightening, “How about lessons? It’s ‘Learn to Skydive Day,’ right? You don’t have to jump on day one. You can, you know, learn.”

John grinned mischievously. “Yeah, maybe,” he said, then looked up at her. “But I was thinking…You wanna know what else today is?”

“Oh no…”

“‘Adopt a Shelter Cat Day.'”

“A cat? John…”

“I think I’ll name it Mr. Meowstein, even if it’s a girl.”

“Why do you have to be so weird?”

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