Several Years Later,
Sagittarius, now 18, hurriedly locked a small metal box and returned it to a concealed gap in the back of his closet. His mother would be home soon from work and he didn't want to be caught. He brushed back his soot covered hair after he closed his closet doors. He held a great semblance to Olimar save for the shaggy hair that refused to stand unlike his father's stubborn bristled hair. He had grown taller than both his mother and sister but due to his tendency to slouch, he was mistaken for being shorter. His grey blue eyes glanced anxiously at the clock on the wall before he walked hastily to the bathroom.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Downstairs, Libra peeked out of the kitchen, away from the vegetable stew she was cooking to see Bulbie jumping excitedly up and down near the door. The graying dog was whining happily as footsteps approached the porch. But when the door opened to reveal Nectarine, he instantly turned blue. After making sure that the woman was not his master, Bulbie slunk off under a desk. She had aged some. Her once brilliant fuchsia eyes were dulled and while happy, were noticeably tired most of the time. Her simple emerald dress and black heels were speckled with dust and ink.
"Bulbie, I brought you some treats. Don't you want any?" She called out. Years back she didn't hold the best relationship with the bipedal dog but after everything that happened, she did her best to make sure he was comfortable and content. But this had become an everyday routine. Bulbie would wait at the door everyday for his master to return, even after all the years.
"He doesn't want any, Mama. He won't even eat carrots anymore." The 15 year old blonde sighed. Libra held semblance to her mother with her fuchsia irises and height. She was still in the process of being the proper lady she had always sought to be, caring extensively for her appearance and the way she carried herself. Her curly blonde hair was kept in an overly elaborated bun.
"But he loves carrots, doesn't he? Here let me try." Nectarine searched in the grocery bags and pulled out a crisp red pikpik carrot. Waving the vegetable in front of the dog's face she cooed "Come here, Bulbie! Look! This is for you!"
Bulbie snuffed the carrot and promptly snorted. He turned around and stiffly scampered off upstairs.
Sighing, she stood up and put the bag of groceries on the table. Libra collected them and took to the kitchen. Exhausted, Nectarine retired to the sofa.
"How was work today, Mama?"
"The usual, darling. Nothing but complaints and demands. I had everything done but the boss made me stay to finish a letter" she said with distaste. "And to file old documents."
She exhaled loudly as she rummaged through the pile of letters on the coffee table. Most were bills as usual, some were advertisements and even a shiny magazine but what caught her attention among these things was a thick manila envelope. It was from Sagittarius' school and was addressed to her.
Her stomach twisted as she cautiously tore the envelope open. Inside, she found a long letter. As she read, her fuchsia eyes widened and her fingertips turned white.
"Libra? Where is your brother?" She seethed as she stood up.
Even from a distance, her mother's tone of voice made the younger female bristle.
"I-Is something the matter?" She asked hesitantly, peeking from the kitchen.
"Yes. Now, where is he?"
"U-upstairs, in his room"
Her heels clicked loudly against the tiles of the steps as she walked up the stairs and down the hall to her son's room. She found him sitting in the hall, playing with Bulbie.
"Hi mom!" He piped, completely oblivious to of her wrath.
"Explain this to me" She said in a tone that froze his blood. He hesitantly took the paper from her hand. Nectarine watched him read the paper, noting his paling complexion and his now trembling hands.
Sagittarius swallowed hard as he looked up at his mother. She glowered at him, with a hand to her hip as she impatiently waited for his explanation.
"I don't know what they're talking about mom! I-I always do my work! You see me here doing work every afternoon!" He cried.
"Then how are you failing nearly every subject?! You’re sleeping through it all! You failed three tests just last week! How do you expect to graduate if your grades are this poor!”
Sagittarius felt his mouth grown dry. Guilt was balling tight in his stomach but he didn’t dare speak up. He tried to relax before looking back up at her.
“I-I’m sorry, Mom… I’ll make it all up! There’s still time” He replied, trying to sound hopeful.
Nectarine’s still grim expression did not falter. “Hardly enough time” She said icily. “I expect those grades to be as high as they can possibly be, do you understand me Sagittarius? If not, so help me-“She snapped, cutting herself short when she heard soft footsteps coming up the stairs.
They both turned to see Libra, nervously clutching the hem of her apron. “I-I don’t mean to interrupt but d-dinner’s ready…” she squeaked, timidly looking up at her mother and her brother.
Sagittarius went slack with relief as his mother’s focus was on his sister; the previously threatening and cold environment had been broken. Nectarine took a deep breath and let her anger cool. She ran her fingers through her short hair before looking at Libra.
“Alright Libra, thank you.” She replied before turning to Sagittarius. “I want those grades fixed and fast, understand?”
The young male nodded rapidly. “Yes ma’am”
“Good” She said before she turned and walked downstairs.
Sagittarius waited until he could no longer hear her footsteps before he stood up, smiling with relief. He gave his sister a thankful pat on the shoulder.
“Thanks for saving me”
“Hey, what is that?” Libra inquired as she pointed to a long black streak on his upper arm that was partially covered by his black shirt. Sagittarius quickly glanced at the streak and promptly paled. “Is that a bruise?”
“It’s nothing! I-I mean I tripped on my way home, must’ve gotten more dirt on me than I realized!” He laughed nervously as he slowly backed in to the hallway, rubbing his arm.
The blonde looked at him, confused and opened her mouth to protest when he turned and quickly went to the bathroom. “Don’t worry, Libra! I didn’t hurt myself too bad! Just some dirt!” He called cheerfully.
Libra sighed and rolled her eyes. “Whatever you say big brother” she replied before she started down the stairs. “Don’t take too long! The food will get cold!
‘That was too close… I have to be more careful’ He though as he scrubbed off the oil and rust from his arm. “Don’t worry Libra! I’ll be there is a second!”