Jason was sitting alone in the kitchen, a carton of vanilla ice cream on the island in front of him. He would have gotten a bowl, but then he would have had to wash it, so he decided to just eat right out of the container. No one else was around to object.
A door appeared in the middle of the room. It opened, and Julia walked through. After she closed it behind her, the door vanished. Julia was a head shorter than he was and looked younger, though Jason knew that might be a deception. Her long hair was tied back in the usual ponytail. He couldn’t make out the color of her hair and wished he could remember what it was.
“Jason? Why are you sitting in the dark?”
“Don’t need light to eat.”
Julia sighed and turned a light on.
Black! Her hair was black!
Grabbing a box of crackers from a cupboard, Julia sat down on a stool on the other side of the island. “You didn’t want a bowl?”
He just shook his head.
“So why are you up so late?”
Jason looked at his wrist, but there was no watch there. “Is it late?”
Julia sighed again before changing the subject. “So someone new has moved into the house?”
“Jason! You’re the one who told me about him.”
“Oh right. An elementalist, I believe. I haven’t met him yet.”
“Why did Thomas bring in someone new? This place is already too crowded.”
“I don’t know. Thomas doesn’t tell me why he does things.”
“Yes, he does. You just never remember.”
“That’s probably true,” Jason said with a laugh.
“This place is too crowded.”
“You already said. But how would you know? You almost always stay in your room.”
Julia frowned. “You forget that I helped create all this space. I know when it’s occupied.”
“Yeah. Still, you should get out more.”
“No, thank you.”
Cocking her head a bit as though listening to something Jason couldn’t hear, she hopped down from her stool and summoned a door. “I’ll talk to you later, Jason.”
After the door disappeared, Sarah rounded the corner into the kitchen. “Jason? I thought I heard Julia.”
Jason waved his hand at nothing. “She just left.”
“Dammit. Why does she always do that?”
“Leave. She really doesn’t like me, does she?”
“Don’t take it personally. She doesn’t like anyone.”
“She seems to like you just fine.”
“I’m her brother; she has to like me.”
“But you’re not her brother! You two aren’t related.”
“Really?” Jason appeared genuinely puzzled.
“Really. You both say that, but you aren’t.”
“Huh. Well, maybe I remind her of her brother.”
“Honestly, Jason, I don’t know how you make through the day sometimes.”
Jason shrugged. “I don’t think there’s a trick to it.”
“Uh huh.” Sarah slumped down onto the same stool Julia had recently occupied.
Jason looked down at his ice cream, which had become rather soft, and decided he’d had enough. He threw the spoon into the sink and put the carton back in the freezer.
“So have you met David yet?”
“Who’s David?” Jason asked, absently.
“The new kid. He arrived yesterday.”
“Oh. No, I haven’t seen him. Is he nice?”
“As far as I can tell.”
“Don’t worry about Julia. She’ll come around eventually.”
“How do you know?”
“Seriously, how do you get through the day?”
“With a smile.” Jason pulled a pretzel rod from… somewhere and put it in his mouth like a cigar. “Have a good night, Sarah.”
“You too, Jason.”