Sweatshirt Grey

 

            On the list of ways of how not to wake up someone, jumping on them and demanding the location of a sweatshirt had to be number one.

            "What sweatshirt?" Nick asked groggily as he pushed the squirming bundle of seven-year-old off his lap.

            My sweatshirt.” Garret said, as if that would clear up the doubt.

            "Of course, your sweatshirt. Well, where did you put it last night?” Nick asked. Now that Garret was contently sitting on a plump pillow, instead of Nick’s chest, Nick could doze peacefully.

            "I didn’t wear it last night!" Garret cried.

            Nick did not reply until Garret poked him harshly in the side.  "Oh … well then. Did you unpack your bags yet?"

            "No."

            "Then just look in your bag." And, feeling he had provided an acceptable answer, he burrowed into his blankets once more, fully intent on sleeping at least two more hours.

            Garret, however, did not find the answer the least be satisfactory. “It’s not in my bag! I left it here when I came visit for Christmas!”

            Well, in that case, looking in his bags would fruitless. “Check the guest room.”

            "I did! I can’t find it anywhere!"

            Nick highly doubted that. “Well, Garret, I promise I will tear the house apart looking for it… later. Right now, it’s… What time is it?”

            "Six thirty."

            "Holy smokes"He immerged from his cocoon of blankets to stare at his nephew. “Six thirty? I haven’t woken up this early since… I don’t even know. But, anyway, if it’s only six thirty, why don’t we wait for a decent time to start looking. Say, noon? Know what? Why don’t you just wait until Isaac gets here, I’m sure he would just love to help you look for it.”

            If only Isaac had arrived when he was supposed to, none of this would have happened. Garret would have woken Isaac up instead and Isaac, being much more sensible, wouldn’t have woken Nick up unless the situation was dire.

            "That’s the problem! Isaac gave me the sweatshirt!" The frustration in his pre-pubescent voice was evident. "What if he finds out I lost it and then gets really mad at me?"

            "Isaac didn’t get mad at you when you shot him the leg. I doubt he’d get mad at you for loosing a sweatshirt." In fact, Nick could count the times Isaac had gotten mad on one hand, and only one of those times was he mad at Garret.

            "But shooting him was an accident!"

            "So was the losing the sweatshirt."

            "But Isaac will probably think I did it on purpose cause I didn’t want to wear it!"

            "Listen, let me sleep until eight thirty, ok? Isaac won’t be getting here until twelve, his mom said, and you know Aunt Andrea… That probably means three or four. So if I sleep until eight thirty, then we’ll have at least three and half-hours to look. Does that sound reasonable?" To Nick, that sounded more than reasonable. It would probably take ten minutes max, for him to locate the sweatshirt. Garret did not answer, so Nick took his silence as yes and closed his eyes. For a few moments, everything was fine until Nick heard a sniffle. And then another. And then another, followed by a shaky hiccupping sound. And then Garret was flat out crying. Which was how Nick found himself padding down the hall, following his nephew to the guest bedroom.

            After a brief description, (“It’s uh… grey. And has some words on it?”) Nick began the search. Carrying out his promise, he tore the guest bedroom apart, emptying every drawer, checking behind every piece of furniture, removing the relatively few items from the closet, as well as fruitlessly searching some of the other clothes abiding rooms of the house.

            Garret spent the first hour or so wallowing in self-pity, but the closer it came to twelve, the more excited he got. When Isaac finally arrived, two hours past due, Garret tackled him, hugging and squeezing him and proclaiming how much he missed him. Nick hung back, letting the two cousins say hello, trying to not get jealous that his own greeting yesterday had been considerably less enthusiastic and contained basically a “Hey Uncle Nick. Where’s a Isaac?”

            When Garret finally let go of him, Isaac pulled a grey article of clothing from his duffle bag.

            “Hey Garret, I think this accidentally wound up in my bag.”

            Garret took the sweatshirt eagerly. Thanks!” he exclaimed, hugging his cousin once more. Then he sobered and drew back, a frown on his sweet little face. “Are you mad at me for loosing it?”

            “What? No! Of course not. Why would you think that?”

            “Oh, just something Uncle Nick said.” Garret replied, shrugging.

            Nick nearly pointed out that it was Garret that had thought Isaac would be mad, but his little nephew had animatedly launched in to a conversation of the fort he had made the previous night, and really, it would jut be a sin to interrupt such a grand conversation. Though he did decide that the next time his nephew tried way number one of the how not to wake people up list, he was definitely not getting up, even if it was after eight thirty.

 

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