Henri pushed the key in the lock and leaned against the heavy front door of his home. The sun was on his back, the heat relentlessly prodding his hair.
Relieved, he stepped out of the afternoon blaze into the cool dimness of the hallway. He chucked his backpack on the floor and flew up the stairs to his bedroom.
Henri couldn't wait to return to the Ringed City to meet up with his friends. They would continue their search for the Slave Knight Gael, who went off to find the Dark Soul of Humanity.
Mum was working today, so Astrid and he would have to sort out their own dinner. But this also meant that he could play his favourite game without mum finding out.
He fired up the game console hoping that his buddies were already online. But they weren't. Henri slumped in his chair and looked around the small bedroom.
He always forgets that he is so much younger than the others. They weren't going to be back from school until later. His eyes wandered over the book- and clothing-strewn floor.
Organised chaos, dad used to say before he moved out to live in a small bedsit in the next town over.
Mum, on the other hand, was always yelling at him to tidy up, but every time he did he couldn't find anything anymore.
Henri got up and trudged out of the room, passing by his sister's bedroom. He saw that the door was slightly open, so he stopped to peek through the gap.
His sister Astrid, forever encased in headphones, was sitting on her bed engrossed in something on her laptop.
'You cut class again, didn't you?' he yelled through the gap, knowing that she could still hear him through the noise reduction technology.
Her head jerked up as expected and she scrunched up her face in a jeer, stretched out a leg, and shut the door with her foot.
Witch! Henri gave the door a satisfying kick. Ever since his sister had turned sixteen her bedroom door was almost always closed. What did she do in there?
Good thing Astrid didn't know how he would sneak into her room and go through her stuff when she was out.
He didn't know why he did it and he was always careful to put everything back exactly the way he found it.
He'd actually gotten quite good at it too, for which Henri felt a strange sense of pride.
He leaned his right shoulder against the doorpost and slowly started walking forward, his shoulder sliding from the doorpost to the wall.
He ambled down the stairs this way, brushing against their mum's ridiculous flowery wallpaper.
Why did Astrid stop being fun? She never laughed anymore, except when dad had cancelled a cinema outing last minute on his thirteenth birthday; she had laughed at him then.
That was two months ago.
That was two months ago. To be continued...