Summer slammed the refrigerator door shut with her foot and rushed into the living room. “Okay, this’s the plan, boys.”
“I’m right here,” Winter muttered neglectedly.
Either Summer didn’t hear her, or she was just choosing to ignore the comment; but she continued, “We have two frozen waffles, an inordinate amount of condiments, three quarts of milk, for some reason, and something green and fuzzy on the bottom of the freezer that looks like ancient spinach.”
“Wonder who that was from,” Winter said. “Spring! For the love! Take care of your vegetables!”
Summer shifted from foot to foot. Her hair, just as full of energy as she, bounced, the waist-length dark brown waves swinging from side to side across her back, dirty blonde tips brushing the back of her black denim shorts. A soft cropped hoodie hung unevenly off her torso, exposing her strong shoulders and the strap of her sports bra. Her bare feet made small smacking noises against the kitchen tile, the corded blue glass bracelet on her right ankle clinking softly. “Either we could make ketchup and cream cheese smoothies—”
“—or we can get breakfast somewhere. Votes? Boys, votes?”
Fall squinted at his phone, then removed his glasses, polished them on the frayed sleeve of his plaid jacket, and put them back on, which, judging from the state of openness of his eyelids, made absolutely no difference whatsoever. “I’m good with whatever Spring wants to do.”
“Hello-o?” Winter gaped. “I’m right here?”
“Sorry. You too, Winter. What are you up for?”
Winter crossed her arms emphatically. “Well, I don’t care, but we’re not eating in.”
“Tropical Smoothie?” suggested Spring from the bathroom.
“Oh, god, no.”
Spring poked his head from behind the hall door, a bright red toothbrush handle sticking out of his mouth. A shock of dull blond hair hung across his forehead. “I say we do a Publix run.” He ducked back inside the bathroom, spit, and leaned out of the doorway again. “I need to shave first, though. And shower. Fall, did you happen to happen to do laundry duty this week?”
“Sorry.” Fall blinked several times, light brown eyes bleary. He’d only woken up a few minutes before—doubtless, he’d gone to bed that night at four a.m.—and was wearing cream-colored pajama pants with red-nosed reindeer all over them. His feet were shoved into dirty slippers and he was sitting in the living room’s office chair, slowly swaying from side to side on its creaky wheels. “Forgot.”
“For the love, Fall,” Winter interjected, her grey eyes rolling, “can you never do anything we ask of you?” She abruptly stood up from the couch without waiting for an answer. “It’s whatever, I’ll just do it myself.” She made her way past Summer, through the kitchen, then turned into the tiny closet that housed their washer and dryer. “Don’t worry, Spring, since someone—”
Spring appeared in the entrance to the living room, clutching a razor in his pale hand and with the right side (and the right side only) of his face lathered in shaving cream. His blue eyes flitted between the laundry room door and Fall’s swinging office chair. “Geez, Winter, it’s fine. Perhaps Fall has a certain someone on his mind? A lady friend, perhaps? Or a man?”
Fall laughed quietly and twisted the index finger of the hand that wasn’t holding his phone around a lock of soft black hair. “Spring, you know I’m straight.”
“Damn it.” Spring reentered the bathroom for the umpteenth time, leaving, as always, the door open. He was silent for a few seconds, then added with a snicker, “Winter, you’re in the closet right now, correct?”
Winter exited the cramped laundry room, slamming the door behind her. “We’re out of tide pods.”
Summer’s thick brows bent into a frown. “I don’t like using those. Sometimes people bring them home and leave them on the counter and their kids think it’s candy and they end up in the hospital.”
“I did read a magazine article about that once,” contributed Fall. He took a sip of cold coffee from the thermos on the computer desk and went back to his phone.
“But, like, the convenience though,” came Spring’s voice from the bathroom. After a few seconds of silence: “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. If that’s true, then that’s totally terrible and we shouldn’t be supporting them.”
“Of course it’s true,” Fall said quietly.
“Whatever,” Winter said under her breath. She dramatically sat herself onto the worn leather couch and flung her head against the back. Her spiky swoop of dusty white hair, the crowning glory of her shaved-on-the-sides pixie cut, moved stiffly up and down a few times before settling into a resting phase, pointing at the ceiling. Smokey dark eyeshadow glittered against her even darker skin, scattered messily about her face from sleeping because Spring had been hogging the bathroom that (and every) morning. Winter’s striped pajama shorts and black sweatshirt fitted loosely around her thin frame, and she had to fold her long legs together on the sofa cushion to keep them from getting in the way of Summer, who was now moving to take a seat on the opposite end of the couch.
Summer’s clear brown eyes shone with the excitement of getting out of the house. “Okay. So is Spring’s idea the best we’ve got? Publix run, everyone?” She ran her fingertips mindlessly along her face, tracing the flushed cheeks, the scattered freckles, the strong jawline and cheekbones she hardly even knew people envied. She clasped her hands together and raised her arms in the air, stretching, her shirt lifting to reveal well-worn abs. “Yes? No? Maybe so?”
Fall groaned, turned his phone off, and slumped in the chair. Winter noticed, as he was doing so, that his gut was a considerable contrast to Summer’s toned stomach, but for once she didn’t say anything.
Fall twirled his finger around a spot on his reindeer pajama pants. “I know I said I was fine with whatever other people picked, but I actually think I’d prefer to stay home.” He turned his phone on again. “You guys go ahead, though.”
“Are you sure?” Summer pleaded. She stood up from the couch and grabbed Fall by the hands—his phone slipped to the carpet—but without paying it any heed she began to swing himself around the room. Her head barely came to his upper arm, but still she finagled him with surprising ease. Her warm brown skin glowed with merriment as she finally released Fall, stumbling drunkenly for a bit while reassuring everyone, “It’s fine, I’m dizzy, I’m only dizzy.”
Just then Spring exited the bathroom. He took one look at Fall and Summer lumped together on the floor, said simply “My god,” and went back in, this time closing the door.
“No, wait, wait,” Summer began, laughing hysterically. She waved her hand at the bathroom door, the leather bracelets on her wrist flying around. “Wait,” she called, pausing to wipe a few tears off her cheeks. “I—come on, man, we’re ready. Publix, right? Winter? Coming?”