That one word, that one name, brought back a multitude of memories. Before I knew it, I was engulfed in them.
My face was becoming increasingly red. “LEO!” I gasped between laughs. “Stop…tickling…ME! SERIOUSLY! I’m…gonna…PEE!” I could hardly breath, I was laughing so hard. Leo was sitting on top of me, pinning me to the floor.
“Not until you say it!” my little brother laughed.
“FINE!” I cried. “Oh most….great and….incredible Leo….please let…..me UP!....PLEASE!!!” I couldn’t take it anymore.
Laughing darkly, Leo stopped tickling me and let me up. Slowly, I could feel the oxygen returning to my lungs.
Glaring at him, I whispered “You’re going to pay for that.”
“Oh, really?” he asked sarcastically.
“Yup.” And with that, I pounced.
It took a lot of energy to stop crying about my break up with Christian. I was still sniffling when Leo knocked.
“Nikki?” He asked carefully. He sounded like he was afraid he might make me start crying again.
Wiping my eyes quickly, I let him into my room. Leo took one look at me and then frowned.
“I’ll kill him,” he stated murderously. “He made you cry. He shouldn’t do that, not to you.”
I sniffed. “Thanks, Leo, but you don’t have to do that.” He hugged me.
“Want me to compare him to dog barf?” he asked innocently. “’Cause I will…”
Laughing, I wondered how this eleven year old kid always managed to cheer me up.
I was babysitting Leo and we decided to go to the mall. However, after a few hours, we were bored.
Leo’s eyes suddenly lit up. “You know what would be awesome?” he asked excitedly.
Leo whispered his plan into my ear and a grin slowly spread across my face. I nodded at him and we high-fived.
As we neared the exit, I executed his plan.
“No, Leo!” I shouted. “We’re leaving. Now!”
“But mom,” he whined, “I don’t want to!”
I dragged him out of the mall, chastising him for being such an awful child and we laughed the whole walk home at the priceless looks people had on their faces.
Quoting A Very Potter Musical and funny comedians with him; laughing at each other on April Fool’s days; fighting and then making up an hour later; watching superhero movies on the couch; singing I’ll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan at the top of our lungs as off key as we possibly could. All these memories and more flooded my thoughts.
When my mind had finally cleared, I noticed that Leo was giving me a strange look.
“Leo?” he asked, looking around. He pointed to himself. “Are you talking to me?”
The hair on the back of my neck stood up; something didn’t feel right. “Leo,” I said, “don’t kid around. This is serious.”
“Oh,” he cried, a look of understanding crossing his face. “You mean my body! No, it’s me, Running Through the Snow. What are you doing here, Star?”