My brother burst into my room, pressing himself against the door and panting deeply.
‘You know, you’re allowed to knock,’ I said dryly from my desk.
He ignored me, pressing his ear to the door and listening intently. I heard heavy footsteps on the landing that paused, briefly, and then disappeared down the stairs.
‘Phew,’ he whispered, sinking to the ground. ‘That was a close one.’
‘Was it?’ I frowned. ‘I didn’t realise you were being hunted by a snow leopard.’
‘Close enough,’ he shot back. ‘Dad just asked me what I’m gonna do for a career after school.’
‘Just tell him,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘He’s already taken his anger out on me, anyway.’
‘Ohhhh, I think he has more,’ Josh shook his head.
‘Look,’ I gave up on my homework, closing my textbook and spinning around. ‘You have to tell him sometime. It may as well be now.’
‘I guess,’ he frowned. ‘What do I say?’
‘Tell him your dream,’ I implored. ‘Tell him you want to work with the most trusted company operating in community nursing. Adelaide only has a few of them. He can’t get mad if you get into the best place in the state.’
‘See, I’ve literally already seen him get mad at that,’ he pointed at me.
‘Me?’ I said. ‘Somehow, I think you’ll be spared most of his wrath.’
‘Why’s that?’ he seemed puzzled.
‘Well,’ I shrugged. ‘You are the golden child, after all.’
He snorted, then frowned. ‘Wait, you’re serious.’
‘Yep,’ I nodded. ‘Deadly.’
‘But that’s ridiculous.’
‘Is it?’ I asked. ‘Do you remember how many rewards you were given for your positive behaviour? Support when you needed it? Your cake was even bigger than mine, the last four years in a row.’
‘That can’t be true,’ he rolled his eyes.
I wheeled my chair backwards and pulled up a folder on my computer, showing him images of the two birthday cakes.
‘So, uh… you just had this sitting there, ready to go?’
‘Sure did,’ I nodded. ‘Now buck up, golden boy, and go tell your dad you want to be a community nurse.’