It was a flawless summer day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and countless birds were flying across its endless blue aura. Aaron couldn't help but to admire its beauty. It’s a great start to the holidays, he thought to himself. He was sure that all the other students around him, walking home from school, were thinking the exact same thing, but he felt that nobody else were looking forward to them as much as he was.
His parents were leaving the country for the duration of the holidays and him and his two sisters were being left in the care of a sitter. Some kids wouldn't have liked this, but Aaron wasn't one of them. Well, at least not now. You see, Aaron had been sent home for fighting with another student two days ago. It was the first time that he had been in any trouble with the school and his parents weren't happy about it to say the least. He tried to explain that it wasn't his fault, but he found that debating it was fruitless.
Although his mother was screaming at him the entire day this happened, Aaron was fortunate in that his parents were far too busy making arrangements and packing to get around to punishing him. He knew that once they got back, they would have forgotten all about it. For two weeks, he'll have the freedom to do whatever he wanted. In fact, this freedom had already begun. After dropping him and his sisters off at school and giving them each a farewell hug, they were travelling directly to the airport.
Realizing this, he suddenly picked up his pace as he couldn't wait to get home. He didn't want to waste a second of his holiday. His mind filled with the many things that he wanted to do during them. Movies, water slides, video games, TV, and swimming were just a handful of activities that he could think of. None of his friends were going away either so he could invite them over if he ever got bored.
He found himself at home much earlier than he normally would. As usual, his sisters, Jane and Rachel, were already there. As their mother had stated earlier, a sitter would be around in a few hours but she didn't mention who it was. He kicked off his shoes and went straight to the kitchen. During his walk home, he had a craving for a nice cool milkshake that he was about to prepare. After placing the ice-cream back inside the freezer, he noticed an envelope was attached its door. It was addressed to Maryanne, a sitter that they had the last time their parents went away.
Could this holiday be any better, he thought. Maryanne was a very sweet down-to-earth girl, and best of all; she was fun to be around. Last time she brought along a whole box of videos to watch and another full of games to play. Not only that, but she allowed them to stay up much later than their usual bedtime. None of them were ever bored while in her company. His sisters were just as happy to hear of his discovery.
Right on queue, she arrived in her car a few hours later while they were watching the after school cartoons. Rachel, always trying to be mature, rushed to the door and invited her in. Just like her last visit, she came in carrying a large box.
'Hey guys. Are you looking forward to these holidays?' she asked placing the box on the kitchen table with a thud.
'Yeah, I have big plans for it.' Aaron replied before his sisters had a chance to speak. 'Movies, water slides, gaming, swimming...'
'It’s lucky that you guys have a pool. It’s prefect weather for it.' she responded. 'How about you two?' she asked turning to his sisters.
'We went to the library last week and I have a few books to start.' Rachel replied.
'Me too.' Jane added.
Aaron couldn't understand his sisters love of books. To him, books weren't fun. Whenever he opened a book, all he saw was a giant ocean of words. It was gaming that was his pastime. When playing a game, he was able to control a character and interact with its world visually. Something that just wasn't possible when reading a book.
'Oh, that's right.' Rachel said running into the kitchen. She snatched the envelope off the freezer and handed it to Maryanne. 'Mum left you this.'
'Let's see.' she said, tearing it open. 'No doubt it'll contain something like “Please make sure that they're in bed before 9 o'clock.”, but we'll ignore that one won't we?' she said grinning.
They all couldn't help but smile hearing that.
Their mother's letters were usually long and verbose so the three of them turned back to the TV while Maryanne continued reading. After a few minutes, Maryanne broke the silence with an unexpected 'Oh, my.'
'What's wrong?' Rachel and Aaron asked simultaneously turning to her.
'Your parents tell me that you were sent home from school. That doesn't seem like you, Aaron.'
'It wasn't my fault! That guy was a jerk! He tried to place his rubbish in my bag!' Aaron shouted. He had been over this once before and didn't want a repeat of it.
'So you pushed him down the steps!' Rachel interjected.
'That idiot fell down them himself!'
'Do you really expect anyone to believe that?'
'It's the truth! He lost his bal–'
'That's enough, both of you!' Maryanne shouted over top of them.
It was rare for Maryanne to raise her voice and while she didn't say it threateningly, both of them knew when to call it quits.
'Your mother has asked me to punish you, Aaron.' she said.
Both of his sisters couldn't help but give out a chuckle when they heard this. Aaron, on the other hand, couldn't help but gulp. This wasn't something that he wanted to start his holiday.
'What are you going to do?' Rachel asked smirking.
'Hmm... I'm not sure yet. Your mother reckons that you deserve something lasting for at least a week, Aaron. Come to think of it, how would your parents usually punish you?'
Aaron immediately began to think of an easy form of punishment before Rachel could interrupt him again. Unexpectedly, nothing came to him. Like almost all kids, he had often been spanked and sent to his room, but he wasn't able to recall a single time where he had been punished any longer then a few hours.
He glanced at his sisters and it appeared that they too were also stuck trying to think of a suitable punishment for him. After seeing this, Aaron's anxiety dissipated from within him and he couldn't resist smiling.
He knew that Maryanne couldn't hit him (nor did she seem the type to do so) and therefore, what could she possibly do? Sure, she could send him to bed without any dinner but that couldn't last an entire week and she was too nice for that kind of punishment anyway.
'No ideas, eh?' Maryanne said breaking their chain of thought. 'In that case, I'll think of something. Unless either of you two think of something before I do.' she said turning to the girls. Hearing this, both of them grinned from ear to ear.
Aaron wasn't comfortable with his sisters choosing his faith, but he knew that protesting wouldn't help and, in fact, could make it worst. However, he was confident that his sisters couldn't come up with anything which would cause him any more than mild annoyance that Maryanne would approve of.
'Anyway, what would you three like for dinner?' Maryanne asked.
It turned out of be pizza, followed by a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. They were all in front of the TV watching the standard Friday night movie. It was a computer animated movie about a family of superheroes, and they were all really enjoying it. In fact, Aaron had completely forgotten about his punishment and was now feeling full due to the three slices of pizza and the large bowl of ice cream he had just consumed.
Once the ads had come on, he proceeded to the toilet to relieve himself. While washing his hands, he could hear the three girls talking and laughing. He figured they were talking about the movie, however once he opened the door which had a habit of squeaking, they suddenly became silent. Aaron didn't think anything of it and was thankful that he arrived right as the movie was about to resume.
About an hour later, the movie had finished. As usual, they all discussed their favourite parts and shared what they thought of it. Jane felt it was a bit too 'lovey-dovey' but they all enjoyed it to varying degrees.
While it wasn't terribly late, they all couldn't stop yawning. They just had a massive dinner and their bodies were telling them it was time to sleep, so they all started to get ready for bed. Maryanne, however, had to quickly drive back home because she forgot to bring the box containing her extra clothes. Once she got back, she found all three of them were fast asleep.