The girl huffed out a heavy breath, the sudden rush of air lifting her bangs out of her eyes long enough for them to dart from side to side, quickly scanning the upstairs hallway outside of her room. A triumphant grin spread over her lips, her feet taking a small step outside of her door, moving on her tiptoes to avoid making a sound. She paused, her breath catching as she waited to get caught, but her ears heard not a single sound. She moved slowly down the hall, her breath lodged in her throat as she padded silently past her brother’s door, hoping that he wouldn’t decide to open it at that exact moment and question her intentions. It wasn’t until she made it to the top of the stairs that Kira finally hastened her pace, her feet touching lightly on the ground with each step making as little sound as possible. When she finally made it to the bottom of the stair, she let out a soft sigh of relief, making a comical swipe of her hand across her brow.
Kira Michaels was not sneaking out in the middle of the night as one would assume after watching her stealthy retreat from her room. In fact, the sun was still high in the sky, the birds filling the air with whistles and chirps, and the neighborhood children were outside, splashing around in their pools, or running around playing various games. She wasn’t on lockdown for some bad deed that forced her parents to ground her. In fact, there was no reason at all that she should be sneaking around to go visit her best friend, other than the fact her brother would question her nonstop until she grew so frustrated she didn’t even want to leave her house. All she wanted to do was stop by Will’s house without her brother’s interrogation, and spend some time outside of her own home for a change of scenery. All she needed to do was manage to slip out the front door, make it to her car and she’d be scot-free.
This was the usual for the Michaels’ home. Kira, the youngest sibling trying to make her escape, and her older brother Aidan doing everything in his power to keep his eyes on her; it had been this way almost since the moment her parents brought her home from the hospital two months after her birth. Born a month and a half premature, with a heart problem that kept her in and out of the hospital through much of her childhood, Kira had it a bit rough growing up. She couldn’t go outside and play with the other children, and when she did, her brother was always there, making sure she didn’t run too fast, or get overly excited. Once the doctors had finally given her a clean bill of health and her condition had improved, Aidan continued to watch her like a hawk, never letting her out of his sight for even a minute. “What if she gets sick again?” He would ask their parents whenever they would question his behavior. They had tried to convince him that she was perfectly fine, and he didn’t have to worry over her anymore, but Aidan ignored their words. Kira was his baby sister, and he was her protector, each played the role perfectly with the girl rarely putting up a fuss over her brother’s overprotective ways.
That was until the end of her junior year of high school, when Kira began to want something a bit more for herself rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching as her friends had fun without her. She wanted to go out, to spend a day at the beach without Aidan complaining that she was spending too much time out in the sun, or even worse, glaring at any male that happened to turn their head in her direction. She wanted to gossip with her friends, and listen to them talk about their boyfriends without her brother listening in. Most of all, she wanted to be able to visit with her best friend Will, without Aidan telling her that boys and girls simply couldn’t be friends; that one bothered her the most. She and Will had been friends for what felt like her entire life, the older boy never once making any attempts other than remaining her friend throughout the years. She trusted Will, knowing that their friendship created an almost platonic bond between them, and there was no way in the world he would ever see her as anything more than a friend.
Standing near the front door, Kira slid her flip-flops onto her feet, careful to remain as quiet as a mouse. All that was left was for her to sneak out the front door, get to her car and it would be smooth sailing from there. Her hand lifted settling gently on the door knob, her head cocked to the side listening for any clues that her brother would be ready to descend down on her. Seconds ticked away, without a sound creeping from upstairs other than the soft drone of her brother's music piercing through his doorway, reaching her ear in a muffled buzz. Without wasting another second, the girl threw open the front door and rushed outside, closing the door silently behind her. Flip-flop clacking quietly with each step, Kira made it to her car, not even bothering to look up to see if her brother was following behind her. Once she was situated in the driver's seat, she started the engine, cringing as it roared to life beneath the hood. She dared a glance at the house, almost expecting to find her brother standing at the front door with a look of concern on his face, but thankfully she found nothing. Throwing the car in drive, she eased away from the curb, letting the car drift into the street and past her neighbor's house before finally hitting the gas pedal.
Reaching the end of her street, Kira allowed herself to breathe easy, her back slouching against the driver's seat and shoulders slumping out of their previously tense position. Without the fear of being caught, she reached over to switch on the radio, letting the music distract her from her mild moment of panic. Following her usual route to Will's house, the girl drove almost automatically, having memorized the way to her best friend's house without needing to put too much thought behind it. The ride was brief, and before too long she was parking her car at the curb in front of his home, locking it up and making her way up the sidewalk. At the front door she frowned, her hands resting at her sides while she mentally debated whether to knock. She hadn't bothered calling to say she was coming over, and didn't even know if Will was home or not. Now the thought of surprising him caused her another brief moment of panic. She could handle herself if his parents opened the door, or even if Will himself did, but if his older brother happened to be the one to respond to her knock, Kira thought she'd probably melt into a puddle at the threshold. Sighing softly, she did what she could to encourage herself, giving a quick mental pep-talk before finally lifting a hand up to knock on the door. Folding her arms across her stomach, the redhead shifted her weight nervously from one foot to the other, waiting restlessly for someone to answer, a part of her dreading that she would be faced with Craig rather than will, but another small part of her secretly hoping that was the case.