Part 1.4

"Wipe your feet, Aaron, and for goodness sake, don’t let that dog come in the house like that.  I have just cleaned!”
I rolled my eyes impishly, but did as I was told, George whining in protest as I shooed him outside. Mother had been baking again, so I helped myself to a large wedge of bread with cheese before going upstairs to get on with some schoolwork. I blew her a kiss as I left.
I heard her clattering around the kitchen, humming an old Suffolk tune she used to sing to me as a child.  The house felt empty again, with Father back to work on the boats, but that soon changed: I heard voices and laughter downstairs, followed soon by the sound of heavy feet on our stairs and the bursting into my room of a thin, freckle-faced young lad with a wild shock of black hair. Joe had arrived.
“Don’t you knock?”I protested, but he clapped me on the back and sat down with a sigh.
“I’m sooo bored, Aaron.  What are we going to do?”
“I am going to do my homework, Joe.”
Joe scrunched up his face in mock imitation. “I am going to do my homework, Joe… Seriously, Aaron.  It is beautiful outside and there are things to do.”
I sighed.  This was familiar ground for us, but I had a report to finish. 
“Just give me half an hour,  okay?”
He stood up and frowned at me, and then replied. “Okay, I’ll play with George for a bit.  At least he understands what fun is.”
I smiled as he strode off and clomped loudly down the stairs, making a juvenile point.

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