“What’s your brother doing?” Gina pointed across the room.
There was Neil standing on one leg and twisting his body in a strange manner. Just like the bronze statue in front. All his classmates around him were having a good laugh. Even the other visitors in the room! I noticed a couple near the entrance in overcoats. I found that weird for such a warm April day. They were looking at Neil too, only they weren’t smiling.
Another burst of guffawing brought my attention back to Neil. Now he was on all fours imitating an animal. I rolled my eyes in exasperation. Only I had to get a goofball for a brother!
“Stop fooling,” I warned Neil, pulling him aside.
“What? I was just having fun!” He waved his hands quite dramatically.
“You’re embarrassing me. Behave some PLEASE!”
He stuck out his tongue, but my warning worked. I didn’t see much of him after. But when I still didn’t find him in the museum cafeteria, I got worried.
“Hey Danny, where’s Neil?” I asked his friend.
“Maybe the restroom.”
But something bugged me. What was taking Neil so long?
Gina and I began tracing our path. He sure didn’t reply from the restroom. Neither was he in the room of sculptures. Suddenly I spotted an Oreo at the door. Neil had had a box of Oreos.
I ran towards it when I noticed another one in the pathway and then another and yet another. Neil had been reading Hansel and Gretel it seemed. But why was he walking away from our group? We crossed the Natural History and even Civil war when I finally found the box. But where was Neil?
I was about to call him when all of a sudden I noticed his schoolbag. But instead of Neil it was on a woman’s back inside the room of paintings!
Hiding behind the door, I peered inside. The bag looked stuffed and heavy. There was a man standing really close to her. Their overcoat covered backs were towards me. I could see Neil in the glass-front of a painting. He was squeezed tightly in between. The room was empty otherwise.
I whispered to Gina to call the teachers.
Like all rooms, this one also had two exits. I had to ensure they didn’t walk out the other one. So I strolled in and started taking notes. I was zigzagging across the room, from one painting to another.
But, eventually the couple began pulling away. I had to stop them! And where was Gina? My palms became sweaty and slipped as I tried putting the Oreos back.
“Excuse me, is this yours?” I held out the box. That did it. The couple stopped.
“Yes,” Neil replied, sounding relieved.
But instead of Neil, the man strode across the room and snatched the box. His icy gaze froze me at the spot. I helplessly watched them walk out.
“Stop right there with hands in the air.”
Flashes of blue uniforms shone on both doors. Before I knew it Neil was back and the couple taken away.
The next few days I heard Neil repeat his story a thousand times. He had walked out to the water fountain and saw the couple sneak a sculpture. So they caught him and used his backpack to hide the item.
I only listened for the last part when my brother always declared, “Sheila is the best sis in the world!”