The boys had one bedroom and the girls had another. The boys were more than happy to take the one in the middle, because it didn't have so many windows.

It was like a secret cave.

Years later when Billy went off to college, Tim had the place all to himself. He'd looked forward to having the room to himself for a long time, and it was great.

Not as great as he'd thought, though. Mom still kept Billy's shelf stocked with all his stuff, like he was coming home some day to stay.

He came back for Thanksgiving and Christmas! And that first summer too, but he was always working or out with friends. He never came back to stay after that.

One day when Tim got home from practice he noticed the cord hanging from the ceiling in the hallway, and remembered that there was, like, a secret staircase that went up to the attic. Stuff went up there - Dad went up with a box while Mom fretted about him falling, he remembered that.

The cord was swinging back and forth. Someone had just been up there. He wondered why they never made a secret cave upstairs, but figured Mom and Dad would have said no.

He went to the room and was surprised: he got Billy's shelves for his stuff.