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Sleeping Children

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Daniel usually slept like a log. But tonight, he couldn't sleep.

He opened his eyes and looked at his younger siblings, who were both deep in slumber. He smiled a little at their positions. Dondon, who was squeezed tightly between him and their sister Diana, had one leg thrown over Daniel's thigh. Diana's arm, which was draped over Dondon, reached far enough to touch Daniel's arm. Daniel himself had one arm embracing both of his siblings.

He thought about Princess, the one girl who could make him forget everything. Everything, including his responsibilities as an older brother. Why had he been so stupid? He liked Princess; heck, he was probably already falling in love with her. But he loved his siblings, and his mother had trusted him to take care of them. It hurt to think about how he could have protected them from harm, but instead allowed himself to be distracted.

Dondon mumbled something in his sleep.

Daniel looked over his brother carefully for any signs of a nightmare, but it seemed that the little boy was fine. He ruffled Dondon's hair.

"I'm sorry for letting you down so many times," Daniel whispered. "But from now on, I'll try to be a better brother. I can't promise that I won't make mistakes. But I'll try to listen next time when you tell me I'm wrong. I love you both so much, and I'll do my best to take care of you."

He closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep almost right away.

Diana cracked one eye open. "We love you, too, Kuya Daniel." Then she smiled and went back to sleep.