My mom called out to my twin brother who was still asleep. It was seven thirty in the morning and once again, my brother would be getting up, and rushing to get dressed, eat breakfast and go brush his teeth, hence making me late for school since I got a ride with him every morning.
“That’s just brilliant Mom! I’m going to be late to first period again and will probably get detention, thanks to slow poke Connor.”
My mom frowned and set down Connors bowl filled with warm oatmeal. “Connor! Breakfast is ready!”
My father came out of the bathroom with a frown on his face. “What’s with all the hollering Gina?” He asked my mom.
“It’s nothing Dad. She’s just trying to get your lazy son out of bed. I bet he was up painting or playing video games all night. That or looking at porn online.”
My dad flashed me an angry face. “Young lady, that’s a very crass thing to say.”
I shrugged and laughed. My parents were so uptight sometimes. “Chill out Dad. I was joking.”
“Well stop with the jokes Missy,” my mom warned. “Connor!” She yelled out again.
I was getting frustrated. I stood up and raced over to my brother’s room. I banged on the door like a mad person. “Get your ass up Connor!” I yelled.
I heard footsteps and I stepped back. Connor opened his door. His eyes were still half way closed and his jet black hair was pointing everywhere. “Dang Carrie, what the hell?”
“Didn’t you hear Mom calling you like a million times? Are you deaf or what?”
“Shut up!” Connor shot back and passed me up. He headed straight to the bathroom, where I knew he’d take another 10 minutes or so. I sighed and walked back to the kitchen. “See Mom, THAT’S the way to wake him up.”
My mom nodded. “That wasn’t nice Carrie.”
My dad was too busy drinking his coffee and reading the local paper to even notice. I sat back down and finished up my oatmeal and toast. Connor came to join us a few minutes later. He wore what he usually did which was a tee shirt of some type; usually it was something like Super Mario or The Ramones. I swear he had more tee shirts than anyone else around. Today he wore a David Bowie tee shirt and his usual baggy blue jeans and had put a cap on to hide his messed up hair, which was getting a bit too long. His blue eyes met my identical icy blue eyes.
“Thanks for the wake up call. Now, Mom and Dad don’t have to buy a rooster.” He said in a haughty tone.
I rolled my eyes and drank the rest of my orange juice. “Well, if you’d wake your ass up early, I wouldn’t have to make noise.”
He mumbled something and began eating his breakfast. My dad got up and said he had to hurry off to work and my mom began clearing the table. I sat there watching my twin brother eating.
“What?” He asked when he caught me staring.
“Hurry up and eat! You’re going to make me late…AGAIN.”
He shrugged. “That’s your fault for not getting your license. You’re the only eighteen year old that I know who can’t drive.”
“I can drive! I just need to retake the test, Stupid!”
He snorted. “You’re calling me Stupid? How many times will that be, that you’ve had to retake the test now Carrie?”
“Who many times have you had a date this year?” I snapped.
“Alright, you two! That’s enough! Jesus Christ, you do this every single morning! All you two do is fight! Can’t you have one morning where you actually get along?” My mom called out as she rinsed the dishes.
“Sorry Mom, but he was being a jerk.”
“A jerk?” Connor yelled.
“I said that’s ENOUGH!” My mom said, sternly.
We got quiet. I stood up to go brush my teeth and as I finished I noticed Connor was behind me waiting for his turn.
“Hurry up.” He said, impatiently.
“Oh? Now YOU’RE rushing me?”
“Shut up. Move it.” He pushed me aside.
I shoved him back. “Jerk.”
He laughed and went on to brush his teeth.
We drove to school fighting over which radio station to listen to, as we always do. Luckily the ride to school isn’t so long. It only takes 15 minutes to get there. Once we got to school, we hurried off our own separate ways. I went to meet up with my friends, who were not really popular, but then again, we weren’t hated. We were just fun.
I watched Connor go meet up with his buddies. They all wore rock band tee shirts. They wore baggy jeans and Vans shoes. They liked to sit outside during lunch and listen to classic rock, like The Doors or The Stones. No one really paid attention to them. No one, meaning females, girls.
I swear I had never seen Connor with a girl. He’d never had a girlfriend, unless you count the time we were in seventh grade and Kacie Yonder held his hand on a dare. Not that Connor was ugly, he was just…weird. He mumbled a lot and wore his hair too long, covering his eyes. He loved to draw and paint. That was something my dad wasn’t so proud of but let slide, since Connor did some pretty damn good paintings. I watched how he and his friends talked and noticed the pretty girls. I didn’t have a clue what kind of girls Connor was into. Was he even into girls? It always made me wonder.
“Hey! Guess what?”
My thoughts were interrupted by Jamie, one of my best friends. She was approaching me, along with my friend, Rachel and our other friend, Patti. “Oh God you’ll never guess!” she squealed.
I rolled my eyes and leaned on the stairs rail. “Jamie, just tell us. You know we hate it when you do this.”
“Yeah. I’m not in no guessing mood.” Rachel spat out. She had just been telling us that she and Ralph, her boyfriend had another fight. They fought more than any other couple I knew.
Jamie gulped. “Ok, since you are all in such sour moods, I got invited to a party this Saturday! Uh, not just ANY party, Lauren Goodwin’s party!”
We all did a double take. “Huh? Are you feeling ok?” Patti teased and pressed her hand on Jamie’s forehead, pretending to check her temperature.
Jamie frowned and pulled back. “What? You don’t believe me?”
I laughed. “Jamie, we believe you, but you know there’s got to be a reason why Lauren Goodwin would invite you to one of her most FABULOUS parties.”
Jamie looked dumbfound. “You don’t think she’d want something from me do you?”
We all laughed. “Uh yeah, duh!” Patti replied.
“What the hell could she want from me?” Jamie asked.
“Hmm…well…let’s see…you do have Jorge living with you, right?” I asked.
Jamie blinked. Jorge was from Costa Rica, a foreign exchange student that was staying with them for two weeks. He was really supposed to be staying with Jamie’s neighbors the Lamberts. Unfortunately, the Lamberts had a death in the family and had to fly out to Canada. Jamie’s parents, being sweet, offered to take in Jorge for the meantime. Jorge was tall, dark and handsome. He looked like a real suave type of guy, except he barely spoke English. When Jorge arrived on campus, every girl must have wanted to throw their panties at him. I myself had to admit he gave me a tingly feeling between my legs, but I didn’t find myself wanting to bone Jorge like the rest of the Senior girls.
Jamie nodded. “Yeah so what?
“Duh!” Rachel, Patti and I all said simultaneously.
Jamie looked upset. “Well, that figures. I knew it was too good to be true. She did mention for me to bring him.”
I put my arm around her and turned her around. We all began walking into the school. “Don’t be sad Jamie. Why would you want to go to Lauren Goodwin’s party anyway? She’s a total snob and likes to use people.”
Jamie shrugged. “I might still go. I’ll take Jorge. I’ve never been to a Lauren Goodwin party. It might be fun.”
I shook my head. “Ok Jamie. Whatever you say.”
During sixth period Bio, I found myself staring out the window. Lauren and her friends were all practicing their new cheers for the last football game of the season. So far, we were undefeated. Like I really cared.
She wore her long brown hair up in a ponytail. It was like the most perfect ponytail I’d seen. I wondered if she had a stylist who came to her house every morning to do her hair. It always seemed she wore her hair in many different and pretty styles.
She was smiling a bit too much. I wondered if Lauren Goodwin was ever unhappy. How could she be? She was rich, beautiful, popular and had her selection of any guy in the Senior Class. Her teeth were super white and straight. Her eyes were a soft green color and she was tall, at least 5’6″, which I read somewhere is considered the perfect height for a female. Not to mention her perfect size 4 body. Must be all that damn cheerleading.
I am a mere 5’4″, a size 6, with shoulder length dark hair parted in the middle, which everyone thinks I dye and pale blue eyes. My skin is pale and I have a few freckles. My friends always say I am pretty, but when I’ve seen girls like Lauren Goodwin, I’ve often questioned my own beauty.
After school was out, I waited for Connor by the music hall. He took guitar class as an elective. He came out with two of his friends, whose names I don’t even remember. One guy was tall and lanky, wearing a black tee shirt that said “I’m awake, isn’t that enough?” The other was chubby and short, with a goatee.
“Alright, see you all tomorrow!” Connor called out to his friends. They went their separate ways. He saw me and his smile faded.
“Oh, don’t look so happy to see me.” I mocked.
He rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Let’s just go.”
One the drive back home I didn’t feel like arguing with him. I let him put on the classic rock station he always liked to listen to. His eyes stared straight out into the road.
“So um…” I began trying to add some conversation to our silence. “Jamie said that Lauren Goodwin invited her to one of her most FABULOUS parties. Can you believe that?”
Connor scoffed. “Yeah, so? Jealous?”
I felt my face get hot. “Jealous? Why would I be jealous? Lauren is obviously using Jamie. It’s just because Jorge is staying with her family and Lauren wants Jamie to invite Jorge.”
He laughed. “You are jealous.”
“I’m not!” I snapped.
“Yeah, you are.”
He looked at me for a brief moment. “Why don’t you like Lauren Goodwin?”
I moaned. “Do I have to point it out to you? She’s a major snob! She uses people!”
Connor turned down the radio. “Has she ever used you?”
I frowned. “No.”
“Well then, how do you know she uses people?”
“Uh, hello! I live here! I’ve seen her do it.”
“Well, but she hasn’t done anything to you. Is that why you’re mad? Because Lauren hasn’t used YOU personally?”
I sighed. “What kind of moronic question is that?”
“I’m just saying that if she hasn’t used you, why do you have to hate her? Just let her be and you do your own thing. I swear girls hate each other so much, no wonder we don’t have a woman president. If a woman ran for president, half of the women in the country wouldn’t vote for her because that’s the way women are. They are mean to each other.”
I gasped. “But I-”
“And you don’t even know Lauren. What if she’s actually a nice person? Ever thought of that?” He cut me off.
I felt my anger rising. I was mad because, in a way, he DID have a point about girls hating other girls. Honestly, I was sort of jealous of Lauren. “I take it you’re one of the stupid boys drooling over her too, huh?” I shot back.
He laughed again. “Yeah so? She is hot.”
“You’re such an idiot. All guys are idiots. Just because some girl has looks, yet she’s a total bitch, you’d still get a boner.”
“Aw Carrie, stop hating.”
I slapped his arm. He laughed. That only pissed me off more. I reached over and changed the radio station to Country music, which I hated and I knew he hated more. I cranked it up loud.
“Hey!” he shouted and changed it back to classic rock. Jimmy Hendrix blasted through the speakers.
I changed it again and we began to fight, like we always do.
* * *
Saturday night came and Jamie called me with a voice full of panic. “Carrie! What do I wear? How should I fix my hair? Should I take anything to the party?”
I sighed. I turned down my Natalie Imbruglia CD and flopped down on my bed. “Calm down, will you?”
She groaned, “I know. I know. I’m just really nervous Carrie! Jorge is already dressed and waiting for me! I haven’t even put my clothes or make up on!”
“Jamie, take a deep breath, ok. Just relax.”
I heard her breathing softly. I wanted to laugh. “Ok now, it’s going to get chilly tonight, so wear some jeans. How about your Juicy Couture jeans you bought last month?”
“Oh and wear that pretty flowery top that you only wear when you go out with us. You know the long sleeve one.”
“Ok…” her voice was beginning to calm down.
“Put on your black boots and wear your hair down. Maybe, put some pretty barrettes to hold it back? You know the glittery ones we bought at Trade Secret?”
“Oh yeah…yeah…that sounds…. good.”
“Then just put on a little bit of blush, some mascara and some lip gloss. You know you were born with perfect skin, you don’t need all of that gunk on your face.”
She giggled. “Carrie, you are my bestest friend in the world.”
I had to smile. “And I love you too.”
“Thank you for everything! I got to get ready and I’ll call you tonight to let you know how the party was!”
“Cool. Call me whenever. I don’t have anything to do Saturday night. Sadly enough.”
“Aw, why don’t you call Tim Thomas?”
I winced when she mentioned Tim’s name. Tim Thomas was a guy I dated for about two seconds before he practically tried to rape me after our first date. He had his hands practically all over me! I had to almost fight him off me! I promised myself never to go out with him again.
“No thank you. Did you forget he has tentacles not arms?”
She laughed. “Well he’s the last guy you dated, so he’s the first one that came to mind.”
“Its ok sweetie, go have fun. Just keep an eye on Jorge. I’m sure his parents in Costa Rica wouldn’t want him to impregnate any American girl.”
She shrieked with laugher, “You’re so bad. Love ya!”
We hung up and I lay down on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. I knew Rachel was out with Ralph and Patti had been asked out by Jordan, a soccer player she’d been eyeing for some time now. Me? Well…I was going to stay home and watch movies. What else was there?
Then I thought about calling Ryan Gables up. Ryan was in my third period English Class. He was semi-cute and had a really nice smile. He talked to me a lot about the books he’s been reading and often suggested books for me to read. I turned out liking every single one he recommended.
I opened up my cell phone and searched for his name. I got his number once because he offered it to me, since we couldn’t talk much in class about books. I never did call him though. But tonight, I was lonely and kind of jealous that my friends all had plans without me.
I rang Ryan’s cell phone and he picked up within two rings.
“Yeah?” That was his way of answering.
“Ryan?” I asked. For some reason, I was nervous.
“Yeah? Who’s this?”
It didn’t occur to me that I never gave him my cell number; therefore he wouldn’t recognize my number. “It’s Carrie. Carrie Watson.”
His voice got deep, “Hey Carrie. I’m glad you called. What’s up?”
I began to pace my room. “Oh, not much. How are you?”
“I’m good. I was just going to watch a movie.”
He paused, “The Lost Boys.”
I smiled, “I love that movie.”
“Cool. What are you up to?”
“I was just…kind of bored. I mean…well…”
He laughed. “You want some company?”
I sighed, “Yes, please.”
“I don’t have much money….”
“It’s ok! I tell you what…. Why don’t you bring the movie and I’ve got some popcorn here and sodas. We also have frozen pizza that I can pop right in the oven for us afterwards.”
“Sounds great! What time can I come over?” he said a bit too eagerly.
I checked my clock. It was almost eight at night. “Eight thirty ok?”
We hung up and I stepped out of my blue jeans into some Aeropostale dark blue sweats and an Aeropostale top that went well with the sweat pants. What was the point of wearing blue jeans and a dressy top, when I was just going to stay home and watch some movies with a guy who I was cool with? I didn’t see Ryan as a boyfriend, but more of a good pal. I brushed my hair and wore it down, as I always did and put on some mascara and blush. I was going to put on lip-gloss, but figured it was just Ryan. There was no need to get my lips ready, since there would be no puckering up.
I headed to the living room a few minutes later. My parents had gone out to one of my father’s business dinners and I almost forgot about Connor. I figured he’d gone out with his friends, but I saw his car parked in the driveway. I went to knock on his door.
When he opened his door I saw he wasn’t dressed up to go out. He wore his flannel pajamas and no shirt. I smelled paint and knew he was busy working on another painting.
“What?” he asked, as if I were annoying him.
“A friend of mine is coming over and we’re going to watch a movie. Are you going out tonight?”
He shook his head. “Naw, I’m staying in. The guys are all out doing their own thing. I think one of them got invited to Lauren Goodwin’s party. Poor guy is being used right now.” He made a sad face only to taunt me.
He laughed, “Chill out Sis. So who’s coming over? Rachel or Patti?”
He blinked, “Who?”
“Ryan Gables. You know him, right?”
“Oh…yeah I know him.”
I waited for a minute or more for him to say something rude about Ryan. Every time I went out with a guy, Connor had something to complain about. But with Ryan, he seemed speechless. “Well…have fun, I guess.”
“He’s kind of quiet, no? I don’t think he’s your type.” Too late. He’d said something about Ryan. I figured it had to be too good to be true.
“How do you know what my type is?”
“Never mind. I won’t interrupt your date.”
“It’s not a date; he’s just coming over to watch a movie.”
“Yeah…ok.” Connor said. He closed the door and I heard him turn up his music. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I thought I saw some sadness in Connor’s eyes?
* * *
Ryan arrived a few minutes later. I had some popcorn popped and soda nice and cold for us. We put the movie on and watched in silence. It was nice to have some kind of company. Every now and then Ryan would laugh at a part or say “Oh, dang.”
After the movie, Ryan and I went to the kitchen and put a Tombstone pepperoni pizza in the oven. Connor hadn’t come out of his room all night . Ryan and I ate and talked about books and school and teachers. It wasn’t anything really deep, just a nice conversation.
There were two slices left of the pizza, so I figured I’d offer Connor some, once Ryan left.
“This was nice Carrie. I mean it was just relaxing to be here with you. I enjoyed it.” Ryan said, as we stood by my door to say our goodnights.
“Yeah, it was fun. We should do it again sometime. Maybe.”
He smiled and his hand touched my cheek. My heart fluttered a little. He leaned down and kissed my cheek. “For sure, we got to do this again. Call me sometime, ok?”
I nodded. He got into his car and I stayed outside until he left. Once I went back in, Connor was already in the kitchen. He was raiding the fridge.
“Hey, I left you some pizza if you want it.” I said, pointing to the pizza pan that was on top of the stove.
He looked, “That’s not going to be enough to hold me down. I’m freakin’ starving!”
He took out some turkey and cheese from the fridge and began to make himself the biggest sandwich I’d ever seen.
“Ok, if you don’t want the pizza-”
“I didn’t say I didn’t want it. I just said it’s not enough. I’m going to eat this sandwich AND the pizza.”
“Ugh. Isn’t that too much?” I said, disgusted.
“Not for me.”
I wondered how Connor managed to eat so much and stay so damn skinny. He and I were twins, so why wasn’t I born with his fast metabolism? Not that I was always dieting, but I found myself watching what I ate a lot of the time.
“So, how was your hot date?” he teased.
“Once again, it was NOT a date. And it went well, ok.”
He shrugged and began to put everything back in the fridge, once he’d built his sandwich. “I was just asking. Chill.”
I took a seat at the kitchen table to watch him eat. He ate the sandwich in no time and the pizza slices were gone within a few seconds. He washed it all down with orange Slice soda. He burped loud enough so the neighbors could hear him.
“Ew! Excuse you!” I said.
He rubbed his belly. He looked too satisfied. “That was good food.”
“I wish I knew how you stayed so skinny.”
He eyed me quietly. “Sometimes I wish I would gain weight. I’m just a scrawny guy.”
“You’re not totally puny you know. I think you look…alright.”
He smirked, “So do you. Don’t tell me you’re one of those girls obsessed with her weight.”
“Oh, not at all. I’m totally fine with my weight,” I lied.
“Good. Guys don’t like skinny girls.”
I laughed, “Yeah, right. Then why do you ogle Ms. Goodwin? She’s like super skinny.”
“Yeah, but she’s got some nice little curves.”
“You pig!” I threw a kitchen towel at him.
He laughed and I got up to leave. As I walked away I felt him looking at me. I had to smile. Connor could be a jerk sometimes, but I wouldn’t love him any other way.
* * *
“So…how was the oh so FABULOUS party?” I asked Jamie on Monday during lunch. She hadn’t called me all weekend, so I figured it must have gone pretty swell. “I tried calling you like a million times and all I got was your voicemail.”
She nodded slowly and ate her baby carrots. “The party was…ok. I mean when I pictured a Lauren Goodwin party, I pictured dancing and beautiful people, good food and a lot of mingling. Instead, there was nothing but drunken Seniors, hot guys that never even looked at me, and a lot of cliques. Jorge was very welcome though.” She rolled her eyes. “I was so bored that I began to drink. I drank a lot and before the party even ended, I was drunk as hell. I threw up twice and couldn’t find Jorge. I ended up passing out on Lauren’s couch and when I woke up, Lauren and one of Lauren’s friends, Carla, were looking at me. Lauren told Carla to drive me home, before I caused more trouble. Carla drove me home, but it was like five that morning! Jorge had gotten a ride from someone else. I got home and you can imagine just how pissed off my parents were. They called me irresponsible and a drunk. They grounded me and all day yesterday I had a massive headache. I can’t go out for the rest of the month!”
“Oh Sweetie, I’m sorry. What did Jorge say?”
She sneered, “Nothing. What COULD he say? He just smiled and charmed my parents. This was all on me, because I was the irresponsible one. Jorge was too busy charming the ladies at the party and being funny for Lauren. He was sort of their entertainment that night.”
I groaned and took a sip of her water. I looked around the lunchroom and spotted Lauren and her friends laughing and having a good time. Her friend, Carla was with Jorge and was constantly touching his hair and giggling at anything he said. Could she be any more obvious that she wanted to bang him?
“It’s ok, the month is almost over. Just two weeks. I promise, once you get un-grounded you and I can go do something.”
She agreed, sadly.
“Oh and you know what I did Saturday? I called up Ryan Gables. He came over and we watched a movie. It was…nice.”
Jamie smiled. “Ooh! So I see; Carrie has a new boyfriend?”
“No, no,” I protested, “He’s just…a friend.”
Jamie studied me. “Hmm, then why are you blushing right now as we speak?”
I giggled. “Jamie! I like him yes, but he’s just a friend. That’s all.”
“Then why does he keep looking over here?”
I turned to see where Jamie was looking and noticed Ryan. His eyes met mine and he waved. He was sitting with two of his friends. I waved back and turned around. I felt my face turning redder.
“Love is in the air!” Jamie teased.
“Shut up!” I laughed and looked slightly to my right where I saw Connor and his friends. My brother looked at me and then looked away.
* * *
The next day was almost like a dream, or nightmare I should say. When I woke up, Connor was already dressed and ready to go to school. Only he was wearing a red polo shirt, khaki slacks and dark brown sketcher boots. His hair was cut! I could actually see his eyes!
“Holy crap! Am I in the wrong house?” I said, as I entered the kitchen.
My mom giggled, “Doesn’t he look handsome?”
I didn’t know how to answer that.
“Um wow! Bro, what’s going on?” I asked. I slowly took at seat at the kitchen table.
My father was reading the paper and my mother was beaming at my brother’s new look.
“What’s going on is that your brother is in love.” My father said behind his newspaper.
I gasped, “In love? Oh my God!”
Connor happily ate his cereal.
“Oh, why are you surprised that he’s in love?” My mom asked me.
“Because I didn’t think he’d be CAPABLE of falling in love.”
Connor sighed and got up to leave his bowl in the sink. “Hurry up Sis. I don’t want to be late to school.” With that, he went to brush his teeth.
I took two or three spoonfuls of cereal and hurried to the bathroom. I needed to know what in the world was going on. I had never seen Connor act this way!
“So…who may I ask are you in love with?” I asked curiously. I reached over to get my toothbrush.
“My, my. Aren’t we nosy?” he said, with a mouthful of toothpaste.
“I’m just curious. I mean this girl must be the ONE; for you to have changed your appearance so much in the last twenty-four hours.”
I began brushing my teeth, while he rinsed. M He looked at himself in the mirror to make sure he was good to go. “Lauren Goodwin.”
I almost choked with the toothpaste in my mouth. I began to rinse my mouth and tried to avoid laughing. “Lauren Goodwin? Are you serious? You’re in LOVE with Lauren Goodwin?”
“I know you and your loser friends drool over her, but c’mon! To be in LOVE? She doesn’t even know you exist!”
He stood in front of me and crossed his arms. We were twins, but he was so much taller than me. “Oh, is that so? Then why did she ask me to paint her portrait?”
“Uh, because she probably heard that you paint. Duh!”
He smirked, “Yeah? And why did she ask me to go out with her this weekend?”
I swallowed. “Because she wants to charm you; that way she doesn’t have to pay for the portrait.”
“Oh, jealous are we?” he asked and turned to get some AXE body spray. “Do you mind? I have to spray this on.”
I rolled my eyes. “You think she’s going to fall in love with you, just because you use that cheap spray?”
He turned to grab my Enchanting Beauty Cream from the counter. “Hey! Give that to me!” I said; but he held it over his head.
“Enchanting Beauty, huh?” he mocked. Then he began to read the label. “Get more beautiful and radiant, by applying this cream two times a day.” He read it as if he were in a commercial. I grabbed it from him. He laughed, “I didn’t know they put miracles in a bottle.”
“Jerk!” I said and left the bathroom.
On the ride to school we argued again. I told him not to fall for Lauren’s tricks, but he’s a guy. Guys will do anything pretty girls tell them to do.
“What’s your problem anyway? I’m going out with Lauren because, for once, someone noticed me.”
I looked out the car window. “I’m sure a lot of girls notice you.”
He laughed, “Yeah right. So that’s why I’ve had so many dates, huh?”
I felt bad. “Look, I’m sorry I made fun of you.”
“I’m not doing this to get back at you, Carrie, if that’s what you think. Lauren is very nice and I think she might like me. I know I like her…A LOT.”
“Yeah, I bet,” I mumbled. I was glad we got to school fast.
By second period, the word was all over school that my brother and Lauren were an item. Everyone was shocked, including Rachel, Patti and Jamie. The nerd boys all cheered at Connors accomplishment and the jock boys looked embarrassed because Connor got what they never could.
Everyone was asking me questions, like, “Were Lauren and I best friends now.” Hell, I never even talked to Lauren! By lunchtime, I’d had enough. My best friends were not making it any easier either.
“Carrie! Oh my God! I can’t believe Lauren is going out with Connor!” Jamie exclaimed.
I drank my soda slowly trying not to listen to her.
“Yeah! I mean he looks even kind of hot now. I like his haircut,” Rachel added.
“I like the way he’s dressed today. I never really noticed how cute your brother is,” Patti put her two cents in.
I slammed down my soda can, making some of it splash on the table. My best friends gasped and got quiet. “Look, can’t you all see Lauren is just using Connor? She doesn’t like him. I know girls like her. They’re up to no good!”
Jamie shrugged, “Well…maybe. If that’s the case, at least your brother got some kind of celebrity status for a few days. That must be worth something, don’t you think?”
I couldn’t believe she’d said that! “Jamie! If a girl likes my brother, I want her to REALLY like him. Not just give him a high and then just forget about him.”
Rachel gave me a pity look, “I’m sorry, Carrie. You’re right. Your brother deserves more.”
I sighed, “No. I’m sorry. I looked up at my three best friends, who all had puzzled looks on their faces.
“We’re sorry too, Carrie.” Jamie reached out for my hand.
“It’s cool. I guess I just don’t want my brother to get hurt.” I looked over to where Lauren and her crew usually sat. The new addition was Connor. He was staring at Lauren with loving eyes.
* * *
I dreaded for Saturday to arrive. That would mean that Lauren was coming over so she and Connor could talk about her portrait and then go out. Besides, Connor wanted her to meet Mom and Dad. I waited in the living room along with Connor and my parents. We all waited for the little princess to arrive. My stomach was hurting already. Connor looked nice in his black slacks and white polo shirt.
“Why do I have to be here?” I pouted.
“Because I think you should talk to your future sister-in-law,” Connor joked.
My parents laughed. I didn’t.
“Oh Carrie. What’s so bad about this girl?” My mom asked.
“Where should I start?”
Connor shot me an angry look.
“She’s a snob and a half and she uses people, Mom!”
“What makes you think she’s using your brother? What if she really likes him?”
I turned to look at my mom and tried to talk some sense into her. “Mom, Lauren is like the most beautiful girl in school. She’s Ms. Everything. All the boys want her and the girls want to be like her. Why would someone like that be interested in Connor?” As soon as the words slipped out, it was too late.
“Gee, thanks Sis. Thanks for thinking so highly of me,” Connor said sadly and walked to the kitchen.
My mom raised a brow. “You better apologize to your brother young lady.”
I followed Connor into the kitchen where he stood with his back towards me . “Hey, I’m sorry Bro. I just…I just worry that’s all.”
He turned to flash me an evil glare. “Don’t worry about me.”
“Ok. I’m sorry. I hope you and Lauren have a good time tonight,” I lied.
He took a deep breath. “Thanks.”
He walked back into the living room with Mom and Dad. I lingered behind thinking things over. Maybe I was wrong about Lauren. What if she really did like my brother? True, she wanted a portrait of herself, but why would she ask him out? It’s not like she wouldn’t have the money to pay him. Knowing Connor, he’d probably do it for free. I decided to give Lauren a chance just for Connor’s sake.
Lauren arrived a little after seven. Connor went to greet her. She was wearing a tight cashmere baby blue sweater and dark blue jeans, with black boots. I saw my dads’ eyes widen, as he took in her beauty.
“Mom, Dad, this is Lauren Goodwin.”
“Well hello there Lauren,” my mom greeted her by shaking her hand.
“Hi Mrs. Watson. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Lauren said, politely.
“Hello young lady,” my dad said with a squeaky voice. I couldn’t believe a grown married man was getting a hard on for a Senior Girl. I was quite embarrassed, but wanted to laugh.
“Mr. Watson. Hi. Nice to meet you. You don’t even look like Connor’s father. I thought you were his older brother.”
That made my father blush. My mom was now looking like she was in a pissy mood.
“Oh and this is my sister-”
“Carrie! Oh, hey girl!” Lauren said in such a fake voice. “How are your classes going?”
I blinked. What in the hell was she talking about? She was talking to me like we’ve been friends forever.
“They’re going ok, I guess,” I answered surprisingly.
“Yeah, well mine are hectic! I got such a tough schedule! But hey, you should come and sit and have lunch with me and my friends sometime!”
I blinked again. Was she kidding me?
“Well, we’re going to be talking about her portrait that I’m doing for her, so if you guys don’t mind…a little privacy,” Connor announced.
We got the hint. My parents and I ambled in to the kitchen.
“Well, she seems like a really nice girl,” my dad blurted out.
My mom eyed him suspiciously, “I’m sure you think so, Honey.”
“What? She is sweet,” my father continued.
“Oh yeah. you sure look like Connor’s older brother, why with your balding gray hair. Oh yeah, you’d pass for his brother.”
My father groaned, “Gina, c’mon now. Don’t be jealous.”
“And I thought you said she was a snob and never talked to you,” my mom scolded me.
I rolled my eyes, “She is! She’s acting! Mom, she’s a big time FAKE. I mean c’mon, to tell Dad that he looks like Connor’s older brother…”
My dad frowned, “Hey! Let me have some compliments thrown to me, will you? I don’t get many of them.”
My mom put her arms around him. “Oh, don’t be such a baby.”
I tuned out my parents’ mini spat and peeked over to the living room. Connor and Lauren were busy talking. I wondered what they were talking about. Lauren laughed every now and then and gently touched Connor’s knee. I felt myself fuming and I couldn’t understand why. It was no longer because of Lauren’s pretense.
* * *
When Connor and Lauren left, I decided to call up Ryan. I needed to get out of the house fast! He picked me up and we went riding downtown. We talked about movies and books and yet, I still couldn’t stop thinking about Connor.
We parked near the beach and Ryan put on the radio. He had it on the classic rock station, the one Connor listened to. That only made things worse. I didn’t say anything, though. I just laid back and let Ryan talk.
“Jack Ketchum, now he writes pretty scary books! Did you ever read The Girl Next Door? I swear that one gave me nightmares. I watched the movie too and, oh man that was frightening!”
I looked up at the car’s ceiling, wondering what Connor and Lauren were doing. Were they already making out? Were they already in bed? It was too soon. Connor wouldn’t be that easy would he?
Ryan snapped me out of my thoughts. I looked over at him and smiled. “Yeah. Sorry. I was just…thinking.”
He turned down the station some, making Mick Jagger sound really faint. “You sure you’re ok? You seem a bit distant tonight. I just asked you if you’ve read any of Jack Ketchum’s novels.”
I sighed, “Oh. Um, yeah. I read Off Season. I think that was the name of it.”
He seemed delighted. “Now, THAT is a freaky one!”
I nodded and was going to go back to my thoughts, when I felt Ryan move closer to me. I felt nervous. I didn’t want to turn and look at him, because I knew his face would be too close.
“Carrie,” he whispered.
I gulped, “Yeah.”
“Carrie, look at me,” he urged.
I slowly turned to face him and sure enough, he was very close to me. I wanted to kiss Ryan, but I was still sad because of Connor. Damn Connor! So what if he was kissing Lauren right now? So what if he was even having sex with her? Who cares! He’s my brother not my boyfriend! Who really cares?
I inched closer to Ryan and our lips met. I’d only kissed two guys before Ryan. Every single kiss is different. Ryan parted his lips too fast. His tongue was desperately searching for mine. He didn’t waste any time.
We began kissing hardcore. It was feeling pretty good, until images of Connor came to me. His blue eyes identical to mine, his sweet smile and his gentle way of talking….I grabbed Ryan and pulled him towards me. I heard him gasp. I kissed him harder. My tongue was so deep inside his mouth. I felt him moving his hands up my shirt. I should have stopped him, but I couldn’t. I wanted him…well not really him. I wanted Connor! Oh God! What in the world? Why would I want Connor? He’s my sloppy brother. He’s my twin. He’s my own flesh and blood! What’s wrong with me?
I pushed Ryan away. He was breathing hard and so was I. “I’m sorry. I can’t do this,” I apologized and looked away. I felt so embarrassed. I felt dirty and yet, I was still turned on.
“Carrie? You ok? I’m sorry if I came on too strong.”
I nodded. I wanted to cry. I wasn’t jealous of Lauren because she was popular or beautiful. I was jealous, because she was out with the love of my life!
“It’s ok. Can you just take me home? I’m sorry.”
He didn’t say anything else. He cranked up the radio and drove me home. Once we pulled up to my driveway, he turned off the car. I felt him reach over and touch my hair. “You sure you’re ok?”
I was holding back the tears, “Yeah. I’ll call you…sometime.”
I got out of the car, filled with guilt. I hadn’t meant to use Ryan. I just wanted someone to kiss me and touch me for a moment. What the hell was wrong with me?
* * *
The next day, Connor was up early. He usually slept in Sunday mornings, but not that morning. He was whistling some Led Zeppelin song, while he poured himself some orange juice. Mom and Dad had gone to church that morning.
“Good morning, my dear sister,” he said, as soon as he saw me.
I groaned and walked past him. I went to get me a glass and poured myself some orange juice. He stood next to me. I could feel his eyes on me. I felt my heart race.
“Aren’t you going to ask me just how awful Lauren Goodwin was?”
I shrugged, “I really don’t care Connor.” I started getting ready to make some toast.
He stood behind me, “What’s wrong? Why are you mad?”
I sighed, “I’m not mad. I just don’t really want to hear about your date, ok?”
He put his hand on my shoulder and I almost jumped. It felt like he was sending shock waves all through me with that single touch. “You sure? I mean, I know we aren’t the best of friends, but if something is really bothering you, I’m here for you, Sis.”
I turned to face him. Gazing into my sweet brothers’ identical eyes, I wanted to reach up and kiss him, but then again, I didn’t have enough courage to do that. “Ok, you can tell me about your dream date.” I didn’t want to hear it, but then again, I didn’t want Connor to think something was wrong with me. I didn’t want him to guess that his own sister was secretly, desperately, in love with him.
He smiled. I melted. “Well….it was nice. We went to dinner. She wanted to go to some fancy place, but I told her I was cool with Burger King.”
I laughed, “You didn’t?”
He nodded, “Yup, I did. She was kind of shocked by that. So anyway, we went to Burger King and after that we went to the bowling alley, because some of her friends were going to be there. Her friends are alright I guess. I didn’t get to talk much. She was telling them how I was going to paint her portrait and they were all impressed. Two of her friends asked me if I could paint them, after I was done with Lauren’s painting. I said that was cool, but I’d have to charge them.”
“What did they say to that?” I asked curiously.
“They were ok with that. So…see…Lauren is helping my future career. Can she be anymore perfect?”
I felt my smile suddenly vanish. I turned to put the bread into the toaster. “Yeah…that’s Lauren Goodwin. Ms. Perfect. Ms. Beautiful. Ms. Everything.”
Connor groaned, “C’mon Sis. Be happy for me, for once. Now, I finally got a date. I thought you’d be thrilled. I think you’re mad, because you can’t tease me about not dating anyone anymore.” He playfully pulled my hair.
I found myself unable to smile. I turned to face him again. He looked really happy. I guess I should have been happy, but I wasn’t and I knew the sick reason why.
* * *
Patti, Rachel and I decided to have a girl fest later on that day. We were all at Patti’s house gossiping about people, and of course, Connor and Lauren came up. They were dying to know how their date had gone. I gave them the Cliff’s Notes version and quickly changed the subject.
We wanted to watch a movie, but didn’t know what. We just knew it had to be a chick flick. Rachel and Patti hardly got to see any of those, because they both had boyfriends now.
Patti was calling out her movies, “My Best Friends Wedding; Bridget Jones’ Diary; Bride Wars; Reality Bites; Say Anything; and Return To Blue Lagoon-”
“Yes!” I shrieked.
Rachel almost messed up her nail polish when I yelled. “Ok, ok, calm down,” she said, laughing.
I felt my heart pounding. “Sorry. I just really like that movie.”
Patti frowned, “Um, ok…I guess. What do you say, Rache?”
Rachel shrugged, “Sure, why not? Brian Krause is kinda hot in that movie.”
Patti went ahead and popped in the DVD. We all sat back on Patti’s bed and watched Return To The Blue Lagoon, which was clearly about incest. It was extremely sexy and intriguing. I had never really liked this movie, but considering the emotions I was going through, it was the perfect movie to let my mind wander and imagine myself and Connor, stranded on an island. The thought of it made my toes want to curl! I found myself smiling a little too much during the movie.
* * *
When Rachel dropped me off at home, I saw Lauren’s red BMW parked in our driveway. I cursed silently.
“Uh, oh. Looks like Ms. Perfect is here,” Rachel teased.
“What’s she doing here?” I asked, out loud.
Rachel giggled, “I bet she’s up to no good, like you say.”
“Yeah, I bet.”
I thanked Rachel for the ride and got out of her car. I didn’t really want to go inside, but where else could I go? When I walked in I saw Mom, Dad, Connor and Lauren all gathered around the living room. Lauren was sitting pretty on a stool, while Mom and Dad watched, as Connor did his magic. He was painting Lauren. His eyes looked up, when I closed the door. My folks turned around and Lauren stayed still.
“Hey, Honey. You should come and look at your brother in action!” Dad announced, proudly. I could tell he was enjoying having Lauren in his living room. “Hey, Girl!” Lauren said, in a major fake friendly voice, but couldn’t turn around, since Connor had to have her sit still.
I walked in slowly and stood behind my parents. Connor looked like he was concentrating really hard on Lauren. He was about halfway done with her portrait. I must admit, he was doing a hell of a job. The portrait almost looked like a photograph, instead of a painting. Lauren looked pretty, wearing a spaghetti strap blue and white maxi dress, and her hair was pinned up with curls spilling everywhere. Her make up was flawless. I hated her even more.
“Your brother sure is talented,” Mom beamed.
I silently agreed. Connor did a few more touch ups and stopped. He put his paintbrush down and took off his Kangol hat. “Phew, almost done. Let’s take a break huh?”
Lauren budged a bit and slowly got off the stool. She walked over to the half painted portrait and smiled. “Connor! This is so rad! I mean, gosh!” Lauren shrieked.
Connor blushed, “Thanks. We should be done by tonight. I just needed a break. You want something to drink?”
“Yeah sure. Water would be great!” Lauren replied, never taking her eyes off the painting.
Mom and Dad gathered around the painting too. Dad was only too eager to stand next to Lauren. Connor walked past me giving me a “I told you she was into me” look. My heart was breaking.
I went to join my folks and arrogant Lauren. “Looks great.” I said, dryly.
“I know, right Girl? Your brother is so awesome! He’s so sweet to do this for me.”
If she called me “Girl” one more time, I’d punch out her oh so perfect teeth. Connor came over with a bottle of water for her and a soda for him. He stood back and admired his own art.
“Not bad. It’s my first portrait actually. I always wanted to draw my baby sis here, but she and I were always too busy fighting.” Connor looked over at me.
He called me Baby Sis, just because he was born four minutes and fifteen seconds before me. Had I known that Connor wanted to draw me, I would have let him. Or would I? Things had just gotten so confusing, since Lauren came around. Damn her!
“I think you should do a lot more. You are brilliant! I guess you get that from your father huh?” Lauren was starting the whole flirting bit with father and son again. My mom shot me a look of disgust and I laughed, quietly.
I went to my room to get away from Connor and Lauren. I wanted to just be in my own, incest filled, fantasy world. How could I have never known how hot I was for my brother? I had always made fun of him for not dating and now that some girl was interested in him, I was pissed off. What the hell was wrong with me?
* * *
Connor finished the portrait that night, but had to do some small retouches on his own. He promised Lauren that he’d have her portrait ready to go by Wednesday afternoon. The thing that really irked me was that Lauren’s portrait was in the living room. Every time I came home, there was Ms. Perfect staring at me. Ugh!
“Why can’t you put your little girlfriends’ portrait in your room?” I asked Connor Monday after school. We’d just gotten home and Connor was ready to work on retouching the painting.
“Carrie, what’s your problem? I need it to be out here, because my room is small. Unless of course, you want it in YOUR room.”
I pushed him out of my way. “No thanks. Just hurry up and finish it.” I rushed to the kitchen to get me some water. Connor followed me.
“You know. Lauren and I are going out again Wednesday night. She’s coming over to pick up her painting and then I’m going to ask her to dinner.”
I took a big gulp of water. My heart was shattering more each minute. “Good for you. As long as her face isn’t the first thing I see when I walk in this house, that’s fine with me.” With that, I walked away. I went into my room and turned on my stereo. I cried for a while. I was crying because of my own forbidden heartbreak. I was sick; sick in the head. How could I keep behaving this way? Would Connor catch on and call me disgusting? Probably. The thought made me cry even more.
* * *
Wednesday evening, my mother MADE me sit in the living room with her, Dad and Connor. We waited for Ms. Perfect to arrive. Connor was going to show us his finished product. He sat on the couch across from me, looking quite nervous.
He stood up a few times and paced the room. I wanted to get the hell out of there quick. I didn’t care about Lauren. And I sure as hell didn’t want to see Lauren hugging and kissing Connor once she saw her portrait.
Dad was smiling ear to ear and Mom looked uneasy. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and we all knew Lauren had arrived. Connor took a deep breath and went over to greet her.
She came in, wearing a short blue jean skirt, knee high boots and a black wool sweater. Her hair was braided and her make up looked flawless, like always. Bitch.
“Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Hey, Carrie!” she said cheerfully as she walked in. Mom hesitantly greeted her and Dad got up to shake her hand. I just gave her a weak wave.
“You ready to see it?” Connor asked, timidly.
“Yes!” She yelped.
Connor walked over to the canvas and uncovered it. My jaw dropped. The portrait was absolutely amazing! It looked so real and looked like something a professional would have done. My mom and dad smiled proudly.
“Oh my God!” Lauren gasped, “It’s…it’s…oh wow!” She threw her arms around Connor and I just looked down. I stared at the hardwood floor, until I knew she’d unlocked herself from my brother.
“Connor! Thank you! Thank you!” She was glowing.
Connor’s handsome face was turning redder by the minute. He was enjoying watching Lauren admire the portrait.
“I’m glad you like it, Lauren,” he said sweetly.
“Like it? I love it! You are a genius!” Lauren hugged Connor once again, almost making me gag.
“Connor, it’s beautiful,” my mom said.
“Very lovely portrait of a lovely young lady,” Dad said, in a flirty voice. Mom nudged him.
“It’s a real work of art, Bro.” I added.
“Well, we’re going to leave you two alone now.” Mom began, “I got to get started on dinner.”
She got up and my dad hesitated for a minute, but reluctantly followed my mom to the kitchen. I was getting up, when I heard Connor ask Lauren out.
“So…I was thinking…do you want to go have dinner in a bit? Kind of a portrait celebration?” He was really nervous.
She grabbed his hand and squeezed it. “Connor, that’s sweet, but I can’t. I got to get home and start wrapping this portrait up. I’ll bet Greg is going to love it!”
I gasped and Connor let go of Lauren’s hand. “Greg?” he asked.
She nodded happily, “Yeah. Greg. My college boyfriend. We met on the internet.”
I wanted nothing more than to go slap Lauren Goodwin. How dare she! I knew it! I knew it!
“You’ve got a boyfriend and you didn’t tell my brother?” I asked, angrily!
Connor quickly came between us. He knew I had a short fuse. “It’s cool Carrie. I didn’t know she had a boyfriend, ok.”
“She could have said that the portrait was for her man, instead of leading you on!”
Lauren began to look edgy. She grabbed her portrait and held it against her. “I think I should be going now. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, Connor.”
“Yeah, whatever! Get out and never come back! You hear!” I yelled.
My folks came out from the kitchen. “What’s going on?” My father asked.
“Oh nothing, Dad. Just Lauren Goodwin breaking your son’s heart!” I blurted out.
Connor sighed, “Dad, it’s ok. Carrie, you need to calm down.”
“Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Watson,” Lauren said quietly and began to walk away. She turned, before she got to the door, “Thanks again, Connor.” Then she left.
We all stayed silent for a minute. “Carrie, where are your manners? You were very rude to Lauren!” Dad scolded me.
I flopped down on the couch and pouted.
“Dad, it’s ok. Look the portrait is done and Lauren and I are done. I was happy to do this for her. I figured she and I might have something going on, but I guess I was wrong,” Connor said, sadly.
“Are you going to be ok?” Mom asked him.
He nodded. He began to gather his art supplies and folded his easel. “Well, it’s been an interesting evening. I’m going to go chill in my room.” He was quietly walking away.
“Don’t you want dinner?” Mom called out.
“Nah. I’m ok. Thanks.”
He went to his room and shut the door. He never came out of his room for the rest of the night.
* * *
The next day when Connor drove me to school, he was quiet. I didn’t know what to say. I only wanted to hold him and tell him that I loved him and that Lauren was stupid for doing that to him.
“Go on and say it, Carrie,” Connor said, out of the blue.
I looked over at him, “What?”
He flashed me an angry look, “Go on and say, ‘I told you so.'; I know you’re dying to tell me.”
I felt like crying. “No. I mean, yes, I warned you, but-”
“I knew it. Ok, so you were right and I was the idiot. Go on.”
I pursed my lips for a second. “Connor that’s not true. You didn’t know. You were giving her the benefit of the doubt.”
He scoffed. “Yeah, that figures. I was crazy to think that Lauren Goodwin would like me. I was crazy to think that ANY girl would like me.”
I stared at him and saw his eyes water. He took a deep breath, fighting his tears.
“Connor, don’t say that. Lauren uses everyone in her life. I was hoping that maybe with you it would be different. I wanted you to be happy,” I was lying…in a way.
“Yeah, well…I’ll be out of high school soon and going to college, where maybe I can meet mature girls. I’m tired of all these damn games.”
I reached over and put my hand over his, “Not all girls play games, Connor.”
He looked over at me, and then looked down to see my hand placed over his. We were silent for a moment and I quickly took my hand off of his. I felt my legs shaking and my breath go short. He got quiet and remained like that all the way to school.
* * *
“Hey Carrie!” Jamie said breathlessly as she caught up to me on my way to first period. “I heard about Lauren and Connor. I’m sorry. That bitch!”
I shrugged, “It’s ok. I just feel bad for Connor. He really liked her.”
“Yeah, I know, but hey, he could do better. Tell your bro I’ll go out with him.” She smiled and I cringed. No offense to Jamie, but I didn’t want Connor to go out with her or ANYONE. I was quite selfish.
“He just got heartbroken Jamie. Give him time.” I really wanted to tell her to just forget it; no way; no day!
By lunchtime, the word was all over school. Lauren wasn’t hated though. They all just made Connor look bad; by saying he’s such a sappy guy, who falls in love too easily.
* * *
Friday, Connor didn’t go to school. Dad took me to school, even though I didn’t really want to go. Connor didn’t eat dinner with us again and he’d told Mom and Dad that he was sick. Mom knew he wasn’t, but “believed” him because she knew he was sad.
I couldn’t concentrate on school. Every time I tried to listen to a lecture, I’d get back to thinking about Connor. I was hoping he was ok. I was hoping he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. I was hoping he’d want me to be home with him.
By third period, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to cut class and caught the city bus, home. It was cold that late morning. I knew I’d have to walk at least half a mile from where the bus dropped me off.
I wrapped my scarf around my neck and put my gloves on before getting off the bus. The sky was dark and it looked more like early evening time, instead of early morning. I walked for what seemed to be forever . When I finally got home, I saw Connor’s car was gone. I cursed.
I went in the house anyway and embraced the warm air that hit me when I walked in. I hung my coat and scarf up and took off my gloves. I went to my room, kicked my boots off and took my sweater off, leaving me in a light long sleeve tee shirt and my jeans.
Just then, I heard Connor’s car pull up the driveway. I went to the living room and he almost jumped when he saw me, as he opened the door.
“What the hell? Damn Carrie, you scared me!” He put his hand on his heart, as if he were having a heart attack.
“Sorry. I was worried about you, so I cut class.”
He took off his coat and hung it up on the coat rack and locked up the door. “You should really get back to school. You can chill here for a bit, but then I’m driving you back.”
I shook my head. “No way. I’m worried about you.”
He laughed. “Worried?”
“Yeah. Where did you just come from?”
“I just went for a drive. Had some things to think over that’s all. But I’m cool. No need to worry about me, Sis.”
He walked past me and went into the kitchen. I trailed him a few seconds later. “You want some cocoa? It’s so cold out there! I swear my hands feel frozen.”
“Yeah, sure. But, are you really ok? I mean you can tell me.” I moved to stand closer to him.
He smirked, “Honestly, at first, I wasn’t ok. I mean, yesterday everyone treated me like a leper. So, I didn’t want to go to school today. After everyone left, I got up, ate some warm oatmeal and decided to go take a ride. After an hour of driving around and listening to some classic rock, I felt a lot better. I mean, so what if Lauren didn’t really like me? I was the one thinking she did. She never flat out told me that she was interested in me.”
“Yeah, but she did kind of lead you on. I mean, she was even flirting with Dad!”
He laughed, “Yeah, but that’s just the way she is, I guess. Some people like to flirt. She’s good at it.”
I winced, “So, you’re over her?”
He was warming up two cups of water in the microwave. “I guess I am. I mean, I’m still sort of hurt, but I’ll get over it. I always get over things like that.”
I gulped. “What do you mean; you always get over things like that?”
He looked at me. His pale blue eyes were filled with loneliness. “It’s not the first time a girl has pretended she likes me, you know? That’s why I said I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. I want to meet a girl that will be real with me. Someone who likes me, for me. I mean, c’mon, I even cut my hair for Lauren and began to wear those dreadful polo shirts. That wasn’t me. I just wanted to impress her, I guess.” He looked down.
“I think you’re great, Bro. I don’t think you have to impress anyone.”
He looked at me for a moment. “If only you weren’t my sister….” His voice trailed off.
I inched closer to him. “Yeah? If I wasn’t your sister, then what?”
He licked his lips, “Well you know, if you think I’m boyfriend material…you know. I mean, I don’t think you’d give me a chance, if we weren’t related,” he laughed nervously.
I moved even closer. I wanted to tell him that I’d give him a chance right then and there. Even though, we were related. Even though, we were born together. Even though, he was my brother; my flesh and blood. Instead, I reached up and placed my lips on his.
The microwave beeped, indicating the hot water was ready. Connor didn’t move. He kept his lips pressed against mine. I didn’t know if he’d ever kissed any other girls, before me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and felt his hands on my waist. I parted my lips slightly, waiting for his reaction. He kept his lips tightened, as if he was afraid to accept my tongue in his mouth.
I pulled away slowly, just to check if it was forgivable to continue kissing him. I looked into his eyes. I smiled up at him and touched his face. “You want me to kiss you again? I can stop…if you want.”
He was breathing fast. He pulled me closer to him. He leaned down and put his lips on mine. I parted my lips for the second time and this time, he copied my move. His lips parted, making our kiss slightly more wet and intense. My heart was racing and suddenly, I didn’t need the cocoa to warm me up.
Connor put his arms around my waist, holding me tight. We continued to kiss softly and slowly. I dared to let my tongue slide into his mouth. I felt him tense up, as I did that. He welcomed my tongue in his mouth and pressed his against mine. Finally our tongues were entwined and our bodies were pressed together. I didn’t know where all of this would lead and at that moment, I didn’t care.
Our kiss got more powerful. My mind was spinning and I felt as if I were losing my breath. He pulled back and gasped. “Carrie,” he whispered my name like he had never done before. “I love you. I love you.” He buried his face in my hair and held me. I held him back and leaned against his chest.
“I love you, Connor,” I murmured.
He broke our embrace and looked into my eyes. “I can’t believe we just kissed.”
I smiled up at him and touched his face. “Neither can I, but I really liked it.”
“Me too. I’m just…I don’t know. It feels weird and wrong but then it’s kind of…sexy.”
“I want to kiss you more,” I said boldly.
He leaned down to give me a deep and wet kiss. I gasped when he broke our kiss. “This feels like a fantasy.”
I began to kiss his neck. I could smell his AXE spray on him. “Do brothers fantasize about their sisters?”
He ran his hands up and down my back. “Yeah, they do. All the time.”
I started kissing on his neck. “Did you ever fantasize about me?”
“Only about three or four times…. a day.”
I felt my knees buckle. “Mmmm! Now I’m really turned on!”
He cupped my chin and kissed me again. We started making out hardcore, right there in the kitchen where we used to fight like every other brother and sister does. I was leaning against the kitchen counter kissing my brother passionately, when I heard the front door close.
Connor and I quickly disengaged our kiss and stood in the kitchen, waiting to see who had interrupted our sweet incestuous make out session. It was Mom, walking in. When she saw us, her eyes widened.
“Carrie? What are you doing home from school?”
Oh, not much Mom, just making out with my brother. How was your day? I gulped. “Um, I was just-”
“She was worried about me Mom,” Connor cut in. “She came to check up on me that’s all. It’s so cold outside; I was making us some cocoa.”
She threw her keys on the table. “Cocoa sounds great. Can you make me some too, Sweetie?” she asked Connor.
Connor went to fix Mom up some cocoa. I was still trembling because of what had happened earlier. I knew Connor was nervous too, because he dropped the cocoa mug and broke it.
* * *
Later that night, Mom and Dad decided to go to the movies. Connor and I were left at home all alone. I was nervous though. I didn’t come out of my room and go throw myself at my brother. I was scared that maybe he he’d had some time to rethink our kiss. Maybe now he was grossed out, or maybe he regretted it.
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to call up one of my friends, but how in the world do you ask advice on what to do, if you’re in love with your brother? I began to pace my room, the moment I heard Mom and Dad leave.
I really wanted to go out there and kiss Connor again. Actually, I wanted to do more than kissing, but I didn’t want to make it that obvious. About fifteen minutes passed, when I heard a knock at my door. No one else was home. My heart almost jumped out of my chest!
I opened the door and found Connor standing there, looking hotter than ever. I almost threw my arms around him, but I stopped myself. I wasn’t sure if he was going to tell me that what happened earlier was all just a mistake, or if he had come back for more.
“Hey.” He said quietly.
“What are you doing? I-I mean, are you busy?” he stuttered.
“No. You want to come in?”
He nodded and entered my room. I closed the door and locked it, just in case.
“So…”I began, “Mom and Dad went out and um…well. did you want to hang out?” I’m sure that sounded stupid.
He smiled and walked closer to me. “Carrie, do you think we should talk about what happened this morning?”
I sighed, “I suppose we should. I mean, if you regret it-”
“Regret it? Are you kidding me?” he chimed in. “Carrie, I could never regret kissing you.” He put his arms around me and pulled me close to him. I felt myself begin to shake again.
“So, what now?” I asked, anxiously. I wanted to know, where did we go from there? Would we just kiss every now and then and continue to live as brother and sister? Did he want me to be his girlfriend? Could I even be his girlfriend?
“I don’t know. I guess we can just take it slowly and see what happens. What do you want to happen between us?” His warm breath brushed my face.
“I want us to be more than brother and sister, but in reality, that is impossible.”
He frowned. “Yeah, I suppose.”
“Connor, I know we got to be real. We can’t be lovers. Ok, maybe we can, but it can’t last forever. We can’t keep it a secret. Mom and Dad will suspect when you and I are well into our forties and haven’t married yet.”
“I’m sure they will. Especially, since Dad expects me to carry on the family name by having children.”
“We could do that, you know,” I giggled. “We could REALLY keep it in the family.”
He held me tighter. “I bet we could.” He started to kiss me again. This time he didn’t wait too long before his tongue searched for mine. I moaned into his kiss. I got that tingly feeling between my legs once again. As I pressed myself closer to him, I could tell he had en erection. That only made my tingly feeling more intense.
“Connor,” I said in between kisses, “I want you. Even if we never can be together, I want you at least for tonight. I want you.”
He placed his hands on my face and looked deep into my eyes. “Are you sure you want to do this? Because once we start, I can’t stop. I’m serious.” His voice was husky and his breathing was hard.
“I wouldn’t want you to stop,” I said, in a soft voice.
“And I don’t know about never being together. I’m sure, after tonight, I’ll be addicted to you.”
I began to pull up his tee shirt. “I’m already addicted.”
Even though I had never had sex, Connor was making me very curious about sex. I lifted his tee shirt more and he raised his arms. I pulled it up, until finally I got it off. I began to kiss his neck, softly and slowly. He started tugging on my sweater. I pulled back and let him remove it. I stood with my bra and jeans on. His hands moved down from my face, to my neck, to my breasts. He got down on his knees, kissed my belly and began undoing my jeans. I felt him pull my jeans down.