Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Oh Brother Episode 25-27

“Hey, Autumn,” Christian said as we waited in my mom’s car. “I have to go somewhere after school so I don’t think I can bus home with you. Is that okay?”
“Yeah,” I replied honestly. “It’s fine.”
The both of us pretended the dance never happened. Neither of us brought it up or acted differently around each other. We had completely erased our slow dance from our memories, in hopes of keeping things normal between us. Oddly, I wasn’t sure if I was happy about that.
My mom soon came to the car, looking slightly annoyed. Christian’s car had broken down yesterday randomly, so here we were having to be driven by her. The last person I wanted to see, and apparently the last person she wanted to see.
She quickly went into the driver’s seat and ignited the engine. Before I knew it we were on our way to school. Silence was surrounding us as she drove. An awkward one, because my mom and I hadn’t spoken at all since the moment Christian told her off. Even though he had told her off, she seemed angry at me. I didn’t get it, but I tried not to care.
A minute into the ride, my mom asked, “Christian, how’s school?”
“Good,” Christian replied. “It’s a lot of work though, but that makes sense since it’s my last year.”
I watched my mom smile through the mirror. “You’re a smart boy. You’ll do good.”
I rolled my eyes, annoyed with her love for Christian. After that day, even he wasn’t as talkative with her either. It seemed like he was also mad at her, which was both surprising and touching to me. But despite his short, yet polite replies to her, my mom always looked at him as if he was some sort of prince. When it came to him, I knew with a sad heart, that she would always love him.
I sighed and stared out the window at the sad truth, not wanting to be around this woman anymore. Whenever I was around her I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Unable to breathe normally. In pain. It was an unpleasant feeling I learned to live with during these seven months.
“Autumn!” Dee exclaimed as I walked over to my lunch table. “Guess what?”
“What?” I asked curiously, feeling happy at the sight of Dee’s joy.
It was nice to see my best friend happy. As selfish as I could be, I was always happy to see my best friends happy. Even, when I wasn’t.
“I got a hundred percent on my Math test!” she exclaimed, grinning. “Can you believe it?”
I laughed. “Did you cheat?”
Her eyes narrowed at me at that, but her grin remained on her face. “No! I suddenly became smart!”
“Dee, sweetheart, this is you we’re talking about,” Cheryl said, smiling as Des gasped.
“Cheryl! You’re supposed to be the nice one!” Dee exclaimed.
We all laughed at that. My heavy heart from seeing my mom lightened up a bit from that.
“So,” Cheryl said once we calmed down. “How are you Autumn? We haven’t talked in a while.”
“That’s because you’re always at chess club,” Dee chirped in, grinning. “Nerd.”
Cheryl narrowed her eyes at Dee, but chose to ignore her. I couldn’t help but smile.
“I’m good, I guess,” I replied. “How are you?”
Ignoring my question, she asked, “How’s Christian?”
Internally,I groaned. Christian seemed to be a topic Cheryl loved, and I didn’t know why. Personally, I was sick of talking about him. We had finally overcome our constant fighting, so there was no need to bring him up. He was just one of many aspects of my life.
“He’s good,” I replied casually. “We’re good, if you’re wondering.”
“Wait, does Cheryl know?” Dee suddenly asked me.
“Know what?” Cheryl asked, confused.
I narrowed my eyes at Dee, suddenly feeling annoyed. Thanks to her, I had put the whole event behind me. Pretended it never happened. Now she was forcing me to talk about it. I couldn’t believe it.
Sighing lightly, I said, “I slow danced with him. It’s not a big deal.”
To my utter shock, Cheryl’s eyes widened. No, they actually bulged out of their sockets. Her jaw even dropped. She looked completely shocked and that left me confused, unsure of why her reaction was so huge.
“You slow danced with him?” she asked with her eyes still widened. “And you never told me?”
“Yeah.” I shrugged. “It isn’t a big deal, that’s why.”
Cheryl suddenly shook her head, looking both tired and happy as a smile flew to her lips. I stared at her confused, wondering if something had possessed one of my best friends.
“You need to see the light, Autumn,” she suddenly said, looking at me seriously. “You’ll be at your happiness then.”
I frowned at that, wondering what in the world she meant by that. Whenever we talked about Christian she didn’t make sense, which frustrated me. I needed to understand.
But before I could open my mouth, someone said my name. Quickly, I turned around and saw that it was Nate. Wearing a grin, he stared at me as I tilted my head.
Before I would feel butterflies around him. I would be in awe of his good looks. But now, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel sad at the thought of my chance at love. I didn’t feel mad at the thought of the bad date. I definitely didn’t feel happy, like I used to. All I felt was absolutely nothing.
“Hey,” he said, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Hey,” I replied casually. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to ask you out on another date,” he replied, smiling his perfect, white smile.
I fought back the urge to roll my eyes at that. He was funny if he thought we would ever date again.
“I’m sorry, but the answer is no,” I said honestly, but gently.
He frowned. “Why not?”
“I don’t feel anything for you,” I said truthfully, wanting to pull the bandage off quickly. “Sorry.”
To my surprise, his expression didn’t change. He just continued to smile at me, looking unfazed. It was kind of creepy.
“Okay,” he simply said, turning around. “See you around school.”
I watched him walk away, shocked by how easy it was to let him go. It seemed like he didn’t feel anything, and neither did I. We were both off the hook it seemed, and I was glad.
Snapping me out of my triumph, Cheryl asked, “What happened? Weren’t you obsessed with him?”
“I was,” I admitted. “But we had a crappy date. He’s definitely not my type.”
“What is your type?” she then asked.
“Hm.” I smiled as an answer hit me quickly. “Someone who’s funny and you can talk about anything with. They also care about you, even though it can get annoying. And with one look, you know you want this person at your side forever.” I blushed at how cheesy I sounded. “I don’t know, but just someone who is full of life and fun to be around.”
My cheeks heated up as I thought about the day Christian and I had at a beach. He had been all those things on that day, and maybe that’s why I wanted it. It had been one of the best Sunday’s of my life, so it made sense. Even though it was disturbing that my stepbrother gave me what would be the perfect date, I couldn’t help but be thankful for it.
Cheryl suddenly smiled at me. “Sounds perfect for you.”
I nodded as my face heated up. “It is.”
Cheryl raised an eyebrow at me, analyzing me as my face turned even more red. Shaking my head, I changed the subject as embarrassment seeped through me. Then smiling, I became glad to see that everything was back to normal at the very least.

“I don’t get this show,” Christian commented, glancing at me. “Why is she dating a killer?”
I rolled my eyes and shoved popcorn into my mouth. “Because she loves him. She knows he’s a good guy deep down.”
“A good guy who happened to kill at least a hundred people, right?”
I sighed. “You don’t get it. You didn’t start watching the show from the beginning, so you don’t understand Damon like us.”
“Fine, but what about Stefan?” he asked. “He’s actually a nice guy, and I have to admit he’s attractive. Why would she dump him for a killer?”
“Didn’t you say you shouldn’t date someone just because their attractive?”
Christian smiled at that. “Yeah, but I also said Stefan’s nice.”
I shook my head and brought my attention back to the TV, just in time to see Klaus hit on Caroline. It was odd having Christian at my side at home, but it had been happening lately. A part of me knew he was trying to ensure things were normal between us, but surprisingly I didn’t care. The company was nice, so it wasn’t a bother.
“And on the note of shallowness,” Christian suddenly said, bringing my attention back to him. “What happened to my favourite guy, Nate?”
I rolled my eyes at the sarcasm. “Gone.”
Christian frowned. “What do you mean, gone?”
“I found out I don’t like him and told him that.” I shrugged. “He’s gone from my life, I mean.”
Something in Christian’s eyes sparked. It looked like curiosity, but I knew better. He was happy. Truly, utterly happy because finally the guy he hated was out of my life. He was lucky I didn’t care about Nate.
“Good,” Christian suddenly said, smiling. “I never liked him.”
“Why?” I asked, always wanting to know the answer to that one question. “Why do you hate him?”
Christian looked away as I stared at him, suddenly looking uncomfortable. I frowned as I watched him, unsure of why he wouldn’t answer such a simple question. When it came to hate, I knew why I hated someone – for the most part. It was that one emotion that was always honest.
Still staring at Christian, I jumped as somone suddenly said, “Sorry to interrupt, but I have a question.”
Christian and I’s eyes flew to where Stephen stood at the doorway. His arms were crossed over his chest, but he looked happy. Satisfied with what he saw before him. It was strange.
“What’s up dad?” Christian asked, smiling at his father.
“Nothing,” Stephen replied casually. “I actually want to talk to Autumn.”
“Me?” I asked, shocked.
I had never hated Stephen. I hated what he did to my life, but never him. But even though I didn’t hate him, we didn’t talk. Probably because when he tried to talk to me, I always gave flat replies. It was surprising seeing him wanting to talk to me personally now.
“Yeah.” Stephen smiled. “Do you want to go out today. Just me and you though.” He glanced at Christian. “Sorry son.”
Christian shrugged as I fought back a look of surprise. No one in this family hung out one-on-one with the adults. Not even Christian and his own dad. This was out of the blue, but oddly I was touched by the request.
“Sure,” I replied, smiling. “Where are we going?”
I blinked. “Fishing?”
That was the most stereotypical thing to do with a father-like figure, but I was slightly intrigued. I had never been fishing, so it would be cool to try.
Before Stephen could say never mine, I then said, “Sounds great.”
“Is it supposed to take this long to catch one fish?” I groaned.
“I have no idea,” Stephen replied, sighing tiredly. “This is my first time doing this and I’m disappointed.”
I couldn’t help but smile at how deflated he looked. We had been here for an hour and the both of us were exhausted. The weather was slightly chilly, but we were actually sweating from the strength we were using to hold the fishing poles up. For me I could admit I was out of shape, but Stephen was quite buff. That was how I knew this was a lot of work.
“So, Autumn,” Stephen said, breaking me out of my thoughts. “How’s… Life?”
“Alright,” I replied honestly. “How about you?”
“Alright.” He sighed. “Not what I expected.”
“Why?” I asked curiously.
“Can I be honest? Even if it may offend you?”
I nodded. Stephen was the one person I didn’t find myself getting mad at easily. Before I may of not been that friendly with him, but I never been rude to him. To my slight horror, I realized I had only ever been a b---h to Christian. I wondered why.
“I expected this new family of mines to be one, big happy one. One without drama,” he said, looking slightly sad. “I thought we would all take care of each other, but it’s the exact opposite. You and you own mom don’t talk, me and Alice aren’t one good terms, and-”
“Wait,” I cut in. “My mom and you aren’t on good terms?”
From what I saw, they were in love. Deeply, madly in love. Even though I wasn’t my moms biggest fan, I was happy she had that. But, now Stephen was telling me they weren’t on great terms. That told me I really hadn’t been paying attention to my mom lately. I wasn’t really surprised about that, even though she was once the centre of my universe.
“Yeah.” Stephen sighed. “We have… Different opinions.”
“On what?”
“You.” His eyes softened. “I don’t agree with how she treats you.”
I couldn’t help but blush as something twisted in my heart. It was nice to know that he didn’t agree, just like how it seemed with Christian. Too bad opinions couldn’t fix anything.
“I also don’t agree with how she hates how close you and Christian have gotten,” he continued.
My eyes widened. “She hates it?”
This was a surprise to me. I didn’t even know that they knew we were close. We usually hung around when they were out of sight and made sure to still look like we weren’t each other’s biggest fan. I wasn’t even sure why we did that, but from hearing my mom’s opinion I wished we tried harder. I knew she would do about anything when she was angry.
“Yeah, it’s stupid.” Stephen shook his head, looking unpleased. “I actually love how close you two have gotten.”
My eyes softened as warmth blossomed in my stomach. “You do?”
“Yeah.” He nodded, smiling. “You know, you make him happy. After the divorce he was so negative and always brooding alone. You’ve brought out such a better side to him. I-”
“Wait,” I cut in as my eyes widened. “Did you just say Christian was negative? Mr. Smiles and let’s save the world with kindness. You’re lying.”
“I’m afraid not.” A sad smile appeared on his face. “He was so much different before. I have to admit his ways of acting out did die down as years passed by, but the Christian you know now is still different than the Christian I knew before the wedding. This Christian, is so much happier it seems.”
Now I let myself be surprised. My jaw dropped slightly as I was stunned. Christian having a past of acting out was surprising, something I would never have expected. He was always so nice. Always so happy. But then I remembered how his eyes were before, when we met. They were so tired, and I realized maybe because of life. And then I remembered the guy he punched. Of how horrified he felt about it, saying it was a mistake.
I felt like an idiot suddenly, knowing I had never asked about his past. Never cared to ask about his own wounds. A sad and regretful feeling suddenly twisted at my heart.
“That’s why I want to thank you,” Stephen suddenly said, snapping me out of my thoughts of regret. “I do want to bond with you, but today is a day for me to thank you. Like any dad, I love my son. I want him to be happy. He hasn’t been that for a while, but you changed everything. You gave him a person to trust. A person to care about. Someone, to love.”
I blushed as Stephen stared at me with his old eyes. My once twisting, regretful heart was now full of warmth. I couldn’t believe I was the one to make Christian happy. Me who had been nothing but a b---h to him before. A part of me found it unbelievable, but something in Stephen’s blue eyes told me that this was real. That he had witnessed this blossoming of happiness in Christian with his own eyes. At that, my heart fluttered.
“You don’t need to thank me,” I said honestly. “Christian has been nothing but nice to me. I should be thankful that he’s in my life.”
To my surprise, I felt like that was the most honest thing I had said in a while. And it was true, I was thankful. As my heart pumped happily, I was glad to be the one who had made Christian happier. He definitely made me happier, so I was glad to see that somehow, I was special to him.
“You know, Christian cares about you a lot,” Stephen suddenly said, causing my eyes to widen. “It’s strange, but-”
I yelped as something pulled at my line. Turning my focus back to the fishing pole, I began to rewind the line. A thankful smile appeared on my face as I focused on the task of getting the fish.
But to my disappointment, a garbage bag was what I found at the end of the line. Stephen laughed as I grumbled about it, and I found myself smiling at his low chuckle. Today was the first day I had spend with my stepfather, and I had to say I had a great time. With a warm feeling seeping through my body, I was surprisingly really happy. Maybe because of what he said about Christian. I was leaning towards that.

Holding the lunch I accidentally stole from Christian, I walked through the hallways that were filled with students making their way to the cafeteria for lunch. With a destination of giving the lunch to Christian, I felt surprisingly light. With every step I felt nervous – in a good way – to see him. It seemed that what Stephen said had definitely changed things. In a way that I couldn’t complain about, it had. The soft spot in my heart told me that.
As I reached Christian’s locker, I was glad to notice that his secluded locker hallway would be empty if it weren’t for him. Fighting back a smile, I noticed he was searching for something in his locker. My random nerves calmed at that, knowing I would be helping the guy I somehow made happy.
“Hey,” I said, pressing my back to the locker next to his. “I stole your lunch.”
He whipped his head to look at me, seeming surprised. With his blue eyes widened he stared at me for a bit, and I couldn’t help but smile at how innocent he looked. Even when his life hadn’t been great, he somehow kept his innocence.
“Why did you steal my lunch?” he finally asked, taking the lunch from me with a frown on his face.
I couldn’t help but giggle at that. “I didn’t, idiot. It was an accident.”
At that, he frowned. He looked slightly concerned as he studied me, causing me to blush. I knew I was acting strangely, but I had to blame the warmth I felt. What Stephen said made me realize I was thankful of Christian, so I was going to be more peppy around him. Someone who would hopefully truly make him happy. Staring back at Christian, I hoped he liked my change.
“Are you okay?” Christian asked slowly, squinting his eyes at me. “You’re acting… Weird.”
At that, my new resolve quickly crumbled. My eyes narrowed at him as he continued to stare at me with judging eyes.
“Did my dad feed you some sort of happy potion?” he continued to ask. “You’re acting strangely upbeat, which really doesn’t suit you.”
I scoffed at that. “Screw your Christian.”
He grinned. “Ah, there’s my Autumn.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and huffed, looking away from him. But even with that, I found myself blushing at his words. My heart even thumped as I realized that even though I found myself a horrible person, he didn’t think so. In fact, I was the Autumn that he knew and cared about.
With that realization, something hit me. I suddenly had the urge to speak the truth. To say something I would never say. With that strong urge, I ignored any signs telling me to refrain from admitting it.
“You know Christian,” I suddenly said, sounding surprisingly defensive. “I like spending time with you.”
I watched as his blue eyes went big. With surprise evident on his face, I was glad to see that his eyes held this affectionate gleam to them as they stared at me. Softening up, he then took a step forward.
“Wait, I didn’t hear what you said. Can you repeat it?” he suddenly said, growing serious despite the twinkle of amusement in his eyes.
I rolled my eyes as my cheeks heated up. “Shut up.”
He took another step forward, now standing less than a foot away from me. With a smile now on his face, he suddenly reached out and grabbed my arms, pinning them to my sides. My eyes widened as all I could see was his face. His perfectly, sculpted face that had these piercing blue eyes.
“You know what?” he asked, bringing his face closer to mine slowly.
“No,” I squeaked out, unsure of how to function as my heart pounded against my chest.
By now Christian’s mouth was near my ear. He was almost pinned against me, trapping me where I was. With my pounding heart, I knew without his body I would be trapped in place anyways.
“I really like being with you too,” he whispered into my ear, causing me to shiver – to my shock.
As my heart skipped a beat, he then moved his lips to my jaw. I gasped as I felt the warmth of them pressed against my jawbone, moving along it to my chin. I felt the heart attack I once had. It was hard to move. Hard to think. Hard to breathe. But, to my surprise I hoped he didn’t move away. In fact, I wanted him closer to me.
Once he reached my chin, I froze as he just left his lips pressed against there. My heart was beating loudly, but all I could do was think. Think solely about how much I wanted to tilt my face down so that his lips would move somewhere else. With his hands now on my hips, grabbing them gently, I closed my eyes and shivered.
But then, I jumped as I heard something fall onto the ground. My eyes flew opened and I was completely broken out of my trance. I jumped away from Christian, looking for the source of the noise. To my shock, I spotted Nate bending down to pick up a textbook. My face went red.
As he quickly sprinted away, I momentarily forgot about him and my attention returned to Christian. Of what he’d been doing to me. Of how I felt. My heart pounded against my chest once again, but this time I felt like I was going to be sick. With horror rising up to my throat, I knew I couldn’t face him.
Without looking at him, I said, “Um, I have to see my friends. Bye.”
I didn’t wait for a response as I ran away. I couldn’t, because I knew I would throw up. With my heart pounding and my clouded mind, I couldn’t be around Christian any longer.
“Why is your face so red?” Dee asked, frowning as I quickly sat down at our cafeteria table.
Before coming here, I made sure to wander the hallways in circles a few times to cool down. With my heart pounding, I knew I wouldn’t be able to function right. To even think right around my friends. I really didn’t want my friends knowing about what happened, but now that seemed impossible.
“No reason,” I lied, not wanting to look at Dee who had been frowning at me.
“Where’s your lunch?” Cheryl then asked.
“I’m not hungry,” I replied, actually being honest.
With my nerves, I had no appetite. I was too sickened with how I felt over one boys lips. His soft, delicate lips that left me wanting more. More that I could receive for so many reasons.
“Why won’t you look at us?” Dee then asked. “Talk to us. You look ready to explode.”
I was ready to explode. I didn’t know what to do and that was killing me. One part of me was embarrassed, one part of me was angry, and another disgusting part of me was craving more. Closing my eyes briefly, I shivered at the recent memory.
“Fine,” I said, opening my eyes to look at my two best friends. “I need to tell you guys. Someone who can tell me I’m going crazy.”
The both of them frowned at me, and I knew that I had been crazy for a while. I couldn’t help but smile at that, shaking my head. Christian had made me a psychopath.
“I…” I began, feeling my cheeks heat up as my embarrassment rose. “Something happened.”
“No duh,” Dee said, smiling softly at me.
“With Christian?” Cheryl offered, raising her eyebrows.
I found my heart freezing at his name being said out loud. Clenching my hands into fists, I wondered what was wrong with me.
“Yeah,” I replied, staring at Cheryl who seemed to be analyzing me. “We… I…”
It was so hard to say out loud. I didn’t know why – probably because that meant it was true – but it was.
“Christian and I shared a moment,” I finally confessed.
Dee’s eyes widened, but Cheryl’s expression remained neutral. It was almost like she expected this.
“What do you mean a moment?” Dee asked, eyes still wide, but with curiosity now.
“I don’t want to say.” I looked down, finding my entire face turning hot. “I’m disgusted with myself.”
“Why?” Cheryl asked, sounding annoyed. “You like him. This should be good news.”
At that, my head flew up. My eyes widened as I stared at a dead serious Cheryl. With her glasses at the edge of her nose, easy to fall off, she looked like she was stating an actual fact. My heart stopped at the fact, but instantly I felt my walls flying up.
“What?” I said, feeling more defensive than ever. “I don’t like Christian.”
Cheryl rolled her eyes. “Autumn, I told you to face the facts. By now you have to realize that he means a lot to you. Not in a sibling way, but more. If you’re worried about incest, don’t worry. It’s not like you guys are actually related. Your babies won’t come out demented. I-”
“Whoa!” I exclaimed, horrified. “What the hell are you saying! I don’t like him! I never have, never will! Are you crazy?”
She sighed. “Autumn, grow up already. Stop pushing away the only person who will always care about you.”
My eyes widened, only paying attention to the first sentence. “Excuse me?”
For the past few months I had felt like everyone had been calling me a child. I felt like everyone was patronizing me. It was the worst feeling in the world, so now I felt a rage I hadn’t felt in a while. One that had me burning.
Before Cheryl could said anything else, I snapped, “Who ever gave you the right to determine how I feel? You think you’re so smart because you’re always reading books, but guess what, you’re not. You just think you know everything and it’s annoying. I don’t even know why I’m friends with you.”
Cheryl winced at the, but I was too angry to feel an ounce of guilt. She had thrown all these words at me, trying to determine who I was and my future. She needed to realize that she couldn’t just go around doing that.
“Autumn,” Dee suddenly said, sounding worried. “Relax.”
I got up at that, tired of always being the bad guy. Sometimes I was one, but it was never without some sort of reason. People needed to realize that.
Without looking at either of my friends, I just turned around. Huffing, I stormed off without looking back. What Cheryl said had really angered me. It made me so mad for so many reasons, some unknown ones too. Here I was needing comfort, but she decided to throw imaginary facts at me. It was the last thing I needed. Especially because, what she stated could never be true. It just couldn’t.

To be continued..


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