Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Oh Brother Episode 31-33

It wasn’t hard to remove most of my feelings for Christian from my heart. It was painful whenever I saw Christian and spoke to him as if one piece of news hadn’t destroyed something I wanted, but it wasn’t hard. Probably because the thought of incest disturbed me.
For as long as I could remember, incest was this taboo. It was the one thing no one could accept, even people who were all about peace. It was just too disgusting to people, and that was why I erased any feelings I had for Christian. There was just no way I could be the disgusting person no one would want to speak to.
I sighed as I picked up a french fry from my lunch tray and stared at it. I wasn’t hungry. I hadn’t been in a while. My life was just too f----d up that even eating was something I wanted to avoid.
“Autumn, what’s wrong?” Dee asked, sounding concerned.
I looked up at her as I dropped my fry onto my tray. A part of me was caught off guard since we hadn’t really cared for each other’s lives in a while, but then I remembered that she was my best friend. My best friend of them all, too. She would never hold a grudge if I were in pain. That was why I felt bad for lying to her.
“No,” I lied. “Just not hungry.”
Dee frowned. “Autumn, you look anxious. There’s no need to lie to me, I’m not mad.”
“Me too,” Cheryl said. “I’m not mad at you. Hurt, yes. But mad, never.”
My heart softened up at that. Even with the horrible things I said, Cheryl didn’t hate me. She wasn’t even mad, which was surprising. But even with that, I couldn’t help but feel a slight resentment towards her. Even when she had been right, I hated how she pushed me. But, I really did need to apologize anyways. It was for the best.
“I’m sorry,” I said, glad for the change of topic. “I was an a-----e to you, Cheryl.”
She smiled, her white teeth shining. “Don’t worry.”
“Thanks.” I smiled, but it felt forced.
“So,” Dee suddenly said. “Did you find out if you liked Christian?”
At that, I sighed. My heart flipped, but painfully as if it would fall halfway through the flip to my stomach and burn in the hydrochloric acid. I cringed at my graphic vision of that.
“No,” I lied again, ignoring the guilt I felt. “I can’t.”
The second part was the truth, but I still felt more words burning at my throat to speak. Words I needed to say out loud, to finalize the truth that these feelings I had were related to incest. Only then I felt like I would have closure.
“It would be incest if I did like him,” I continued. “That’s… Disgusting.”
The both of them blinked, giving me blank looks. My cheeks heated up as I looked down, regretting bringing up the topic.
“Weren’t you the one who told me that it wouldn’t be incest since you’re not related by blood?” Dee asked.
I looked up to see Dee smiling. I frowned, knowing this wasn’t the time to joke. Right now, I needed serious facts.
“Yeah, but that was when I hated him. Now that we’re close, we’re like actual siblings,” I lied. “Siblings don’t fall for each other.”
Cheryl snorted at that. “Do you really consider him your brother? Your actual brother?”
I nodded, feeling my stomach twist at the lie. In my heart, I badly wanted him to be anything but my brother. Anything, that would make me feel less disgusted with myself.
“That’s a lie,” Dee jumped in, frowning. “You don’t think about him in that way… And please never. I would be disturbed then.”
“Why?” I asked, frowning as well.
“Because you guys don’t act like siblings.” She sighed. “Well, you guys look at each other like you want each other. And I don’t mean that you guys want each other as family.”
I scowled at that, my heart aching. From what I knew, we didn’t look at each other that way. Especially when I only started liking him recently, I knew our intentions had been pure at one point. If I tried hard enough, I knew I could allow us to be just siblings. Even though I didn’t want that, I knew that it was the only way to not be disgusting to others.
“We don’t,” I said flatly. “But anyways, enough with this topic. Christian and I will never like each other. Honestly, I rather be siblings with him.”
The last sentence was strangely true. With my current aching heart, I was suddenly done with my leftover feelings for him. Done with all of these complications. With everything else in my life, I couldn’t bare to struggle with these taboo feelings I had for Christian. I couldn’t afford to. Knowing that, I had a bit of closure.
“I’m going to answer the question I think you wanted to ask,” Cheryl suddenly said, bringing our attentions to her. “You guys aren’t related by blood. In no way are you guys related. Falling for each other isn’t incest. Like I said, your babies won’t turn out demented.”
At that, I scowled. Even though I knew my friend was being honest. Using her brilliant brain, she was giving me her most logical response. But by now, I had given up on the thought of Christian. After what Nate said, the thought of anything near incest made me nauseous.
“Okay,” I simply said, picking up a fry again. “Good to know that useless prove of information.”
“Autumn,” Dee said cautiously.
I suddenly sighed, knowing this topic would never die down until I admitted one thing to them. The very thing I had realized.
“Guys, falling for Christian would just be a hassle,” I said. “With everything in my life, do you really think falling for him, my stepbrother , would be for the best?”
“No, but he makes you happy.” Dee frowned.
“He does, as my stepbrother.” I sighed. “End of discussion.”
Neither of them brought up the topic after that. I was pretty sure they knew I would blow up if they did, which made me thankful for once that I had slight anger issues. Because right now, I wanted to forget about Christian. I wanted to forget about the very thought of him in any other way than as my stepbrother.


No one spoke about Christian’s birthday, but it had been on my mind for while. It had been helpful even, because as I focused on that I was able to fulfill my sister position in his life. The very position I was supposed to have, much to my dismay.
It didn’t surprise me when a few days ago, a friend of his called me and said that a party for Christian would be held at my house. I had no idea how he pulled it off, but he convinced my mom to allow them to hold a surprise party for Christian at our very home. Well, I had an idea that my mom wanted to be anywhere but home lately. With her tired eyes and lack of enthusiasm, she seemed thankful that Stephen and her could go somewhere for the entire day and night away from the house.
So with that news, I invited my friends. It wasn’t going to be a small birthday party. I knew about half of Christian’s grade would be at the party, and their friends. If the house didn’t get wrecked after today, I would be surprised.
So here we were at the party, smiling as Christian looked utterly surprised by the fact that there was a party. With his blue eyes looking ready to pop out of their sockets and dropped jaw, I was glad to see that he was caught off guard. The smile that sprung to his face next made me even happier.
Watching him mingle with his friends who created the whole party, I found myself smiling with a heavy heart. As everyone got ready to party, I watched his eyes brighten up. He was happy, but I wasn’t. As much as the thought of incest disturbed me, the sad part of me wished the very word would disintegrate.
*****
I laughed as I watched Christian’s friends try to do backflips. A lot of them were failing as they nearly smashed their faces into the ground, which was amusing. The party had been great so far, and I hadn’t even had a sip of alcohol.
“Autumn!” Dee shouted over the loud music that was oddly soothing to me. “Where’s Christian?”
“I don’t know!” I shouted back, ignoring the question.
It was better for me to have Christian out of my sight. I wasn’t avoiding him or anything, we acted normal around each other, but I preferred to not be around him. Especially now, knowing he was probably with some girl. Just like the last time I saw him with a girl, he was probably ready to kiss her.
I shook my head at the thought and focused on his friends almost breaking their noses. Sometimes I felt angry. Purely, genuinely angry. Not even at Nate who had delivered the horrible news to me, but at myself. Even when I pretended I felt nothing for him, I knew I was hurting myself.
“I’m worried about him!” Dee shouted suddenly.
I shrugged at that, not knowing what she wanted me to do. He was older than me. More mature too. The one thing I knew for sure about Christian was that he could take care of himself.
“You know he was drunk,” Dee continued on, frowning. “And he’s nowhere in sight.”
That caught my attention. Caught me off guard, too.
“Christian’s drunk?” I asked slowly.
Saying it out loud was strange. It wouldn’t settle with me because this was Christian. Him being near alcohol was shocking enough, but drinking it was a blow. For some reason, I suddenly felt uneasy.
“Yes.” Dee frowned.
I didn’t wait to make a plan with Dee. Getting up from the couch I sat on, I rushed out of the living room and into the kitchen. No one other than drunk jocks were in there, so I turned around and ran upstairs. My heart was pounding at this point.
Upstairs was quieter. There weren’t many people around – thankfully – and the doors to our bedrooms were closed. Frowning, I made my way to his bedroom.
As I grabbed the doorknob, I found myself feeling unpleasantly nervous. If he were in here, I knew he wouldn’t be alone. And just like last time, I would feel like someone had punched me in the stomach. I didn’t know if I could face that feeling again.
But then, I remembered that I couldn’t be selfish. Especially when it came to him. So taking a deep breath in, I opened the door and frowned. His room was empty.
I quickly shut the door and frowned. By now I felt a bit panicked as I looked around, seeing that he was nowhere in sight. The door to my parents room was opened, but a bunch of people were in it talking. I hoped for Stephen’s sake they wouldn’t do anything other than that as I marched to my own room.
I didn’t expect him to be here. I didn’t know why he would be as I opened the door quickly. But to my shock, he was there. Sitting on the edge of my bed, he was there hanging his head low.
I relaxed at the sight of him, but my heart continued to pound against my chest. He looked upset. On his birthday, for the first time in a while he didn’t look happy. I frowned as I closed the door behind me, knowing I needed to talk to him.
When the door clicked shut, Christian’s head flew up. He looked dazed as his eyes wandered around my room, not really focusing on anything. So when his eyes met mine, I was surprised to see them lock on mine. They lost their confusion and sadness, and looked more affectionate.
“Autumn,” he said slowly, as if he wasn’t sure.
I frowned, knowing Dee was right. Christian was drunk. Even with him in front of me, I was caught off guard. He didn’t seem like the type to get drunk. He didn’t seem like the type of guy who was now in front of me.
“Yeah,” I said gently. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” He tilted his head slightly, still in a daze. “Do you care?”
I frowned. My heart even stopped a little because Christian and I never talked like this to each other. We would never ask each other personal questions like that. But knowing he was drunk and probably wouldn’t remember this, I decided to let my defences fall.
“Of course,” I replied, sitting on the ground in front of my bed tiredly. “Isn’t it obvious by now?”
He smiled at that and my heart softened up. Christian was just so gorgeous, even when he looked like a mess with his hair sticking out wildly and his clothes wrinkled. I was proud of that, even though he wasn’t mine and could never be.
“Sometimes.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “But you’re a confusing person.”
“I know I am. Sorry.”
“So, did you get me a present?” he asked suddenly, changing the topic.
“Duh.” I couldn’t help but smile as he broke out into a grin.
“Can you bring it here?”
I groaned. “It’s in your room. Open it later.”
He shook his head vigorously. “I want to open it now. Here, when we’re alone.”
I frowned at that, but got up. It was his birthday and I wasn’t in the mood to argue with a drunk Christian. He was already so different that I wondered if he would be able to get angry for once. I smiled as I left the room, knowing an angry Christian was near impossible.
Dodging past teenagers in the hallway, I quickly made my way to his room. Finding the blue gift bag I bought, I grabbed it and ran back to my own room. Closing the door, I held the bag towards him.
“Here,” I said, suddenly feeling nervous about whether he’d like my gift or not.
“Sit beside me,” he responded, patting the spot next to him. “I want you next to me when I open your gift.”
He grinned at me as I walked towards him. With my nerves slightly wracked up, I sat beside him and looked into his blue eyes as I handed him the gift. The only time his eyes looked focus was when they were on mine, and that was comforting.
Without a word, he then put his hand into the bag. My heart froze for a second as he pulled out a black leather jacket. He smiled at that and put it on his lap.
“Thanks-”
“There’s more,” I cut in. “In the jacket.”
He opened up the jacket quickly and a black chain fell out along with a book. Smiling once again, he picked up the book and stared at it. Fascination was evident in his eyes.
“The Outsiders.” He brought his eyes to mine. “Since when did you know I read?”
“I didn’t.” I grinned. “I just thought you should meet your people, the greasers. They’re like bad boys who dress the way you do.”
He laughed. “Ah, and you’re encouraging me to join them with all these black pieces of clothing.”
My grin grew. “Well, you already got the awesome fighting skills down.”
At that, Christian suddenly grew serious. He frowned and looked away from me, making me regret saying that. But before I could say anything, he shifted closer to me. Now our legs and shoulders were touching, and my heart froze. I wasn’t ready for this.
“Autumn,” he said, still serious. “I don’t think I ever thanked you.”
“For what?” I asked, trying to forget about how near we were.
“For changing me.” He finally looked at me, his blue eyes sincere. “You made me a better person.”
Even though I had heard this from Stephen before, I asked, “How?”
I wanted to know his feelings. What he thought. And honestly, what he genuinely felt for me. Even if we couldn’t be what I wanted, I wanted to mean something to him.
“I don’t know.” He suddenly smiled. “I just look at you and want to be a good guy. I want you to think good of me and I never want to disappoint you.”
It was probably because of how near we were, but I suddenly felt like an open book as my heart melted. Words I would usually never say were on the tip of my tongue, and I didn’t care if they were too mushy for my liking. As for now, I wanted to let us mean something to each other.
“You are a good guy,” I said. “And you never disappoint me.”
His smile grew. “You make me happy, you know. Really happy and sometimes it’s scary.”
I couldn’t help but look away from him at those words, knowing I couldn’t let him see how much they meant to me. “Me too.”
I felt my ears heat up as I wondered what had gotten into me. This wasn’t the person I was; I hated talking about feelings. I hated admitting how much someone truly meant to me. It had always made me feel vulnerable, but here I was doing it.
As I continued to look away wondering, I suddenly felt a finger on my chin. Before I knew it, the finger was pushing my face so that I was looking at Christian again. He was already looking at me with eyes filled with affection and to my surprise, lust.
“You have no idea how much what you just said means to me,” he said quietly, as if it was supposed to be a secret between the two of us. “You have no idea how much you mean to me.”
This time, I couldn’t look away as my heart skipped a beat. We were so close to each other, so intimate with just our eyes. Even though this was a moment I had wanted between us, a moment I even cherished now, my mind started screaming incest.
But before I could move away from him. Before I could even tell him that I had to leave, knowing I couldn’t take being so close to him, he moved forward and planted his lips on mine. It happened so fast that I froze, completely thrown off guard.
My eyes widened as he kissed me gently. With his lips just as soft as I assumed, he kissed me. My heart was pounding hard and my body felt limp from the touch, but my mind was screaming. Screaming that I needed to get away from him. That this was wrong. That this was incest. So no matter how badly I wanted to kiss him back. No matter how much my body screamed for me to just hold him against me and kiss his lovely lips, I didn’t. I just stayed where I was frozen.
After a few seconds, he pulled away from me and frowned. I looked away as I spotted the hurt in his eyes, knowing that we were in a horribly awkward situation. We shouldn’t be, but we were cursed to be step-siblings. I felt anger at the thought, knowing I just ruined something I really wanted because of such a simple name.
“You didn’t kiss me back,” Christian commented. “You… Don’t want to?”
I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t bare to because what I would say next was something that would probably hurt me more than him.
“Obviously.” I smiled sadly to myself. “We’re step-siblings… Incest. That’s disgusting.”
We were still sitting right next to each other, so I noticed him wince. My own heart dropped painfully as I told him the truth I wanted to deny. I told him something that would make him reconsider ever putting a move on me. Suddenly, I wanted to cry.
“Do you really think… It’s disgusting?” Christian asked, sounding flat.
I looked at him to see if he was angry, but he was expressionless. He was staring blankly at me, looking slightly confused. My heart stung and my brain hurt, even though it had been the one screaming incest a moment ago.
“Yeah,” I said quietly. “Don’t you?”
He shrugged and suddenly laid down on my bed. I frowned as I watched him close his eyes. Right now I wanted to cry, but he looked so relaxed. It hurt more to see him like this, but I considered the fact that he was drunk. This whole event happened because he was drunk, I realized miserably.
After a couple of minutes, I decided to tell him that we should just erase this from our memories, just like every other moment we had together. But as I looked at him again, I saw that his chest was rising up and down in a peaceful rhythm. I frowned as I realized he was asleep, and I suddenly slid to the ground.
With him asleep, I allowed myself to cry quietly. Even if Christian was drunk, I wondered if he wanted more too. If he craved our touched, our affection, just like me. If so, my heart would shatter. Knowing he wanted me back would break me since we could be more if it weren’t for that stupid word incest. I hated it and everything it represented. I hated what it was doing to me.


I woke up twenty minute ago, but I stayed lying on the ground of my room, staring up at the ceiling. My heart still felt heavy from yesterday, even though this should have been the closure I needed. I told him why we couldn’t be together and my brain seemed to agree with me, but that didn’t seem to help with my aching heart.
I groaned as I realized I was becoming such a lovestruck girl. A girl who had heartache over one guy. One guy she knew would only hurt her if she continued to fall for him. But even knowing that, I knew this was different. That I wasn’t one of those girls because Christian was worth fighting for. It was just one stupid word that was stopping us from happening.
“Why are you on the floor?”
My eyes flew up to my bed, to where Christian was sitting up on. He looked confused, but more tired as he stared at me.
“You kind of stole my bed,” I replied casually, sitting up as I stretched.
From his confused face and ability to talk to me, I knew he didn’t remember what happened yesterday. He had been too drunk it seemed, which was a blessing now. I didn’t think I would have been able to face him if he remembered.
“From my headache I’m guessing I was drunk.” He frowned as he touched his head, but a small smile fought its way to his lips. “And I’m guessing you took care of me.”
I shrugged, wanting him to leave my room. “Kind of. Well, we just hung out here for a bit. You fell asleep after.”
His smile grew. “Well, thanks.”
I shrugged, not knowing why he was so happy. It wasn’t like I saved his life. Glancing at him, I was glad to see him packing up my present and opening the door.
“Let’s hang out again later.” He smiled. “Okay?”
“Okay,” I replied quietly, even though I didn’t want to.
The door soon closed and I sighed in relief. Now I could officially drown in sadness because Christian could never be mine. His stupid, drunk kiss gave me hope that we could be something more, but the word incest told me otherwise. Suddenly, my life was becoming overwhelming.
*****
“We’re going to Niagara Falls,” my mom announced, catching me off guard.
Stephen smiled and planted a kiss on my mom’s head. She smiled at him and I rolled my eyes, slightly annoyed by the fact that they made up – probably from their day together. I couldn’t believe it. My cruel mom had everything she wanted in life and I had nothing. I wondered what I ever did to deserve this.
“We are?” Christian asked, frowning.
“Yeah, for your birthday.” My mom smiled. “We didn’t get to do anything as a family, so we might as well now.”
At that, I huffed. I knew for my birthday I would be getting nothing from her. Not even a birthday wish. I smiled bitterly to myself, suddenly feeling sorry for myself. Everything s----d and I just wanted to hole up in my room. Too bad I had this trip now.
Seeing that nobody would say anything, my mom said, “Guys, get ready. We’re not staying overnight so no need to pack, let’s just go.”
I turned around and left at that, glad to be able to brood on my own. Even for a bit, every second away from these people was beneficial.
*****
I stared at the enormous waterfall with amazement. It wasn’t the first time I had been here, but I was still amazed by its beauty. It was huge and incredible. That was all I could think about right now, which was the perfect distraction.
“Autumn,” Christian suddenly said, snapping me out of my amazement.
I froze in my spot, shocked that he was right beside me. With my arms gripping onto the rails that kept people away from the natural wonder, I fought the urge to run off. I wasn’t in the mood to see him now – or ever.
“Yeah,” I said, keeping my eyes on the waterfall.
“What’s wrong?” I could hear the concern in his voice, which made it more painful to be next to him. “Why do you look so upset?”
“I’m not upset,” I lied quickly, ignoring the yearning I had for him.
He cared about me and he was such a good guy. Such an incredible guy even, who could deal with my baggage. All those factors made it so hard to forget about him.
“Liar.” He moved closer to me. “You can tell me. I thought we were close now.”
“We are,” I said, finally looking at him. “I’m just so tired.”
“Tired of what?” he prodded gently.
His eyes softened up and I knew I couldn’t hold back anymore. Not my affection for him, but genuinely what I was so tired of. Even though the memory of yesterday was fresh in my mind, it didn’t mean I would let it destroy what we had.
“Everything,” I admitted. “Just… Everything.”
He sighed lightly at that and looked away. I frowned as I watched him stare at the waterfall, unsure of why he suddenly looked tired as well. Wasn’t he supposed to be helping me?
“You know, you remind me of Niagara Falls,” he suddenly said, still staring at the waterfall.
I frowned at that. “Um, are you trying to call me fat?”
“No! Of course not.” He chuckled lightly. “I mean, you’re strong. Just like its currents, you can knock down the obstacles in life.
Something in me softened up. The one thing I wanted him to see me as was exactly that. Strong. Not delicate. Not weak. But simply strong. I wanted to be that girl who could handle anything, which was what I hoped I was.
“You think I’m strong?” I asked, wanting him to say it again for reassurance.
“For sure.” He smiled at me. “Look at you. You’re still full of life, even when your own mom won’t talk to you. Even when you’re forced to make a family out of two strangers, you still keep pushing through life. I don’t blame you for being tired because others would of lost their minds in your shoes.”
I smiled, even though I knew I did lose my mind. Over him though, which was what we weren’t talking about right now. What we were talking about was life and family, something he had to be strong about too.
“You’re strong too,” I said, grinning at him. “You had to deal with what I had to, and someone like me. Being around me alone should have had you checking into an mental institution.”
He laughed and the sound gave me a warm feeling. He was nineteen, yet his laugh was so childish. Almost high, which would’ve been a turn off to most girls. Not to me, though. I loved his laugh.
“Well, you actually kept me sane through everything.” He grinned. “So thank you.”
My eyes softened as I suddenly wanted to hug him. With his thank you from yesterday as well, I really wanted to embrace him. I knew that was something siblings could do, but it still felt wrong. Anything related to touching Christian would make my brain scream incest, I knew by now. I sighed quietly at that, but smiled anyways.
“Thank you,” I said. “I’m sorry I was such an a-----e to you before. But thank you so much for not giving up on me.”
He smiled and shrugged. “Hey, it’s not everyday you meet a girl who hates you for being perfect.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. My heart felt light as we continued to talk. Even though I wished for more, I was satisfied with this. Satisfied with just having him here as my stepbrother. It was all I could get from him, and I knew I could live with it. Just being at his side was okay.

To be continued..

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