Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Oh Brother Episode 37-39

I never wanted to hurt Christian. That was the last thing I ever wanted to do, which left me torn. He had told me he liked me, but there was no way I could admit I liked him back. No way after Sam’s comment. If innocent Sam thought we would be disgusting, everyone else would. They would definitely not accept it either, which would end terribly for the both of us.
Christian had a good rep at school. Guys respected him and girls loved him. He was such a good guy too, so I didn’t want everything he had being ruined. A horrible, selfish person like me was not worth that much. But sadly, I was still selfish enough to want him. To want to be with him, too.
Shaking my head, I decided that I had to forget about him. That was my last choice after everything. Obviously I wouldn’t push him away because that never worked. Instead I would just keep my distance, making sure we acted like siblings and nothing more. That way, my heart would realize that we were siblings and stop craving him.
I got up from my bed and walked downstairs, internally groaning as I remembered that my mom wanted us to eat lunch together. The one time I really wanted to be alone, she wanted us all together. God seemed to be punishing me at this point.
Once downstairs, I saw that my family was seated at the table. They had already set up our lunch of lasagna and salad, and seemed to be waiting for me. If this had been any other day, I would have been touched.
Without looking at any of my family members, I went over to the only empty seat – beside Christian. As I sat down, I felt his eyes on me. I found my heart pounding at that – to my disappointment.
Everyone dug into the lasagna once I was settled. Stephen and my mom talked feverishly about the lovely weather we’d been having, and Christian and I remained silent. My eyes stayed glued to the lasagna, but I had a bad feeling he was staring at me. Analyzing me, even. I hoped he didn’t notice I was trying to get over him.
“Autumn,” I heard him mutter under his breath after a few minutes.
I nodded, not bothering to look at him. My heart stung because I knew that in the end of the day, we would both end up hurt. While everyone else and their judgmental selves would be happy, we would suffer because of the fact that our parents were married.
Suddenly, I felt a hand touch my hand beneath the table. I jumped from the warm touch, almost screaming because I assumed it was a bug. But as the hand slid up my arm gently, I realized it was Christian. My cheeks heated up.
I tried to move away discreetly, knowing I would lose it – as usual – from his touch. But as I moved away, his hand flew back to my hand and he intertwined our fingers together, pulling me back to him. I gasped and glanced at my parents who were too busy talking to notice what was going on. Thank god.
Knowing I needed to tell Christian to stop, I looked at him and scowled. He grinned innocently, and I rolled my eyes.
“What are you doing?” I hissed as he began to trace circles on my hand that remained beneath the table.
“What are you talking about?” he replied innocently.
I glared at him as he grinned, but my heart was pounding. My body felt like it was on fire as he continued to touch me. His touch was always so gentle. Always so sincere, just like him. And maybe that was why I loved it when he touched me. Even if it was as simple as this, it made me unexplainably happy.
With my heart pounding, I decided to ignore my decision of pushing him away and squeezed his hand. I intertwined our fingers together and smiled at him, hoping he understood how thankful I was for him. Maybe we couldn’t be what we wanted, but I was still thankful.
As I smiled at him, he smiled back and began to lean forward. All I could hear was my pounding heart as he slowly moved closer to me. With his pink lips right there, I had an urge to grab his shirt and kiss him just like last time. With no restraints. No regrets.
“What are you guys doing?”
The both of us moved away quickly. My face turned red as I looked at my mom who was scowling at us. She had asked the question. With disgust evident in her tone, she had caught us in the moment.
“W-what?” I stammered out, both horrified and embarrassed.
My mom finding out about us was the last thing I wanted. I hadn’t given much thought about her opinion on our feelings, but now I knew that if we got together she could never know. She would never accept us, because she hated me.
“What in the world were you two doing?” she asked again, still scowling as her eyes narrowed. “That was… A disturbing scene.”
My face felt hot as I glanced at Stephen, not wanting to look at my mom. He looked confused, but calculating at the same time. The answer wouldn’t be a pleasant one to him, I could see from his emotionless eyes. I chose to look down.
“We were doing nothing,” Christian said casually.
“Well nothing looked like incest,” my mom replied. “So stop with that. We don’t want people thinking we’re mentally ill.”
Without thinking, I stood up suddenly. I felt like something was stabbing my heart, and I had to leave. I had to get away from everyone and everything that found my feelings disgusting. It was becoming too much.
“I’m not hungry,” I muttered, still looking down.
Before anyone could say anything, I turned around and ran upstairs to my room. My heart was pounding, but painfully as I slammed the door shut. Jumping onto my bed, I grabbed my pillow and placed it over my mouth. I then screamed into it, hoping that this hell would be over soon. It was becoming unbearable to know that the one thing you wanted would make you seem like you had a psychological illness.
I knew my parents were out, which allowed me to calm down as I sat up on my bed. Even though I expected my mom to say something like that, it still hurt. It hurt because that was how the world would view us. As two siblings with an illness that made them fall for each other. We were a taboo everyone would shun. She had confirmed that.
I sat up on my bed and stared at my surroundings. My room had definitely gotten messier, just like my life. Surprising, since I thought my life would get better as time passed.
But, my life was so much more of a mess than when I met Christian, which was strange. He made me so happy, but gave me all these problems. A lot of people would question if he was worth it, but I knew he was. The only thing I was a hundred percent sure of was that.
But the thing with knowing that was, I knew I couldn’t be completely selfish. I could be selfish enough to still want him, but not selfish enough to go after him. Just because I couldn’t bare the idea of him getting shunned. I had that much of a heart.
Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door. My heart froze, knowing it was the one person I wasn’t ready to see yet. The one person I needed to keep my distance from, for his sake.
Getting up, I opened the door to Christian. He wasn’t smiling. He wasn’t even giving me his usual affectionate stare. In fact, he almost looked angry.
“Autumn,” he said, sounding exasperated. “What happened?”
“You were there,” I muttered, looking down from his piercing blue eyes.
“F--k that. I’m talking about earlier. Even now. Why won’t you look at me? What did I do?”
“Nothing.” I still couldn’t bring myself to look at him. “I just… Can’t.”
“Oh no, don’t go messing up the only good thing in our lives,” he snapped. “Don’t.”
My eyes flew to his at that, surprised to see him mad for the first time. With his jaw clenched and his eyebrows furrowed, he actually looked mad. I was stunned.
“What are you talking about?” I simply asked, losing my sad mood.
“How do you feel about me?” he asked, ignoring my question. “Tell me the truth.”
My eyes widened at his demand. This Christian I didn’t know. He was mad, demanding, and surprisingly hotter than usual. If we weren’t in our current dilemma, I might’ve kissed him.
“Don’t you dare say you feel nothing,” Christian said.
I looked down and knew that this was it. This was my time to cut off our entire bond that involved possible incest. As my heart ached, I knew that I had to deny my feelings. I had to tell him I felt nothing, so the both of us would move on. Even though my heart was sinking at the thought, I knew this was for the best.
“Christian,” I said gently as I looked back up at him. “I-”
“Don’t lie to me.” He stepped towards me, eyes hardening. “I always respected you for your honesty. Always thought that made you beautiful, even though you can be cruel. Don’t become ugly.”
I should’ve been touched in a way, but his last words stunned me. Rage filled me at how demanding he was. Of how ignorant he was because he assumed I could just tell him how I really felt and we would live happily ever after. He was such an idiot sometimes.
With my anger boiling through my veins, I narrowed my eyes at him. He didn’t react as I clenched my hands into fists, which angered me even more. I was ready to blow.
“You know what you idiot! I like you! You know I do, so what’s the point of asking!” I snapped. “It’s for your own satisfaction, but guess what. Things are just going to get worst from here on out. We’re both going to be unhappy, even though we having mutual feelings!”
He frowned. “And why is that?”
“Because of that stupid word! Incest!” I exclaimed. “I like you. I like you so much, but that doesn’t matter to others. They’ll all just look at us and think siblings, how disgusting. Don’t say that it won’t happen because just look at Sam and my mom. They thought that. Trust me when I say we will be shunned.”
“Autumn.” Christian’s eyes softened. “Since when did you care about what others thoughts?”
A part of me deflated, seeing that Christian wasn’t mad anymore. I was so tired. Just so tired of everything that I was willing to just give up on this argument. I wouldn’t agree with him, but I wouldn’t force the truth onto him.
“Since they had the ability to ruin our lives,” I replied tiredly. “Your life. I don’t want you getting ruined.”
“Autumn, listen to me now. You don’t need to think abut me. Not like that because I don’t care about others,” Christian said, sounding confident. “We finally have this sort of happiness that bloomed with our feelings. This happiness that we lacked, and you really want to throw that away?”
“We’ll be miserable with everyone else shunning us and-”
“F--k everyone else!” he exclaimed. “As far as I know, I never needed anyone. No one has really been there for me until you. You, Autumn. Our feelings are not disgusting. Me wanting to be with you is not because I’m mentally ill, it’s because I think you’re incredible. I like the way you laugh. I like how you pretend not to care, even when you’re such a caring person. I like how you get angry at me because you’re honest when you are, and I never need to worry about pleasing you because you make sure I do. I never felt this way about anybody, so I sure as hell won’t give up on you.”
My eyes teared up as his words hit me hard. I liked him. So very much, I liked this beautiful boy. But incest. Everyone else. I didn’t know what to do about them, even though I really wanted him.
“Our parents,” I said quietly, not knowing what else to say. “They would never accept us.”
“Autumn.” He grabbed my hand gently, placing it on his beating heart. “If they really loved us, they would.”
“I don’t know,” I said helplessly. “Christian, how do you know everything will be okay?”
“I don’t, but we’ll figure it out.” He smiled sadly. “One last question.”
I nodded, unable to speak as his words wrestled in my mind.
“Does this feel wrong?”
He squeezed my hand that he held on top of his heart. His heart was beating fast, but it was comforting. Him in general, was comforting. And even with everything else, he was right. He made me happy unlike anyone else in my life. Christian did not feel wrong.
“No,” I whispered, staring into his blue eyes. “It doesn’t.”
“And are we really going to worry about others?” he asked.
I shook my head. “No, because you’re right. At our single chance at happiness, I’m not going to give up on you. For others, never.”
He leaned in and kiss me at that. I quickly kissed back, wrapping my arms around his neck. This didn’t feel wrong. It didn’t feel disgusting. In fact, it felt like the exact opposite of that.
As I kissed him, I realized he was right. F--k everyone. Anyone who wouldn’t allow us to be happy, screw them. Christian and I had this opportunity to finally have something after everything we had lost in life, and it would be so stupid to lose it just because of others judgements.
Pulling away from him, I smiled and said, “Why are you so smart?”
He laughed. “I’ll tell you my secret when you tell me how you’re so incredible.”
I laughed and shook my head, kissing him again. This didn’t feel wrong and I was happy. Those two things made me realize that this was okay. This was something that was fine because after everything I’d been through, I needed some sort of happiness of my own. F--k anyone who would ruin that happiness.

“Stargazing.” I laughed lightly. “How romantic.”
“Hey,” Christian said, sitting down next to me on the cool grass. “I hear you judging me.”
I grinned as I sat down next to him. It was night time and no one was around the park. A part of me knew Christian had planned that, knowing I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of anyone knowing we were dating yet. My respect for him grew at the thought.
“I know nothing about stars,” I admitted, lying down on the grass.
“Neither do I,” he replied. “But we’re going to use our imagination.”
“And what are we going to do with our imagination?”
Christian laid down next to me and grinned. Pointing to an area of bright stars in the night sky, he chuckled.
“That looks like a whale,” he said, tracing the stars with his index finger.
I squinted my eyes at the sky, trying to see what he saw. With my eyes trying to form a whale, I eventually huffed when I couldn’t form the image. I glared at him.
“Are you sure you see a whale?” I asked.
“Do you have an imagination?” he shot back.
My jaw dropped and he laughed as I rolled over to my side, facing away from him. Christian was such a jerk sometimes. I loved it.
“Autumn, I’m sorry,” he said, but the amusement in his tone was clear.
I snorted. But soon, I felt an arm on my waist, pulling me towards him. I was then right next to him, and I turned so that I was facing the sky again. Somehow, my head was now placed on his arm and I was smiling.
“Someone is happy,” he commented as I stared up at the starry sky.
“Shut up.” I grinned. “You’re acting like you’re not happy either.”
I glanced at him and saw that he was grinning. My eyes softened as he turned his face to look at me with those eyes that ensured me that he really did care about me.
“I’m sorry for the crappy first date,” Christian suddenly said, sounding apologetic.
“How is it crappy?” I replied, frowning. “As long as I’m with you, it’s perfect.”
“Whoa.” His eyes widened. “Since when did you get so mushy.”
I rolled my eyes and looked back at the sky. It was beautiful. Black and covered with bright stars, I was fascinated by it. Christian had chosen right when coming here for the scene.
“What do you want to do?” Christian asked after a few minutes of silence. “We have this whole park to ourselves, you know.”
“I know.” I bit my lip nervously. “But I want to talk.”
“You.” I looked at him. “I have a lot of questions.”
“Ask away.” He smiled. “I’m an open book for you.”
I smiled, but my gut was twisting nervously. First dates were supposed to be fun. Full of excitement and new experiences. What I would ask would bring us into serious territory. I didn’t know if he would be okay with that.
“Autumn,” Christian said, seeing my dilemma. “Ask anything.”
Before I could think it through, I asked, “Is it true that you used to act out?”
His smile fell, but he didn’t look angry at the question. Not even sad. More regretful, I would say.
“Yeah,” he said. “I did.”
“Cause of your mom?” My eyes softened. “Did she make you act out?”
He sighed lightly and looked up at the sky. I wondered if I was prodding into his life, but I also felt like I should know about his past. To heal his wounds, I had to understand before I could help him. This was something I wanted to do since my day with Stephen.
“Yeah,” he replied, still staring at the sky. “I know I told you she was always distant with us, but it still hurt when she left. When she cheated, it stung. I guess it’s because she’s my mom and you can’t help but love your mom no matter what. Just like your limbs, your mom is needed too.”
That hit me hard, but not just because I felt sorry for him. No, I also felt sorry for myself as I thought about my own mom. She hated me. She wanted nothing more to do with me. Yet, I still loved her. I cared about her, even when we hadn’t spoken for months. I wasn’t sure whether to hate her or myself for that.
“Autumn,” Christian said, looking at me again. “Can I tell you something?”
“What?” I asked quietly, my heart pounding painfully.
“I kind of hate your mom,” he admitted. “I hate the way she treats you. She’s your mom, yet she treats you like trash. It’s horrible.”
“Yeah, she’s a b---h.” I smiled sadly.
“But, she’s your mom.” Christian smiled just as sadly. “And just like me, you can’t help but love her.”
I closed my eyes at that. My eyes were watery and I didn’t want to cry in front of him. Especially on our date. It was weird that we were talking about such dark things now of all days.
“Autumn,” Christian said gently, making me open my eyes. “Let’s go back to the topic of me. Of how I used to act out.”
“Yeah.” I forced a smile. “How did someone like
you rebel?”
“Well, I got into a lot of fist fights.” Christian smiled. “Partied, did drugs, drank… Basically all of the bad boy cliches. I was that guy.”
I couldn’t help but smile, even though it was hard to imagine Christian like that. The Christian I knew would never do drugs. He would never get into fist fights. It was strange how someone could change so drastically.
“Why did you change?” I asked.
“I saw how stressed out my dad was.” Christian looked away from me and ran his fingers through his hair. “He was so worried about me and I felt bad, knowing how much he’d been through as well. My dad’s a good guy and I knew he didn’t deserve to go through more s--t.”
My eyes softened at that. “He is a good guy. You made the right choice.”
“Yeah.” Christian smiled sadly. “You know, I doubt he would have met your mom if I hadn’t changed. And that would mean we would never have met.”
I never thought about that, and suddenly I was glad our parents were married. If they hadn’t been, we would never have met. Never have had what we had now. Even though our parents being married was a problem, I was suddenly thankful.
“Yeah.” I grinned. “It’s a good thing they met.”
“Do you ever miss your dad?” Christian suddenly asked, sounding as gentle as ever.
My heart froze at the mention of my dad. I loved him. I didn’t think anyone knew this, but he had meant the world to me. The answer was obvious due to that.
“Yeah, I don’t go a day without missing him,” I admitted. “He was my best friend. My everything. It’s so unfair that he had to die. Cancer… I hate it.”
“You didn’t deserve that and neither did he,” Christian replied gently. “Why is this world so cruel?”
“I don’t know.” I sighed. “Why are we talking about such depressing things on our first date?”
“I don’t know.” The corner of his mouth turned up. “But I like this. It’s nice to let everything out here and there.”
“Can I ask you one last question?” I suddenly asked.
“Of course.”
“Are you okay?” My eyes softened. “You can be honest. I like you no matter what.”
I needed to know this much. To ensure Christian was happy, I needed to know this. With everything we talked about, I felt relieved in a strange way. If he answered this, I hoped he would feel the same way.
“Yeah, I think so,” Christian replied. “What about you?”
I smiled sadly. “For the most part, yes.”
Christian suddenly turned his entire body to face me. With his eyes looking affectionate, he smiled at me. I smiled back, and decided to turn to face him as well. My head remained on his arm, but we were now only a few inches away from each other.
“Hopefully we can be sure of how okay we are soon,” he suddenly said, closing his eyes.
“Hopefully.” I smiled as I stared at his peaceful face. “I know it can happen if we stick together.
I wasn’t a very hopeful person, but I suddenly felt hope now. I didn’t know if it was the night sky or the company, but I had hope. Hope that everything would be alright and we would have a happily ever after. I tried not to think about others or my parents, but now I knew that I didn’t care about them. As for now, this was all that mattered.

Dee, Cheryl, and I were lying down on Dee’s bed. Pink was surrounding us and silence was all we heard. My heart was thumping because I had invited them to meet up just to tell them about Christian. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought.
“Are we just going to sit here in silence?” Dee asked. “I love you guys, but I have a project due tomorrow.”
I laughed. “Sorry. It’s just… Weird.”
“Weird how?” Cheryl asked.
“I’m dating Christian.” I smiled at the confession. “Who would’ve thought that would happen.”
Dee sat up quickly and Cheryl followed her. The both of them quickly looked at me with their eyes wide and their jaws dropped. I laughed at their expressions, expecting nothing less from them.
“When, where, how, what!” Dee exclaimed. “Finally!”
“Finally,” Cheryl agreed, smiling as well. “So, how did it happen?”
“We were fighting, as usual.” I grinned, feeling unexplainably happy. “I was obsessed with the whole idea of incest, and he wasn’t. That led to him convincing me that as long as we’re happy, it’s okay.”
“Aw.” Dee grinned. “When was this?”
“A month ago?”
“And you only decided to tell us now?” Cheryl asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s complicated.” I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Cheryl frowned. “But we’re best friends. We-”
“Hush Cheryl,” Dee cut in. “I’m so happy for you Autumn. Finally. You guys are the cutest things ever.”
My face heated up as I smiled. “Thanks, I’m happy.”
Cheryl looked at me with gentle eyes for the first time. She usually looked calculating and wise, so this was new to me.
“I’m happy for you too,” Cheryl said, smiling warmly. “I’m glad you guys are together.”
My eyes softened. “Thank you.”
As my two best friends smiled at me, I felt incredible. So happy that nothing could bring me down. With Christian and I dating in secret and my two best friends at my side, I felt like life was changing for the better.
“What does your mom and Stephen think of this?” Cheryl suddenly asked.
At that, my happy mood deflated. They had no idea. Christian and I made sure of that. But even though I knew they could never find out, dating Christian was harder. We had to go on dates only when our parents were out, avoid each other at home, and even pretend to hate each other when my mom was around. It was surprisingly a lot of work.
“They don’t know about us,” I replied, looking at Cheryl who didn’t look surprised. “I don’t think I can tell them.”
“You don’t think they’ll accept you guys as a couple?” Dee asked, frowning.
I shook my head. “Stephen, maybe. But my mom, never.”
Dee’s frown grew larger. “But you guys aren’t even siblings.”
“But that’s what people see us as.” I shrugged. “We’re keeping it a secret because of that.”
“You guys are so cute,” Dee then whined. “Why does this have to happen to you?”
Cheryl sighed. “It’s stupid that people are so judgmental.”
“Yeah, but what can you do.” I sighed as well. “And I kind of understand them since if we were actual siblings, I’d be judging myself too. Incest is an annoying word, but in reality I would be creeped out if siblings were dating.”
“But you guys aren’t related by blood,” Dee said. “I don’t know. It makes me sad that you guys have to be secretive.”
It made me sad too. I wanted nothing more than to be able to go on dates in public. To show of Christian, my incredible boyfriend, to the peers at school. But because our parents were married, that was impossible. I just knew it, even though I tried to ignore others’ opinions.
“Yeah,” I said. “But… I’m hoping with him graduating in a month everything will be better. With him probably going to a university far away, it might be easier to date.”
Cheryl frowned. “But won’t it be lonely at home?”
“Yeah,” I admitted. “But it’s for the best. Being home with him is hard enough when you have to pretend you’re not attracted to him.”
“Oh yeah.” Dee suddenly smirked suggestively. “Living with your boyfriend must also be a blessing as well as a curse.”
My face heated up and Cheryl narrowed her eyes at Dee. I didn’t know why I felt so embarrassed, but I looked away from Dee.
“She just said she can’t be attracted to him at home,” Cheryl said. “What are you thinking?”
“Autumn,” Dee said, giggling. “Why won’t you look at me?”
My face felt hot, but I looked back at Dee. Her eyes were wide and Cheryl looked slightly curious too as she stared at me. Smiling to myself, I knew I was about to disappoint them.
“No, we usually avoid each other at home,” I said, grinning at Dee’s disappointed face. “My mom already called us out on incest, so we’re taking precautions.”
“Enough about incest!” Dee groaned. “I hate that word. Let’s never bring it up again.
“Fine by me.”
Cheryl nodded in agreement and I smiled, satisfied with that. Incest. I really hated the word and everything it had done to my life.
“Are you happy with the way things are going?” Cheryl suddenly asked.
“For sure.” I nodded. “It’s scary knowing things can get messed up at any time, but I feel like God is on my side for once. I don’t know what will happen, but I’m trying to be hopeful.”
“I like seeing you like this,” Dee suddenly said, smiling warmly. “You really brightened up after meeting Christian.”
“Yeah,” Cheryl agreed. “Hope is a nice look on you.
Myinsides melted at my friends compliments. I was happy. So happy with Christian and them at my side. A part of me knew there’d be a storm that would ruin what I had, but another part of me decided to let things be good. Christian and I had been together for a month now, and we were going strong. As long as we were good, I had a good feeling that everything else would stay good too.

To be continued..


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