Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Oh Brother Episode 43-45

I wrapped my arms around my knees and brought them to my chest. Burying my face into them, I then allowed a few tears to escape my eyes. I hated being here. I hated how lonely I was.
As a teenager, I felt like I should feel free at being alone in a motel. With my b---h of a mother home and no parental supervision, I thought I would be having a blast here on my own. But it turned out, I was miserable. With no one I knew in kilometres, I was horribly lonely.
It didn’t help that I hadn’t seen Christian for a month. Even though we went to the same school, we never got to see each other. Christian was two years older, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was how strict my mom became. Nowadays she forced Christian to go home for lunch so that we couldn’t see each other. I swear I hated her.
Sniffing as more tears ran down my face, I lifted my head up and looked around the ugly motel room. There were two rooms. One bedroom and one kitchen/living room. Both rooms were plain, and from how yellow and smelly the place was I could tell it was getting old. It was still better than what I expected from my mom who was paying for it, but I still missed my house.
My home actually, and all of my memories in it. The memories of my dad, the memories of Christian, and even the memories of my old mom were what I missed especially. All those were there, yet I could never return to that place. I hated what had become of my life.
I covered my mouth and fought back a sob. Emotional was all I’d been for the past week, and it wasn’t even my time of the month. I was just so done with everything that happened in the past year, so I guess all of my emotions were coming out now. That was the only benefit of living alone. No one could see my meltdown.
As if on cue, the doorbell rang. I froze on the couch I was sitting on. Wiping the tears away from my cheeks, I got up and went to the door. Assuming it was a salesman, I took a deep breath in and opened the door. My eyes widened as Christian stood in front of me.
“Oh my god,” Christian said, breathlessly.
Without waiting for a reply, he then hugged me. The door shut behind him as I began crying into his chest. I couldn’t believe he was here. I couldn’t believe I was crying into him like this. But right now, I was too busy to care.
Still holding onto me, Christian led me to what I realized was my bedroom from the walking distance. He then sat me down on my bed and sat next to me. His arms remained wrapped around me as I continued to cry. I didn’t know why I was so emotional, but I was just so happy he was here.
After I felt like I cried my guts out, I moved away from him and asked, “What are you doing here?”
“What do you think?” he asked, brushing away some of my tears with his thumb.
I smiled sadly. “Well, thank you.”
“Idiot.” He ruffled my hair gently. “Why are you thanking me? I’m sorry I didn’t come earlier.”
I shrugged, unsure of what to say. For so long I’d been missing him. He was right, he should have.
“You hate it here?” he then asked.
“Yeah,” I whispered. “I hate this place.”
“I don’t blame you.” His eyes wandered around the place. “I’m so mad.”
“Because you don’t deserve this!” he exclaimed. “You f-----g mom needs to be taught a lesson!”
“She does!” His eyes hardened. “What kind of mother kicks their daughter out of her own house. I hate her. You should too. We should hate her together.”
A part of me was touched by how passionate Christian was about this, knowing it was because he cared about me. But the other part of me was worried. Christian rarely got mad, but my mom seemed to anger him nowadays. That side of Christian was a part of a past he wasn’t fond of, so I was worried that the past was returning.
Wanting to calm him down, I gently put a hand on his arm. His eyes met mine, and they lost their hardness. Instead they seemed sad, which made me wonder if he pitied me. Even if I was pitiful, I hoped he didn’t.
“She’s a b---h,” I agreed. “But there’s nothing we can do. This is how things are, so please don’t waste your time plotting revenge on her. She deserves nothing from us.”
“True.” Christian sighed.
He put an arm around my waist, pulling me closer to him. I laid my head on his shoulder, suddenly feeling tired. I knew seeing him was a rare occasion, but after everything I was too tired to bask in the glory of the moment. Silently, I prayed we would get more days together.
“So, tell me. How have you been the past month?” Christian asked.
“Okay.” I smiled sadly, snuggling into him. “It gets lonely though.”
“I know. This place is horrible and empty.” His voice seemed to almost crack at those words. “I’m sorry this happened to you. This is all my fault. If only I-”
“Christian,” I cut in, surprised he felt at fault in the situation. “It’s not your fault. It’s not mine either. Life is just…”
“Unfair? Yeah, it sure as hell is.”
I smiled sadly, knowing he was right. All we ever wanted was happiness, and once we got a bit of it we were now stuck with new reasons to be unhappy. Life was cruel, I realized.
Feeling down, I asked, “Can we change the subject? This is depressing.”
“Yeah.” He chuckled, but I knew his heart was not in it. “Let’s do something.”
I smiled, moving away from him so that I could see his face. My heart fluttered at the question.
“What do you think we should do?” I asked.
“We should have… Fun.” He grinned. “If you know what I mean.”
I smirked, knowing exactly what he meant. “Oh, we should. What would be fun though?”
He grinned mischievously and I knew where this was going. Adrenaline was pumping through me as my smirk grew.
“We should…” He winked slowly. “Play video games.”
I laughed, glad to see that he had the same mind as me. Even with other options, I knew video games was the answer since the beginning. I shook my head at how strange we were.
Getting up from the bed, my heart lightened up. Christian had a way of making me feel like everything was okay, and I was thankful.
Smiling, I said, “Let’s go.”
He nodded and got up as well. My smile grew and he smiled back at me. Just a few minutes ago, I had been crying. With him here, I now felt better. Less emotional too, which was as much as I could ask for ever since coming here. This was why I needed Christian, I realized.

I stared at the clock, watching as it struck six o’clock. And with that, I found my veins boiling. I felt indescribably mad as I clenched my hands into fists. I had missed Christian’s graduation. All because of my mom, I had.
This to me was cruel. Even if our family was messed up, this one event was something we all had to attend. Me, being his stepsister, should have been there. I should have gotten an invitation at the very least, but instead I got nothing. I only knew about his graduation because I went to the same school as him. Otherwise, without any sort of communication with Christian because my mom took my phone away from me, I wouldn’t have even known that this special occasion occurred.
I got up from the couch I was sitting on and began pacing around my tiny living room. With a TV and couch already taking up most of the room, there wasn’t much space to pace. Seeing that, I only felt angrier. My mom was ruining my life.
I found myself taking in quick breaths as rage filled me. A rage I hadn’t felt in a while began to consume me, and I needed an outlet for it. So without thinking, I walked over to a vase that sat on a counter and threw it at the wall. It shattered instantly, and I smiled as I instantly felt relieved. I felt like I was going crazy, but I also felt like I had every right to.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang. I jumped, surprised by the sound that interrupted my rage. Frowning, I wondered with a bit of excitement if it was Christian. I jogged to the door to see.
When I did open the door, my jaw dropped. Standing in front of me was someone I didn’t expect to see. Someone I hadn’t seen in a while. With his eyes expressing pity, Stephen smiled at me.
“Hi Autumn,” Stephen said. “It’s been a while.”
I didn’t know what to say as I stared at him. Stephen was the one person I never had issues with. I never really hated him, but I never necessarily loved him either. I was fond of him, but knowing he allowed my mom to kick me out made me angry. So angry that I scowled at him.
“What are you doing here?” I asked flatly.
He seemed caught off by my tone, but his smiled remained. I found myself getting annoyed.
“I came to see you.” He scratched the back of his neck, seemingly nervous. “Can I come in?”
“Why?” I asked. “You kicked me out of your house, so why should I let you into mine?”
His eyes widened, but I saw that there was also guilt in his eyes. As I glared at him, a part of me saw how innocent he really was. My mom was more like his ruler than his wife, I realized. He didn’t have any say when it came to things.
Suddenly feeling tired, I said, “Fine. Just come in for a bit.”
He smiled in relief and I turned around. Hearing the door shut behind me, I made my way to my couch. Stephen sat on it too, but made sure to leave a lot of space between us. I was thankful.
“So, how have you been?” Stephen asked awkwardly.
“Great.” I said sarcastically. “I’m living the life.”
“Autumn.” Stephen frowned. “Don’t lie to me.”
“Why did you let my mom do this to me?” I blurted out without thinking. “How could you?”
The guilt on Stephen’s face was clear and he looked uncomfortable. Not caring, I stared at him with eager eyes. Eyes that pleaded for him to tell me that I didn’t mean absolute nothing to him. That even though we were never close, he still saw me as part of his family. I didn’t know why I suddenly cared so much, but I did.
“Autumn…” Stephen started, sounding surprisingly sad. “I don’t agree with this.”
“But you let it happen.” My eyes were wide with hurt. “Why didn’t you stand up for me?”
“Your mom… You know how she is.”
“You’re a grown man. How could you let her kick out a child. Her child.”
“How could you fall for your brother,” Stephen suddenly shot back, looking disappointed.
My eyes widened. From the look on his face, it was clear. He didn’t agree with Christian and I being together. I should have expected it, but I had always thought Stephen was more open minded.
“He’s my stepbrother,” I said calmly. “Do you really think that what we have is… Incest?”
Stephen looked away, shaking his head. He looked upset, but not with me.
“When I married your mother, I was hoping the four of us could be a happy family. Christian and you would be siblings, and your mom and I would be a happy couple.” He laughed bitterly. “Being a happy family was out of the picture a long time ago, but you and Christian. You guys gave me hope that at least my children would have a family within each other.”
Stephen suddenly looked at me and the disappointment was clear on his face. My eyes widened and I felt something clutch at my heart. It was painful, and I realized I felt guilt. For some reason, I felt bad for Stephen.
“But then you two fell for each other,” Stephen continued. “You two were supposed to be siblings, but you guys are a couple instead. The last of my dream was destroyed by that.”
“But we’re happy,” I quickly said, suddenly feeling hopeless at Stephen’s disappointment. “We have that.”
“Really?” Stephen asked. “You’re happy here, all alone in this ugly motel?”
I nodded, looking away as I lied. Something about Stephen’s piercing blue eyes made it hard to be the strong person I usually was. Maybe because they looked so disappointed, and he had been one of the few people I didn’t want to disappoint.
“Don’t lie to me,” Stephen said, bringing me to look at him again. “I see that broken vase over there.”
He pointed at the vase that laid shattered on the ground. I had forgotten about it, and suddenly I felt ashamed of myself. Stephen had somehow seen right through me.
“It wasn’t like I was happy at home,” I muttered, knowing I had to win this fight.
With Christian and I’s relationship up for the test, I knew I had to fight back all of his claims that our relationship had ruined my life. I already knew it hadn’t, but I had to show Stephen that. I had to show him in hopes that he would also convince my mom that it was okay for us to love each other.
“Maybe, but you weren’t lonely,” Stephen said, eyes softening a bit. “As long as your mother was out of the way, you didn’t hate living at our house.”
He clearly saw through me, and I was shocked. Stephen and I weren’t related in any way, but somehow he knew me. In the eleven months we had known each other, Stephen had figured me out. I was terrified.
“But…” I began, unsure of what to say next.
“Tell me this,” Stephen suddenly said, ignoring me. “Is it worth it? Is your relationship with Christian worth it?”
“Yes,” I replied confidently. “It is.”
“I want you to really think about it.” His eyebrows furrowed. “Think about what has happened. Think about where you live now, and of how lonely you are. Then compare it to your old life. Give me an answer then.”
I rolled my eyes, but listened to him anyways. Knowing I was sure of myself, I was surprised to find my heart dropping at the thought of living in this motel for the next couple of years. With the idea of being all alone in this ugly apartment, my heart sank even more. And that was when I connected this to Christian.
I could never see him. I couldn’t even go to his graduation just because of our relationship. I loved him – I knew that for sure – but I thought about the past.
Christian and I had been so close. We could see each other whenever we wanted, and he had become the family I had always wanted. And the truth was, I was somewhat happy back then. Willing to stick with that, even though my heart wanted more. It was great dating Christian, but I had suffered so many losses because of it. Stupid losses that could have been prevented if we never loved each other. I froze at the truth.
Seeing that I was so conflicted, Stephen sighed lightly. He suddenly got up and walked to the door, surprising me. I frowned at him.
Opening the door, he said, “I see you understand. If you’re willing to break up with him, I’ll convince your mom to allow you to come home. Okay?”
I nodded robotically, still in a daze from the horrifying truth. Stephen then left and shut the door, snapping me out of my thoughts momentarily.
Was it worth it? That was the question he had asked me, but I had no idea now. A few days ago I would have agreed wholeheartedly, but now I didn’t know. Christian and I both suffered a lot. Just because we loved each other, we had. Knowing we were once happy as just siblings, I began to wonder if I should listen to Stephen. My heart didn’t want to, but knowing my future was set to live in this motel, I was conflicted.

It was worth it, I reminded myself for the millionth time. All of this to be with Christian was worth it. I suddenly frowned, knowing I didn’t wholeheartedly believe what I thinking.
A part of me hated what Stephen brought up, but with the chance of returning home I couldn’t help but spend my days thinking about everything. I loved Christian – there was no doubt about that. But like Stephen asked, was it worth it? Being here alone was the cost, and I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if it was worth it.
I sighed and ran my fingers through my long hair. Now that school had ended, I was lonelier. Without a car, I couldn’t see my friends. I couldn’t see anyone really, which left me all alone at home. I’d often debate on whether boredom or loneliness would kill me first.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang. I huffed tiredly and got up from the couch I was sprawled on. Hoping it wasn’t Stephen looking for an answer, I made my way to the door and opened it.
To my shock, it was Christian. My jaw dropped and my heart froze, completely surprised that he was here. Here when my heart was so conflicted. I wasn’t sure if I should’ve been happy or horrified by his sudden appearance.
“Autumn.” He stepped into the motel room and hugged me, snuggling his face into my hair.
The door shut as he pushed me back, still holding onto me, towards the couch. My heart was now racing as I hugged him back, realizing how much I missed him. I knew I loved him at that.
We landed on the couch as he fell forward. Smiling from on top of me, he kissed me and I kissed him back immediately. Grabbing onto his shirt to bring him closer to me, I kissed him as if I had deprived of him – which I had been.
Christian smiled against my lips and I knew I didn’t want to lose this. As he grabbed my hips, I knew he was all I needed. But the question was still in my mind. Was it worth it? Was just him and nobody else worth it? Suddenly, I pulled back as questions formed in my mind.
“How did you come here?” I asked. “I thought my mom would be watching you like a hawk.”
“I have my ways.” Christian winked, grinning. “We have all of today to ourselves.”
Christian began leaning forward again, but I put my hand on his chest to stop him. There were important questions I had to ask him. To know if it was worth it, I had to see his views too.
“Can we talk?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said, frowning in confusion.
Christian sat up and I moved away from him, so that I was now sitting next to him. Clasping my hands together, I found my heart racing with nerves. I really wanted the answer to Stephen’s question to be yes, but there was really no way to tell.
“Why do you think we fell for each other?” I suddenly asked, looking at his blue eyes.
He frowned. “Why are you asking?”
I looked down, knowing I couldn’t tell him about Stephen’s visit. Christian would be mad, I was sure. And even if he had every right to be mad, I was looking for answers to questions that would make everything make sense. Not just for Stephen’s question, but for the fact that life had changed solely because we loved each other.
“Don’t you ever wonder?” I replied, looking back at him. “We could have fell for anyone, but we fell for each other. Knowing it would be difficult to be together, we still chose each other.”
Curiosity shone in Christian’s eyes. I was glad to see it because I was also curious. Falling for him had been one of the most beautiful and horrible things in my life. There were so many fish in the sea, but I still chose this destructive path that made me so happy. I didn’t understand why.
“That’s a good question.” Christian suddenly smiled as his eyes wandered around the room. “But I guess because we can relate to each other.”
“How so?” I asked, curious.
“Well, we both only have one parent left,” he replied. “Both of our lives were changed drastically. We can understand each other’s pain, and pain can bring people together in the strangest way.”
I frowned. I never thought about it, but that was true. Christian and I could relate in many ways, and now that I thought about it, that was how we originally bonded in a sense. But the thing was, I didn’t understand how that made us fall for each other. Friends, yes. But lovers, not really.
“But why would we fall for each other because we can relate to each other?” I asked, frowning. “I bet there’s a lot of people like us. There has to be a reason.”
“I don’t know, we’re messed up people.” He suddenly broke out into a smile. “You know, I used to wonder if I was so messed up that I fell for my sister.”
My eyes widened as I felt like I got slapped. Staring at him, I had this horrifying realization that he also thought our relationship was disgusting. That he was so mentally disturbed that he had fallen for his sister. It hurt. Hurt so much that I transformed that feeling into anger as I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Excuse me?” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.
“That was a while back.” His smile fell, seeing my reaction. “It was before I realized you weren’t my sister.”
I didn’t care if it had been a while back. The fact that he thought his feelings for me was some sort of mental illness hurt. I once thought we would be disturbing because of incest, but never have I thought my feelings for him were sick. Wrong, maybe. But I didn’t think I was corrupted enough to fall for my brother.
“Wow.” I laughed bitterly. “You thought you were so messed up that you fell for your sister. I’m glad to see that, that’s why you fell for me.”
“Autumn… What I said was meant to be a joke,” Christian said cautiously, seeing my anger. “The past is the past.”
“But it matters!” I exclaimed. “I can’t believe you. You fell for me because we were both in pain. You thought you were so corrupted that you liked me. Do you understand how wrong that sounds?”
Christian’s eyes widened and I didn’t care if we were fighting after so long. My heart hurt and I was angry. Angry at the harsh truth I wish he never brought up. I loved him, but his reasons for us falling for each other were horrible.
“I didn’t fall for you because we can relate through pain,” Christian said defensively. “Sure, it helped us connect, but I don’t like you for that. Gosh Autumn. Why are you overreacting?”
My jaw dropped at his accusation. My life had fallen apart because of him, which gave me every right to freak out over this. It was his fault I was living here. All his fault I was all alone.
“I’m not!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up into the air. “After everything I’ve been through, I just can’t believe your feelings are based on such stupid things. It makes me feel like our relationship isn’t worth it.”
I froze as the truth came out. The very answer I didn’t want had fallen out of my mouth. My eyes widened, and so did Christian’s. Both of us seemed to know that this was not a good sign.
“You don’t think our relationship is worth it?” Christian asked slowly, still in shock.
“No… I mean… I don’t know.” I sighed tiredly. “Christian, what’s wrong with us?”
“I don’t know.” Christian also sighed. “I’d love to say nothing, but clearly it isn’t.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right.” I laughed bitterly. “Maybe we’re both so messed up that we fell for each other even though we’re siblings.”
“Maybe you should leave,” I quickly said, looking away from him.
“Autumn, I-”
“It’s for the best.” I hugged myself, suddenly feeling both exhausted and emotional. “I want to be alone.”
To a bit of my shock, Christian stood up. I heard him walk away and my heart thumped painfully as he walked away from me. Yes, I wanted this. But I never thought he would have given up so easily.
To my surprise, I heard him say, “I never wanted to hurt you. I just wanted to make you happy. That was all I ever wanted from the moment I saw you.”
I looked to where he stood in front of the door. He looked sad in a way I hadn’t seen before. Crush might’ve been the way to describe it. It was almost heartbreaking seeing him that way, but with everything that happened I needed to be alone. Just to clear my mind, I needed him away from me.
“I know,” I said honestly. “But when we’re together everyone else decides to hurt us.”
I smiled sadly and he nodded, opening the door. Before I knew it he was gone, and I was left alone to hug myself. I felt like I was breaking, but only because the one thing I had been so sure of seemed like a lie. Christian had always made me feel secure, but what he said left me wondering if he was right. We were just so corrupted by our pasts that we sought comfort in each other. Seeing how bad life was now, it was a horrifying possibility I hoped wasn’t true.

To be continued


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