So I'm back to square one.
Hey, guys, any ideas?
Excuse me while I sigh… and resort to Plan R. Normally, I would say Plan B. But I randomly decided to rename it R because, well…
'You used to be in love, weren't you?'
'Si, si! Many time!' she paused a minute, smiling at the memory. 'How many time I tole you? You no listen, José.' She scowled at me.
I winced. Yes, she did, indeed, tell me 'many time'. I do, indeed, 'no listen'. I am bad. I should. It's… educational, I'm sure.
'Sorry about that. You know me. Well, how did you…' I paused, unsure of what I wanted to ask. I really should think things through before I do them.
Like falling in love with a girl who doesn't even know who you are.
Is that my brain talking to me?
Howinsane am I?
Meanwhile, Rosa was staring at me.
'Eh?' For a second there, I wondered what on earth Rosa was doing standing right in front of me giving me a concerned look. I seem to be getting a lot of those lately. 'Oh! Right.' I paused again with, this time, my thoughts on the topic. 'Well, um, how did you notice these guys?'
She thought for a moment. 'They were very nice. They pay everything. They look very good. They kiss han'. They open door. They talk good. They send me letter. Very nice.'
'Ah.' I'm not sure how that information would help me. Rosa had already drilled all that into me, except the 'look good' and 'talk good' parts. Now those, Jared was skilled in.
I am not.
Why did he have everything?
He probably would have had Iris desperately in love with him long ago. He probably would have had the picture perfect line to give if she ever bumped into him accidentally. I bet he could capture the heart of any girl or even… guy.
I sure hope Jared isn't gay.
Not that I have anything against homosexuals.
It's just that – I don't really want to get used to thinking like that.
I mean, what if he liked one of my friends?
Not being girly here or something but…
As you might've guessed, Rosa was again eyeing me with concern.
'José? You sick?' She tutted and extended a hand to place on my forehead. 'Ah! You sick. I know! You act sick all time now. I make you better.'
I was still a bit dazed, so my 'No's weren't quite that strong and didn't get through her 'you pretend, José. I make you better.'s.
That is how I found myself in my room, tucked into bed and eating very tasty soup courtesy of Rosa's culinary skills. Yay for me, I guess?
I really need to pay attention to my world. Otherwise I'd find myself being pampered in my room instead of doing something productive.
Like, um, watching TV?
Okay. Maybe I shouldn't pay attention to my world. In any case, I did not pay attention to the world around me and happily fantasized about Iris for a while.
I fully intended to do something sometime, but for now, I was just too distracted with my fantasies…
What?! No! I was not fantasizing about that!
You've got a dirty mind, you know that?! I'm a gentleman! I would not mention thinking about that. Jeez.
I was actually thinking about how nice it would be if she actually noticed me.
Anyway, so I was distracted. As a result, I didn't hear a certain someone barrel into my room with excessive energy and come up right next to my bed.
I mean, I was just so excited and happy to see him that I had to scream and yell his name!
No, not really.
'Hey, Jared.' I said tiredly.
'Dude, I heard you were sick.'
Dude, I'm not. But I'm not going to tell you that.
'Well, um…' I began.
'LOVESICK!' He declared, promptly bursting into a fit of laughter that had him rolling on the carpeted floor.
I really, really don 't see the joke here. Do you?
I waited for him to recover, carefully keeping my thoughts in check. I did not want to completely space out while my brother was still alive and hungry for blood.
He was still laughing after a minute. How juvenile! Maybe my brother isn't gay. Maybe he's still five years old.
He finally wiped a tear, recovering from his own oh, so hilarious joke and got up.
'You finished there?' I asked him, irritated.
'Yeah, just give me a second.'
I gave him his second to let out a few giggles.
I did not know that men could giggle.
Again, my brother proves me wrong on another count.
'So, why're you here?' I asked.
He grinned at me, pulling a chair. Oh no, looks like he's planning to stay a while! 'Dear brother, I heard the horrific news from Rosa and just had to rush here to do all in my power to make you feel better!'
I thought you might come here to… gee, I don't know…PICK ON ME IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS?
My brother really wasn't my favourite person in the world then. I wasn't sure why, but I just really, really didn't like him at the moment.
Not sure why? Ha!
OH MY GOD! Is that my brain talking to me again? I'm scared. Really scared. I'm losing it. Totally.
Damn it, Iris! This is your fault for being… so… amazing…
No, I mustn't think of her! It'll make it worse.
Back to Jared! Or my brain talking.
Should I, like, answer it back? I mean, I know that's way beyond normal insane. That's, like, lock-me-up insane. But, I want to know what it meant by that.
I mean, like, I deserve an answer, right?
Speaking of questions needing answers, why am I saying 'like' so much? This is getting scarier by the second. I usually speak in higher vocabulary than that. At least, mentally.
Oh crap. I spaced out on my brother. Thank goodness he had no nasty schemes in mind.
The expression on his face was now serious.
If Jared looks serious, then you better be very afraid.
'Actually, I have thought a bit – '
Try a lot. I hate to think about what's brewing in his mind.
' – about what you've told me. I have some plans in mind for you.' He grinned, pausing for effect, probably thinking 'Joseph is going to like this.'
What I was actually thinking is 'Oh God, no. Why did I tell him?'
I bared my teeth at him, half-hoping he would not take it for a smile.
Why am I in such a crappy mood?
I don't know. Maybe it's the fact that… oh, you kind of actually do feel sick. You're in love with a girl who doesn't know who you are. You are so desperate that you told your brother that you had these feelings for said girl (you even went to your pseudo-mother!) and are, also desperately, regretting it. Your brother is also so sickeningly, disgustingly perfect and you wish you were him. I mean, just a thought really. Don't pay attention to your mind!
I – It's… it's talking again. Just ignore it, Jared. Just ignore it.
Don't ignore me!
Justignoreit Justignoreit Justignoreit Justignore—
I'm your mind, fool! You can't ignore me!
Ignore me and you're lost!
In a frantic attempt to not listen to my thoughts, or my mind's thoughts… or whatever it is talking to me, I actually listened in to what my brother was rambling about. Anyway, who knows, he might actually have something useful in there.
'… jump off a building. You could do bungee jumping or something. That would really get her attention.'
What the-? BUNGEE JUMPING?! IS HE CRAZY?! Oh yes, he is. How could I forget that? Dumb Joseph.
'Jared, isn't that, I don't know, a bit extreme?' I said, trying to keep out the sarcasm from my voice.
Yes, you freak, it is.
'Um, yeah. Er… why don't you just tell me what you do?'
'I, um, actually just talk to whoever I like. That's about it really.'
That is completely out of the question. I would freeze and forever be labeled by her as 'some crazy creep'. Out. Of. The. Question.
'Do you know what I should say?'
'I don't know, really. It's just natural.'
I hate you, Jared.
Wow. That is definitely the green-eyed monster called Envy I see. I see your point, mind.
OH GOD. I actually talked to it. And it answered back.
It didn't comment any further, and for that, I am thankful. It must be satisfied now.
By now, with Jared a bit used to me suddenly dazing off like that, he just asked a question as if the conversation was normally being carried out. 'Why don't you try that?'
'What?! No way! I'd completely mess it up.'
'Yeah, you would.'
And here I was hoping he'd say 'Oh no, Joseph! Maybe if you just talked to her, you'd see that you suddenly have amazing conversational skills when you're in love and that it makes anything happen!' and so on. I am strengthened by his very belief in me.
I think I'm going to relabel Saturday 'Sarcasm Day'.
Guess what day it is today.
'Anyway, you haven't listened to all my plans yet! Remember that movie we watched, with that guy, who fought a bull – '
I think I'm going to just tune him out again now. But maybe he was on to something. I thought of all the movies etcetera that I've watched with Rosa. Surely there was something there in all that romance that could help.
I looked at Jared thoughtfully, and picked up a word in my mental silence.
Okay, I'm definitely not going to listen.
I felt like I'd get there, somehow. Eventually.
Optimism doesn't hurt, does it?
I mean, I know it looks bleak now, but I'm going to get there.
I hear your skepticism.
No, I will get there.
Yeah. Right now, though, I'm just going to think of Iris. Because I need to! She's a nice person to think about.
I hated how she looked sad all the time.
Even if she didn't know who I am, it would be great to help her be happy sometimes. Giving her something to smile about…
But how could I do that if she didn't even know who I am?
Again, I picked up another thing Jared said in my mental silence.
'Rosa said that…'
I replayed my conversation with Rosa. Is there anything, anything at all in there that could help me? I picked it apart, word by word.
In a rare flash of inspiration, I saw something.
YES! Why didn't I see it before?
I, my dears, have a plan.
A/N: Wow! In both chapters, I really didn't mean to get the exchanges between the brothers to get so long. I guess I like them too much. Anyway, do you think I should have added more dialogue tags in the previous chapter or even in this one? Oh! And tell me what you want to see, if anything, in the next few chapters. Hope y'all like this chapter!
Also, I have edited the first chapter, right at the end, to include a little snippet about how Joseph's eyes look like. It's not really in character for him to mention much about how he looks like, and it's a bit difficult to work in. So, do refer back!
And poor Spiritz went unthanked.
Nikki! I missed you :( Where's your review? I'll just assume you haven't gotten 'round to reading and I'm updating way too fast.
Bubbl3gum: Oh dear. The sharp objects are still approaching, noo! Well, you're my favourite friend when you review! Not only did I smile, but I laughed! Now, poor Spritzy is not actually called Spritzy. His online nickname is Spiritz. I just call him Spritzy. This is because I have a thing with slaughtering names. I often feminize guys' names. All I can say is… poor Joseph.
exquisite extreme: I'm thrilled you think that! Both the J brothers are awesome. I'm glad I amused you. I want to keep hearing from you, and thanks for reading!
Sunshine In A Cage: LOL! Yes, Jared… will have a lot of fun with the idea. He likes having fun (insert an evil cackle from Jared here). About Iris, mainly you'll see what Joseph sees. So admittedly, I'm not sure if we'll have a lot of chance to like her as much as he does… I'll try to do something about that, though. Thanks for your review! You gave me some foundations future ideas for the story.