I am presenting you my story; it's been written for over a year and a half now and I do hope you'll like it.
Feel free to leave me comments. And, of course, enjoy!
I. Dire need. (Saturday night - Sunday afternoon)
"Uri, move your ass kindly down here, I need your help!"
Hah, I knew it!
I had told him it was not a good idea to throw a party without parents' knowledge, but NO! Mighty Shawn Niven knows better. It so serves him right for not listening to his younger, yet more sensible sibling!
"Uriel! What the fuck are you waiting for? I haven't got all night, you know!"
Ah, music to my ears …
I come down and glare at my older, yet not-so-trustworthy brother. Shawn is scrubbing the floor furiously, trying to get some suspiciously-looking stains off. I know he is not the cleaning type. It's always MY job to keep our room tidy and more often than not I have to fight with him to make him put his clothes back into the wardrobe or put his dirty socks into the laundry or … well I could go on forever. The point is that he doesn't know the first thing about cleaning up and makes me do all the dirty work.
He certainly has his ways; you wouldn't ever tell he's the type to blackmail you into doing what he doesn't want to do himself. Well, he is. He finds your weak spot and he strikes. Yes, you never know what he will use against you. And, to my eternal disgrace (as I am a person who doesn't cause any problems and really prefers to go unnoticed) he always manages to find some weakness in me. It's even more ridiculous when you come to think it's HIM who gets into all kinds of trouble, but he uses his charm and makes people forget about what wrong he'd done.
"I'm not going to help you, Shawn and spare yourself trying to blackmail me into it," I say before he manages to utter a word. "Besides, you owe me one this time and it's a big one." I grin at this thought. Yes, this time it's me who has the upper hand.
"Oh, really?" He spits out, not stopping the scrubbing motion of his hands. He glances at me and then snickers. "And what do I see on your neck? Isn't it a nice red hickey?"
I hate him!
"That's your fault, you moron!" I shout at him, blushing instantly. At the thought of what was the cause of … this … I feel shivers of disgust. If he hadn't invited HER, I would be hickey-free right now and wouldn't have to think of an excuse for my parents. When they see it … no, they are not going to kill me but they will definitely have questions I don't want to answer.
"My fault? I didn't do it to you, Uri. It's Mary I saw going upstairs. Oh Uri, you've been a bad, bad boy!" He laughs out loud seeing my red face. I, on the other hand, don't think it's a matter to be laughed at.
Have you ever had a crazy girl going after you and not giving you a moment of peace? She almost throws herself at me whenever she sees me and she doesn't give a damn if I mind it or not. It's so embarrassing.
I do mind, by the way.
First of all, my parents already think we're a couple or something and they are not exactly happy about it. Mary is my age, fifteen years old and yet she makes an impression of being very experienced in many ways, sex included. I'm trying to persuade them that no, Mary and I don't have any feelings for each other but … when she does things like latching on to me in the middle of the street with a 'Uri dear' screech or kissing me – well, biting, more likely - and giving me unwanted hickeys, THAT really makes it difficult for my parents to believe we're not dating.
Secondly, she doesn't seem to notice she's a bother to me. I already used up all the polite ways which would help me get rid of her. Telling her I'm not interested is pointless; she's like deaf then. Using irony or sarcasm makes her giggle and say I'm sweet joking like that! Ignoring her is even worse. That's how I got the hickey in the first place… I had to push her physically and – imagine - she only pouted! Maybe shouting and using swear words could do the trick?
But that's the only thing I really hate and wouldn't resort to. I know words cause more pain than actions sometimes and if I'm not in dire need, I prefer not to use violent language. Maybe in Mary's case I should make an exception?
Shawn, on the other hand, has no problem swearing. If he gets into trouble with parents, it's because of swearing mainly. Well, and because of bickering with me, too, but that's not the point now. The point is he has always had the ability to tell people right off if they are being a nuisance; he made an art of it. If I ever envied him anything, that would be this unique ability. He says what he has in mind, doesn't bother checking if he hurt anybody in the process and he still has a whole flock of friends and acquaintances! How does he do that?
"Shut up, that's precisely why you owe me," I narrow my eyes in an angry expression. "You invited this … leech! … to our house and even told her where our room was. So thank you very much and forget about any help. Besides," I exhale and look around at the mess our living room is at the moment. The party must have been a blast judging by the piles of trash lying around. "It's not my fault that it hadn't occurred to you, my brilliant brother, that the hoards you invited, would eventually turn the house into the very definition of 'a pigsty', had it?"
"Hah, hah, very funny, Uri," Shawn makes a bored expression, stopping for a short moment the still unsuccessful attempt to clean the floor. He points at me accusingly with his right index finger. "Now get to work if you don't want me to tell the parents it was actually YOUR bright idea because YOU wanted to meet your true love Mary."
"She is not my true love! Uhhh! Try to tell them that and I'll …" I can't think of any valid threat. Well, there is one but … I'm going to hate myself for being outmaneuvered again by my clever brother and letting him have the upper hand. I see a smile on his face and I realize he already knows he has won. I so hate him sometimes …
"Have it your way," I growl, taking the wet dishrag and resolving myself to scrubbing the offending floor. "But you still owe me one, Shawn, and I'm not going to forget about it."
We clean together in silence for several minutes until the stubborn stain disappears and then we proceed to throw all the gathered trash into the plastic bag Shawn had brought from somewhere. There are piles and piles of beer cans lying all over and giving off nasty reek of beer. They are the obviously illegal part of every party Shawn has been throwing since he turned seventeen which was several months ago. It makes me wonder where he gets all those cans of beer anyway. Well, there weren't that many parties, one or two at most and I certainly haven't seen my brother smashed, but he has a reputation to maintain among his friends. One of being reckless, defiant and messy and … whatever. I never really understood why he wants to prove that he is so manly. He doesn't have to prove anything really; he's tall, with well-toned, not too bulky body. He's a sport type and he is always surrounded by a flock of girls, all hoping that mighty Shawn Niven would choose one of them as his girlfriend.
No, if anybody should prove anything, it would rather be me. I'm the one short, slender, delicate and with the face too soft for my liking. I'm the one called 'girly boy' (because I'm always careful about the choice of clothes I wear) by my friends and by my brother when he's being evil.
Though, when you think of it, there are some traits in Shawn's appearance which could indicate his supposed girliness. He has rather longish, shiny black hair he keeps in a ponytail. I know he is crazy about it, he hasn't allowed to cut it for nearly three years, he only trims the ends once in a while so as not to let them split. And he has eyelashes any girl would kill for.
When the room is finally nearing the stage of being clean again, Shawn decides to break the silence and tries to thank me in his unique way.
"Well, kid that wasn't so bad, was it? What would I do without you?" He jokingly messes my hair; he knows I hate this – as I like to keep it neat and I look stupid when it sticks in every direction possible – but he just has to tease me …
"You'd have to learn to clean up and cook," I say seriously, running my hand through my hair and trying to even it. "And you'd die of boredom without having anyone to push around."
I go upstairs into the small bathroom. It's already well past one and although it is Sunday, I'd like to get a few hours of sleep. I have a quick shower and I climb up my bed. I share the room with Shawn and we have a bunk bed. I occupy the upper part as I don't toss around and generally don't have the tendency to fall down onto the floor. When our parents first bought us this bed, Shawn immediately took the upper part but after falling down a few times he asked me to swap and so I did. I slip under the comforter and close my eyes, trying to get warm. I hear Shawn's steps as he goes into the bathroom and I hear the water running. Its sound makes me feel sleepy but it stops very soon and I know Shawn will enter the room in a moment.
He comes in, wearing only his pajamas bottom. I never understood how come he doesn't feel cold while sleeping; after all with all this tossing on the bed he often ends up with his covers thrown onto the floor or pushed into the corner. Pajamas top would certainly help him retain some warmth … He throws himself carelessly on his bed and I hear the sounds of his covers being lifted and arranged around his body. My drowsy mind notices his constant turning as if he's not able to find a spot comfortable enough to fall asleep in and this keeps me awake. After a few minutes of his restlessness I have just about enough of it.
"Will you cut it out already, Shawn? People want to sleep here, you know," I grumble sleepily. I immediately hear his chuckle and response.
"Then sleep already and stop talking."
The tossing finally ceases and I am on my way to the land of dreams when I hear my brother's clear, a little inquisitive and filled with curiosity voice.
"Was she any good?"
It takes me a few moments to come out of the pleasant state of being almost asleep. It takes me a bit longer to process his question, though. You know, before I fall asleep, I have this stage when I hear everything perfectly clear but the meaning doesn't really enter my mind. So I'm replaying his question a few times in my head but still don't understand it.
"What do you mean?" I ask, mumbling into my pillow.
"Mary," he states flatly. "She kissed you. Was she any good?"
The absurdity of this question makes me half awake. I sit up and lean down to look at my seemingly insane brother. I can only see the contours of his body under the covers.
"Are you nuts? Would it feel good if a half crazy stalker tried to bite you?" I say, not believing what I actually heard. Maybe it's just a weird dream?
"Well, she's a girl and as crazy as she can be, she still is nice to look at and touch. I wouldn't be surprised if you tried to take advantage of the situation …" he says quietly, trying to stifle the laugher in his voice. He's teasing me again and I'm falling for it.
"No, I didn't. You should have known better than that. Besides, Mary isn't the right person to catch my interest. But if you like her, you can take her, you've got my blessing," I lie back and close my eyes again, not even trying to overcome the wave of drowsiness.
"Thank you very much for your generosity, Uri," I hear his sarcastic words in the dark, but the next moment they turn serious. "But if Mary isn't the right type for you then who is?"
"Don't know," I say sleepily. "Shawn, lemme sleep already, 'm tired …" I whine in a childish manner, covering my head with the comforter, hoping my brother would get a clue.
He does. Finally silence rules over our dark room and allows me to slowly stumble into the much awaited state of slumber. Just before I lose myself in sleep, I hear him start tossing and turning on his bed again.
Morning welcomes me with sunshine and crispy spring air. I am usually an early bird but I barely manage to get up at 8 am. After the last night's party and cleaning it would be virtually impossible for me to get up any sooner. It must have been at least 2 am when I had a chance to sleep. I get out of bed, careful not to wake my soundly sleeping brother. When woken up too early for his liking, he has his morning fits such as getting into fights with seemingly no reason and being harsh. Or he's being evil and picks on me constantly …
I take a shower, put on the soft black cotton pants and white polo tee shirt and stumble into the kitchen, which fortunately didn't take that much damage during the raid that was yesterday's party. I find a packet of cornflakes and fill a bowl with them, adding a handful of raisins (I'm a fool for them) and cold milk and proceed to munch happily. When I'm done I wash the bowl and put it away. Then I change to my Sunday clothes and head out for the church. Well, I'm a Catholic, just like the rest of my family and though I am by no means a saint, there are a number of things deeply rooted in me and one of them is attending church service on Sunday. The service usually takes about an hour so I am back home at about eleven.
Now what to do with such a perfect Sunday?
If our parents were at home, we'd have to suffer through a visit to their friends' house (I already hear all those ladies calling me a cute boy and asking questions about countless embarrassing things. Shawn is lucky; his roguish language is famous among all our parents' friends and neighbors and they dare not ask him any questions he could feel uncomfortable with) or our obscenely large extended family. Another option is to go shopping with my mom. I quite like it but Shawn is not a fan of shopping; he'd rather hang out with his friends or spend time in front of the computer, surfing the net and chatting with his buddies.
But our parents are to come back in the evening. It's their anniversary this week and they decided to spend the weekend all alone in a luxurious hotel, leaving me with my supposedly dependable older brother home alone. They left on Friday evening and, as it was too late to throw a party then, we had a chance to spend a perfectly fine evening, I hanging out with my friends in the nearby park and Shawn doing whatever at home. This 'whatever' turned out to be a massive guest inviting to a party from hell.
I finally decide that time spent on reading is time well spent and I take out one of my favorite books and plop down on the couch in the living room. I move around a bit to find the most comfortable position and at last, when I am contented with one, I open the book at the marked page.
An hour later I hear my brother coming out of the room and going into the small bathroom upstairs. After only a half night sleep he must be looking awful – bleary eyes, tangled hair. Then I hear the shower running – he is allowing himself a rather longish soak. After several minutes the door opens and I hear him come downstairs. I glance at him over my book as he heads into the kitchen in search of something edible. I can hear him walk around the kitchen and I catch occasional glimpses of him when he passes the door. I know he hasn't started eating yet and I know WHAT it means. I count silently and when I reach twelve, he shouts, "Hey, Uri, I'm hungry! What's there to eat?"
I put away the book with a sigh and shake my head with resignation. Oh God, who could believe there is actually some nearly-eighteen-year-old who can't prepare himself breakfast when he doesn't have half-ready products? I stand up and let my feet take me to the kitchen. When I come in, Shawn is already sitting on the stool next to the kitchen bar and drinking cold milk.
"What would you like to have?" I ask grumpily, keeping my hands on my hips. I know it's pointless to resist Shawn when he wants something and now he wants breakfast. I would be wasting my time trying to tell him to make something for himself. Shawn looks up as if thinking deeply but I know he has already decided what he'd like to eat; he only takes his time to tease me. Then he glances at me and suddenly a brilliant smile comes to his face. I rarely witness one of them and my mood lifts.
"There's something I'd really love to have but for the time being I'm contented with scrambled eggs," he says cheerfully and starts to watch me as I move around the kitchen. I take out a pan, some butter and I ask Shawn how many eggs he'd be able to eat. He wants three, so I take out the exact amount and put them on a small plate. I heat the butter and then crack the eggs. I let them fry for 2 minutes or so and only then do I stir them. This is the secret of my scrambled eggs; I don't blend the yolk and the white of the egg, I keep them separate and it tastes quite nice. When it's all ready (not too dry, mind you, Shawn hates it if it's too dry) I put it on his plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
"Your scrambled eggs are a poem," says Shawn with his mouth full and although he's joking, my heart leaps with joy at the sudden praise. "Are you sure Uri, you're not a girl?"
"Be quiet when you eat or you'll choke. And yes, I'm SURE I'm not a girl," I glare icily and turn around to wash the dirty pan and then I dry my hands. After a few moments Shawn is done and his plate is empty. He begs me with his eyes but I firmly shake my head in a silent 'no'. I already made him breakfast and I don't intend to clean after him. He has two hands and he is perfectly capable of washing one lousy plate, he's just being lazy. I leave the kitchen and enter the living room, where my book awaits me. Somewhere behind me I hear the sound of shuffling feet and water running and I smile to myself. I won!
I flop back on the couch and reopen my book and while I'm trying to find this comfortable position, my brother comes out of the kitchen and goes upstairs. He probably wants to surf the net or something but I know he will be back in a short time to take his sweet time teasing me again. It really seems to be his favorite pastime.
As it turns out I am right yet again. After about ten minutes he comes back to the living room and sits next to me. Or rather he would sit on my legs if I didn't move them someplace safe. He only casts a glance at the book (he's never been much into reading) and reaches for the remote control. The TV set is switched on and he begins to flick through channels, trying to find anything to occupy himself with. I am only allowed around ten minutes of reading because my brother decides there in nothing of interest on TV and switches it off instantly and then starts to bug me.
"Uri, I'm bored!" He whines like a child but when I look at him I can see sparks of amusement in his green eyes. I snort and smile at him mockingly and then I try to go on reading.
"Uri, you're being mean to your poor older brother!" He continues hoping I will finally tire of his whines. I do my best to ignore him and not get distracted from the plot and, as he realizes whining will get him nowhere, he becomes quiet. Has he given up already? So soon? I glance at him, knowing well that he is rather persistent. He returns my glance, his face a picture of innocence, yet I can't get rid of the feeling he wants to do something I won't probably like very much.
"Tickle attack!" He shouts out of the blue and launches himself at me.
"Oof." My back hits the couch and air leaves my lungs. I realize Shawn is hovering above me and he is moving his fingers in a threatening manner. I barely have a second to inhale and at the same moment my sides are exposed to an onslaught of maddening tickles.
"Sto … hahaha! Shawn …! Stop! Ouch! Hahahaha! Shawn, you damn bastard! No! Hahaha! Will ya stop …" I wheeze, trying to get over the fits of giggling and force much needed air into my lungs. My obviously-nuts brother stops his torture for a couple of seconds, just enough for me to get a few ragged breaths and he begins again. I'm trying to squirm away but he's taller and heavier and has no problems keeping me pinned under him.
"Will you play with me now?" He asks, not stopping for a second. "Or do you want me to continue?" He suggest playfully.
"Hahaha! OK! Ouch! You evil bastard … hahaha! We will play!" I manage to shout out and gradually tickling subsides, leaving me panting on the couch. My brother stands up and flashes a brilliant smile at me. I want to glare at him but I fail miserably. I take a few seconds just to tend to my abused sides and to wipe a few tears that escaped my eyes. My clothes are disheveled, my polo tee riding up and exposing half of my stomach so I tuck it in the pants as I stand up.
"Good boy!" Shawn pats my head and messes my hair. He's so childish sometimes, I swear. "See, it wasn't so difficult. You should have agreed to it from the start but then again it wouldn't be so funny."
"You're evil, you know that, right?" I look at him, trying to incorporate some menace into my voice but he only laughs out loud.
If anything, that means war.
He wants to play? Ok, I'll give him a play …
"And you said I am the evil one," Shawn is scowling at the offending chess board and pouting in vein attempt to make me feel guilty. All he wants really is to make me lose on purpose out of sheer pity.
As if I ever have.
That's actually the third time in a row he had lost the game and I know how much he hates losing. I suppress a grin of satisfaction that is threatening to spill on my lips. Revenge is so sweet …
"Quit whining, Shawn. You wanted to play with me or not?" I ask impatiently, faking irritation. It feels so good to be the one teasing …
"I never told you I wanted to play chess! I really meant something more … interesting like …" he suddenly becomes quiet and his face turns dark immediately.
"Like what Shawn? What DID you have in mind?" I cock my brows in curiosity, witnessing a change of Shawn's facial color. He just turned dead pale! "I am by no means your babysitter and have no obligation to think up anything for your personal entertainment. If you don't like chess, suggest something else, something you'd really want to do. Being creative doesn't hurt, you know."
Another shift of color on my brother's face, this time towards tomato red, makes me really curious. "And what is it with you blushing? Have something dirty on your mind?" I ask jokingly, grinning.
"Not your damn business, girly boy!" He snaps. For a moment I swear I could see fear in his face, but it turned into anger. He is seriously angry, not just irritated and I back off, putting some space between us.
What was that? When did our friendly bickering turn into a serious argument? Why? I am confused. Did I rub him the wrong way unconsciously?
"OK, I give up," I lift my arms up, "I can sense it when my presence is not wanted so excuse me, dear brother … I think I'll go to my room." I turn around, intending to go upstairs though it feels odd for me to leave just like that.
I mean, we hardly ever quarrel and if we do, it's over serious things and not something as unimportant as chess! Additionally I don't remember us having a fight for ages. Come on, we do bicker almost constantly but that's about it. No harm, no offence, no hard feelings.
It's silent in our room. I climb up my bed and start replaying our conversation in my mind. It went wrong the moment I asked him about blushing but I don't know why he would react like that.
I hear the loud bang of the front door being slammed and I can guess my brother has just left. Oh, pretty, when he is angry, he tends to stay out late and when parents come back they will want to know where he is. The answer 'He's out' will surely not satisfy them and I will see no end of questions.
Oh, just pretty!
It's already three in the afternoon and I nibble at my dinner (microwave pizza) which is growing colder with every passing moment. I kind of hoped Shawn would come back, remembering about our parents. He's going to be questioned, too, if he comes back late. Well, we still have some time left to straighten things out. I am willing to apologize, though I don't understand what wrong I had done. Was it my stupid remark about his blushing and dirty thoughts that angered Shawn so much? Then again why would he lash out like this, when he knew I was joking?
Or did he?
I waste nearly the whole pizza; I ate maybe one slice and the rest is lying on the plate in the state of unappetizing bits. Finally I decide to throw it away; it's cold anyway. Shawn hates cold pizza. I wash the plate, dry it and put it into the cupboard; the next moment I hear the sound of the door being opened and after a few seconds closed again. If these were our parents, they would be greeting us loudly now so I assume this must be Shawn.
Thank God for small miracles.
I immediately go to the living room to meet my brother to give my sincere apologies and I find him standing there looking at his shoes. He's off balance, swaying on his feet … and looking positively … smashed?
"Shawn?" I ask carefully. I don't know how my sloshed brother will react to me trying to talk to him. "Are you all right?"
He lifts his head and looks at me, his eyes narrowing as if he didn't recognize me. He takes one step and staggers, almost falling down. I jump forward and catch him before he hits the floor. He's a dead weight on my shoulders, unable to walk by himself, his knees giving off and I am forced to drag him upstairs. His hands cling to me in a desperate attempt not to fall face first.
"You're pretty heavy, you know?" I state matter-of-factly, but my voice is soft. I don't wish to anger him any further. We manage to reach our room and I help him down on the bed. He's been silent all this time and now he remains silent as well, his eyes hazy with booze and face tinged red. He looks at me once more and then makes a movement to take off his shoes.
"I'll help you with that," I offer and bend down to unlace his shoes. They are gone from his feet. "OK, big brother, now we will deal with the rest of your clothes. We will make them disappear and you can go to sleep," I say using my voice to soothe him; I still have no idea what to do if he does something strange. What does he do anyway when being drunk?
"Nnn …" he articulates as he tries to raise his arms up to help me as I pull his jumper off. His tee shirt rides up with the jumper. At last the jumper is gotten rid of and I start removing his jeans. I push him on his back and unbutton and unzip them and pull them slowly off. I notice my brother's green eyes open wider and his lips spread in a grin. He's making an attempt to help me remove the jeans by lifting his hips up a bit. I finally dispose of offending pants and want to fold his clothes neatly but he does something unexpected. He catches my wrist and tugs on it. The tugging helps him sit up and makes me face him.
"Shawn?" I ask him, uncertain what will happen next. He holds my wrist in a death grip until it almost starts to hurt. Then he lifts it up and kisses the inside of it, slowly dragging his lips over soft, sensitive skin towards the centre of my palm.
My mind comes to a screeching halt.
"… you're sooo …" I hear him mumbling, his lips soft and tickling against my skin. He lets me go and lies back; blissfully unaware of the shock he put me into.
I stumble out of the room, still unable to think, still feeling a pleasant tingle on my skin where Shawn's lips touched it. I run my fingers along their path, not realizing what I am doing. Then I lift my hand up and look at it. My brother had kissed it …
This realization hits me like a ton of bricks and my brain finally restarts. I feel the dire need to do something that will express my confusion properly and I growl.
"What. The. FUCKING HELL. Has just happened?!"
I hate swearing, I really do. It's barbaric, it's used by people who cannot express their feelings properly. But at that exact moment these are the only words that come to my mind. Never before has swearing seemed so useful and … expressive.
And never before have I felt such an urge to swear until the thing that happened just a moment ago, disappears completely from my memory.