So this is it. Wow, we're at the finishing line. I can't even believe it. To think that when I started this in 2009, I never imagined I would ever come this far. And I couldn't have done this without you guys. The people who review my stories and make me believe, that perhaps I'm not as bad as I think I am. This is my first story ever that is actually completed and I feel - proud I guess. And sort of sad but in a way very happy that I can look back and say "I wrote that." It's not the best out there but I'm happy about it.

I will miss your reviews though. It always makes happy and leaves me feeling tingly. This is the longest chapter I've ever written. I hope you can bear it though because I get to finally tell things I've had planned for very long time. So nothing is added to make drama or anything. I had it planned from the very beginning.

Oh yeah, I want to dedicate this chapter to everybody who've reviewed my story and to those shy ones who only read. I also want to dedicate it to my bestfriend for pushing and pushing me forward, even when I complained. And to HoddedStellaIsh for giving me constructive criticism and pointing things out - also bruising my ego and pride in the progress but she only meant well. And thanks you to everybody who've ever liked/reviewed my story - you're awesome.

So this is it. I really hope you enjoy this chapter because it's the last and I hope you like the ending. Please review and tell me what you think. Happy? Not satisfatied? Could have been better? I really want to know what you think. And those who've never reviewed before but read this - mind reviewing, just this time? I want to know!

Chapter 18

"You held my hand, we took down that well" - The last song, Hilary duff


After school was finally done, I walked to Papa's pizza parlor, instead of being driven there by Adam. I just didn't want to be in the same car with him. I think I was just somewhat bitter about not being able to talk to Daniel. But it was my own fault, wasn't it? I could have said no, but I said yes instead. I think Charlotte noticed something was going on, but she didn't comment on it. And for that, I was grateful. Charlotte seemed nice and I was glad I was sitting with her now, instead of Kathryn. I hoped we would become somewhat friends now - my new study buddy.

When the math lesson was finally done, Mr. Call told me he needed to see me. I was nervous, just standing in front of him, waiting for my result. Then he told me, with a proud smile, that I got an A. You passed with excellence, he had said, just like I knew you would. I didn't think I said anything else than a thank you to him. I knew I should have been ecstatic and jumped up and down in joy. But the only thing in my head was that I wouldn't have been able to do that without Daniel. And I didn't even have him with me to celebrate. And it was my own fault. That brought my mood down. I didn't see Daniel for the rest of the day and I wasn't sure if I should have happy or not.

When I walked inside Papa's pizza parlor, I wasn't surprised that they weren't that any costumers there - now come on, it's papa's. I walked up to the counter and tied the apron that was hanging on the stool, around my waist. I saw that there were actually no costumers at papa's pizza parlor today, but that was okay by me. I wanted a break. No, I needed a break from the outside world. So, I walked up to a booth and sat down, taking books out of my back bag.

But I couldn't really concentrate. Not really, not like I wanted to at least. They were just there, not helping me do anything. Not helping me to concentrate on one thing, instead of thinking about a certain black haired boy. A book was always exactly what I needed to get myself on better thoughts. Exactly what I needed when I wanted to unwind. What I needed when I wanted to lie back, not think about anything else that what was being showed in front of me. But not this time though. A book reminded me of when Daniel gave me that book - and the smile that he had on his lips when I gave my oath. And his lips - yeah, I shouldn't even be thinking about that now but I couldn't help it. So soft -

Then suddenly, Janet sat down in front of me with a smile plastered on her face. But then she frowned. "You look horrible."

I wanted to laugh, I really did. Way to be subtle, Janet. "Why thank you."

"No, I'm serious you look aw-ful." She said the last part, like it was divided into two sentences. I didn't think I looked that horrible though. Last time I checked myself which was today, when I was in the bathroom in school, I looked just fine. I looked like I always did. I had my usual curly hair, glasses and freckles. Normality, really. "What happened to you?"

"You really know how to compliment a person, don't you Janet?" I tried to make my voice sound amused. I think I succeeded. "I know how I look, but thanks anyways."

Janet's expression turned serious. "Does this have something to do with Daniel?" Either Daniel had talked with her or this girl was too damn good. I decided that I didn't need to lie about it, but instead nodded. She sighed. "What has he done now?" It either had something to do with the warm weather making my brain very clouded or I was just feeling tired, but I decided to tell her about the whole thing.

Gandhi help me if I knew why.

I told her about how Daniel was ignoring me - which she already knew about - and then about how I realized how I felt about Daniel. She squealed at that part, interrupting me to say that she always knew that I had feelings for the boy. I decided not to comment on that, but then she asked me to continue. I told her about me following him - not a proud day for me I have to say - and then Daniel yelling at me. She mm'ed at the right moments and got that shocked expression on, I guess, shocking moments. I told her when I was on the swing. I told her about Daniel asking me to drive. I told her about sitting on his lap. I blushed under that, averting my eyes from her. I told her about the kiss - by then, I was flaming up - and then about Adam punching him.

Janet narrowed her eyes at that, not seeming to understand. "Adam? Adam who?"

This is it; this is the part where I tell her that the guy she likes is my brother. Weirdly, I wasn't that exited or nervous. I was careless to be honest. "Adam Adler. You know, the guy you like?" This time, it was her turn to blush furiously. I had never seen Janet blush. She actually looked cute doing so, her cheeks turning into a pink shade. She swallowed and started twirling a lock of her hair. I think she didn't know what to say.

"That's - that's your brother?"

I nodded. "Yep."

"How long you've known? Because, seriously, I didn't know he was your brother." She ran a hand through her hair, looking at the door for a second, like somebody might just come in all of the sudden. "He told me he had a younger sister, but I thought he meant like younger younger. You know, kindergarten younger. I didn't think it would be you."

"Not that long, I found out just two weeks or three ago."

"Well, why didn't you tell me about it?"

"It wasn't my business, I guess." I shrugged, doodling on my paper. "If you wanted to tell me, you would have. But it wasn't my business and I didn't care that much about it, not really."

"That's true," Janet said, cocking her head to the side. "But I wouldn't hide it from you if I knew he was your brother. I wasn't ashamed, you know that. Why would I be? It's normal to like somebody."

I gave her a small smile, thinking about what she said. "I know that. I - I don't know really, I didn't think of it as a big thing, really."

"It wasn't," She said, putting her hands on the table, "and it isn't a big thing."

"Yeah, I know." Janet nodded, looking like she was thinking really hard about something. And then she asked me what happened after Adam punched Daniel, with a very wry smile. I told her they fought. She wasn't shocked at that, which sort of surprised me a little bit. But I let it go, deciding that I didn't think it would be wise to try to dig information out of her. I didn't even think I would be able to. I continued by telling her about how they argued and the second fight they had - She still wasn't surprised, just nodding like she was trying to get everything in. I didn't tell her about coming home to find my mother crying though. But I told her about the promise I made Adam the day after the fight - today.

Janet's eyes flashed something I couldn't really understand. "You promised him what?" I knew she heard me, but I think she just wanted me to repeat it. Janet crossed her arms over her chest, almost like she was mad.

I said very slowly, "That I won't see Daniel no more."

"What? How can you do that Olivia?" Janet shook her head, looking at me like I was a child. "How can you promise him something like that?"

But I felt like a child, because I didn't get what she was talking about. "What - what do you mean? Why wouldn't I?"

"Because - you just need to talk to Daniel and get things straight." Her voice was firm as she continued to say, "The thing about Daniel and Adam, it's not for me to tell. But - but you can't ignore him. That's not fair to him or you. He really likes you and for you to ignore him - that's not fair. Adam's a big boy, he can handle it. He can handle a no, trust me. You can't always do what everybody else wants you to do - you have to make your own decisions. If you really, really like him, you go talk to him. You tell him how you feel. It's now or never."

I didn't know how to reply to that because I had no comeback, whatsoever. What was I supposed to say to that? I had nothing but I looked at her, trying to see if anything she said might be false or not. He really likes you. For a moment I wished that I could believe that sentence but my own insecurities were pushing that possibility back. Why would he like me? Honestly, that sounded so stupid. For Daniel Meladoe to ever like me was like - not possible. So what if he had kissed, so what if he had dragged me inside the janitor's closet and told me that he couldn't stand it when I ignored him. So what if that made me feel so good to hear that. He didn't have to like me to do that.

And there was that promise I had made to Adam in the picture. I believe that my brother could live if I told him that I would see Daniel no matter what he said. Perhaps he would throw a tantrum or something like that, but he would survive. It wasn't like that would kill him or something close to that. But my brother dearest would never look at me the same way - I was sure of that. The newfound relationship would crash and burn to ashes and I didn't want that to happen - not at all. We had grown apart but in months, we had come slowly closer to each other. My brother hated Daniel for some unknown reason. Why was that? It must be something horrible or Adam may have a good reason for acting the way he did.

Blood is thicker than water, right?

Janet was looking at me with an unreadable expression on her face, shaking her head in the progress. I realized that I still hadn't said anything back because I still had no answer to give her. Swallowing, I whispered, "What if I can't?"

"What if you can't what?"

I averted my gaze from her, looking at the table like it was the most fascinating thing in the world. "What if I can't tell Daniel because of Adam?"

Janet chuckled then but it wasn't one of those 'ha-ha' laughs but rather this laughter that said 'are-you-kidding-me-now?' You know, the one people normally say to a stupid person that couldn't fathom anything. "You're kidding me, aren't you?"

For a second, I felt slightly irritated at Janet. I was annoyed that she couldn't seem to understand why I was doing what I was doing. Nobody could seem to understand why I was doing what I was doing and I hated that. "No, no I'm not."

"Why not?"

"Just because - I made that promise to Adam, Janet. I have to stick to it now."

"You have to stick to it?" Janet raised an eyebrow. "Why the hell do you have to stick to it?"

"Because I promised him, that's why!"


I looked at her with my eyebrows furrowed. "What do you mean 'so'?"

Janet shook her head. "You're smarter than this Olive - I mean Olivia. I know that Adam is your brother and everything but do you honestly believe that he would want to you to be unhappy just because he has something against Daniel - something he shouldn't have at all. It's supposed to be the other way around - which it still is but Adam should-" For a second it seemed like Janet was only talking to herself but then she seemed to have understood that she was talking to herself. "- Whatever. You know what I mean."

I knew that Adam didn't want me to be unhappy but for him to make me make that promise, well he would have a good reason. "I still believe that it was right of me to make that promise, you know."

"So you won't talk to him?" Janet asked me, looking at me with wry eyes. I started doodling on my paper because I had nothing to say back to her - nothing that she would like at least. I understood why Janet wanted me to talk to Daniel though. It was because she was his friend and she wanted what was the best for him. But I didn't think that I was what was good for him. She may be his friend but it wasn't like she knew every single thing about him either though. He could have said that to her but changed his mind. Now it felt like all I was doing was thinking the worst of Daniel. It wasn't what I wanted to do - but it was all I had to stop myself from running to him.

I shrugged for the lack of better things to do. "I don't know."

Then something that looked very much like determination settled into her eyes and her jaw was firm. "Fine." Janet said but it didn't look like it was fine at all. She looked like she didn't like what I said at all and that she wanted to yell at me because of that. For a moment I wanted her to yell at me, to shake me so hard, so that some kind of sense would come to me but she didn't. Instead, she walked away from my table, not even glancing back at me.

I whispered, even though I knew that she couldn't hear me, "I don't like it either, you know."

I was sitting cross legged on my bed with the curtains closed tightly. It was still sunny outside and the birds were singing at their highest. It was almost like they were showing off their appreciation for the fine weather. I was in jeans and a tank-top, trying to mark things that I wanted to have in my essay for English class and other things that I didn't want. I didn't know why I hadn't started on this essay a long time ago like I usually do but for some unknown reason I hadn't. Things had just been so hectic lately and I simply didn't have the time. But I decided that it was about time that I start on it rather than later when the essay was due. I couldn't suck up to the teacher to delay it either.

After my talk with Janet, costumers had appeared in the shop, asking for their pizzas. I had tried to muster up a confident smile and asked what kind of pizza they would like. After they ordered, I told Janet what they wanted and she said that she was going to tell Freddy. Janet did and afterwards, her phone rang and she had given me a weird look that I couldn't really understand other than it made me feel weird - like she knew something that I didn't. During her phone call, she kept on glancing towards me every five seconds and lowering her voice so that I wouldn't hear whatever she was saying. For a second I was tempted to yell that I didn't really care what the heck she was saying or who the heck she was talking to. But I caught myself.

When I was finally done with my shift, Janet said to me while I was about to step out, "See you tonight." I had smiled, hoping that my talk with her hadn't put something awkward between us and that we could still stay friends even if - even if I wouldn't be talking to him. And then I came home and the whole place was empty. But I hadn't cared though, because I didn't even want anybody there either. I just wanted to sleep but I couldn't even do that because I had to do this stupid essay I remembered while walking home.

While I was trying to think about what to write in the third paragraph, the house phone rang. Sighing, I pushed the covers off of my body and placed my laptop - that I like to call Petunia Paolo - in the middle of the bed. The phone kept on ringing and I was tempted to tell it to shut the heck up before I remembered that it could be someone important - and that a phone wouldn't be able to understand me. Running down the stairs, I almost tripped and had to keep my balance. Holding the phone up to my ear, I started walking up to my room.

"Hello?" I asked when nobody said anything. "Anybody there?"

There was a pause before the person on the other side of the line said, "Oh sorry, Amanda was trying to get the phone from me." Dennis paused before he shouted, "Ey, ey, get your manicured nails away from my face." Understanding that he was probably talking to his older sister, I chuckled lightly before closing the door to my room. I sat down on my bed with a thump, bringing my legs up to my chest so that my face was resting against my knees.

It was probably to or more minutes with shouting and a lot of cursing from Dennis side before he turned his attention back to me. "Seriously, I don't get that girl. She doesn't understand what it means to have the phone. She talks to her boyfriend for three hours and if I want talk on the phone she goes Godzilla on me. Geez!" I laughed again. If there was one girl that could make Dennis shut up, it was his older, more wiser sister that he always likes to pick a fight with. It's a sweet sibling thing but he says it's more of hate thing. I call it "sibling love". He didn't seem to agree.

"I guess you did something to make her do that, isn't that right?"

"No." There was a pause before he sighed. "Fine, fine. I may have told her - and remember it wasn't my fault - that her new dress made her...look fat."

I gasped, laughing just a little even though I was shocked. "What the heck Den? Why would you say that - and to a girl?"

"Hey now! It wasn't my fault. She asked me and I gave her an honest opinion."

I shook my head. Boys would never understand that kind of stuff. And Dennis of all boys would never in a million years understand when to keep shut and when not to keep quiet. "You never tell a girl that she's fat. I'm not girlish at all and even I know that. My god -"

"- Fine, fine. I get it."

But I wasn't stopping just yet. "And would you tell Lena that, huh?"

"No." He snorted. "Because Lena isn't fat, that's why. She looks hot."

"Whatever Dennis."

He laughed. "But it's the truth." Well, I didn't want to hear about how my friend was hot or not. To be honest, that felt like something that should be private between Dennis and Lena. Not that he was giving vivid details, he was just telling me how he found her to It was just so awkward to hear that, I guess. I think it's because I don't scream out 'hot boy' every time I see one. And I already know how Dennis found Lena to be attractive. They're together, duh! Perhaps I'm just such a prude. Who knows?

"Great - good to know Dennis." Dennis laughed again, understanding fully well how uncomfortable this was making me. But thankfully he started to change the topic, telling me how it had gone with his biology test. It went horrific, he said. I truly believed him because biology wasn't Dennis best subject. I thought he would never ask me about my revelation during lunch today. But Dennis never disappoints and he asked me how the job was and if I liked it there. It wasn't like it really mattered for Dennis that I hadn't told him about it the second I got the job, I think he was just happy somebody wanted to hire me.

Like I knew he would, Dennis brought up Kathryn. "What you did today was awesome!" He exclaimed through the telephone, making me chuckle just the teeniest bit. I was sort of afraid of how Dennis would react to my - to me standing up for myself. To be honest, I kind of knew that he would think that it was a good thing because he wasn't the biggest fan of Kathryn either - just like I wasn't now. I think he just hung out with her because it was something we were used to. Like a bad habit that's hard to break.

"You think?"

He scoffed. "Like duh! About time you told her where to stick her foot. And to think she looked shocked. Ha!"

"Yeah." I agreed, sighing slightly. "I was just so sick of her attitude, you know. I thought she might be happy for me or somethin' like that but she wasn't. And I don't even get why. I bail out on her because of my work. So what? It wasn't like she needed me or anything. She always has someone to be with."

"Yeah, stick it to the man! Black power!"

I raised an eyebrow. "I'm not even black Dennis."

"So what?" If he was here with me, I could imagine he would have just shrugged. "It sounds much cooler than to say 'White power' and besides, black or white, when we bleed, we all look the same. We all have the color red in our blood no matter what race we are."

Sometimes, Dennis was very good with words. "Well said my friend, well said." As I was about to say something else, a knock was heard from the other side of my door. I told Dennis to hold on a minute, as I yelled for whoever it was on the other side of the door to come in. When the door opened, I saw my mother in a jumpsuit she sometimes wore for work. She looked to be so cautious and I was so bewildered. It was almost like she was afraid that I would tell her to bugger off.

And then she asked me, "Can I talk to you, sweets? Just for a second, I promise." Mom never asks for anything so softly - at least not to me - so it took me by surprise.

I nodded at her but first I had to tell Dennis goodbye. "Ey Den, I can't talk right now. Call you back, alright?" He told me it was fine and then we both hung up. Placing the phone on my bed, I looked up to see my mother walking towards me with slow steps. I sat differently on the bed, so that my feet were dangling on the side of the bed and mother seated herself on the edge.

My mother took my hands in hers and said, "Honey, I think I need to tell you that what happened - what happened between your father and I had nothing whatsoever to do with you. You know that right?" I never thought in a million years that my mother would come to me and - and just talk. To actually reassure me of something that I somewhat already knew. I didn't even know if I had said yes, but the bobbing of my head apparently meant that I did.

"I know."

Her eyes became so sorrow-full that it made it so hard to look at her straight in the eye. But I didn't look away though, because I think she needed me there for her. Even if it was holding eye contact. "Your father - your father and I decided to get a divorce a long time ago." She held my hand tighter. "We just didn't know how to tell you guys. I loved your father, I really did but it wasn't enough. His job would always be the number one thing in his heart and - and that was very hard for me to accept, I guess."

"So you decided that it was best to divorce him?"

I didn't even know why my voice sounded so doubtful of her. Mother looked away, just the teeniest bit of a second before regaining eye contact.

"No, not right away. We decided that - that we should at least try. For the kids - for you." Really, for us mother dearest? They were never really the parents we wanted nor the parents that we needed them to be. They were always concerned of how other people viewed them and didn't even glance our way to see how we felt about everything. But at least mother looked like she was remorseful for whatever she may have done.

"So you got divorced."

She moved her head in a slow motion. I think that was a nod. "We did. But that was the best thing for us and to be quite honest, I think that was the best decision we had ever made in our marriage. Your dad - he's not very good with goodbyes and all that so he thought it might be best just to leave. You know, I don't think he thought it would affect you." It sort of didn't. It just left us feeling confused and weird. I wanted to adjust my glasses, just a little bit. But I couldn't do that with mom holding my hands in an iron grip and I didn't want to make her feel rejected by pulling away. "He will visit and stuff, if you were wondering. On graduations and all that. And sometimes on holidays but for now, it's best to keep the visits at minimal, don't you agree?"

"I guess." I said. To be honest, that sounded perfect. And I felt bad for thinking that. "It's okay."

"And I want us to be a family again - to have dinners together and talk together." That's what I wanted to. So badly for us to be a family. But I was unsure of how we would ever be a real family. It was great that mom at least wanted to make an effort. That was a good progress. "And I don't want you kids to be thinking that any of this is your fault. Because it's not, none of it is." And then mom did something that I never thought she would; she leaned over and placed a motherly kiss on my forehead. Very quickly but it was a nice gesture. Then she stood up and dusted off her jumpsuit like dirt was plastered all over her clothes.

As she walked down the stairs, I leaned back on my bed. Perhaps I thought she would say something in the line of 'I love you'. I wasn't expecting that though. Okay, perhaps I was but I still knew how my mother was and I knew that she wouldn't just do that. Not yet anyways. I think she really wanted us to be a family but it would take some time - a lot of time actually. Perhaps it would take a lot of time but I would be happy if the results were us being a real family - a loving and caring family. I would be looking forward to the day when mom and I can sit down and have a normal chat. Just talk together about everything and nothing. Like a normal mother and daughter relationship.

I sat up straight and started writing down the third paragraph in my essay. Time flew by quickly while I was writing everything down, my fingers touching the keyboard so fast and without even looking down - writing a lot on the computer had its advantages. And then when I was on my seventh paragraph, the door to my room opened - without even knocking, Janet barged into the room with her hands plastered on her hips. And then the door slammed shut by the force that Janet used to open it. For a moment, I was just shocked to see her in my room of all places. And without even knocking!

"You!" Janet pointed at me, her eyes shining with determination...and something else. "You, come with me now!" The way I heard it, it sounded like an order, so firmly said that for a second, I was going to stand up and follow her to wherever she wanted me to go. But then I remembered that she had barged into my room and ordered me to do something without even explaining me why.

I stood up though. "What the heck are you talking about?"

"What does it look like I'm doing! You're coming with me whether you like it or not!"

"Oh, no I'm not doing such thing." I protested. "What are you even doing here?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?" She repeated. But then she looked back to the door and groaned. "For the love of God, come in here. This wasn't the part of the plan you moron! Don't be such a wimp!" Whoever she was yelling was apparently hiding behind the door and wasn't going to come out. Janet seemed to have realized it too, because she groaned once again. "Do I have to do everything here? Come out or I'm going to drag you out by the ear!" Again, the person didn't seem to want to come out.

I crossed my arms over my chest. My eyebrows crinkled with confusion. "Who - who are you even talking to?"

"Someone who's going get his ass whipped that's who." She threatened, looking back at me before walking to the door and opening it. Can you imagine my face when I saw Adam standing on the other side of the door, looking quite oh so guilty. I don't know why I was even shocked though. This was his house too and he had every right to be here just like I did. I think I was just shocked because he was following Janet - or being a part of her plan. Whatever plan that might be.

As promised, Janet took a nice grip of his left ear and dragged him into the room. He ow, ow, owed as if her grip hurt him. For a moment, I wanted to laugh. Adam, my brother, was being dragged into a place by somebody half his size. To be honest, I was quite sure that she wouldn't have been able to drag him anywhere if he hadn't allowed it. Like he'd do whatever she wanted.

He grimaced. "Ow, let go, it hurts." Adam grumbled, glaring at her. I wanted to point out that if it really hurt, he could have just removed her hand from his ear. I knew he could, he's damned strong enough to do that. And stronger than Janet, he is.

"Talk." Janet ordered, again so firmly. Now I know who wears the pants in their relationship - if they even have one. "Talk to her and don't come down before you do so, you hear?" And then she let go of his ear and I thought I saw something soft passed her eyes before they turned to me. I thought they forgot about me. "And that goes to you too Missy, don't think you can just trick yourself out of this."

"I'm not." I assured her, looking at both of them through my glasses. Adam wasn't staring at me, but looking at his shoes like they were so fascinating. "But why do I need to talk again? You didn't explain you know, but I get it, you were busy barging in and everything."

Janet rolled her eyes and waved her hands, like it would make whatever I said disappear. And then she walked out of the door, closing it quietly behind her as if she hadn't just one minute ago slammed it open. When the door clicked shut, Adam turned to me, running a hand through his shaggy brown hair and looking around for...something it seemed.

When I got sick of the awkward silence, I said, "What do you need to talk to me about?"


"What do you need to talk to me about? What did Janet want us to talk to about? You know, the whole barging in and demanding us to talk together."

"Oh yeah, well, Chimp wanted - ehm," Adam cleared his throat at the word 'Chimp' and glanced away. Something that looked like a blush covered his cheek. "Well, she wanted me to talk to you and get this - ehm, straight."

I frowned. "Get what straight?"

"She was pretty pissed about the promise." And that was all he had to say and I understood perfectly fine. What I didn't understand was how I hadn't seen it coming. And then something Janet said came back to me - I'll see you tonight, Janet had said. She knew what she was doing all along, that smart, smart girl. And I'm betting that whoever she was talking on the phone with was probably Adam.

I glanced down. "Of course she is. He - he's her friend."

"That's not it. She's pissed because I'm making you promise things, even if the reason why had nothing to do with you. Whatsoever. Or a little bit but not that much." Adam placed his hands in his pockets and rocked back and forth. "I'm not the one to tell you why - why I hate the dude. But Janet managed - actually, made me realize that I had no reason to hate him. Okay, he was being a dick and everything but the reason was pretty solid. Even if it wasn't my fault, you see."

I frowned. "You're talking in riddles Adam, say it so I can understand you."

"What I'm saying is - you can, you can do whatever you want to do with Daniel what's-his-name." Adam told me and I thought I would jump of joy. But then he added, "But not everything you understand? You can be his friend - his ehm, not so much of a friend. That's up to you and not me." For a moment it seemed like it was too good to be true. Adam was actually permission what I wanted when it came to Daniel. Not that I needed his permission but he sort of broke me off of the promise that I felt so obligated to follow. In a weird way. The thing was - I didn't know what I wanted to do with Daniel. I wanted him to be my friend, of course I did, but did I want more? Yes, yes I wanted that. Was I afraid to try? Yes.

"Ehm, great." Well, this was awkward. Shouldn't I jump and hug him and say in some weird way, that I forgive him. But of course, me being me, I had no idea what to say to him. "I will...I think."



He smiled a little bit, scratching his neck. "Yeah, the promise was pretty stupid. I shouldn't have asked you to do that."

And then Janet barged into my room again. Taking a hold of my arm, she started to drag me out. I tried to protest of course - but in some weird way, I knew where we were heading and I had no complaints. Whatsoever. Yes, I was nervous and the butterflies made their appearance but not enough to go back to my room and lock the door - just in case. Janet called over her shoulder that were going out to Adam and looking like he understood, nodded his head. I wondered why my mother didn't come out of her room when she heard all the noise but when we got out to the driveway, I saw that her car - or just the family car - wasn't there. She must have gone out. We got inside Janet car - I didn't know what kind it was, I was no car expert - and she started the engine and then we were on the road. She kept on small talks during the car ride, but I couldn't really participate because of one thing.

We were going to Daniel's house.

Yes, that thought freaked me out. I had been in Daniel's house before, so that wasn't the reason I was freaking out. I knew what I had to do but I was still afraid. What if what Janet had said was false? What if he had changed his mind, thinking that he didn't need the drama in his life? What if he looked at me and realized what a major mistake he had made - for kissing me? The insecurities were lurking up and up and I didn't what to do of them. I was scared out of my mind because I was about do something out of my comfort zone.

I didn't have much more time because before I knew it, we had arrived in front of his house. "Get in there, Olivia and rock his world." Janet told me and I was unsure about the 'rock his world' part. I gulped and tried to tone down the fear in me - what was wrong with me?

"I don't know what to do." I confessed, placing my hands over my face.

"Olivia," Janet started, turning around in her seat. "just do what you normally do. That's all you have to do - be yourself and trust me, you will rock his world." Or make it crash to the ground, considering how clumsy I am - or can be sometimes.

I nodded and took of my seat belt. Janet didn't waste any time driving away when I got out of the car. I walked up to the door and gulped several times, before I picked up enough courage to place my knuckles to the wooden door and knock softly. At first I didn't get any answer but then I heard some jostling and then the door opened. On the other side was a half naked Daniel.

No, let me repeat: A half naked Daniel. A half naked Daniel with his very ripped body. I had to fight to not move my eyes down, to look at his stomach or anything like that.

He was in black boxers - huh, he was a boxer dude - and his hair was all of the place - like bed hair. Very sexy bed hair, I might add. He seemed to have been woken up from sleep - by me - and he was rubbing his eyes. But when he looked at me - really looked at me, because before he was sort of sleepy - he gaped. And then he smiled. The Daniel smile of his.

"Olive." He breathed out but then he placed his hands over his mouth. I almost giggled. Almost. I was too nervous to such thing. "Come in," Daniel instructed when I didn't say anything back. His voice was slightly muffled because of his hand.

"O-okay." I mumbled. What was wrong with me? This was Daniel. I knew him for Christ's sake - I liked him too. When I stepped inside, Daniel closed the door and I took my shoes off like I do when I normally go inside a house. "Hey." I repeated because I realized that I hadn't said hello to him or anything.

He held up a finger with the hand that wasn't covering his mouth and pointed upstairs. That's when I understood. Daniel wanted to go up and change into clothes and possibly brush his teeth - considering his hand was covering his face. I nodded at him - like a permission for him to go and do so. He said a muffled, "Be right back." and then walked out of the hallway and up the stairs. I decided to lean against the wall and just wait - try be cool, you know. When I heard the water running, I knew that he was brushing his teeth and five minutes later, Daniel emerged down stairs in sweatpants and t-shirt.

I tried to smile but it was kind of shaky. "Hey." Stupid, stupid mouth of mine.

"Come with me," He instructed, taking my hand in his and dragging me to the kitchen. His hands tingled over mine and I felt my heart race. "You want something to eat?" When he asked me that he let go of my hand. It felt sort of empty without his large hand covering mine. Making me tingle. I hopped on the counter, thinking about his question.

To be quite honest, I was sort of hungry, not much but a little bit. But I still shook my head. "Nah but can I have a glass of water?" To calm my nerves. To give me courage enough to say what I came here to say. He nodded and took out a glass and poured water in it from the sink. "Thanks." I said when he gave me the glass and I gulped everything down. So very refreshing.

"Can I ask you something?" Yes, this was what I had been waiting for. I placed the glass beside me, nodding in the progress. "What are you doing here? Not that I'm not glad or anything but I thought - I thought you were - not seeing me...anymore."

"I wasn't."

"But now you are?"

"Yeah." I nodded, smiling at him. "Adam - ehm, he came to talk to me, you know. And he said that it was fine and everything. That what I promised him was stupid - which I agree on - and all that."

Daniel's face lit up, just a little bit. "Oh yeah?"

I nodded. "And I wanted to tell you something."

"No, I think I need to tell you something." He bit his lower lip, diverting his eyes just and then they rested on me. I wasn't sure what he wanted to tell me, but for some reason, I felt my stomach sink. He doesn't feel the same way - oh God. I still nodded though. "I need to tell you - about - about your brother and I." Huh, that wasn't expected. But I wanted to know didn't I? I wanted to know so badly of why they seemed to hate each other and now Daniel was going to tell me that.

I tried to control my voice as I said, "What about you and my brother?"

"You sure you don't want to sit somewhere?" I shook my head. I was comfortable here. On the counter, in a way taller than Daniel for the first time. He leaned against the refrigerator, just a little bit. "Well, you see, ehm this isn't a long story. Or it is but I'm gonna make it short. Is that okay?" When I nodded, he continued by saying, "Well - remember this happened some time ago and this isn't how I feel now. When my dad - when my dad died well he sorta got hit or his car got hit by ehm..."

I waited for him to continue but he didn't. "Hit by what? Tell me Daniel."

"Well," He gulped. "His car got hit by your - your father's car." I didn't know what to say or what to feel. I was shocked, so shocked that I just sat there, gaping. What did he want me to say? I'm sorry that your father got killed by mine but isn't it such a lovely weather today? This was beyond everything I could imagine. I was so sad for Daniel's sake but I was also sad for my own dad in a way. What a big weight he must have carried, knowing that he was the reason that somebody's husband, father, brother, son had died?

"My - my father?"

Daniel nodded but his expression was somber. "It wasn't your dad's fault though. For some reason, his breaks didn't work and he couldn't stop the car. I was mad though, even when they told us that it wasn't your father's fault. I was just so pissed that my dad died while he didn't even get a scratch, you know. And I didn't know about you then. I didn't even know that he had a daughter, all I knew was that the man had a son my age."

I blinked. "I understand - not completely but I still understand." He was telling me so much and I didn't know what to do off that. I agreed that Daniel had every reason to be mad but why did it ruin things between him and Adam?

"I was just furious that he got to keep his own father while I didn't." Daniel closed his eyes, just for a second, before opening them again. "I was mad at the world at that time and I wanted somebody to be blamed. Your brother - Adam and I didn't go to the same school but when we started the same high school, that's when things got pretty bad. We got into a fight on the first school day and I just wanted to hit him so - so badly. I took all my anger out on him and it wasn't fair."


"Adam understood at first - I think - but it doesn't take a lot of time before a guy starts to hate you back, you know. When you blame him for something that he couldn't have done. It sorta cooled down last year. I wasn't as mad as before and I understood what I did was wrong. We didn't fight anymore but we still couldn't be in the same room as each other. Everything was just far too tense. I don't hate your brother Olive - I was serious about that part. It's just too hard get over something like that."

Everything he said made so much sense. The reason that Adam and he hated each other was so clear now. Things could have of course been handled a little differently but they had to go their way. I didn't understand how Daniel felt - because I had never lost a parent but it must have been hard. And to have to see a reminder every day, of why your father was gone. To have to see Adam's face everyday and know that his father - my father - was the reason. My stomach hurt, just thinking about it.

But there was still one thing I wanted to know. "Didn't you know that I was his sister - when you met me, I mean? My last name is Adler after all, you must have known."

"Come on, how many Adler's are there in this town?" His lips twitched upwardly. Daniel looked so relieved, like he was worried I might have responded in some other way. He pushed himself off the refrigerator. Walking up to me, he whispered, "Besides, by the time I knew, I was too far gone."

I gulped, my heart racing. How was it possible that I hadn't died of a heart attack? "Gone where?" I asked, my voice so small that I was unsure if he heard me or not. Daniel was now standing between my legs, holding onto the counter. Covering my hands with his. I wasn't much taller than him, sitting on the counter and everything. Our faces were almost at the same height but Daniel had to tip his head, just a little bit to look me in the eye.

He kept on leaning further and further till I felt like I couldn't even breathe anymore. "Too far gone in Gandhi's world." And then he tipped his head, just a little bit and his lips brushed against mine. So very soft and so very light. I closed my eyes, hoping to bring him closer but he drew back. So fast. My eyes snapped open to meet his. They were so very hesitant. "Is this alright?" Why don't he ask me if Gandhi's words are wise? That's how stupid the question was.

"It's alright." I assured him, freeing my hands away from his and locking them around his neck. He smiled that sexy smile of his and his lips met mine. My eyes were shut tightly, in a way not believing that Daniel was here - kissing me. Again. His lips moved again mine so softly but then a little harder and then softly again. It felt so good and he tastet like peppermint toothpaste. His hands went away from the counter and to my waist, holding me tightly. This time, it was I who pulled away, breathing hard. "So you like me?"

His eyes twinkled. "No, I just like kissing you, that's all." When he saw the shocked expression on my face, he laughed. "I'm just kidding with you. Of course I like you."

"You do?"

"Yes, I like you. Even with your Gandhi craziness and everything, I like you."

"Gandhi is not craz -" But I got cut off by his lips colliding against mine. I forgot about everything I wanted to say, so I sighed. I couldn't really understand how he could like me in any way but I didn't really care. Gandhi wasn't the crazy one here, Daniel was for liking me. But I didn't care. The summer flies were all over my body and my head felt dizzy. This was a new experience for me but it sure as hell was a good one. The feel of his lips over mine was so good, like tasting chocolate for the very first time. Or the smell of rain.

We broke apart because we both needed oxygen and he leaned his forehead against mine. "I like you." Daniel repeated again, for no reason whatsoever. My face glowed with joy though and I couldn't help the small giggle that erupted from my mouth. I felt heat on my neck but I didn't find it in myself to care. "You know what this means, right?"

I shook my head, hoping to bring his lips closer to mine so we could could kiss again.

"It means that you'll have to drive my car when you go home."

I chuckled, bringing his lips back to mine for a moment and sighing... hell I would.