Author's Note: Just taking a quick break from my series (I finished Book#1) that I'm too wimpy to type out. So I'm going to write a story.
Have you ever met one of those guys that are all tough, whose hearts are so enclosed that even after years of knowing them, you never really know who they are. Who never cry, even when they're dying inside? That's my brother, Mark. He isn't particularly attractive, which I guess is kind of mean to say about my brother, but at least I'm being honest. I don't even know why he's like this. I've only known him since I was five, our parents weren't married when they had us (we were twins). They met each other again, fell in love, and got married.
I've always had an on and off relationship with my brother. I live with him and have almost all of my life, and yet I know almost nothing about him. I just know he has a few strange friends who never come over to the house, and I know that all my friends think he's hot. Why? I don't know. He's not.
Anyways, the only reason why I'm even writing this down is because he was really bothering me today. He still is. We're moving today and I had just finished packing. He comes into my room and leans on the door frame. "What, you just finished packing?"
"Yes." I reply to him indignantly. Then he smirks at me. "What?" I bark at him. I have to admit, I'm feeling a bit irritable about having to clean so much today.
"You look so cute doing that." fury rises in me. I hate the way he's always teasing me about how I look. I have large glasses with thick frames, large brown eyes and flat shoulder length chestnut brown hair.
"Shut up, you lunkhead." He glares at me then leaves.
"We're leaving, loser." Then I stick out my tongue in a stupid attempt at making him feel bad. I say stupid because it didn't work.
Now, almost 4 hours later, I am still very mad. We are waiting for the train to Vancouver, that's where we're moving. The train is supposed to arrive at 3:00 sharp. Yeah right.
It turns out the train does arrive at three o'clock sharp. I'm impressed. Mum and Dad have already left for the food and Mark and I are sharing an awkward moment together. I'd like to be doing something interesting, but all I can write about at the moment is our awkward moment, and that's nothing interesting.
I think something has happened to this world, something very strange. Okay, A couple minutes ago Mark just turns to me and says, "Sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to make you so upset." My mouth was open for three minutes, and I must have looked worse than usual because Mark smiled a bit at the corner of his mouth, not his usual smirk. I think I may have looked like a fish. When I realized that I shut my mouth closed as fast as I could, and I'm just like oh my god, oh my god. I felt really hot and embarrassed. Then I had grabbed some random book and I BEGAN READING IT UPSIDE DOWN!!!! Gawd, I was so nervous. My brother has never EVER said he was sorry before. For ANYTHING!!!! Even when we were little and he was really really mean to me and Mum would always tell him to apologize to me, he never did. Well, he did, but he was all like "so-orry!" you know, in that spiteful, really annoyed kind of way.
Oh dear. Awkward silence again. I'm going to read now.
That was the most interesting hour of my life. Here's what happened.
"Are you okay, Ingrid? You're acting all weird."
"No I'm not!" I'm still blushing so I'm pretty sure it's a lie.
"Well, it's just you look kind of strange." he doesn't even seem to realize what he just said, and I get pissed all over again.
"SHUT UP MARK!" I scream. He looks a bit taken aback.
"I know I'm ugly, why do you have to rub it in my face every single day? what's your problem, anyway? Your friends so boring you have to bully me just to have your fun? I am so sick of you, it's not funny. Every time I see you now I want to barf!" I don't, but I did at that moment. "We both know you hate me, why can't you just leave me alone!" Tears are running down in rivulets, splitting where the large glasses dig into my skin.
"I don't hate you Ingrid." he says real quietly.
"Yes you do! I know you do! You never talk to me, and when you do it's just to tell me how ugly I am! I know I'm ugly!" I'm beginning to sound shrill and I think I see a few people looking into our compartment.
"No you're not."
"Stop toying with me Mark! You always do that! You always say exactly the opposite to what you mean!"
"No I don't. I always mean exactly what I say." he's talking very quietly, in an almost mournful voice, I realize now.
"I heard you that day," I hiss. "That day you bought me ice cream. Do you remember?" his eyes become curious. "You buy me ice cream. I think that was the nicest you'd ever been to me, when all of a sudden your friends come in and you go over to talk to them. You're all speaking in hushed voices, I bet you didn't want me to hear, huh? Well I heard! Every word!" As he remembers his face goes more and more pale, "What are you doing that whore, Mark? Going to take her? She doesn't mean anything to you?" I pause for added affect, the drying salty tears stinging my cheeks, "and you know what you said Mark? What you said is clearest in my mind. 'No, I don't care about that bitch. Even if she was worth it I wouldn't. Besides, she's my ugly sister!" each word I speak becomes more crisp, and is spoken with more venom. For once, I seem to be getting through to him. His face isn't void of emotion, he looks horrified, and after all he's done to me over the years, I'm glad.
"I was lying Ingrid. I can't say what I want to." each word stumbles out of his mouth clumsily, true to what he was saying.
"Why not? Are you so weak that you can't tell people what you mean to say? Afraid of how they'll react? What is so terrible about not hating your sister anyways?" I say the last sentence stiffly, but more quietly than any of the others. I wipe the tears from my cheeks and sniff a long, horrible sniff of snot to clear my nose. My fuzzy red school sweater is now damp.
"Because… I thought… maybe… if I showed any affection to you at all they'd know how I really felt." he says so quietly that I barely hear him. But I do. I know what he's said. My eyes are wide, and that's how they stay for what seems like hours, but is really just a minute or so.
It is at that time when Mum and Dad pop in fortunately to give us our sandwiches and eat with us. Supper is awkward, as you can imagine, but Mum and Dad don't feel it, merely going on about their day. The two of us were sneaking stares at each other the entire time. Whenever we looked at the same time though, we'd both look away, embarrassed that we'd had the nerve. But the entire time that I nibbled on my tuna sandwich I could not help but wonder what exactly he had meant.
It wasn't long before I had a chance to find out. Only a few minutes after we finished supper a few of their new friends called them out from our room. It was almost instantly then when Mark put his hand on my knee. I looked up at him, completely shocked.
"Ingrid… I'm in love with you." I think I might have gone brain dead for that point in time. And I think I did fish lips again. Mark looked so terribly frightened, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. I didn't return his feelings. I mean, I loved him, just not that way. I stay quiet. "You know how little boys pull girls pigtails to get their attention? I think… That is what I was doing. I guess the logical thing would have been to have been… to talk to you. But I didn't. Father… I mean, Dad, he's always told me I'm not allowed to show what I am. That I had to be a soldier. No matter what, what I feel doesn't matter. That my job is just to protect. I can't cry, I can't feel. I can't love. He told me he didn't. He said that if you show what you feel nothing will come to you in return. Once I disobeyed his rules. I told him I thought I loved you, and he pushed me against the wall and told me never to get near you. Never to touch you. He said if he ever saw me creeping up on you he'd kill me." he shivered. This man I was hearing about was not my father. My father would never do that. My father was optimistic, enthusiastic, loving, and outgoing. He would never push his son against the wall. I think Mark was beginning to get nervous in my silence. "But I couldn't stand it. I had to communicate with you somehow. See you somehow. I didn't want to be a stranger living in your house."
"But that's what you are." I whisper.
He leans forward and looks me in the eyes so intensely it scares me. "But I don't want to be, Ingrid. I want to know everything about you. More than your favorite color and what boys' posters you have hanging in your room. I want you to love me back." the confession I have just been given is too much. I begin to feel dizzy. He leans in to me, but even when I am about to throw up I know this is wrong. I put my finger on his lips and shake my head. No.
"It's wrong, Mark."
"But why does it have to be? It can be just us. We'll have each other and it will all be okay!" I shake my head again.
"Mark. I don't love you." I'm sorry I've said these words the moment I say them, and, for the first time in my life I see his eyes swell with tears. But he blinks them back. "Well, I do." I stumble. I don't want to make him feel too horrible. I see hope in his eyes. I decide it's better to squash them early. "I love you like a brother." I say, "A brother and nothing else."
He turns away from me and I can actually see the muscles in his back. Bravely, I reach out to his shoulder to comfort him. His shoulder was tense, and I could imagine the rest of him was too. When I touched him it was like a springboard in full action. He shot up abruptly and glared at me. He then walked into the men's room. I wasn't quite sure what was going on then, but when he walked back into the room some minutes later I knew he was crying. Despite his red eyes and face he's grinning when he walks in.
"I sure had you fooled Ingrid." he says. I raise an eyebrow. I don't believe him. Then he launches into this long story about how he formed an elaborate plot to make me upset or some bull. Even though I knew inside of me that it wasn't true I let myself believe it. It was better than the truth. I told him I believed him. After a while of uncomfortably standing he sat back down, still seeming a bit stiff. It wasn't much longer until I felt his arm around my shoulder nervously. I sighed quietly. I'd give him that much. Slowly, I felt myself go to sleep. I deserved a nap.
Forty five minutes later my parents came in here to the sight of my sleeping in my brother's arms. He was doing the duty that was given to him. He was protecting me, his fierce, angry eyes no longer shining in my direction.
This was so intense to write. Woah. Sorry if the present past tenses are a bit screwy. Well, please R/R! Thanks!