TO: Look at the name and nickname of the main female character in the story and you've got the two people this story is dedicated to. (I've made them bold and underlined them just in case) You know who you are…or at least I hope you can figure it out! =D
The Best Friend of the Brother
I was gulping down a tub full of ice cream when my brother, Tyler, and his friend, Tommy, tumbled through the front door after football practice. I was frozen on the middle of stairs, a hand holding a spoon in my mouth and another hand holding a tub of Ben & Jerry's. To tell you it was awkward was an understatement. My brother and I were close but I never really talked to his friends, apart from a smile and hello. I had only spoken to my brother's best friend who had moved to America, and that was two years ago. His new best friend, Tommy, was always around but I was never at home when he was. They only really started hanging out two or three months ago. I would either miss him or I would always be in my room and not notice them home, so I never saw him. I wasn't too bothered about this; he was Tyler's best friend, not mine.
I would however hear how insanely handsome he was through the words of my younger sister Jasmine, who was a year younger than me. Tyler was eighteen, I was seventeen and Jasmine was sixteen. Tyler and I looked like we were related; we both had brown curly hair, pale skin and green eyes. Some say that we could even pass off as twins. Jasmine was a different story. She had blonde hair and brown eyes. In my opinion Tyler and Jasmine were gorgeous and I was the other one. I loved Jasmine a lot…a lot, a lot, but she was sometimes a little ditzy. Jasmine would always tell me how close they were and how nice he was. It was a definite sign that he liked her. Guys weren't really my thing so I wasn't jealous or angry.
"Looking hot sis," Tyler snorted walking to the sitting room. I glared at him and flipped the bird with the spoon hanging from my mouth. I didn't really care what I did now, I had lost all my dignity when I realised I was wearing my Cheeky Monkey pyjama shorts and my brother's old ratty t-shirt.
"Hi," Tommy said amused. I took the spoon out of my mouth and gulped down the ice cream.
"Hey." I continued down the rest of the steps while Tommy walked into the sitting room, I followed suit.
"You know I don't think you've ever formally met my sister," Tyler said. "Let's forget about what happened at the stairs for a moment, I think we all want to get that disturbing image out of our minds. I mean I cannot believe that I'm related to you someti-"
"Get on with it!" I barked with my arms crossed. My precious tub of ice cream was now on the table.
"Right, right, Tommy," he said facing his best friend. "This is my younger sister Elizabeth. We all call her Toffee though."
"Toffee?" Tommy echoed his eyes lit with amusement. I rolled my eyes.
"Yeah, apparently I had a very sweet tooth when I was younger and had an abnormal fixation for toffee hence the nickname Toffee."
"Toffee it is then."
"Well boys," I said walking into the kitchen. I put the tub into the freezer and the spoon in the sink. "As delightful as it has been talking to you, I have places to go and people to meet. If you don't mind, I'll be off now."
"Where are you going?" Tyler asked his eyes narrowing. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Why?" I asked. "Don't tell me you're going all over protectively older brother on me again, are you?"
"Maybe, why? Got something to hide?" he asked crossing his arms.
"You caught me, I'm going to meet up with a fifty year old man I met on the internet and we're going to shack up in an old alleyway," I said dryly. Tommy was already in stitches. "In other words, I'm meeting a few friends and going bowling."
"Will these friends include boys?" he asked standing up now.
"Yes," I said exasperated. "Can I go now? Or do you want to come with me?"
"Hmm, I like that. Tommy, what are you're plans for the night?"
"Nothing, why?" Tommy asked finally regaining composure. "Going to crash their night?"
"Exactly," Tyler replied smugly. My jaw dropped and my eyes bulged. All I could manage to say…was well, nothing. I stood there like a fish; opening and closing my mouth.
"You're an evil older brother," Tommy said. "I like it! I'd do the same thing if I had a sister."
I folded my arms and glared at them both. "There is no way in hell you two are coming with me to go bowling with my friends!"
"Guys, I hope you don't mind, I brought my brother and his best friend along," I said dryly to my friends.
Amber, my best friend, her sister Rachel and my friend from Art, Kayla were ogling them. The guys that were there nodded their man-nod at them. Amber brought her boyfriend along, Chris. Rachel brought her boyfriend along, Ray and Kayla's girlfriend was coming later. The only single people there were Tommy (as far as I had known) and I. My brother had a girlfriend from school that had been sick for the past week; Tyler had just stopped complaining about how much he missed her.
"No," Amber said dreamily looking between Tommy and Tyler. "No problem."
"None at all," Rachel added gazing at my brother.
"I would bat for that team any day for you two," Kayla said after a moment's silence. We all laughed. That seemed to have eased the tension a little. I sat down at the table in front of our lane and dug in to the chips.
"Toffee, your name's not on there," Tommy noted after Amber had typed up our names on the scoreboard.
"He calls you Toffee," Amber said surprised. She clicked her tongue. "He calls you Toffee."
"Yes he does," I said rolling my eyes at Amber then I faced Tommy. "I suck at bowling. I only ever tag along to watch." Tommy nodded grinning.
"I suck at bowling too," he replied in a hushed stage whisper. "But I suck beautifully. Sucking at bowling is an art form. It can only be mastered by those very-well trained." He looked so serious I almost believed him for a moment but before long I was throwing my head back in laughter.
"You two have very weird minds," Ray said thoughtfully. I glared at him before resuming laughing. "In a good way," he added putting his hands up in defence.
Twenty minutes later Jade, Kayla's girlfriend, had arrived and everyone was having a great time. I had to say Tommy's lost art form of gutter balls was amusing and sad to watch. He really thought he was doing well.
"I have to admit, you're friends aren't as childish as I once thought they were to be," Tyler said from next to me. I gasped dramatically.
"You thought they were childish?" I asked. "Wait, we're only a year younger than you and you're friends are so much worse. I may not have met them but I can certainly hear what you guys say."
"Oh right, virgin ears," Tyler said slapping his forehead. Chris guffawed beside us while the rest were sniggering. I have to say I found it funny but embarrassing too.
"Tyler, I'm as good as you think I am," I replied mysteriously. Tyler froze.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he demanded. "Who is it? Who the $£#% decided to cross paths with me? Toff-Elizabeth tell me now." I was laughing inwardly. Tyler had used my full name which meant he was angry.
I couldn't hold it in anymore, I started shrieking with laughter. "I'm joking! God! Get over it."
"Don't joke," Tyler gritted out.
"Is he always like this with you?" Tommy asked me. I calmed down and nodded.
"Pretty much, yeah. You should've seen it when one of his friends made a pass at me," I laughed. "Oh wait, when Tyler thought he was making a pass at me."
"Don't bring that up again!" Tyler moaned.
"No, no, bring it up," Tommy urged. Chris and Jay were nodding.
"Oh," Jade started. "I remember this story. Is this about the one where the thing happened with the guy and Toffee?"
"Yeah, but it was the guy from the…" Kayla continued.
"Oh and with the whole…" Jade cut in. Kayla nodded.
"Yup, that and the part when he…"
"Ouch!" Jade shuddered. Kayla nodded in agreement and sighed. We all looked at them. They were perfect for each other.
"That was creepy, but I'm hoping you two were talking about the time when Tyler beat up his friend for practising play-lines together with Toffee," Amber said laughing.
"You didn't," Tommy said shaking his head.
"I did!" Tyler groaned his head in his hands.
"Oh take me now! Make me a woman. I need you, I want you. It's right!" I said dramatically, reciting the lines I had to say. I put on a deeper male voice, "Darling, I would want to do nothing more than make sweet l-"
"OK that's enough!" Tyler rushed in putting a hand over my mouth. "I don't think you need to tell us all the lines of the play." He moved his mouth away from my mouth. I giggled. "What kind of play was that anyway?"
I blinked. "Who wants popcorn?"
Since it was late when we had gotten home, Tommy phoned his parents to say that he was staying over at our house. Jasmine didn't mind one bit when she saw him walk through the door. My parents had warned him that there was to be no funny business but then said goodnight to him cheerfully and retired upstairs. I guessed that they had noticed the flirting between Jas and Tommy. My parents were a little bipolar.
Jasmine, Tyler and Tommy were watching a movie in the sitting room, while I was sat on top of the high stool in the kitchen eating some cereal while watching the TV. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Tommy and Jasmine smiling at each other. They were even whispering quietly to each other. I had had such a great time with Tommy at the bowling place it made me see him in a slightly new light. He eyes shone more and his hair made me want to run my hands through it. I didn't let myself get jealous because my sister had bagged him first. I wasn't much of a bag stealer.
"Toffee, why don't you join us in here?" Jasmine called out to me. I swallowed the cereal and smiled.
"I'm good in here," I replied. She shrugged but nodded. My heart started to race when I saw Tommy walk into the kitchen. It was weird, I had hung out with him for a few hours and I was already acting like a giggling school-girl. (Probably because I was school-girl) I smiled at him before munching on another spoonful of Coco Pops.
"You're sister has a lot of energy," Tommy said.
"That she does," I replied. "She's great though."
"Yes, she is," he replied. The plunge of my heart didn't matter because my sister would be happy. I turned on my chair a little to find him leaning against the counter behind me sipping a glass of water. I turned all the way round and put my bowl on the counter. I placed my forearms on the top and leaned forward.
"I don't want her loosing that energy," I said quietly with serious eyes. Tommy looked confused so I elaborated. "I don't want her getting hurt. You hurt her and I'll have to beat you to pulp. Though, I'd probably have to get behind Tyler because he'll be sure to give you a good beating."
"What are you talking about?" Tommy asked looking as confused as ever. I rolled my eyes. If he wanted to be like that, fine.
"I mean, if you break her heart I'll beat you to pulp." Tommy's jaw dropped.
Maybe he thought he was being subtle with the flirting? Who knows?
"Just remember, break her heart and I'll break your face," I said cheerfully. "Wow, that phrase is so overused." I jumped off the stool. "Bye." I waggled my fingers at him.
"Night Tyler. Night Jas," I said patting them both on the head. I heard them grunt back at me. They were already half asleep.
That night I went downstairs to get something to eat. I realised that I had only had some chips and cereal for dinner. I was starving and my poor stomach was making sure I knew that.
"Shut up before you wake the whole house!" I hissed to my belly that was roaring at me to get some food.
"Too late," a voice said softly in the dark. I jumped emitting a small shriek. I slapped my hand over my mouth. I squinted my eyes in the dark and saw someone getting up from the couch.
"Tommy?" I hissed angrily.
"Sorry," he said yawning. "I just couldn't resist." I saw him walk towards me. I was still holding onto the counter of the kitchen table in fright. I slapped him on his arm when he was close to me.
"That didn't hurt you did it," I deadpanned. I heard him chuckle.
"Well, at least you pretended to be hurt," I sighed dramatically. I switched on the light to the kitchen and flipped it off again after being blinded by the brightness.
"Good thinking," Tommy said removing his hand from his face. I flipped the switch back on. "What are you doing?" he cried covering his eyes.
I blinked a couple of times to adjust to the light. "I need to make a sandwich and the last time I did that I ended up with Oreos and chocolate sauce in my bread."
"Good combo," he said nodding thoughtfully. I gave him a stern look. "I'll get the bread."
"How do you know where everything is?" I asked as he went to the cupboard with the bread and then the cupboard with the fillings.
"How do I not know?" he replied with a question. I hated it when people did that; answer a question with a question. I shook my head and let it go.
"So, I've been meaning to ask you something?" he said while I spread the Nutella on my bread. Tommy was more content with watching me make the sandwich instead of helping or making his own.
"Care to elaborate?" I asked putting the two slices of bread together.
"I was getting to that. I was going to ask what you meant by what you said earlier on in the kitchen?" I nodded munching my sandwich. I held up a finger that told him to wait till I had finished eating. I swallowed.
"That was good," I sighed. "I meant what I said. You break her heart and I'll break your face."
"Right…" he said looking a little confused. "I don't get that."
"What's not to get? You mess with her and I'll mess with you."
"We're friends, OK, and besides I'm not the one you should be worried about messing with your sister," he said though he muttered the last bit. I raised an eyebrow.
"Huh?" was my intelligent response.
"Never mind, forget I said anything. Look, I'm not going to break your sister's heart," he said slowly with a weird look on his face, as if he didn't know why he was saying what he was saying. He was probably still in denial that I knew. "I don't exactly know how I could, but I'll go with it. You're brother did say you were a little nutty sometimes."
I frowned. "Hey! Toffee does not like to be made fun of!" I said pouting.
"Then toffee shouldn't refer herself to as third person," Tommy replied crossing his arms. I only then realised he had no top on. After all that talking we had done I realised as it was nearing the end of the conversation that he was topless. My, my, my, did he have a good body.
"Um, well, Tommy should stop referring to Toffee as third person," I managed to stutter out.
"For a second there I thought you had fallen asleep with your eyes open," he said grinning. I grinned back weakly. Phew! For a moment I thought he had noticed me staring at his body.
"Yeah, asleep with my eyes open…funny," I said turning on my heels and walking through the kitchen.
"Yeah, but then I realised that you were just ogling the manliness of my body," he added cheekily. I flushed. My back was facing him so he couldn't see my cheeks flare red.
"Bite me!" I threw over my shoulder as I started up the stairs.
"Name the time and place baby," he replied. I turned my head back and saw him leaning against the post of the staircase. Well, I saw his outline in the dark.
"Idiot," I muttered to myself when I was in the safety of my room. "You're a great big idiot Toffee. Real great."
The next few days I actually saw Tommy around the house more. It was weird having him around the house so much. I would notice him everywhere I went. It was sunny outside for once and Tyler and Tommy were in the garden playing football. Amber, Kayla and I were sitting on the deck chairs and gossiping as usual…I mean, trading information with one and other. Jasmine was upstairs with her friend but I knew that she was watching the guys through her window. Her bedroom window faced the garden, a perfect view of Tommy, I thought miserably. Over the last few days Tommy seemed to be more…there, in my face. It was hard not to develop a small crush on him; especially when he was so cute and he loved talking about things other than sports.
"Toffee, could you grab us some water bottles please? I need aqua," Tyler asked panting. "It's boiling out here." He fanned himself with his hands.
"Take your top off Tyler!" Amber shouted gleefully. I groaned when Tyler pretended to strip tease. His top was off and he was flexing his muscles. I rolled my eyes at Tommy who grinned back at me.
"I'll go get you that water," I said walking into the kitchen through the patio doors. I came back out empty handed. "There are no bottles in the kitchen." Tyler hated drinking water from the tap or cooled-boiled water. He need bottled water.
"There's some in the storage room," Tyler said flopping down onto the grass.
"But that's too long! It's all the way in the basement!" I moaned.
"Bet get to it then," Tyler replied smiling sweetly at me.
"You know, if you weren't so muscley I'd punch you and be able to hurt you and not hurt me. You're lucky," I said glaring.
I walked down the stairs to the basement. We were the only street in our neighbourhood that had basements. They weren't very common in our area. I flicked on the light. Our basement was like a games room. There was a snooker table, TV and sofa. We would spend the winters in here with our parents. We, unlike some families, liked our family time.
I hummed softly to myself as I looked for the water bottles. I saw them on the top shelf of a cupboard. I frowned to myself and tried to get them but couldn't. I stood on my tip-toes but still couldn't. I was saved from looking for something to stand on when I saw an arm reach out from behind me and take two bottles. I gasped lightly and turned around. Tommy was standing right there, with his top off, grinning down at me.
I opened my mouth to say something but he beat me to it. "Tyler sent me because he knew you wouldn't be able to reach the top shelf." I nodded. Tommy made no attempt to move.
I cleared my throat. "Should we get back?" I asked my gaze falling to his lips every so often.
"Hmm," he replied, his gaze also falling to my lips. My heart was pounding when I realised how close we were. He leaned forward and I too leaned in. He must have been dazed because he dropped on of the water bottles and that brought me back to reality. I couldn't be kissing a guy my sister liked! I was berating myself about what I was about to do. I bent down and picked up the bottle.
"They're probably waiting for us," I said quickly getting up. As I made a motion to move to the door, Tommy grabbed my wrist.
"I like you," he said simply. I dropped the bottles again and turned around. "I. Like. You." I frowned then glared.
"What do you mean you like me? Take that back!" I demanded. I stabbed a finger at his chest. "You like Jasmine!"
"What?! I don't! What made you think I liked her?" he asked eyeing my finger. I lowered my hand but he grabbed it and pulled me to him. We were now chest to chest. I couldn't breathe again. "Well?" he asked again but he didn't let me reply because his lips crashed into mine. Our lips moulded together and I was in heaven. It was pure bliss.
Jasmine was right, his lips are kissable! Wait, Jas!
I pulled away and took three steps back. "What are you doing?" I shrieked. "You're not allowed to do that!"
"Why the hell not?!" he asked taking a step forward.
"You don't know me so how can you like me?! We only met three or four times this week," I cried taking another step back when Tommy took a step forward. He froze suddenly.
"What do you mean we've only met three or four times this week?" he asked. Tommy sounded calmer when he asked me but I was still in frenzy.
"The first time we ever met was when we went bowling a couple of times in between and then there's today. That is what I mean."
"Are you crazy?" he asked. I opened my mouth to retort something back to him but he cut me off. "Of course you're crazy."
"Why the hell am I crazy?" I asked pouting a little.
"You think we've met four times?Damn Toffee, we've met a lot more times than that. Your brother and I came here after school when I first met you. You were in the sitting room eating a bowl of whatever when we walked to the kitchen. Your brother greeted you but you barely lifted your head. You were watching a movie called The Notebook…I think." My jaw was slack. I had watched it about two months ago.
"There was that other time I came out of the bathroom and you bumped into me. You didn't notice again because you were too busy reading a book. I was surprised that you walked down the stairs without looking down or holding the railing."
"I've done that loads of times," I said dismissively. Tommy shrugged thoughtfully.
"There have been so many other times we met but you never bothered to look. You're so engrossed in whatever you're doing; you don't notice anything around you. I like that. You don't just drop what you're doing because your brother's friends come over. I know the girls at our school they'd drop anything and everything if they had the chance to stare at us."
"Just saying," he shrugged. "You know it's true."
"What about my sister?" I asked dazed. Tommy laughed a little.
"I have no idea where you got that idea from but your sister has been talking to me about this guy that lives next door to me. He's in her year and is, according to her, the hottest thing ever!" he imitated Jas.
"But you said you wouldn't break her heart," I argued.
"That's only because I had no idea what you meant by it. I thought you meant as a friend since I'm much older than her I thought you wanted to make sure I would take advantage of her mind…not body."
"So you don't like her?" He shook his head. I smiled weakly.
All this time I had thought I had never seen him when the truth was I just never paid any attention to anything around me.
Damn ice cream.
"Well…" I said. "I feel really stupid now."
"Don't be." There was a moment of silence. I was still mulling things over.
"Now what?" I asked smiling a little as if showing him how I felt too. Tommy grinned and took two steps forward so that we were chest to chest again.
"Now we do this," he replied putting a hand under my chin and tilted my face up. His breath tingled on my lips and I couldn't wait any longer. I put my arms around his neck and pressed my lips against his.
I didn't know how long we were stood there because Tyler had gotten bored of waiting for us and had come down to see where we were. Little did he know he was about to walk in on his little sister and best friend making out.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING?!" he shouted from the doorway. I flipped him the bird without disconnecting from Tommy. I heard Amber laughing and pulling him away while he was still cursing like a sailor.
I pulled away from him again. "We should go before he gets mad."
"I've got a better idea," he replied leaning down. I contemplated kissing him or going to face the wrath of my brother.
"Oh, well, if you must," I said dramatically meeting him halfway.
I chose wisely.
Disclaimer – I do not own any brands, labels, real-life people in this story e.g. Coco Pops (the cereal).
Thanks for reading.