He hasn't ever really had a fancy for strawberry jello.
They were friends once - Cameron and Drew. And then Drew brought Cameron to her house, and he met Alex, who was gorgeous in every way, and as soon as she tromped in through the front door, their eyes met. She was eating a bowl chock-full of strawberry jello and ice, and as he took his shoes off, his eyes still on her, a piece of jello dropped from her fork onto her pants, and she let out a pfft and picked it up and poked it into her mouth. At that moment, he fell in love with Alex Martin.
When he was twelve, she was twenty. As soon as she saw him, the guiltiest feeling shot right through her, and absently, she let her jello slip from her fork. He was only twelve, but he had adult eyes, all open and dark and solemn at the same time. She decided that out of all of him, she liked his eyes best. And Drew plopped down on the couch beside her and robbed her of her bowl of jello and ice, and when she slid her teeth off of the fork and passed it over to Cameron, and he nipped off the jello quietly, Alex's heart nearly pounded out of its cage - he passed it back to her, and she ate the next piece exactly the same way, trying not to remember that he had touched it.
He hasn't really ever fancied strawberry jello, but it tasted its sweetest right then.
I think we should break up, she said. I'm too old for you.
I don't think we should, you're not too old for me, he protested.
Eight years is a big difference, love, she whispered, and then she left quietly.
"You prick," Drew hisses, and her swirly hair distracts Cameron for a moment, before he looks at her angry sixteen-year-old face. He wonders if he looks like her - not physically, but in a sense that they are rebellious and angry and that they will not listen to reason. "How dare you show up here!"
He shrugs. "I wanted to see Alex."
For half a second, a broken look flashes through Drew's face. What happened to her best friend, who came here only for her? It disappears when she catches him searching her face, though. She turns around and marches up the path to her house.
"Get in, get out." She swings the door open and lets him in, closing her eyes and inhaling deeply as he passes her. Still the same cologne, still the weird peachy aftertaste - after-smell? The same, that's comforting; at least.
"Thanks." His whisper is quiet, and he's already up the stairs, heading for Alex's room because she's sure to be there, moping.
Drew pats her chest, as if her lungs and heart will magically repair themselves. She smiles and sits down for some lime jello - strawberry is not her favourite.
She has always been more melodramatic than most. And sometimes, she is just so fucking cliche that it makes him angry.
"Why are you here?" She hisses, and for once, older sister and younger sister look exactly alike. He shrugs and takes her hand and looks at it.
"Sorry. I guess I wasn't good enough." She puts her other hand over his and smiles heartbreakingly, and she whispers,
"It's not you, it's me." She cocks her head and holds his hand to her face for a few seconds before hastily putting it back down on his lap.
"Screw it," Cameron sighs, and his lips crash onto hers once more, and then he picks up his fallen jacket and leaves her room, shutting the door quietly behind him.
Cheers! We're twenty-four and doing great! Some doofus stood on the table, and was yelling in his English accent, and he sounded mighty drunk, wobbling to and fro to further confirm this suspicion.
Dumbass. We're twenty-five. She snickered, nudging the man beside her. He smirked and leaned back in his chair, and looking at her profile, she was beautiful, even in all her sarcasm, drippy with need, and snarkiness and heartlessness.
Come over, he said, and she looked at him weirdly because he never invited her over to spend the night - it was strange to love your former lover's little sister. Maybe it was just to forget, but she took his hand.
Shall we? She smiled.
Of course, m'lady.
You're Invited To Our Wedding!
The words are screaming at her. Trembling, Alex looks over to Drew, who is sitting there, expectantly staring at her. Then, two seconds later, with the anger of a mother tiger whose babies were just eaten, Alex jumps on Drew, yelling,
"Who the fuck do you think you are, stealing him from me!"
"Who the fuck do you think you are?" Drew mimics, her stare calm and unbent. "I had him first - you're the robber here. Don't screw around with me just because you're my big sister."
Alex takes a huge shivering breath before she reminds herself that she's a secretary, and she must be calm because that's what she has her living for - when everyone else panics, she's the one to save the day, without so much as even a flinch.
"And anyways," Drew continues, looking coldly at her, "Aren't you the one who tossed him?" She licks her lips, knowing that at this moment, even at just 26 - with Alex at 33 - she is much more intimidating than Alex could ever be.
Silently, they stare each other down. In all her prime's glory, Drew now outshines gorgeous Alex. A tear pops into her eye. Damn it, she thinks, and she takes another ragged breath and says,
I love you, he whispered into her tousled, swirly hair.
I know, she replied.
Won't you tell me you love me back?
I will when you actually mean what you say. She said, and got up and dressed.
At some point, she realizes that he's never been completely there - she's always had to meet him half-way. She somewhat realizes, too, that he's half in love with her and half in love with someone else, but she forgives him, because she's always been hopelessly in love with him.
"My name is Drew Martin," she tells everyone, because she's afraid that if she calls herself Drew Slye, then he will wake up and remember that he must be truly in love with Alex.
"Why are you keeping your last name?" He asks her in a low tone when they're just in bed. She looks at him as if she is a deer in headlights, and instantly, he wants to take back what he says because Drew is never intimidated - she is intimidating.
"Because," she breathes, "Because I'm afraid you don't love me like you loved Alex." And then, so suddenly, he wants to laugh because she's so ridiculous.
"That makes no sense!" He guffaws, sitting up so he doesn't choke, and she is flushing red and it's so unlikely that he laughs even harder. "I love you, okay? I love Alex, but I'm in love with you."
For the rest of the night, she is speechless, because the words that come out of his mouth make so much sense that she wonders how she didn't see it before.
In a sense, they lived together. They almost did - one right beside the other's apartment. Sometimes, coincidentally, Alex and Cameron would see each other as they got out in the morning for work (Drew worked afternoons and evenings). And even though he loved her, it still left a bitter aftertaste when she cheerily said Hello! and went on her way in her secretary clothing.
But they had children (toddlers) now, and now wasn't a good time to reminisce (even bitterly) about anything like that. Because in a way, things were just screwed up like this.
Sometimes, in the night, when they met outside the balconies, Alex would sigh and whisper, Sometimes I think I'm still in love with you.
And he would nod to her delusions because at those sometimes, she would be drunk and her husband - his name was Ian, and he was very handsome - would be asleep, or out at work (he was a doctor).
She wasn't unhappy, but he secretly thought that she'd never quite be fully happy without him by her side. And triumphantly at this boost of ego, he would creep back to bed where Drew slept, and he'd put his arm around her and nuzzle her hair and think of how wonderful everything was.
written a few months ago. :)
Characters: Drew & Alex Martin, Cameron Slye.