You know how right before a person dies, their life flashes before their eyes?
Well, I found out you don't have to be staring down the nozzle of a gun or bleeding profusely to see such a slide show. You just have to see Jacen Haldings in your living room. Sitting on your couch. With his bags packed. And avoiding eye contact with you.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my grandmother. Ladies and Gentlemen, I'll spare you the childhood flashes and get right to the part where fate started to tie together.
My hair is blowing against the California breeze, whipping my cheeks until they're red and raw. But I'm too happy to care. Jacen holds my hand as we accelerate speed in his sweet 16 main prize. I figure now is the best time to proclaim my love. As I open my mouth to yell over the wind, words aren't coming out of my mouth. Before I can try again, he's calling my name.
I shot awake with a yell. My older brother is standing in my room, his permanent smirk plastered all over his model face. Don't get me wrong, I would rather go to school naked than think my brother is hot. But he has all of the qualities. The blond hair, the blue eyes, the height, the muscle, the knowledge on all things sports, the voice to make girls scream- which they have done plenty of- all in all, my brother was perfect. My poor parents, thinking that if they try again they'll get another golden one, got me. All I have are the blue eyes. I used to have the blond hair, but it turned brown. I'm as tall as my mother, and that is a very bad thing. I have two left feet, and guys either laugh or run away screaming when I walk down the hall. You can see why people disbelieve were related.
"Erik! Out now!"
"Aw, don't be that way baby sis! Your kind, amazing older brother has decided to give you a ride since you decided to sleep in with Jacen."
"Shut up! I don't know what you're talking about." My reddening face sure didn't help my case.
"You forgot to lock your door, Grandma got in."
Oh no. I completely forgot about grandma. My grandma lives in a little barn like place at the end of our driveway. After my dad died, she became…..different. She's still the strong, wacky old lady we used to know but now, she's doing odd things. We have to lock our door or else she will come in and unplug all things electrical. That may not seem so bad but if you set your alarm clock an hour early so you have time to walk to school, that is not good.
I rolled over to see what time it was on the clock, but of course, the screen was black. My brother already knew what I wanted to know.
"It's 8:35. Breakfast is on the table, mom is already at work, and I suggest you do something to that jungle you call hair."
My morning has gotten considerably worse. After I fought with the demon called Arianne's hair, I went downstairs to see pancakes. I knew my grandma made them because she left the stove on, sink running and refrigerator door open. After I turned off all of our appliances, I sat down to enjoy a nice breakfast while my brother was in the shower. As I took a few bites, I realized with horror that these were banana pancakes. That's a problem.
I'm highly allergic to bananas.
It's one of my odd quirks; no one in my family knows where it came from. All I know is, every time I eat it, the reaction gets worse. Last time I ate bananas, I got extremely dizzy, my face was hot and red, and I had to sit down for a few hours. The doctors say it's not bad enough for an epipen but I think they like to watch teenage girls suffer.
Now, I can already feel my stomach churning. Why, dear grandmother of mine, must you make banana pancakes! Before I could stand up, my brother was already downstairs, car keys in hand. His golden hair was darkened due to the water left over from his shower. His football jersey was worn proudly against his shirt, accompanied with worn and torn jeans. I choked on the axe he was emitting.
"Someone a little heavy with the spray?"
"Someone a little jealous I'm hot?"
I rolled my eyes and gave up trying to reason with him. I followed him out to the car after grabbing my bag. My stomach was telling me to stay home but today in science class, we were watching a documentary on birds. I like birdies……so I decided to go to school.
After struggling for a good 5 minutes with my brother's monster jeep, he finally picked me up and threw me in the back. That was not a good idea for my tummy, which was getting worse.
"Why did you do that?"
"Your shortness was impairing your ability to get into vehicles so I helped the elderly. Now I'll get my boy's scout badge!"
He hopped into the driver's seat with mocking ease and started up his baby. This metal contraption is the only thing I've seen my brother work hard on. He raised every red cent to get it. And he loves it like it's a real person.
"Hey Darla! You sound real pretty this morning, I missed you."
"Please refrain from making out with your car se we can get to school somewhat on time."
"Someone a little jealous I –"
I looked at the nature around me queasily. I wasn't doing to good. And the blurring colors defiantly didn't help. We slowed down in front of an all too familiar house. Oh good Ghandi, shoot me now.
The door opened to reveal a very tall, muscular figure. There was only one person who was equal to my brother's authority at school. That person was Jacen Haldings. Erik got 50% of the popularity, Jacen got the other. I was hopelessly caught in his emerald green eyes. They were amazing. They were the only eyes I have ever seen change tone entirely. When he's happy, they are a piercing, light green. Light and alive, his joy is contagious. But when he's mad, they are one shade above being totally black. Dark, and threatining, a lot of people don't piss him off.
What I like the most about him is that he is silent. He's not mute, he can talk, he just doesn't like to. Where my brother is loud, Jacen is quiet. Erik is unrestrained, Jacen is resolved. Erik gets into fights on purpose, Jacen only fights when he has too. Erik and Jacen were manly BFF's. Of course my brother would give him a ride.
"Any day now Jace! My nerd of a sister is going to miss her beloved school."
"Hey man, thanks for the ride."
Jacen smoothly slid into the car, shaking his inky jet black hair. His tan hand met my brothers' in a complicated handshake that would take me years to remember. He gave a head nod towards me and I nearly fainted. Yeah, I got it bad, I know.
After 2 minutes, we were at school. Jacen lives really close to the school; I think he only takes the ride my brother offers so they can have bonding time. By now, I really don't feel good. At all. I felt like a giant hand was squeezing my stomach over and over again. And this hand was not gentle! My doof of a brother finally noticed I wasn't 100%.
"Hey Ari, you ok?"
He put a hand to my burning forehead.
"Oh crap, did you eat the pancakes?"
Before I could nod, the giant hand gave one forceful squeeze. And there went last night's dinner. All over Jacen's jersey. I just threw up on Jacen Haldings in the school parking lot. Everything went quiet. Every mouth was open and I could already see people documenting every moment so they could tell it to all of their friends later. I felt so embarrassed. Before anyone could say anything else, I ran out of the parking lot and in the back entrance of the school. At least the hand stopped squeezing my stomach.
So, after a long torturous day of being laughed at, pointed out, avoiding people and kicking myself, I finally found myself home. I walked; I couldn't face Erik or Jacen ever again. After a shower and doing all of my homework, my mother called me downstairs. I stopped before I even reached the stairs. Over the banister I saw Jacen Haldings. Sitting on my couch. With his bags packed. And avoiding eye contact.
"There you are hun! Jacen's family had a bit of an accident so he's going to stay with us for a while."
" 'Sup Jace! This is going to be sweet! Mom, he can room with me."
My brother Erik charged down the stairs, ecstatic. I sneakily walked outside, watching my grandmother talk to the grass, and figured out the quickest way to run away. My life just flashed before my eyes, that means, I will die.
Jacen Haldings is now living in my house. Sleeping right across from me. All my grandmother had to say was "Victory!"