The two twin boys, Kale and Dane, had always been very popular. Especially around girls. Ever since they were very young it was obvious they were going to be very good looking. In elementary school, when they were seven, their father remarried a woman they didn't know. The boys were curious about the woman, and finally they met her. She was a very…nice woman. But she was not who they personally would have chosen as a mother. She talked a lot of her daughter, a year younger than them. But she was away with the woman's brother; her uncle.
They found these stories funny and intriguing, but didn't believe that such a girl existed. Then she came back from the trip, and they met her. She looked nothing like what they'd imagined. But still…she stuck her hand out, smiling brightly. "Hello, please be my brothers!"
I yawned, waking up and rubbing my eyes. I stretched, and felt my back pop. "Ah!" I laid back, comfy in the warmth of the light blue comforter. "So soft…" I gasped, sitting up and looking at me bedside clock. "No!" I yelped, jumping out of the twin sized light blue bed. My room was small; but very open and comfortable. I had light blue walls; matching my bed. On the ceiling I had exactly three hundred and seven small glow in the dark stars, put on personally by me last year.
I had a small old wooden desk with a beat up old lap top given to me by my step father, and a small but full bookcase. All my clothes were in the walk-in closet. I got dressed, and tripped as I was slipping on my shoes I quickly ran to the bathroom, brushed my hair. I ran downstairs, grabbed my backpack, and ran right out of the house. I hadn't set my alarm? Even so, they should have woken me!
"So, you're okay now?" Jessica asked, patting my back. "Why did you run all the way here? You sounded like you were dying when you came in."
I sighed, finally okay. "Woke up late."
"Didn't your brothers wake you up?" She smiled, leaning back in her chair plastic chair connected to the fake wood desk with little pencil drawings covering its surface. "Oh yeah, that's right. They're j-"
"Guys, quiet!" My teacher gave us a look, and Jessica turned around. She was my best friend since about a year before mom got remarried. She was tall and skinny, with dark skin. Dark long black hair and light brown eyes. She liked wearing floral skirts and ruffle shirts; they were the only thing she wore actually. She even had specially added ruffles to her PE uniform.
I was short; five one. I had long slightly wavy blonde hair, which became slightly curly when wet. My eyes were bright blue. I wore a lot of different things, and didn't really have one style. I had a very hard time making decisions on favorites. Always had actually. I had no favorites. No one favorite color, song, food, stile, or person. I liked a little bit of everything really. I sighed, laying my head on the cool desk.
My brothers were very popular guys, everyone at school knew of them. When people first found out we were siblings, people crowded to ask me to come over; to meet them and such. But they figured out I'd never say. Not that I minded, I didn't. But I knew if I said yes and let people come over they'd kill me. They didn't want anyone coming over. I never understood why exactly, but I knew they didn't like it. They were sometimes weird about things like that.
They were really mean to me sometimes; which was, I heard, expected from brothers. So I didn't complain. I heard other girls all the time, talking about their brothers. About fights, gross things, them doing things they're not supposed to. I was just glad my brothers didn't do some of the things I heard, so I thought I had no right to say anything. Plus I hated complaining; it made me feel like I was only pointing out the worst in people and life. I liked looking for the better pieces.
Sometimes my brothers and I fought; that was to be expected. They could be really mean sometimes, and sometimes I couldn't handle it. But I normally was able to blow it off by writing down everything in my journal. My good days, bad days, funny things, memories. I wrote everything in my journals that I thought I should write down. Or when I was bored, or when I couldn't sleep. But no one knew about that. They looked like regular wire ringed note books for school, stuffed into my bookshelf in plain sight. No one would expect it there.
My brothers, though similar at first glance, were very different. Dane was more of an athletic guy, and Kale was much more of a school guy. Dane talked and joked a lot, as well playing horrible pranks. His temper was horrible though, which is when the pranks normally came out. Kale was- my thoughts were interrupted by the lunch bell, which finally came. I rushed quickly thought the three story school building to be the first in the cafeteria. I got my lunch happily and walked outside, into the front quart yard of the school.
I sat at one of the many old chain link metal plastic covered tables which always made your butt hurt if sitting on it too long. A big old oak tree stood over me, its dark green leaves pretty against the light slightly clouded sky. I began to eat the big pizza slice, which actually was rather good. Last year the school had finally figured out no one liked nasty greasy pizza and out of the box things, so they made everything a lot better. Some of the food was actually cooked!
I giggled, reaching into my backpack and taking out a book. I was nearly finished with the four hundred and sixty two page novel, just thirty pages to go. I loved reading on my spare time, especially mysteries. When I was little I'd read every Sherlock Holms there was, as well as seem the old TV show and the cartoons. What got me started on writing things down was that actually. I used to carry around this old notebook and write down everything I heard people say, even though it wasn't really important.
But I used to pretend that person was a suspect in some crime, and used to follow my family around and write down everything they did. When I was five I stopped that, and moved on to writing down things about my life and feelings instead, because it was no fun when people knew you were spying. But I still liked mysteries. And I still had an un-dying love for food. Ever since I was young there was only one thing that would get my attention; food. Sweets especially. Any sweets.
When people wanted something for me, they just had to bribe me with sweet things. Though food worked most of the time too, you had a 99% success with sweets. Because I ran a lot in PE and was the designated exercise leader in my health class I worked a lot off. Plus I had a good metabolism; thanks to my mother, who also was a bottomless pig. But she had begun to lose it a few years back, and now was a regular eater. I was still curvy, also thanks to her, but not in the bad way. I was…well, I wasn't anything amazing. I looked pretty regular. But I liked how I looked.
"Waiting long?" Jessica came and sat on the other side. She also had gotten pizza, good choice. Because though most of it was better, the macaroni was still really nasty.
I shook my head, closing the book. "Nope."
"The line was short today, because a bunch of girls skipped today to go drool after Dane." She took a bite. "I didn't see Kale today though, he never skips class." She looked at me. "Know why?"
"Um…" I bit at my thumb, a habit. I'd sucked it till I was four, and switched to biting my fingers. Then just nibbling at my thumbs. "I think I remember mom mentioning something last night…" I snapped. "Doctors appointment."
"Ah, for what?" She took another bite, and took my book to look at the synopsis.
"Just a regular. I was supposed to have mine today too, but had it last week. Remember?"
"Oh, the day you left me to suffer in first period alone." She huffed, pushing the book back. "It was so boring."
"Sorry." I smiled, finishing my slice and taking a sip from my half empty water bottle.
She stopped in the middle of her bite, and reached into her bag for her ringing cell. She answered. "Hello?" She put the pizza down. I watched her eyes widen slightly as I took another slice. "No way!" She seemed excited. "That's so great! When?"
What is it? I mouthed, and she shook her head. "Of course." She gave me a big smile. "No, I'm really happy. You know how I loves surprises."
I sighed, wanting to know what was going on.
"I'll totally see you then, yeah. No prob. Bye." She closed the phone and sighed, playfully putting her chin on her laced fingers and looking at me. "Oh, you poor girl."
"You'll be totally alone after school today."
"But today you said you'd come over." I smiled, figuring it out. "Was that Gabe?"
She nodded, giggling and leaning back. "He just called and said to come over to the pizza parlor. He has a surprise planned."
The pizza parlor is where her boyfriend, Gabe, worked. They'd been going steady for about three years, and I full heartedly approved. He was a month older than her, and went this school. But he had no classes with her, so he regularly planned little dates on a whim with the money he earned at his after school job at the pizza place. "Surprise?" I smiled brightly. "Sounds fun. Tell me about it tomorrow?"
"Of course, always do." She took another bite, seeming excited. "Can't wait!" She finished the pizza and watched me as I sipped at my water, watching the clouds. I loved doing that; quietly watching the weather. "You need to get a boyfriend too."
"Hm? No." I smiled and shook my head. "Not needed. I'm just fine and happy single."
"But you're totally clueless!" She huffed. "You've never had one, so you can't understand how horrible it is without one."
"Or maybe you're just really lucky to get an amazing one and see it that way? I just can't see how having a boyfriend would make me any happier. I want one someday, sure. But not until I know it's real. I can't have that little high school fling that most have. I want something better than that. So I'll wait."
"See what I mean?" She groaned, rolling her eyes. "You're never going to find him if you don't get out there! Flirt a little, wear some eyeliner."
"But I normally do." Wear eyeliner.
"It's not enough though, just a small line. It's gone by the end of school. I mean actually try, huh?"
"But I want him to love me as me." I smiled brightly, and playfully teased her, "Unlike your boyfriend!"
She gasped and we got into a small fight, laughing the whole time.
"Mom!" I called, opening the door of my two story suburban house and walking down the small hallway, passing the archway that led to the kitchen. The hallway opened to the left; the living-dining room. She and Dan (I'd never felt quite right calling him dad) were sitting on the couch watching the TV. They looked back at me and smiled. "Welcome home. Where are your brothers?"
"They never walk home with me." I reminded them. "What time are you going out?" They had a little date tonight, but I hoped it wasn't near Jessica and Gabe.
"About an hour. Are you going to make leftovers, or cook?"
"Leftovers; we need more room in the fridge. Where's Kale?
"School, sent him back last period. He said he had a test."
"Ah." I turned to the short hallway with two doors and the stairs. The two doors were their room and a bathroom. Up the carpeted steps I went. The hallway walls were clear of all but one picture; of their wedding. They looked so happy. I made it up the stairs to an open hallway with an easy chair and rug by the window, where I regularly found Kale reading a book.
The hallway had four doors; mine, Kales, Danes, and a bathroom. Two on each side. Mine was last on the right. I went in, and slipped my backpack to the floor. I shut my door and lumped happily onto the bed. "Ah, heaven." I giggled, taking a small chocolate kiss I'd set there yesterday and popping it in my mouth. I threw the small aluminum foil wrapper into the light green trash can near my closet and missed. I got up and threw it in, then went to my bookshelf and took out my cellphone.
I'd forgotten it here this morning in my panic. I didn't really use it much; electronic things hated me. But I wanted to text Jessica god luck. So I did, though it took a little bit. Send. I smiled, giggling and pulling my knees to my chest. I looked out the window over my bed at the sky. "So pretty." My phone buzzed, making me jump. I picked it up. "Hello?"
"Kaili, where are you?" Dane demanded.
"Um, at home." I frowned. "Why?"
"You're not here?"
"Where?" I asked, confused.
"Nowhere, just…" I heard another voice in the background, a girl. Of course. "Yeah, yeah." He said to her. "Never mind, see you when I get home."
"Wait, what are you-" The line went dead. I looked at the black phone with a frown. That was so weird. I sighed, setting the phone down and looking at it, just watching it. I sighed, scratching my head. "Please don't be doing something stupid."
I heard someone walking down the hallway and opening a door, the door across from mine. Kale's. I stood and opened my door with a smile. "How'd the checkup go?" He was tall and slim, but muscular. Shaggy dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.
He looked back at me, holding the handle to the half opened door. "Fine." He turned and shut the door after him. That was Kale, a guy of few words. I sighed and went back to sitting on my bed and looking at my phone. I nodded, deciding to go look for him. Since I was young I'd always had the tendency to get lost, forget important things, and trip into things. So normally my brothers would help me out; even though I got a horrid lecture afterwards. But sometimes I worried about them too.
"Mom, I'll be back." I went out to the garage and opened the door, then headed out with my bike down out concrete driveway and onto the side of the street. I rode fast to the school; no time to waste. I parked my bike in the racks and began my search of the school. More than likely he'd taken his date someplace else, but better to search the last place he was and see if anyone was here and knew where he was. As I walked through the hallways, which were empty and quiet, I began to hear a slight noise. A groan.
I frowned, searching for the noise. Was someone hurt?" As I got closer, I realized the sound was…not one I wanted to hear. Because I heard her start saying some…things I didn't need to hear. I sighed, turning. "So not needed." I couldn't say get a room, because I realized it was coming from the janitors room. Though I really didn't want to be anywhere near any of this, I knew the janitor would not be happy finding nastiness in his closet. I tried not this think of it, just held my breath and threw open the door; covering my eyes and looking away.
"This is a school, guys. At least try to go someplace…else." I began to walk quickly away, about to puke. In the school! "Dane, that girl just totally killed my…" I ran out right then. Dane?! That was the very last thing in the world I wanted to catch, to hear, to think about! Ugh, I really had to forget this horrible experience. What better way than going to the frozen yogurt shop? I quickly went there, and spent the last three bucks I had. And for that moment, the amazingness cleared my head. I was so very happy.
But when I finished and went home, I found Dane on the couch. "Oh, you." I sighed, shaking my head and pulling at my hair. "Why the school? Of all places! You know what, I don't want to talk about it, or think about it." I went to the kitchen, grumbling about what to make for dinner. We had so many leftovers.
"So you didn't like it?" He was behind me, a big playful smile on his face.
I looked back to the fridge, "Just please, please shut it."
"Aw, why? You jealous sis?" He wrapped me in a hug.
I yelped, and kicked back.
He gasped and let me go. "Ow! That hurt!" He grabbed his shin, pouting and rubbing it.
"Good!" I went back to the fridge and just grabbed the pasta. "Leave me in peace!" I opened the container and stuck the glop of noodles on a plate, then to the microwave they went. I leaned back on the time counter, feeling sorry I'd kicked so hard. But he was such a brat!
"In front of your own sister?" Kale showed up in the doorway, shaking his head. "How sad."
"Hey, it's not my fault! She walked in."
I covered my ears. "La, la, la!"
"Kaili, come on!" Dane half smacked my head. He was tall and slim also, and muscular. But he had more of a basketball player body. Short light brown hair and eyes. "It's a natural thing, totally fine."
I groaned, and thanked the bell on the microwave for ringing. I quickly grabbed the steaming plate and a fork, then slid past Kale and rushed to my room. As I ate, I wrote in my notebook. My diary. I wrote about today, and what had just happened, and my unhappy feelings. When I was calm, and done with the pasta, I put it away. I took a breath and slowly let it out. "Okay…it's over, just try and avoid it again." I nodded and smiled. "Okay." I grabbed my plate and walked down the stairs. It was dark outside now, I noticed.
I went to the kitchen, passing the boys in the living room. I put the plate and fork in the half full washer and walked to the living room part of the big living room-dining room. The dining room part was to the left, the living room part to the right. What separated them was the two couches, set at a ninety degree angle. And across from the couch's back facing the dining room there was the sliding glass doors to the backyard. Dane was lying on the couch with the back facing me and the dining room, where I stood. Kale sat on the other couch, back facing a wall with the hallway to its right.
On TV I saw a car being blown up. "Whatcha watchin?" I asked.
"Blast Area." They both said.
I nodded. "Hm…the new TV show?"
"Yes." Dane said, seeming bored.
"It's not as good as he thought." Kale said; obviously not paying attention with a book in his hands. He didn't read non-fiction as I did; he was much more into factual books and collecting new information. I went to sit next to him, to look at the book in his hands. "What is it about?" I asked.
"It's a theoretical book about the means of using gravity"
"Hm…" I bit at my thumb. "Um…aren't you guys hungry?"
"We ate while you were trying to forget the horrid experience you unfortunately suffered." Kale said, a slight smile on his face. He obviously liked messing with it, didn't he? These two, bunch of work.
"Not my fault!" Dane said again. "But…can you come sit with me?"
"Ugh!" I threw a pillow at him. "You're such a perv, even after me catching you?" I folded my legs to my chest and looked at my socks.
"Don't worry, I won't let that freak get you." Kale said, turning a page. "He doesn't deserve you anyway."
I smiled. "Thank you." I stuck my tongue out at Dane. "Jerk."
Dane gapped, and stood. "I'm better than that nerd!" Dane pointed to Kale.
"Really? At least I'd never let her catch me in the middle of anything." Kale put the book down. "Unlike someone."
"Not my fault! At least I know how to treat a girl; you'd just ignore her!"
"Oh? Then why are there so many after me?"
Dane huffed. "Just looks."
"And you think you're the exception?" Kale raised a brow.
"I'm better than you!" he grabbed my hand and pulled me up. "I'm her favorite brother, that's that!" He regularly got like this, sayinf he was better that someone else. At anything, especially as a brother. Don't mess with that one. He'd always wanted to be a big brother, I heard.
I gasped, pulling away. "Don't get me in the middle of your stupid battle! You guys are both-"
"No, I'm the favorite." Kale stood, and they started into each other's eyes. That was unexpected. Kale was competitive, but not regularly. Especially not over this stuff.
"Why not let her decide?" Dane growled.
They both turned expectedly towards me, and I began to back away towards the hallway. "I don't pick favorites, you know that." I raised my hands. "You've both got good and bad." I bumped into the wall. Dang it!
"I'm better though!" Dane said.
"No, not really." Kale argued.
"Please guys, don't drag me into this. Why don't you just ask around the school or something?"
They stopped, thinking. "Good idea." They faced each other again. "I will win, and she'll definitely see I'm best!" Dane said.
"I beg to differ, small minded pea brain." Kale said.
Oh crud…I sighed. What have I done? And why did they want me to pick favorites? How stupid! They knew I couldn't.
"Kaili, hello." Jessica greeted me as I walked into first period. She had a happy glow to her. I sat in the seat behind her. "How was your date?" I asked.
She giggled. "Amazing, of course. We went to the arcade in the parlor and played for hours! His boss has the games set so the workers get discount on the games too, so it was great!"
I smiled brightly. "Great."
"Did you have fun without me?" She batted her eyelashes playfully.
I suddenly remembered yesterday, and groaned. "I really hope they don't do what they said they would." I said, just as the door banged open. In walked Dane and Kale. I quickly grabbed Jessica's jacket and covered myself, hoping they didn't notice me. "Okay, why are you guys here?" My teacher asked.
Dane was the first to talk, as always. "We'll be fast." I heard paper un-crumpling. "We have permission from the office."
"Um…all right." my teacher said, and I heard his chair squeak.
"We have a questioner for you to answer, Kale and I will pass it out." You could practically taste the electricity in the air, filled with teenage girl hormones. Paper was past around, and the class became noisy. "Of course I like Dane best!" I'd hear, or "No, Kale!" I groaned, wishing to disappear. They were really doing it. Oh my dear gosh. How'd they get the offices permission? Oh, their looks did come in handy didn't they?
Then I heard footsteps coming down my aisle. "Jessica, here." It was Kale. He stopped next to me.
"This is stupid." I said.
"I'm not as stupid as Dane."
"Hey!" I heard Dane on the other side of class.
I sighed, sitting up and putting the jacket back over her backpack. He handed me the paper with a small smile, and a spark in his eyes. "Check whoever is your favorite, and please, I don't mind you putting your name so we'll know." He walked to the front again, where Dane was fuming.
I looked at the small paper, and debated on crumpling it up. But instead I got an amazing idea. The paper had a small line on the top; pick your favorite one. Under it had both their names. On the back I wrote my name proudly, and on the front I scratched out both names. They asked up to pass them forward, thanked us, and left. "Can you explain?" Jessica asked.
"Last night they got into a dumb competition on who was better, and then they asked who my favorite was. I don't have one. So I said, 'why not just ask the girls at school', or something like that. And now…" I banged my head on the desk. "Why me?"
"Well, I chose Dane." She said matter of factly.
"What?" I gasped. "You actually answered?"
"Well, I figured it wouldn't hurt. I see no reason why I shouldn't have answered honestly." She smiled. "You're just like this because you're their sister. If you were just another girl you'd have totally fell for them by now."
"Highly doubtful." I sighed, putting my chin in my palms. "Why Dane?" I asked, curious.
"Hm…always gone for the athlete."
"But Gage isn't an athlete."
"Hey, he's amazing with golf. That's something." She smiled. "I just love his personality. And he's pretty good looking himself; nothing to complain about."
I smiled. "You and he are really a great pair."
She smiled brightly. "Thank you." We stopped talking a minute as the teacher said it was a free day. She turned back to me. "But seriously, think about it. Just a moment. If you weren't step siblings, you'd like them. Right?"
I sighed, not really wanting to think about it. But…would I? "I don't know, besides, they're still my brothers."
She shrugged, and winked playfully. "Step-brothers."
I groaned, shaking my head. "Brat."
At lunch I was yet again the first to get food. But when I walked back out into the hallway there stood Kale and Dane. "Oh shoot." I moved fast as I could, but was caught. "Hey," Kale grabbed my wrist and pulled me along with them to the empty (as always) outside quart yard. They held up my paper. "What's this?" Dane yelped. "That's no answer!"
I smiled, folding my arms. "It's the same answer as last night. Neither of you is best. You're my brothers; picking favorites is…"
"Oh, come on!" Dane groaned. "Please, just answer honestly!"
"Just tell us." Kale grabbed my wrists, and Jessica's words popped in my head. I grabbed them back, and looked at them. What was wrong with me? I sighed, shaking my head. "Guys, this is dumb. Neither of you is better."
"Let's make a deal if you think that." Kale said. "Whoever gets the most votes will take you out for a day tomorrow; anywhere you want."
"No, no way. I-"
"They'll also have to get you all the food you want."
I stopped. "Oh," I sighed, "You guys suck."
"You'll do that?" They asked at once.
I sighed, and nodded. "But you have to get me all the food I want!"
"Go away, I have to eat. And pray there's a tie!" I went to my table, and they went back in. I sighed, carnivorously and ravenously gulping down my pizza and water. "Ugh." I put my head on the hard table. "Please, oh please be a tie." I wanted that food so very much, so much. But I knew if one of them got even one more vote…I'd never hear the end of it.
When I got home mom and Dan were in the kitchen; mom cooking and Dan talking with her. "Welcome home."
I smiled, nodding. "Glad to be here."
They laughed. "Good. Oh! Dane and Kale are already home, they went upstairs."
"Really?" I frowned. It was rare they were home early. I walked up the stair quietly, listening to see if Dane had set up some prank again. He'd never actually set one for me, though I wasn't sure why. But you never know, he seemed rather mad that I didn't like him best. I made it to the hallway, and heard voices from Danes room. I walked in, and found them on the floor with two piles of the small papers. They looked about even to me; could I be so lucky?
Dane smiled brightly, standing and coming to give me a big hug. "I'll make sure it's great!"
I blinked. "You…well, makes sense you won. You're more talkative and outgoing." I sighed, shaking my head. "You can stop with the hug."
"But I don't want to," he said.
Suddenly he was pulled away by Kale, who was holding Danes arms. "She said let go." His eyes were cold, not looking at me. Was this really so important to them? Ugh! They were so confusing!
"So," Dane smacked Kale's hand back. "Where are we going?"
I bit my lip, deciding I'd make his wallet suffer. I wasn't sure why I hated going someplace with him alone so much, but I did. Then the conditions came to my head. They'd never actually said alone…I smiled brightly. "First we'll go to the movies, then shopping. I need more notebooks. Then lunch at that new restaurant in Fercal. After we'll go the art museum."
"Perfect! That's the spirit!" He looked at Kale with a big smile. "See, I'm best."
Kale straightened and walked out, I heard his door close. Why did that hurt? I sighed, back to the plan! I smiled and nodded, then took the phone from the backpack, which I hadn't even been able to take off yet. "What are you doing?" he asked curiously.
I gave a big smile. "Oh, just calling Jessica to tell her the great news."
He smiled a huge smile.
"Hello?" She answered.
"Hey Jessica, remember the restaurant in Fercal you wanted to go to? And how you've been dying to go to the museum?"
"Oh, Dane's decided to treat us tomorrow to that. And shopping, and even lunch." I giggled, looking at Dane. "Isn't that amazing?"
"Seriously?" She gasped.
"Yap. Meet me at my place at, say, eight."
"Bye." I hung up, and smiled at Dane. "Thank you."
"You never specified we'd go alone."
"Shit." He sighed. "Fine, but we're still going to have a good time."
I left, closing his door. I sighed. Man…Why did they have to make this a big deal? I went to my room. Kale didn't come down for dinner, which worried me. they all said he was probably studying again. Then bed time came. But…I couldn't sleep. I tossed in my cool bed, feeling the comfort of the sheets. But…I opened my eyes. I bit my thumb, thinking about Kale. Why was he so…mad? I got up, remembering. Normally when I was young and I had a bad dream or couldn't sleep, I'd secretly go into his room and sleep under his bed. So no one knew.
He'd just always felt so safe for me. I stood, knowing warm milk wouldn't help. When my mind was like this only two things could clear it; the sound of rain, and sleeping. But I couldn't sleep! I grabbed my blanket from the bottom of the bed and my pillow. I quietly walked out and slowly shut the door, holding the nob till the final small click. I stood there a second, listening. I walked quietly to his door and put my ear to it, to listen. No sound. I took a breath and carefully, super slowly, began to twist the nob.
Finally I opened the door, and carefully closed it, also slowly turning the nob. I stood there a second, listening again. No one could know about this. Well, no one but my note books. They didn't talk. The room was very dark, his curtains closed. So I let my eyes adjust to the small light that was able to come in. Then I took one step towards his bed. His room was a lot like mine; but no stars or bright colors. When mom had asked them if they wanted their rooms painted another color than the beige they were, they each said no.
He had a bigger desk than me though, and a darker shade of curtains. Mine were light green; his were dark blue. To match the dark blue comforter. His room was a lot cleaner than mine too. Because I had the tendency to just throw things on the floor and forget about them. And his bed was higher than mine, with a large enough space or someone underneath. Whereas mine was wooden framed and had no space under; being closer to the ground.
I quietly took one step and a time towards his bed, and kneeled. I put my pillow underneath and put in one leg; very careful now. Kale was normally a fairly light sleeper, so if I moved the bed…I was toast. I managed to get under, and pulled the blanket over me. And then, under that bed with him on it, I felt so much calmer. My head wasn't spinning with thoughts of tomorrow, I wasn't worrying about school; I wasn't thinking about anything.
I just listened to the even quiet breaths above me, which soothed my trembling heart from the fear of being found. Because his comforter was big it touched the floor in front and both sides. So no one could see me. It was very dark, but his breaths were so soothing. My muscles began to slowly relax, and I drifted slowly into sleep.
Kale woke up to a small soft sound, which his ears had picked up before. It had been years though since he'd heard this middle of the night sound of feet shuffling. He smiled slightly, hearing her carefully slip under his bed, and feeling a light tug on the comforter as she pulled it to cover the side of the bed. He heard her quick breaths begin to slow, and become deeper. This girl… "Really, which is your favorite?"
I woke up to the sound of his door closing loudly. I sighed, rubbing my eyes and quickly getting out, then grabbing my things and running back into my room. "Oh…I sighed. It was ten till eight. "Nearly time." I dressed into jeans and a purple T, then slipped on my boots and walked to the bathroom…which was locked. I knocked. "Hey, don't take forever!"
"Aw! You want to look great for me?" Dane came out. "Cool."
I shoved him. "Darn brothers!" I quickly brushed my hair and put water on my face. Well…I hadn't had a day with him in a while. With either of them. I looked at the picture of mom, Dan, kale, Dane, and I on the counter with a smile. Mom was an inch shorter than me, with shoulder length blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Dan was tall and handsome. Light brown hair and eyes.
Mom really love him so much. She'd been so shaken up after the divorce with my father; who moved to Washington and probably forgot about us. But she met Dan. He was such a nice guy. They were rarely home though; he had a good job, and used a lot of her money to take her traveling. It was her dream; to travel. But they normally just traveled during summer, and no place too far.
I walked out and bumped into someone. I nearly fell from surprise, but he grabbed my hand and pulled me up. Kale looked at me. 'Good morning. " He was in a lot better mood than yesterday.
I smiled brightly. "Morning."
"Jessica's waiting downstairs."
"Oh, really?" I bit my thumb. "Long?"
"Okay." I smiled brightly and moved. "See you later." I walked down the stairs. "Okay, bratty bro." I sighed. "Come on." I smiled to Jessica. "thank you for coming. You have no idea what this means for me."
"Oh, no problem." She smiled brightly. "Glad to help." She looked back at Dane. "Thanks for letting me come."
"Sure." He grumbled, as we walked to the car. It was a dark green Chevy. He smiled, opening the passenger side door. I slid Jessica in front. "Oh, thanks." She said, playing along. She could tell, she'd known me for years. But he'd always loved being around my brother, "its bragging rights", she'd joke.
The ride was smooth; I actually found myself having fun with jess there. Because he wasn't doing the whole favorites thing. He was actually a really great guy, when he wasn't challenging anyone or being with a girl. When we arrived to the first destination he actually seemed to have forgotten why we'd ended up here. It made me so happy, to see him open. "Come on." I took his hand. "let's find a seat. The theater was packed, but we found a seat at the back. He sat to my right, Jessica to my left.
It was a mystery movie that I'd been dying to see. He enjoyed the car crashes, the chases, and the romance scenes. I enjoyed figuring out what would happen. Jessica was enjoying the drama in the romance parts, as well as figuring out who'd end up with whom. She's always love that stuff.
Next we shopped, and I got new notebooks. She got some new romance books and a gaming magazine for Gabe. Next we ate; an amazing meal by the way. The whole time was so carefree and fun. He was acting like my normal brother again. Finally the day was ending, and we were at the art museum. It was quiet, not many people. I personally had found a painting that showed a person sitting in a tree, legs crossed and staring at the sky. A small child.
"What is it?" Dane asked, startling me.
"Oh, this." I smiled. "Gives a feeling of happiness."
"Jessica just went to look in the other area, said you're too slow."
"Oh." I frowned. "Um, let's go find her." I began to walk.
"Hey," he took my hand and pulled me back. "Can I ask you something?"
I looked at him. "Yeah, of course."
He sighed. "Look…the reason I've been so weird lately is because I just…when you found me with her I kind of freaked out. And-"
"Ugh." I closed my eyes. "And I'd nearly forgotten it too."
"Anyway!" he sighed. "I thought that because you went to sit with Kale you were really mad. So I wanted to prove I was better, you know? I didn't expect it to get so serious. I mean, normally he'd avoid this type of stuff. But…did you get into a fight? Maybe he felt the same way as me."
"Fight?" I frowned. "No. Maybe he just was bored. I don't know."
He smiled. "So, um, I wanted to make sure I was your favorite brother, you know?"
I smiled, and pat his back. And, without a thought, without my say so, I said something I thought was impossible. "You're my favorite brother."
He smiled the biggest smile ever and hugged me. "Great!"
I blinked, hugging back. "Yeah…" If he was my favorite brother, what was Kale?
"Bye!" I hugged Jessica and watched her get on her bike and ride off into the sunset, her bag with books on the bike.
I Smiled brightly, sighing and turning to walk through the house. I was glad tensions with Dane and Kale were over, and felt so much more light. I walked up the stairs, Dane going to watch TV. The house was quiet, because mom and dad were out of the house. As I walked down my small hallway, I stopped. Just…I looked at Kales door. I didn't quite understand why. I was so confused. What exactly was he to me?
The bathroom door opened, scaring me. Kale looked at me a moment. "Need me for something?"
I smiled, shaking my head. "Nah, just tired. But Dane and I made up a lot, it's much better. You two shouldn't fight anymore."
He nodded. "It was a stupid fight." He closed the door and went to his. Normally I'd just go to my room, but I just had to ask. It was so different from the him I was used to.
"Why did you get worked up?" I asked. Normally he was so calm and collected, hardly ever gave into Dane's little things.
He didn't turn at first, just stood there. Silent. I bit at my thumb, nervous. Had I brought something bad up? He sighed, and turned. "It was nothing, I was just bored."
"Oh…" I nodded, knowing that wasn't it. But I also knew well enough not to ask further, he'd just shut down. Then I'd never know. I'd let it come out on its own. "Good night then."
He nodded, and went to his room. I sighed, going to lay on my bed. But I couldn't sleep. I got up and was about to go get something to eat, when I thought about my notebooks. I looked at them. I hadn't read them in a while. I had just kind of not been in the mood. But…well, because Dane and Kale were still awake I couldn't crawl under his bed. That was secret. I decided I'd read them, relive all my memories. I started with my very first one. The pages were darkened and slightly wrinkled, even torn in parts. Some pages had small stains. But I read.
The first one I ever wrote; five years old. It was about how mom was so sad. Back then she'd just walk around the house, blank eyes. She'd make food, tuck me in. She worked and smiled and had friends over…but I knew she wasn't happy. Sometimes I'd hear her cry at nights. That whole notebook was about that time, after the divorce. It made me cry as I read it. Then I switched to the next one. I was six in it. It was when she'd met Dan. She'd come home one day, whistling. Something she'd not done in a long time.
She began to play with me, have a small spark in her eyes. And each week it just got brighter and brighter. Then she began to dance again. Slowly she'd begin to wear more color and eat healthier. And one day she came home, happy as could be. She told me I was going to have a new father, a better father. And two brothers. She talked for weeks. And then she left to do it; get married. And she came back. When she came back we quickly began to clean the house, and make sure it was good for more people.
I wanted to see that smile forever and ever. I laughed, reading all my spelling mistakes. I was six, of course. But it still made me smile, remembering. Then Dan came to the house, two boys in tow. They had big bags lined behind them, ready to go in. Mom went to show Dan around, and so I decided I'd start off with the talking. I wanted it to work out so badly. "Hello," I stuck out my hand, "please be my brothers!"
Back then they had the same personalities. Dane smacked my hand, laughing. He then proceeded to give me a harsh back pat, accidentally knocking me into the un-reacting Kale. And Kale caught me before I fell. That was the first day of many that he'd caught me. I read on. I'd wrote a lot about my brothers; they became big in my life. And as I read, I realized how much I talked about Kale. He'd helped me so much.
When bullies pulled my hair he'd defended me. When I'd accidentally spilled juice on the carpet he'd taken the glass and said he'd done it. I fessed up of course; I couldn't let him take the blame. But it was the thought. The more I read, the more I realized he'd been there for me. He'd helped me with homework, chores, bullies. He'd been there when I lost my important (at the time) rock that Jessica had gotten for me from her trip to the beach. He and I had searched for at least a week. And one day, as I'd nearly given up, he'd come into my room waving it around.
I heard the door downstairs open and talking, but I didn't listen. As I went through my notebooks, more and more came. Him catching me when I fell down the stars and spraining his ankle, him reminding me to watch my step, him walking me to school for the first time, him staying up late to make me a birthday cake with mom even though he hated cake and cooking. And then…the most important one. The one time that started my habit of crawling under his bed. I was eight.
I woke up to a dark room (back then I didn't have glow in the dark stars) and outside the wind was howling like a beat thing. The windows were shuddering and the walls seemed to be closing in. And to make it worse my bad dream had been about me being in a coffin. I was so scared, so very scared. And the first thing that popped in my head was Kale. I hadn't realized it, but here it was. In writing. I didn't have to read to remember, but I read.
I quietly went out of my room, unable to stay alone any longer. I was shaking and sniveling. I quieted myself and I closed the door, not wanting to wake anyone. I went to Kales door, and opened it. 'Kale?" I whispered, wiping my nose and looking into his dark room and closing the door quietly. I gasped as the wind howled a loud groan, and duck dived under his bad. I held my mouth, trying not to cry. And then I heard something, his soft breathing above me. And…it calmed me, making me not scared. I relaxed, and fell asleep. Kale sleeping above me.
And for the years to come that's where I went on nights I felt horrid or sleepless. I kept reading, wanting to finish. It was pretty much the same through all my note books. The more I read and remembered, the more confused I got. What did I really feel? I looked at my door, finally done reading. I sighed, shaking my head. I couldn't go to his room now; I'd already been there once this week.
So I decided to write my confusion down in my journal, trying to get the truth out. I don't know what I feel anymore. I know Kale and Dane are my brothers, but it's different. I don't know why! It's killing me. What should I do? Should I act normal, or try and figure it out? And
"Kaili, I hate you. I'm leaving." I woke with a gasp, Kales hard cold voice echoing through my head. I sat up, looking around my dark room. I'd fallen asleep on my notebook. I felt a tear in my eye, and my chest was aching. I gulped, trying to calm my racing heart. But now I couldn't sleep. I looked at my door. "Kale…"
His room was cold as I entered. It had always had the worst circulation in the house, this room. I shut his door quietly behind me, and turned. My breath caught in my throat as I saw Kale. His face up, looking towards the door. I thought he was awake. But he didn't move. Because it was dark I could only see his figure, but no details. I stood there a moment, the shock leaving. And then something else took over, a small knowing in my chest. I slowly dropped my blanket and pillow, and walked to his bed. I knew every room in this house well; Kale and mine especially.
I looked down at his face, letting my eyes adjust. I was able to make out features on him now, slightly. And for some reason the breath caught in my throat as I looked at his lips. I bit my own, shaking my head and backing away. What was wrong with me? But…I stopped, and went to kneel by him. I looked at his face. "Why?" I whispered, wondering. Why did I feel something different for him. And what was the right word for it?
"If you stare at me long enough, my skin might fry." He said, making me jump back and fall to the floor.
He opened his eyes. I could slightly make this movement out with the ray of light coming through the crack in the curtains. "Why what?"
"You just asked me 'why'." He sat up.
"I…" I wanted to lie, wanted to deny I felt something odd. Wanted to. But I couldn't. I couldn't lie to him. And besides, maybe he'd know. "Dane's my favorite brother." I said, not sure how else to explain.
He frowned. "What?"
"I didn't mean it that way! I mean, um…I don't even know." I sighed, my had hurting. "It's just, it's different. And I don't know why. He's not my favorite among the two of you, but he's my favorite brother. I still feel a lot for you too, but it's different. I can't get it! It's killing me." I groaned. "It's a different feeling, and I don't know how to act to it. I've never felt this before, so it's weird. And I-"
He suddenly went to the floor in front of me, and grabbed my shoulders. Little sparks traveled up and down me. "Explain what you feel." He said slowly.
"Well," I nervously picked at my fingers, not sure why my heart was racing. My chest slightly squeezed, and I felt little shocks going where he touched. It confused me! "Confused. My heart hurts, it's faster than normal." I bit my lip. "Maybe I'm sick? But I can't be sick." I sighed.
"What else?" He asked, more quickly. It slightly startled me, because I heard his voice crack. It never cracked. He never lost the calm face.
"Um, where you're touching my shoulders…it's weird. Little shocks. Not like the electric ones that hurt exactly, softer." I squirmed a bit, unsure of how to act. And he didn't move his hands.
"Little….shocks?" He asked.
He moved close. "Don't move." He said, very quiet. He slowly, oh so slowly, leaned in close. I didn't know what to do! I slowly kept moving away, until I was leaning back on my palms so I wouldn't fall. He was leaning over me, so close he was nearly touching. My heart was about to pop, and my guts twisted inside me. My breath squeezed in my chest. "What do you feel now?"
"Like my insides are about to pop open." I whispered. "Kale…why am I like this?"
He leaned closer, and our foreheads touched. And right then I knew. Because this scene reminded me of something from a book I'd real…a romance novel. I gasped, falling to the floor. I loved him? "Kaili…its love."
"B-b-but you're my-"
He leaned in and kissed me. And I felt my whole body blow up, billions of bombs going off in me. He carefully touched the side of my face, and my arms instinctively wrapped around him. Love.