Hey, I wrote this cute little short story for a creative writing assignment, so enjoy :D

Best Friend's Brother

*Mackie POV*

It came so unexpectedly that I didn't even have time to catch my breath. Three years ago when my mother died, I thought I had seen it all. I thought I had recovered. Now that father was gone too, it was up to me to take care of my family. I was the oldest after all.

I had just turned eighteen a few months ago. Senior year was coming to its end. My bright dreams of a successful college life had dwindled over this depressing weekend. My brothers say I'm being dramatic. But Ryden's always been out to get me it seemed. I have never lived up to his expectations as an older sister. Now he thinks that just because he's the oldest male in the household, he gets to take charge. Whoa! Red flag! He's forgotten about me.

Being melodramatic as usual, I called up my best friend and soul sister, Chanel. She'd been texting me nonstop through the weekend ever since I told her the news. She's a good friend like that.

*Chanel POV*

"Mackie? Are you feeling better than this morning?"

"Yes, I think so."

"And Ryden too?"

"Aw, who cares about him? He's been in a bad mood since dad died. I got over it but he never did. Now that mom and dad are together in eternal heaven, Ryden's in a worse mood than ever. At least I can see the positivity in the situation, ya know?"

"Of course I know. But I also feel bad for him too."

"How come you never ask about Fenri?"

"Well…Fenri never does anything interesting."

I heard Mackie chuckle over the phone. "I'll admit he is a bit of a deadbeat."

"…You said it not me." We both gave a laugh.

Ah Mackie…you're so annoying, I thought. Only one more night and then I don't have to deal with you anymore.

*Ryden POV*

The black walls of my adequately sized bedroom was decorated with prize shuriken, gifts handed down to the oldest male in the family. I took good care of them but my little kid brother was often trying to abscond with them. So I put them on a shelf that was far out of his reach. Not that he'd ever get taller anyways.

I stared up at the black ceiling covered with pop band posters. I like pop-rock music, got a problem with that? Over on my nightstand, those black headphones of mine were taunting me. They had been broken for a week and Mackie forbid me to buy more because apparently "we didn't have that luxury".

That only proved how little she understood me!

I pulled open the dresser of my black nightstand. There's three hundred dollars in cash sitting right here. I dunno why Mackie convinces herself of things like this. She purposely blinds herself. One day though, she'd gonna have to wake up and smell what's right in front of her.

"Ryden, can you fix me dinner?" My little brother's prepubescent voice rang throughout the hall. He was one of several reasons my outlook on life was black as it was. Bevin thought he could get away with anything.

"No." I replied. People might think me a bit harsh. Well I guess I had to be to deal with him.

"Please?" He ran into my room now, making that absurd begging face.

No one invades my room. And that's final. I shoved the younger boy outta here without giving him so much as another no.

*Bevin POV*

I really wish my brother wasn't as smart as he was. I wish he was more gullible like Mackie. My sister gave me everything I wanted—and everything was something I was entitled to. I'll bet all their friends think I just sit around and play video games all day. According to my older siblings, video games are the same as nothing.

Well, I'm so sorry I'm not into competitive soccer like they are! No, I'm really not. My older siblings compete in everything from piano lessons, to painting classes to computer design. They both say they were into said hobby first and then compete to see who's better. Beats me why one of them hasn't "won" soccer yet. It's been five years after all.

They're never gonna let that go, are they? Gee, I'm so glad I haven't got a competitive cell in my body.

I sat on the couch in my bedroom counting the spots on the ceiling where it used to leak. Years ago, it was painted over as if it was never there. That was kind of like a lie because it was so obviously still there.

Yeah. There was no mistaking it. Some afternoons I could have sworn I still heard the drips and drabbles fighting to be released from the sealants. It's true! I'm not crazy.

So not crazy.

*Ryden POV*

So here we are heading to that funeral. Whatever. I'm sitting in the back seat of the car with Bevin to my left as usual. My sister's driving, and her creepy friend Chanel is in the passenger seat. I swear, Chanel was staring right at me when she was doing her makeup. Ugh, I can't stand girls like her.

"Hey." I heard a slightly drab voice directed at me. The voice belonged to a person, my friend Laurine. Laurine was a pale girl with a loose gray shirt and tight black corduroy pants. She always looked so comfortable. She had braces and so she looked kind of awkward when she smiled up at me. She had dark circles under her eyes. "Are you okay?"

"Yes." I answered automatically. "Why?"

She looked puzzled. "Well, you're an orphan now. I can't imagine what it must be like, other than being painful."

I was silent as she sat down next to me.

"But I understand." She continued honestly. "I know what pain feels like. It's total darkness. You try to escape it, but then you realize there's too much darkness within you. The tide's too strong to go against, so you pretty much just have to—"

"If you were about to say 'give up' Laurine, I swear…"

"Well, no, don't give up. Just accept where you are. Eventually, Ryden, you'll have to come to terms with the truth?"

"The truth?"

*Laurine POV*

"Yeah." I replied, trying to sound cool. Ryden was cool himself and if I wanted to remain his friend, I couldn't let him think I was a bore.

I scooted closer to him on the couch while he sorted out his thoughts. What a guy. He was so smart! I'd known I was meant to be with him since that one day in sixth grade when he and I first locked eyes. I was really skinny and quiet back then and I probably looked like I was on drugs. Now that my hair has grown out and I have gained some weight, Ryden was bound to take notice of my natural beauty.



I pressed my cold hand on his. I hoped he wouldn't pull away in shock. "I know you're most likely confused by what I'm doing," I leaned in, "But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do." I closed my eyes and pursed my lips.

*Ryden POV*

Ugh, Laurine is suck a crackhead. Without even touching her, I pulled away before she could kiss me. She took a faceplant into the sofa pillow and I stood up. Before she even opened her eyes, I had disappeared out the corridor.

I hid near the back door of the funeral home. Ah, I could just wait until the funeral procession was over. Mackie would find me then, and we could all go home and forget about this.

I curled up on the floor by the heater and leaned against the wall hoping to take a nap. Unfortunately my sleep cycle was interrupted by a cold breeze. The gateway to the outside had opened, and three figures had stepped inside.

It was plain to see that the two adults, a very sophisticated man and woman, did not notice me. But the girl, a rare beauty with silky caramel-colored hair, took a second take at the wall. Her parents never looked downwards because they always held their noses high in the air.

I knew that girl, quite well actually. Her name was Kitcha and she was in my grade but not in any of my classes. I had heard rumors of her desire to do great deeds for other people. I never believed it until I saw her hear. "Ryden!" She smiled halfway, extending a dainty hand to pull me to my feet. I took it. What a grip that girl had. Must be from all those gymnastics classes she took. "I know you must be going through a lot, but trust me, you'll recover."

I stared at her oddly since that was probably the longest sentence she said to me in my entire life. We kept on walking for a bit and exchanging words. Most of them were hers. I just listened. It was kinda relaxing to hear her talk.

"Trust me, there's always a way out of the darkness." Kitcha said as we took our turn walking up to the body.

"How can you say that to him?" Raged Chanel from behind us. "How can you say ANYTHING to him? You're not his friend, you don't know his past! You haven't a clue what he's been going through!"

Chanel, just shut up, I thought.

Laurine appeared, misty-eyed and slightly pathetic looking. "Ryden, you broke my heart!" She whined and broke into a cry.

I rolled my eyes. Then I started to recall why I had given up hope in teenage girls.

"Let's settle this once and for all," Chanel began, "I'm in love with you, Ryden. And I swear I'll love you until the day I die."

Laurine whined even harder. She couldn't find the words to say.

Awkwardly, Kitcha started to inch away. With the bickering going on between Chanel and her friends who joined the conversation, I plucked a rose from one of the flower wreath decorations. They never served much of a purpose anyway, so I decided to give them one. I handed the rose to Kitcha and she smiled. I wondered what she was thinking…I would give all the money in the world to know.

*Kitcha POV*

I was very flattered. Friends of friends of mine had repeatedly told me that Ryden had a crush on me. I shrugged it off as mere speculation until this very moment. This rose I held in my hand was given to me by that silly boy. After I realized just what he was going through, but in spite of it he was still a good kid.

And I loved him. I gave him a sweet little kiss on the cheek. "You're really awesome." I said, blushing as the words came out.

Ryden nodded at the in return. "You wanna hang out tonight?" He asked me.

"Sure! What did you have in mind?"

Ryden blushed and said nothing but stammers.

"How about you come and visit my church? It's Wednesday tonight after all. We always sing and it's so cool…"

Ryden shrugged. "I'm not exactly the religious kind."

"You can be."

"Fair enough. I'll come."

I smiled.

*Mackie POV*

I watched, disturbed, as my longtime BFF Chanel's true intentions were exposed. How foolish I was to think Chanel liked me for me when all she really wanted was my brother! That nasty little tyrant. "Chanel," I approached her fearlessly, "Consider yourself officially off my friend list. And don't ever say a word to me or my brothers again."

The chick reflected a demeanor of confusion.

"Don't play innocent with me. Now that I know who you really are, I don't want anything to do with you. Now, I'm going to kindly ask you to leave the funeral parlor at once. If you don't comply, I'll have to call security."

Chanel rolled her eyes, picked up her oversized bag and left the place with a scandalous look of humiliation on her face.

I felt quite proud of myself now. Then I glanced at the mirror and realized that I had just chased away my only true friend. Or, at least, I used to think she was. Now I didn't have anyone.

*Ryden POV*

Was that…what I thought it was? Had my sister just defended me? Sort of? I never expected that to happen. I'll be sure to act kinder to her in the future because, hey, she owed me one.

The End

Review please! :D Believe it or not, I have never written a story this...short. There may be a follow-up chapter of similar size because I still don't like the "ending". Unfortunately there was a page limit on the assignment XD I hope your comments will be encouraging. I just got bullied today and it was admittedly one of the worst days of my life. I will (hopefully) be posting my story on Deviantart today for anyone who is curious. Remember, words DO hurt, so be careful what you say everyone.

~Love, Prenn