Brian and I hung around the house all morning Wednesday just getting to know each other. I had my head on one end of the couch facing him.
“Will you tell me about your sister?” I asked looking at Brian.
“Carly is great,” he said smiling, “she always kept me on my toes. It’s been just the two of us for the past six years. We got really close once…. Well you know…. happened. She was ten. She didn’t feel the loss like I did. Loosing your twin is like seeing yourself pass. That could had been me. I should’ve been the one that-”
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“Brian,” I stopped him, “don’t say that. You are here for a reason. You’re supposed to be here.”
I sat up and moved closer to Brian.
“Do you want to talk about him?” I asked placing my hand over his.
“Want to tell me more about Carly?”
He smiled and began, “she has been a firecracker ever since I remember. One day last year she brought this guy home. He was the complete opposite of our family. He was the common ‘bad boy’. She introduced him to our parents and he was very rude. He walked over to me and we hit it off. She was 15 and wanted our parents to see her with an 18 year old. I was only 19 at the time and we bonded. She only brought him home to ‘rebel’. Once she seen he didn’t bother our parents, she dumped him. Chris and I are still friends today. He got an attitude check and is one of the best people I know.”
“I haven’t heard you talk about your childhood much.”
“Ben, Carly, and I were always sent to the best private schools in the area. There isn’t much to tell. Once Ben passed, Carly and I grew closer. However, our parents began to get more and more distant. My father stayed longer nights at work and my mother went out with her friends. Carly and I were left with a nanny.”
“Brian, that’s awful.”
“I turned out okay,” he said looking at me with sadness in his eyes, “You, on the other hand, probably have a much better story than me.”
“Not really. You know most of it already.”
“I know about a few of your troubles. What about the happy times?”
I grabbed ahold of Brian’s hand and stood up, “follow me?”
He began following me into my room. I let go of his hand and walked over to a box I left packed in my closet. I pulled it out and put a few of the picture frames out on my bed.
“This is it,” I said motioning toward the picture frames.
I sat down on the bed and looked up at Brian.
“Ask away. Anything.”
“Are you sure you want to talk about your past?”
He didn’t say anything. He picked up each picture and studied it laughing here and there. I could tell he was afraid to ask me any questions.
“I was a daddy’s girl. We would hang out all the time growing up. If he went somewhere I went too. When I was six, he was in a bad accident. He got caught in a burning house trying to save a six year old girl. He took off his jacket and wrapped her up. When he finally got out, she was untouched. He, on the other hand, was covered in burns. They rushed him to the hospital and called my mom and I. When they let us see him he told me he would want someone to save me if I was in that house. He always thought of others before himself. That eventually led to his own death.”
I looked at Brian. He was studying me carefully.
“My mom was somewhat like my dad. She cared for others but not nearly as much. That’s why my dad wanted to be a firefighter. He wanted to be a hero. My mom didn’t know how to make it without him. That’s why she turned to alcohol. I tried so hard to snap her out of the spell she was in but I couldn’t. She was too far gone. Did you know I am going to school to be a business major?”
Brian shook his head no.
“I always wanted to be close to my grandparents. Even though they disowned my dad when he married my mom, I always wondered what they were like. I decided that the only way I could get close to them was to do what they chose over my dad. That was their business. I know I should be mad at them but I can’t bring myself to be angry. I can’t hate them because, in the end, they are the only family I have left other than Kade.”
A tear rolled down my cheek. I looked over at Brian to see his reaction. He gently brought his thumb up to wipe away the tear that was about to fall.
“Hey, don’t cry. Your grandparents are crazy to not want to meet someone as brave and strong as you. You are terrific just the way you are.”
That’s when the waterworks hit. The tears fell down my face. Brian genuinely cared about Kade and I. For once I feel like I wasn’t alone. Brian pulled me into his arms and I cried into his chest.
“They say the strongest people have faced the most battles. And Lena, I think it’s time you start letting others fight your battles- letting me help you fight your battles,” Brian reached up and wiped away the tears that were on my face.
I think I’m falling for Brian Matthews.
After my cry session Brian thought I needed some cheering up. He brought me into the game room and told me to challenge him in any of the games. I went over to the air hockey table and looked at Brian.
I won four of the five games. We were about to play again but my phone went off.
“Hello,” I said not checking the caller id.
“Mrs. Smith? What’s wrong? Is Kade okay?”
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To be continued…
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