“Will you hurry up?” Estelle yells from the hallways.
Of course she won’t have to worry about my parents hearing, they’re away on a business weekend, again.
“You of all people know that this takes a while.” I holler back.
Carefully I slide the liquid eyeliner, forming the cat’s eye. Perfection.
Oh, don’t worry; it used to take me at least eight tries to get it right.
“All right, I’m coming in.” she protests.
Sure enough the door bursts open and the bubbly blonde storms in.
“I’ll never be able to get used to this.” She says, staring at me.
“Oh get over it.” I say, slipping into my hottest pair of wedges.
She continues to stare in absolute silence.
“What?” I say uncomfortably.
I look at myself in the mirror. The bob of auburn hair falls neatly into my neck. My contacts give my eyes a green shine. The mascara and smoky eye shadow, along with the eyeliner, lets them pop. The black top is tight and just revealing enough. A fold conceals the main idea. Down to the knee-length skirt with frills starting in white and fading to red with a black seam. One of my own designs. Further down the perfectly smooth legs in the darker shade of silky stockings. The wonderful pair of black shoes on red wedges.
“I can’t find anything wrong Stella.” I say, irritated by her reaction.
“I still can’t believe you have you have such a perfect form for this, Alex.” She says.
I turn to her, my eyes blazing with anger and fear.
“Stella! As long as I’m wearing a bra with fake boobs, a dress and these shoes, I’m Alexis! We can’t let slip ups like that happen.” I say, suddenly feeling uncomfortable in the girl’s clothes.
“Sorry, but I still find it unfair that you can pull it off so easily.” She says and pouts.
“Let’s get out of here.” I say, taking the keys and walking to the garage.
I have to admit, there is an upside to having useless but rich parents. One of them is definitely the red Audi R8 that gets me where I need to be. We park it outside Poison, the greatest nightclub in the area. IDs out and we’re ready to dance. A quick flirty glance at the bouncer and we’re in. Ok, let me clear something up. I am Alex, an eighteen year old boy. Except for the Fridays of the past year. Then I am Alexis, also eighteen, but very much female. Every Friday, Stella and I come clubbing just to have some fun. Secondly, I’m not gay. Or at least, I don’t think so. I’ve never felt attracted to another guy. I just enjoy getting into girls’ clothes to go out every now and then. And I have to admit, dancing with a guy is way more fun.
“It’s so unfair.” Stella’s voice breaks through the haze of tequila.
“What now?” I ask.
“Not only do you look great as a girl, but all the guys in the joint keep checking you out.” She says. The same pout on her adorable features again.
“Oh please.” I say, smiling in a self-conscious way.
For the first time I actually look at the through the place. There’s the guy that bought us a round of drinks. The other two guys I danced with. The older guy perving on Stella. Fine, I get a little more attention than she does. But I couldn’t be bothered less; I’m not looking for a relationship at the moment.
“Fancy a dance?” another cute guy comes to steal me away.
I look at Stella. With a roll of her eyes she shoos me away. Throwing myself into the throng known as the dance floor, I really look at the guy swaying his body against mine. He’s actually rather cute. Cute brown hair, funky green eyes. And a wonderful body. For a while we just lose ourselves in the trance of the music, bodies close together, sinking into the depths of the dance. He’s a great dancer, movements flowing around me. The need for another drink swells in me like the need for oxygen. I hold it in. just a few more moments of wonderful bliss. Eventually it wins. I gasp. He looks at me questioningly and I motion to the bar where Stella’s still sitting. She sees me coming and grabs me another tequila. I flop down on a chair and notice the guy sliding into the seat next to me.
“Even when you sit down you’re so fricken feminine.” Stella hisses as I try to grab the drink.
She keeps it just out of my reach. My drunk and tired and needy body doesn’t have enough energy to reach for it and fight her off, so I slump weakly back into the chair.
“A tequila for the lady.” The guy who danced with me says.
I turn around and smile at him, his eyes catching me unawares, making me blush. I pick up the drink and sip at it suggestively.
“I think he really likes you.” Stella whispers in my ear.
“Say what.” I say.
She giggles and winks.
“So what?” I say.
“Dare you to kiss him, Alexis.” She whispers, suddenly extremely sober.
“No, I can’t!” I whisper.
“Just do it!” she says.
And disappears. I look awkwardly at him. He really is hot. No wait, what am I thinking? I dunno, but I like it.
We step back onto the dance floor, slowly drowning under the beat. Again his body against mine, closer, hotter, harder. Falling ever deeper. Needing breath but fighting the urge. Dancing. Twirling. Being. With him. I don’t get these feelings, but they’re making me crazy. And so is he. I feel him breathing in my neck, hearing each sharp intake. His body rubbing closer to mine. I look up into those green eyes. I won’t fight it anymore. He seems to be giving in to exactly the same urge. I stand on my toes, crashing my lips onto his. It feels as if his mouth is erasing all my worries. His tongue snakes its way past my lips to slowly dance with mine. My eyes snap open and I see him staring into mine. He pulls away, a slight smile still on his face.
“How’d you like another drink?” he asks, steering me to the bar. I kissed a guy. My first kiss ever was with a GUY.
And I loved it…
Thank God for Estelle. In some way she managed to get the guy (his name is Ruben) to go dance again. And thank God for tequila. Alcohol might not make me forget, but it sure as hell makes anything just a brighter purple (I detest pink and prefer to refrain from using it).
“Estelle, I think I’m gay.” I say unsteadily.
She looks at me, utter disbelief on her face.
“What, you only figured it out now? You took your fucking time!” she says.
“You mean you knew?” I ask, feeling slightly stung but mostly stupid.
“Uhm, let’s see… Wears girls’ clothes. Calls self Alexis. Dances with guys. Just kissed a hot guy so fricken passionately. Yup. YOU’RE GAY!”
“It does sound kinda stupid when you say it like that…” I admit, caving under her onslaught. “So what do I do now?” I ask.
Hah, now I’ve got her.
“That’s the simplest question to answer.” She says and pauses, laying the bait in front of me.
Naturally I go straight (no pun intended) for it.
“And the answer would be…” I bite.
“Tomorrow we’re finding you a boyfriend.”
How did I let her do this to me? Sitting here in the courtyard of the school with her and a bunch of other girls around holding “auditions” for every guy walking past. Guy after guy walks past, gets observed intently and then evaluated and criticised.
“Ooh! Here comes Leo.” Stella says.
And the comments begin…
“Nice lips, good kisser.” “Big arms, comfortable.” “Slightly scrawny.” “He has a pizza face!”
They look at each other briefly and the word sounds up, “DISMISSED!”
More guys come and go. Another cute one finally walks past.
“Maybe Brandon?” I suggest.
The scrutiny team swivel.
The judgement begins.
“Blonde with blue eyes! Sexy.” “Great muscles, plays soccer.” “Heard he has an ego.” “I heard he was a manwhore.”
Again the dreaded word comes. “DISMISSED!”
I dissolve, letting them have their fun while falling back into the blankness of my mind. I ignore them, reaching into my music, bopping on a beat only I can hear.
“Will you pay attention.” Estelle hisses.
Well that moment’s over.
“Ooh check out the new guy.” “Wow! Look at his eyes.” “Nice body.” “Scruffy but neat hair.”
“I would totally tap that.” A girl voices.
Silence descends as the entire group stares at her.
“What? You’re all thinking it!” she defends.
They all burst out in guilty giggles.
“Hush girls. Composure. He’s coming this way.” Stella says sternly.
The girls quickly gravitate to their own whispered conversations. Naturally they’re all watching him carefully. I hide behind my newest Pratchett book.
“Goodday ladies.” He says with a chivalrous tone that sounds as if it belongs on the 1800’s.
His only answers are a few giggles and Estelle’s stern stare.
“I’m new in this school-“
“No shit eh.” Stella interrupts him.
I nudge her in the ribs.
“Be nice.” I whisper.
His purple eyes catch mine and I am made painfully aware that he saw every movement. I feel the red stain of embarrassment spread on my cheeks.
“I’m in mister Elgrind’s class.” He says, looking from behind his brown fringe.
“Great! Alex will help you out.” Stella says and pushes me towards him. The bell rings and I lead him to the class at a quick jog. Only as I open the door I realise that I’m holding his hand. He smiles at me and gives my hand a squeeze before disappearing. With my heart.
The music pumps in my ears while Stella and I sit at the bar.” The black and green cocktail dress hugs my fake curves seductively. I cross my legs and look down to the knee length, white, platform go-go boots.
“His name is Marcus.” I say without looking up.
“And I would care why?” she says.
“Well he is the so called ‘boyfriend’ you said you were going to find me.” I say, slightly irritated by her reply.
“He is, is he?” she keeps her tone emotionless.
“Yes. And he’s absolutely perfect.” I say dreamily.
“Well then miss priss. Why are you here in a dress and not on a date with prince Charming.” She says darkly.
As usual, I have no answer. Fortunately I’m saved by a guy with chocolate eyes and light brown hair. We go into the jungle of the dance. But the effect isn’t the same/ it just feels like gently swaying on the beat. He is beautiful, but I keep thinking of Marcus.
‘Oh will you shut up!’ Alexis says in my mind. ‘Just let go and enjoy.’
Aided by the alcohol, she takes over my mind. I fetch Stella and we dance crazily with another bunch of guys. We jump and spin. Like animals. People sway around, a solid forest of trees. We break off, fall into the oasis of a booth. Another round of tequilas. Cute guys coming closer. Chats. The one in the middle is kinda cute. Blue eyes, blonde hair. He gives me a drink.
“Thanks hun.” I say and wink.
He sits down, and like a seesaw I’m back up, heading to the wilds of the dance floor. Clothing drapes on bodies like autumn leaves, a few evergreens spinning proudly among them. Colours, sounds, and soon I’m lost in the frenzy. When I finally break back out into the light, he’s still there next to Estelle. The hunger for the power I felt last time grows in me.
‘He will want us!’ Alexis screams in my head.
I walk over and seductively fall into his lap.
“It’s just you and me baby.” I say to him.
His eyes cloud over as he forms his lips around mine. Our tongues circle one another slowly before leaping at each other to fight like angry tigers. His body pushes against mine, his movements rough. I bite his lip, causing it to swell instantly. His hand tangles with my hair. The other is squeezing my arm. My nails trace red lines on his chest, under his shirt. He probes at my teeth with his tongue and I bite it softly. I pull away, hair wild and makeup messed up. The absolute power I have over him is making me drunk.
“Steady beast…” I whisper, my voice dripping poisoned honey. “We got all night.”
I get up in search of another drink, with no intention of returning.
“Ok so let me get this straight. Your boyfriend is coming over?” Jesse says, taking it all in slowly.
“Yeah. I really want my boyfriend t meet my brother.” I say to him.
That defensive older brother look crosses his face.
“It’s cool, but I want to know all about the guy.” He says seriously.
“Why?” I ask worriedly.
“Hey, I know I might not be gay, but you’re my little brother and I’m gunna make sure you find the right guy.” He says with a wry grin.
I look into those green eyes, grandma’s coloured eyes, the colour we both share. A weight is lifted from my heart and mind.
“What do you want to know?” I ask.
“You could start with his name.” he suggests, a little sarcastically.
“Marcus Andrews.” I squeak out.
“You mean the new guy?” he asks tentatively.
“I knew there was something off about him!” he exclaims.
His face lights up. He mumbles a bit to himself. As if remembering that I was watching him expectantly, he clears his throat.
“He is attractive, I’ll give you that. I’d just be careful if I were you. I don’t completely trust him.” He says, running his hand trough his dirty-blonde hair, so similar to mine.
I only look at him expectantly.
“I guess it would be okay.” He says uncertainly.
“Yay! I love you Jess!” I squeal and hug him.
“I love you too lil bro.” he says and playfully ruffles my hair.
“Doorbell!” I yell, jumping up.
“Sit down, thank you.” Jesse says sternly.
Obediently I fall back onto the couch. I swear he’s trying to make me nervous. Since I came home from school, I have been bound to the couch. He cleaned the entire house and I just sat there. He started making dinner, a delicious roast, and I just sat there. Finally I was released to shower and change. And when I returned… I sat there. And waited. And sat. and now I’m still sitting. I went for a loose t-shirt with a cute print and a baggy jean. Jesse, on the other hand, stood up, showing off his muscles in a tight t-shirt and a pair of baggy sweatpants. He stretches lazily and looks around the room. He is doing this on purpose… And it’s taken me an entire evening to notice. Nervously the doorbell echoes its earlier intrusion. A scowl passes over Jesse’s face.
“Impatient, isn’t he?” he grumbles.
I look at the door, not knowing what to expect. The door creaks open, inching steadily under Jesse’s firm hand. The man on the other side of the door takes my breath away. He is wearing black bootleg denim and a white button up shirt. His sleeves are rolled up above his elbows. He looks my brother up and down from behind his scruffy fringe. A red blush spreads over his face. He awkwardly extends his right hand, greeting my brother, while trying to hide his left hand behind his back. And in that hand a small bouquet of red roses, a few buds dipped in purple paint.
“Goodday sir. I’m Marcus.” He says, levelly.
“Sir? How old do I look to you? My name is Jesse.” He says with an evil smile.
Marcus winces slightly as Jesse crushes his hand.
“Since you’ve finally arrived, I’ll go and finish up dinner.” He says, stalking out of the room.
Marcus slumps noticeably. He steps forward extending the flowers to me. I laugh and fall into his arms and bury my head in his shoulder. He kisses the crown of my head softly. A throat is cleared behind us. Marcus pulls away instantly, but I only laugh.
“Dinner is now ready.” Jesse says gruffly.
I smile at him and pull Marcus behind me to the dining room.
An awkward silence descends as we sit around the small table. Each one dishes their own portion of food and eats. The frustrating screech of knives and forks against plates tugs at the solid silence. I can barely look up, consumed by my nervousness. Marcus looks like he’s testing every bite for poison. Jesse, on the other hand, radiates such an uninterested, emotionless calm, that clearly establishes him as the one in control.
“Nice weather we’re having.” I pipe up. The stress elevates my voice by three octaves.
Both Jesse and Marcus look up at me, staring in utter disbelief. As if on cue, the three of us fall into fits of laughter. And through that simple sacrifice, the ice is broken.
The entire room warms up, the light just a little brighter. Jesse and Marcus begin a discussion on football, and I sit back, smiling not wanting to disturb this perfect moment. If it’s even possible, my brother’s food even seems to taste better! Before I’ve blinked my eyes three times, the golden moment has passed.
“You kids go and play.” Jesse winks. “I’ll clean up.”
He starts clearing the table. With mum and dad gone so much, he’s the closest thing I have to a parent. I blow him a kiss and he catches it, playfully storing it in his pocket. I grab Marcus’s hand and lead him to my room.
“I love the colour scheme.” He remarks as soon as he walks into the room.
Each wall is black with purple and red swirls and splashes. I just smile.
“What music do you want to listen to?” I ask.
He shrugs uncertainly. I take out my Katie Melua CD and pop it in the player. The soothing bass and piano wash over me.
“You had a nice day?” I ask, sitting down on the bed.
“It was good. Physics was murder though.” He says, sitting down next to me.
Silence descends again.
“I started reading this great boo-“
His lips interrupt my statement, pressing ever so softly against mine. I gasp in surprise, but he smiles and lifts his forefinger to my lips.
“Shhhhhhh…” the breath whistles through his teeth.
Slowly he lowers me onto my back, his body on top of mine. My one hand snakes around his neck, the other tangles with his hair. The pressure on my body increases as his tongue teases my lips, searching for an opening. I let him in, allowing his tongue to entertain mine. My hands slide over his chest, slipping over every contour, accidentally unbuttoning the top few buttons of his shirt. He pulls away, a mischievous glint in his eyes. He slowly, sensually slips out of his shirt. Gently he tugs at mine. I allow it to slowly slide from my chest. Instead of giving him a chance to do whatever he plans, I pull him back onto me, kissing his face. He collapses back on top of me, deepening his kiss. His slick body slides on mine, our skins touching. I gasp for breath. He uses the intermission to slide to my neck. He bites softly, making me moan. I know he’s gunna leave a mark on me. His hands glide over my chest and pause at my pant-line. Slowly it slides in and pauses over the bulge in my pants. My pupils contract in fear. He notices something is wrong.
“No. I’m not ready.” I whisper…
Everything turns ice cold as I roll from under him. I pull my legs to my chest. He comes to sit behind me, resting his hand on my shoulder.
“I love you. And I’ll wait forever if I have to.” He says.
I turn around to face him.
“Thanks. And for now. This is enough for me.” I say.
He lies down next to me, folding me in his arms.
I close my eyes and slowly drift off to sleep.
“So you said no. what’s the big deal?” Estelle voices as we sip our napolitanas.
“I can’t help thinking of what would have happened if I had said yes.” I manage to slur through my depressed drunken stupor.
“He said he still loved you either way. I don’t get what the big deal is”
She rolls her eyes again.
“But what if he only said that?” I say.
“Oh will you get over it! Just kiss a guy and get over it!” she says and storms off to the bathroom.
‘Like any guy would be interested in me.’
‘Of course they will.’ Alexis voices.
‘Just look at yourself! Long, sleek. Sexy, tight purple cocktail dress, awesome legs. You’re hot dammit!’ she insists.
A guy sits down next to me.
“Hi hotstuff. Another drink?” he says, letting his hand rest on my leg.
I look into the green eyes of the hunk in front of me.
He orders me a tequila and himself a beer. When he looks at me again, I let my hands slide through his dirty blonde hair.
“Wanna dance babe?” he says.
Without answering him, I simply get up, take his hand and pull him to the warm, pulsing mass of energy. I dance with my back to him, making a few dirty moves. He grinds against me and I laugh seductively. This feels so perfect, so right. We dance as if fire is burning in our limbs and he spins me around in circles. It feels as if we are the only people twirling under the crackling lamps. He dips me low to the floor. When he pulls me up, his eager lips meet mine. Steamily our lips move together and I open mine to let him in. he snakes in his tongue for a fiery tango. We break for air and I spin away to fund Estelle.
I find her, slightly preoccupied, in front of the bar.
“Stella! Did you see how hot that guy was?” I ask excitedly.
She breaks away from the guy she’s busy with and looks at me.
“You mean the guy you were so passionately kissing only moments ago?”
“Must say, I never thought you’d be into that whole ‘making out with your sibling’ thing.” She says and turns away again.
The shock shakes my body.
Made. Out. With. My. Brother…
“Good morning sunshine.” A voice spills into the darkness of my dreams.
It has to be Jesse. Only he can have that clear a voice. I only groan and turn onto my other side the light floods into my dreams and onto my face. I groan again.
Silence greets my protests.
“I wasn’t expecting you here.” Jesse’s voice carefully touches my consciousness.
“I crashed here last night.” I mumble.
I hear a squeak as he sits down on the bed, an indent forming next to me. His hand slides lightly up and down my upper leg. Strange that it’s that exposed. I usually wear long pj’s.
“Wow, you must have been tired. You didn’t even undress.” He says softly.
Even through my sleep drugged brain, alarm bells sound. I didn’t undress?
“I still have no idea how you got in?” he says.
Ignoring those annoying alarm bells my sleepy voice cuts through the air.
“Well I have my own key. I do live here…”
Why is he being so weird?
Heavy silence squeezes at me. He stands up. The floorboards creak as he takes a step back.
Irritation rises up in me. I leap up after him, placing my hands on my hips.
“Dammit Jesse! Can’t you even recognise your own brother?”
Shock crosses his face.
I can’t look that bad! I look at myself in the mirror.
Purple dress and auburn hair. Shit.
He comes closer, so agonisingly slowly. I flinch as he grabs the wig and pulls it off.
He backs away again, disbelief and pain painted on his face.
But I can’t finish my sentence. He rushes out, wig still in hand. The worst part is not the pain or the sadness or the fear in his face. But the absolute anger he tries to hide.
I’m so screwed.
“It’s just till the heat blow over.” I say, dropping my bags to the floor.
“Like I said: it’s fine. Besides, my mum thinks you’re fricken holy. She actually hopes we’ll date. Like that’s gunna happen!” she rolls her eyes.
I familiarise myself with the calming green room. I ran rather than face that anger again. The worst he could do is to actually come looking for me. At least that will show that he wants to talk to me.
“Seeing as you know all about my personal life and I have been a very selfish friend: What on earth is going on in your life?” I ask her
“Well, while you have been on your little emotional rollercoaster of the past few weeks, I have gone on six dates with one guy. Without even kissing him once.” She says it in a completely nonchalant tone.
She smiles as my jaw dropping an entire metre.
“What’s he like?” I manage.
Estelle usually only has one night stands, at least five times a week. She seeing a guy for six dates and not even kissing once is like hell freezing over and melting again. Five times.
“Well he’s an adorable guy, actually quite a nerd. We went to see Star Wars.” She giggles.
I laugh hysterically.
“Can it be that the lusty, sexy, creature of the night, Estelle Jones, has fallen in love?” I ask, mocking her breathlessly.
A dreamy haze passes over her eyes.
“Yes, I think that’s exactly it.” She says, a vacant smile on her face.
It barely takes a second for me to take out my camera and snap a picture of the usually composed, angry girl. An evil laugh bursts from my lips. She whiplashes back to reality.
“Delete it!” she snarls, 100% herself again.
“I don’t think I will.” I say, grinning mischievously.
“Please…” she pleads.
I only laugh louder.
Before I know what’s happened, she’s tackled me to the floor and we’re wrestling for the phone. Now Estelle might be a tough girl, but just cause I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m not able to be manly. With almost no effort at all, I roll on top of her and pin her to the ground.
“Don’t worry, I’ll keep it safe.” I wink.
She pouts and starts a staring contest. The whole situation is so ridiculous that we both collapse, unable to contain our laughs.
“Thanks again. For having me here.” I say while we both lay on our backs, staring at the ceiling.
“Oh shut up! You’re basically family.” She says.
A pillow hits my face.
It’s been at least a week since I’ve seen anyone. Okay, with anyone I mean Marcus and Jesse. I’ve been avoiding Jesse for extremely obvious reasons. And I couldn’t bear to face Marcus, knowing that I made out with my own brother.
‘No chance to turn back now.’ Alexis’s voice cuts through my reverie.
For once she’s right. I pull myself together and knock on my own house’s door. He wouldn’t have changed the locks, but for some reason I don’t think a little courtesy would go amiss.
Okay, change of plans. I look for the spare key in the pot plant, where it always was. And fortunately still is. I take a deep breath and open the door. The house smells musty, but homely. It sounds so empty and yet is crammed with all my memories. From the silence I know my parents are not home. AGAIN. Not surprised at all.
‘Did they even notice you were gone.’ Alexis states, rather than asks, with ice in her voice.
I shrug it off. Silently I stalk from shadow to shadow through the quiet. I wander around, alert for the slightest sound. The only light in the entire house shines through the crack of my brother’s door. I catch the faint melody of Paramore’s “Only Exception”. But there are two voices behind the door. I glance through the crack. On my brother’s bed are two boys. One is my brother. The other boy is sitting with his back to me.
“I just can’t believe I happened. I mean with my own brother…” Jesse’s voice sounds up.
I shy away from the door.
‘He hates you.’ Alexis’s poison flows into my mind.
I sit back against the wall, tears threatening to spill over.
“And the worst part is that when I found out, I loved it. I had loved the thought of having kissed a guy. Of course him being my brother makes it completely wrong. I can’t even face him…” he says, fear and sadness in his voice.
Tears lay on the lids of my eyes, frozen in place by shock.
“It’s okay.” The other voice says.
The bed creaks. Silence. Unbearable silence. A whimper.
I can’t take it!
I look around the door and see Jesse making out with the other guy. My breath is caught in my throat. They pull away, both breathing heavily.
“Sorry.” The other guy says.
“It’s okay Marcus. It felt good.” Jesse smiles.
The face turns to the door.
My boyfriend just kissed my brother.
“Estelle, I just can’t handle it anymore!” my voice echoes back to me.
“Chill. There’s no need to yell.” Her voice crackles over the phone.
“I’m sorry.” I say, sobs threatening to overtake my body.
“What’s the problem?” she says, aware that something is very wrong.
“That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you tell my brother that I love him and that I hope he finds happiness and most important that I’m not angry with him.” I say, driven to a strange emotionless voice. “Hit Marcus. Hard. He doesn’t deserve my brother.” I finish before she can interrupt. “And most of all. I love you Stella, but I just can’t take it anymore.” I say.
She begins to question, but I kill the phone.
I close my eyes.
My hands are shaking, feeling the weight of the cold object between them.
The metallic parts rattle.
I lift it to my temple.
“I guess this is goodbye?” I say.
‘Yes… Goodbye…’ Alexis whispers.
And my finger squeezes the trigger.