Falling in love... for the first time.
A short story told by Annie
"Sis...sis..." A voice called out. It was my little brother Josh. One year younger than me.
"Joshie, I'm still sleeping. What?" I muttered. It was of course, Saturday. Suddenly, I realized. It was that "family gathering" day. I finally yawned and sat up. Josh was still looking at me.
"Bryan and Jim said that they would take you to the beach." He answered quietly.
"And?" Oh great. They're probably going to tell me to overdress for it. And they had to use Joshie as their little messenger.
"They also said that you should wear a one-piece swimsuit. No bikini."
"Why? They don't want me to attract "unwanted attention"?"
"You got it. I'm forced to come along and be your "bodyguard."" He added. I could tell my little brother didn't like the idea, and it was actually another one of my older brothers' stupid schemes to keep a close eye on me. How did this all start you say? Well, here goes.
Flashback. (When Emily was 5 years old.)
"Bryan, Mom said I need to go to the corner store for some jello. I can go by myself."
"It's really dangerous for little children to go by themselves to the corner store. I'll come with you."
"Yeah," Jim piped in, "I'll come too. Josh! You come with us."
"No. I'm a little kid too. You guys go with her."
"Josh! If you don't go, then I'll..."
Flashback. (A confession. When Emily was 8 years old.)
"Emily, I really like you. Do you want to be my girlfriend?" A cute little classmate shyly declared, handing her a nicely written love letter.
"Sure." She replied, taking it from his hands. But as she did, Jim walked over and snatched it out of her hands.
"Not so fast, you smart ass. What exactly are you trying to do with my sister?! Back off, or I'm gonna make you beg for mercy. You don't want that, right little guy?" Jim questioned, as he nearly grabbed him by his shirt.
"Bro, you don't have to go to such lengths!" Emily begged, tears welling up in her eyes. Bryan walked over to where they were and dried Emily's tears.
"Dude, remember the "we don't make Emily cry" rule? You just did, man. Joshie, take Emily home for me, will you."
"Fine, bro." Josh shrugged as he took his older sister by the hand.
"And you keep away from our sister, you got that, punk?!" Bryan threatened, a clenched fist. The innocent kid nodded and ran away.
Flashback. (When Emily was 15 years of age.)
"Alright dude, she's heading out." Jim called Bryan, as he looked into the camera. Josh rolled his eyes.
"Where do you think she's going? On a date?" Bryan questioned, as he peered into the camera.
"And so what if she was? What's it to you guys, anyway? She has a life, and..."
"What the hell was that, Joshie dear?" Bryan said, with a monstrous glare.
"Yeah, do you mind repeating the last part, tough guy?" Jim retorted sharply.
"Nothing, nothing at all. You guys...you guys keep spying on your own sister."
"For the record, this ain't spyin'. We're making sure our precious little sis doesn't get into trouble."
"Yeah, she'll thank us one day, I can assure you that."
"Thank you, huh..." He muttered under his breath.
Back to the Present.
Yeah. So basically, my brothers had and have been overptotecting me for the longest time. I guess you could say from the time I was born. At first, I liked it. No, I loved it. I loved that my big brothers were always there for me. But now...I'm seventeen. They don't, like at all, understand that I'm going to be a full grown adult next year. And even now... I've got a life. I don't need these guys watching over my shoulder every single time. It's a hassle, it's embarrasing, and it's unnatural. Take an inside peek :
Bryan Montgomery: 28 years of age. His job: An architect. Status: single. Chances of a lovelife : 95.
Jim Montgomery: 25 years of age. His job: A model. Status: single. Chances of a lovelife : 100.
And there you go. My brothers aren't bad looking at all. Bryan is really tall, and muscular too. Jim is basically the same. My little brother Joshie is cute too, but those brutes constantly use him to "keep an eye" on me.
Beach time. Since my body is petite, I look good in one-piece swimsuits. Bryan and Jim waved at us, and I simply rolled my eyes. Suddenly, I could see that I was attracting attention. I could hear whistles from guys staring at me. As a girl, I loved the attention, but I knew those monsters would victimize those poor innocent guys like there was no tomorrow. I caught up with Joshie and whispered in his ear.
"Joshie, I'm gonna speed up a little bit. Do you mind if I do?"
"Nope. I know exactly why you're doing it."
Feeling sorry for Joshie, I told him he could go and have some fun, while I took care of the rest of the stuff. I couldn't believe that they kept making him carry lots of stuff. The towels, the lunch basket, my older brothers' bags and lastly, their surfing boards. I struggled to grasp everything at once.
"What's Em doing? She can't carry all that! Where the hell is that useless wimp?! Bryan retorted.
"Probably ran off somewhere. I'll call him."
I finally tripped and nearly everything fell out of my grasp. Suddenly, a strong hand was extended to me. I looked up.
A cute guy with brown hair and the most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen smiled at me.
"I'm okay, yeah." I answered hesitantly as I looked over his shoulder. My brothers were walking towards the guy in a menacing way. I panicked.
"Are you sure you're okay? Here, let me help you pick up the stuff." He offered, as he bent over and picked the stuff up. I did the same, but winced slightly. He looked up, and saw that my knee was bleeding.
"My God, are you okay?"
"Yeah. It's nothing, don't worry about it."
"Who the hell's the guy that's with Em?" Jim questioned.
"Sssh. Let's just see what happens." Bryan suggested.
"Do you have some bandages or something?" The guy asked.
"I'll take you over to where we are. We must have some."
I looked up again. My brothers were gone, but I knew that they were hiding somewhere.
"Sure, okay." I replied.
As he gathered the stuff, he noticed that I was slightly limping.
"Here, you can put your arm on my shoulder."
"But you're carrying all the stuff..."
"Don't worry about it."
"Bryan, should we go and see what's going on?"
"Slowly." He responded, as he took a camera out.
Joshie passed by, and saw that his brothers were hiding with the camera again. He attempted to run away, but Jim caught him by the arm.
"Where the heck were you, Josh?" He demanded.
"Em told me I could go..."
"Em got hurt because of you, you lowlife! If you had been here, none of this would..."
"Guys, shut up. Let's keep a close watch. I hope that guy that helped our sister doesn't try anything funny."
"Easy does it. You can sit here while I check if we have any band-aids."
"Thanks. Your name is...?"
"Emily. Thanks, for what you did back there."
Suddenly, a beautiful girl wearing a purple bikini passed by and sat under the umbrella, sipping coconut milk. She looked up and I smiled.
"I see. Are you my brother's girlfriend or something?"
"No, it's nothing like that. I got hurt, and he offered to help me."
"Yeah, Andy's like that. He likes helping the needy."
"Sis, where were you?" Andy blurted out.
"I was at the bar."
Andy came over with a wet towel and some bandaids.
"No problem. Is your spot far from ours?"
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw my two brothers storming in. Joshie, I guess was told to watch our spot.
"Sis,where have you been?"
"Bryan, you knew perfectly well where I was. What's with the camera?"
"Huh...we were taking pictures." He lied.
"Sis, who's this?" Jim asked referring to Andy.
"Andy. I helped your sister carry all the stuff." He answered quickly.
"Not to mention that I got hurt and you guys did nothing about it." I added angrily. Jim and Bryan looked embarrased.
"So...these are your brothers?" The girl interrupted the silence with a coquettish smile.
"Yeah, nice to make your acquaintance. I'm Jim, Emily's brother, and this here is Bryan . He's the oldest."
"Hey." Bryan smiled coldly.
"Well, Em let's go back to our spot." Jim smiled as he picked me up.
"This is embarrasing! Put me down!"
"Nope. See you later, Andy. Thanks." With that, we headed back to our spot.
"Andy, that girl...she's really pretty. I like her for you." The girl said with a smirk.
"Stop that, Meg. We just met, and it kind of looks like her brothers don't like me."
Back home, Jim carried me all the way up to my room and lay me on the bed.
"You sure you're okay, sis?"
"For the hundreth time, yes."
"Do you want something to eat?"
"No. I'm tired. I want to rest, so please leave."
"Good, okay then."
"When are mom and dad coming back from their trip?"
"In about two weeks."
"I see. Well, bye. I want to get some rest."
I snuggled under my covers, but as soon as he shut the door, I made my way to the computer.
That guy...he was really nice. I wonder where he lives? No. Even if we did meet again, my stupid brothers won't let him off the hook. But still...it's nice to wish for something that won't come true sometimes.
Sunday. The day I could be on my own and go out with my friends...well, not entirely. I knew well that Joshie had to tag along, but that didn't bother me in the least bit.
"Josh, you're going to the mall with Emily and her friends okay?"
"But Bryan, why do I always have to...
"Because we care about our sister, and we love her?" Jim stated the obvious. Josh rolled his eyes. He knew perfectly well that Bryan and Jim would spy on Emily throughout the day. That was something that he kept a secret from his dear sister.
"So...I'm sorry you had to come along, Joshie."
"No problem." He lied through a sweet smile. Josh loved his sister, but there were times when he thought it was a hassle. He rebuked himself for thinking that way.
"Yo!" A voice called.
It's the guy from the beach! No kidding! Lindsay...why is she with him? Are they in a relationship?
"Lindsay, you know Andy?" I asked curiously.
"How do you know him?"
"We met at the beach actually."
I turned to Joshie. He was smiling. But not at me, at Lindsay. He liked her since they were little kids.
"Well, shall we go?" Joshie asked nervously. I knew why he was so nervous. My stupid brothers were probably following us.
The mall was fun. Josh and Andy became friends, and we all went to the movies. Afterwards the mall crowded, and Lindsay and Josh disappeared. I was left with Andy, alone.
"Should we go look for Josh and Lindsay?" He asked worriedly.
"I think they'll be fine. No need to worry." I smiled.
Andy and I walked around for what seemed like hours. Josh and Lindsay still didn't show up.
"They are fine." I reassured Andy, who did look very worried.
"You say so. Want to get something to drink?"
"Sure." Suddenly, I looked over Andy's shoulder. Someone was following us. My brothers? They aren't exactly stalkers, no. They always watch me from a distance, along with Joshie of course. But then again...maybe they are stalkers in a way.
"Here's your coke." Andy smiled.
"Are you alright? You seem a bit distracted."
"Sorry. I think it's because someone's following us."
I nodded towards a strange hooded person. He or she had been standing there for quite some time.
"What the hell?! Emily, let's go someplace else." He decided, as he took me by the hand.
Suddenly, Andy picked up his pace. I tried to keep up with him, but I tripped several times. That person was following us. I tripped again, but this time, Andy caught me in his arms. I blushed.
"Here, you can get on my back."
"It's embarrasing, Andy."
"I know, but I don't want that person to hurt you."
I blushed again. Wow, his arms are really strong. But...why is he doing this for me? We barely know each other.
I had to place my arms around his neck several times, because the hooded person was running after us.
"Andy! There's a cop! Tell him about this crazy person!"
"So you're Andy's childhood friend? I never knew." Josh commented, as he bit into his burger.
"Yeah. He's...a really good guy." Lindsay blushed slightly.
"I see. So you like him?"
Lindsay was shocked by the sudden question. On top of that, Josh sounded hurt.
"Possibly...but I think he likes Em."
"What? For real?! No way!" Josh grinned.
"Are you really that happy?" She asked sadly.
"Well, huh..." Josh didn't know what to say. Of course, I know Jim and Bryan wouldn't let...wait a minute!
"Lindsay. I have a bad feeling. We have to go find my sister and Andy."
"Oh yeah. We got separated right? Let's go then."
"Is that the man that was following you?" The officer asked, his index finger pointed at the hooded person.
"Yeah, that's him." I answered.
"He's been known for shoplifting and pickpockiting people in this very mall. I appreciate your help."
"No problem, officer. Have a good one." Andy uttered.
"Same to you."
As we walked away, I stopped and turned to face Andy.
"Thanks for...saving me...I mean us...back there..."
"No problem." He laughed.
"I don't know what I would have done if you got hurt." I muttered.
"Same goes for me." He replied softly, as he held my hand.
"Hey you dumbass!"
I nearly froze. That voice...I knew it all too well.
"Bryan, let me explain..."
"Where the hell is Joshie?!" Jim demaded.
"We got separated in the crowd." Andy answered for me.
"We almost got robbed by a weird guy too." I added.
"Say what?!" Bryan's face turned a shade red.
"But Andy saved me. That guy's going to jail, I think." I said quickly.
Bryan calmed down and looked at Andy. To my surprise, he hugged Andy. He smiled, but gasped for breath.
"Thanks bro. Thanks for saving my sister."
"Yeah...no problem...but I can't breathe over here, man."
Bryan let go of Andy awkwardly. At that moment, Joshie and Lindsay showed up.
"Joshie, you irresponsible little mindless brat! Our sister almost got robbed because of you!!" Jim bellowed.
Some people were looking at us strangely.
"Keep it down, Jim. Remember that the Andy kid saved her? So it should be "could have been robbed." Bryan corrected. I giggled.
We all went back home and Bryan offered Andy to stay for dinner. That was the biggest surprise.
After dinner, I offered to see Andy off.
"Yeah, okay fine." Bryan reluctantly agreed.
"Well, thanks for saving me today Andy."
"This is like the third time you're thanking me."
"Oh, right. Sorry."
"Don't apologize." He smiled.
"Oh yeah, Emily?"
"You want to eat with me tomorrow?" He asked a bit nervously.
"Sure. What time?"
"At three o' clock sharp. That okay?"
"Goodnight." He smiled softly as he kissed me on the cheek. I nearly fainted.
"Bryan, you think that punk asked her out?" Jim grumbled.
"How can you be so relaxed? Aren't you afraid that he might do something kinky to her?" Jim asked curiously, remembering how they basically took out all of Emily's suitors since childhood.
"This guy...seems different. He did save our sister after all. But I think we should still keep a close eye on him."
"Sounds good to me. Did you manage to tap Emily's phone call?" Jim questioned.
"Yep. She asked Andy where they were going to eat and he said at Chili's."
"Thanks for bringing me here."
"You're welcome. Order anything you want."
"Really? Okay. I want the chicken fajita special."
"So do I." He chuckled. The waitress nodded and walked away.
"So...how was school?"
"Okay. How about you?"
"So-so." Silence followed. I suddenly felt his hand touch mine.
"Emily...since I met you...I..."
"You...you what?" I stuttered.
"R-really?" I asked, a slight blush tinting my cheeks.
"Yes. How about you?"
"Me too." I admitted, trying to avoid his steady gaze.
"Not so fast, Romeo."
Not again. I rolled my eyes. Bryan and Jim headed over to our table with Josh following close behind.
"Question number one: What do you like about our sister? Bryan asked, his brow furrowing.
"Well...she's kind...gentle...and sweet?"
"Good enough. Question number two: Do you plan on doing dirty things to her in the future?"
"Huh...well...maybe when we're older."
"Okay. Question number three: Do you love her?"
"Of course I do." He smiled, as he held my hand.
"Alright. Fine. Enjoy your dinner. C'mon Jim, Josh." Bryan called. They both followed him out.
"I'm sorry Bryan put you through all that."
"It's okay. Actually, they're really nice guys."
"Yeah. They just love their sister. I don't see anything wrong with that."
"Yeah, well, they kind of overdo it at times."
"I don't mind." He replied gently, as he moved closer to me.
"You really don't?" I gulped nervously.
"Nope." He smiled as he tilted his head.
The gap between us closed...with a gentle kiss.
Five years later.
"Lindsay, you really don't have to do this. I can walk on my own."
"Oh really? Your pregnancy is finally gonna end by next week."
"I know, I know. I just don't like feeling weak. It's annoying." I grumbled. Weak huh? I had another little brat to take of. Lindsay kept telling me that I could just leave him in her care. Yeah, why couldn't I just do that?
"You say you're weak, but you're actually really strong." She smiled.
"Thanks I guess. So, how are my nephews?"
"They're doing okay in my opinion. But that stupid brother of yours, seriously."
"What did Joshie do now?"
"Yeah, that's the problem. Not much. I'm glad his band is doing well, but he's been coming home late each night."
"That idiot. I'll talk to him if you want."
"Would you? Thanks. I'd appreciate that, pal. By the way, how's Megan? I haven't heard from her, like in forever."
"She's been designing a lot of stuff for her boutique. Unlike you, she never complains about her husband."
"Hey!" Lindsay scowled jokingly. "That's because her husband's a model. Don't you remember?"
"Yes, yes. That brother of mine, seriously. I still can't believe he ended up marrying her." I laughed.
"I know. I actually heard she's pregnant."
"Yeah I know."
"So how are you and Andy doing?"
"Pretty well. He was actually promoted in the company."
"The one I haven't heard about is Bryan. How's he been?"
"Okay. But he hasn't had time for girls. You know how much of work-a-holic he is. I'm worried about him."
"No need to fret, Em. I wouldn't worry about that guy."
"You're right. Ooh! I felt a kick!"
"Really?" She asked as she placed her hand on my tummy. She beamed.
"Andy practically flips out. He thinks it's a contraction or something."
"That stupid airhead."
"I love that stupid airhead though." I grinned in a silly way.
As we kept walking, I suddenly caught a glimpse of this tall guy with blonde hair coming our way. He seemed to be walking with a girl.
"It's my big brother! C'mon, Lindsay. Let's go see him." I said excitedly, as I waddled at a fast pace.
"Don't go so fast big mama! Steady now." Lindsay chuckled as she tried to slow me down.
"Don't call me that! It reminds me of that movie."
"Hi sis!" Bryan waved.
"I missed you so, so much!" I exclaimed, as I hugged him.
"I missed you so, so much too!" He laughed.
"Hey Lindsay! Long time no see."
"Likewise, big man." She chuckled.
"Oh, hey this is Claire. Claire, this is my fat sister and my sister-in-law."
"Nice to meet you both." She smiled.
"Don't call me fat, you weirdo. And come to think of it, your face is starting to wrinkle up."
"What?! Really? Damn."
We all laughed in unison.
"Where are you guys headed?"
"To mom and dad's place." I answered.
"Really? So are we." Bryan replied.
"Cool. We can go together then." Lindsay suggested.
As we walked, I whispered into Bryan's ear.
"She your girlfriend or something?"
"I thought you didn't have time for a girlfriend."
"Well now I do." Bryan smiled.
"Do you plan on doing dirty things to her in the future?" I asked jokingly. "I guess." Came the reply.
We both laughed.