inspired by but not based on a true story
“Hmm?” He turns on his side so he’s facing me too.
“Staying with me.”
“I told you, I’m here for you.” Jeremy asks in disbelief and concern.
“But, I don’t deserve you.” Now the tears came, silently rolling down my cheeks.
“Shh. Never say that, now come here.” He stretches out his arms and pulls me close to him. I bury my face in his shirtless chest. He protectively wraps his arms around me. “You are the most incredible girl who deserves to be loved forever and ever.” He coos as he kisses my head. I slowly drift off to sleep.
When I wake up the next morning, I feel arms tight around me and someone’s chest against my back. Then I remember that it’s Jeremy. I place my hand atop of his and caress it with my thumb. I hear him start to move and figure he is awake.
“Melanie?” He whispers.
“You should get ready before your brother comes in.” He said with as much disappointment as I felt.
“I don’t want you to let me go yet.”
“I’ll hold you again, but we need to get up.”
“Mmkay.” I say as he lets go of my stomach, gets up and walk over to my dresser. After he picks out my clothes, he comes back to me, ready to pick me up, but I make the effort to stand and walk over to the bathroom. It hurts like hell, but if I keep letting him carry me, I’ll never get used to walking again. He hands me my clothes with a worry look on his face. “I need to do this.”
“I know. I’ll be in the living room when you’re done.” And with that he leaves and closes the door behind him. I take a super-quick shower, and with just as much speed, do my hair and makeup. I practically run down the stairs where I see Nick and Jeremy on the couch watching TV.
“What do you want to eat?” Nick asks once I get to the couch and sits between him and Jeremy.
“I don’t really care.”
“You don’t want to eat, do you?” Jeremy asks which makes me turn to him.
“No, I don’t. But I know that I have to.”
“Good.” He says before putting an arm around my shoulder.
“Hey man, I know you’re trying to help, but get your arm off my sister.” Nick snaps becoming my protective big brother.
“Oh, sorry man.” Jeremy replies before taking his arm off of me.
“Umm, I think I’m going to go to the mall, later today.”
“Why?” They both ask at the same time.
“I…I just want to get out of the house, you know.”
“But you’ve never wanted to go out before.” Nick says accusingly.
“Well, being stabbed in the stomach kind of makes me want to live.” I say jokingly, but they don’t find it funny. “Lighten up you guys. After I go to physical therapy, I’m going to go to the mall.”
“Well then I’m coming with you. I’m not going to let my baby sister be hurt again.” Nick says.
“I’m going too.” Jeremy chimes in.
“Fine, but since you guys want to be my parents, you guys are paying for whatever I buy.” I say with a wicked grin. I get up and sort of limp to the door. “Are you guys coming?” I ask innocently. They get up and walk over to me. My grin becomes wider. I try to stifle a giggle, but it comes out.
“We’ll take my car.” Jeremy suggests. We pile into his car. I offer to sit in the back, but Jeremy insists I sit in the front. It takes about an hour to get to my physical therapy. Then we wait fifteen minutes until it’s my turn. Nick and Jeremy insist they go in with me, despite my protests. My doctor, Dr. Norman, finds this strange but allows it. He has me first lie down on a chair, and then pulls up my shirt. I feel three pair of eyes looking at my stomach, which is kind of weird.
“I’m going to put pressure on it. I want you to tell me when it hurts.” Dr. Norman says as he places both hands on my wound. He presses down, then harder and harder. I feel a sharp pain.
“Umm... it hurts.”
“Okay.” He releases the pressure, and then repeats the process several more time for fifteen minutes. After the first five minutes, I got used to the feeling. “I need someone else to apply the pressure now.” He directs the statement toward Jeremy and Nick.
“I’ll do it.” They both say at the same time.
“She’s my sister, I’ll do it.”
“I think it would be best if he does it,” the doctor says pointing his head at Jeremy.
“Because she needs uncommon pressure and since you two are close, my guess is that she is used to you.” He turns his attention on Jeremy, “Okay, now go and stand by her.” Jeremy complies. “Place your right hand atop of your left. Then slowly put pressure on her wound. She’ll let you know when it hurts.” Jeremy does as he is told. At the first contact, heat runs up and down my body. His hands are big and muscular, but soft. It starts to hurt after about three minutes. We repeat this for the next ten minutes. Then the doctor has me run on the treadmill for five minutes. Then he has me do sit-ups and push-ups. It hurts, but all I can think of is Jeremy’s warm hand on my stomach. “That was great Melanie. I’m going to prescribe some pain killers and then we’ll see how you do next week.”
“Okay thanks.” I say as I collect the prescription and walk out with the guys.
We head back into Jeremy’s car. We reach Victoria Garden is a matter of minutes. Once we park and get out of the car, Nick says, “Melanie, what’s going on with you and Jeremy?”
“What do you mean?”
“When he applied pressure to your wound, I saw you get that look on your face.”
“That look you get when you want someone.”
“And how would you know?”
“Melanie, I’m your brother. I know you.”
“Look, nothing is going on. I’ve just accepted the fact that I need to let him in. And he’s really been here for me.”
“Good. Because Melanie remember, you’re only fifteen. He’s four years older and a lot more experienced. Plus, he’s my best friend.”
“Nick, nothing is going to happen. Okay? Now can we please drop it?”
“Everything okay?” Jeremy asks when we re-join him.
“Yeah, everything is fine.” I reply as we go inside Macy’s. There is this red halter dress that immediately catches my eye. I ask the clerk to take it off the mannequin and rush into the changing room. I come out to show the dress to Nick and Jeremy.
“Wow! You look amazing.” Jeremy stutters. I never noticed it, but I love his voice.
“Thanks.” I blush slightly.
“Mel, for my baby sister, you definitely don’t look fifteen.”
“Umm thanks.” I smile at my brother. “Well, I’m going to change back.” Jeremy ends up paying for the dress, which cost around $150. Nick pays for three outfits that add up to $150 as well. Once we get home, Jeremy tells us that he wants to take us out to dinner around eight tonight, his treat. This was the perfect opportunity to wear the dress he bought me. I take another shower and change into the dress. I walk slowly down the stairs, where Nick and Jeremy are waiting for me. The turn around and stare.
“Wow!” They say simultaneously.
“Shall we go?” I hook my left arm under Jeremy’s and my right arm under Nicks. And we walk out like this. Jeremy takes us to La Color de Amor; the Color of Love. Apparently, we have a dinner reservation foe eight: fifteen. Two minutes from now. We are shown to our table where three menus, wine glasses, silverware, and napkins are elegantly placed. There is one seat opposite from the other two; which is the seat I take.
“Jeremy, this place is beautiful.” I thank him once we’re all seated.
“Yes, you are.” I blush a slight pink when he looks gently into my eyes.
“Uh Hmm.” Nick clears his throat. We turn out heads to look at him. I mouth a ‘sorry’. He just sits there with a blank expression. There is an awkward silence starting to build, until Jeremy breaks it.
“Why don’t we order?” I nod my head and pick up the menu. Jeremy had to translate some of the items, for they were in Spanish. I had pollo adobado en vino rojo; chicken marinated in red wine. Jeremy had pollo adobado en salsa del filete; chicken marinated in steak sauce. And Nick had a classic burrito. Since we were all under the age of twenty-one, we had ordered apple cider. After we ate, we spent twenty minutes talking, or rather Jeremy and Nick were talking and I was listening.
We get home and Nick immediately goes inside. Jeremy and I are left alone on the porch. “Melanie,” he begins, “you looks absolutely beautiful.”
“Thank you.” I find myself moving closer to him as he lifts my chin with his index finger. He looks down at me and smiles. I close my eyes and feel his lips against mine. He nibbles lightly on my bottom lip, asking for entrance. I gladly give in to him. Our tongues dance and I taste the apple cider in his mouth. He puts his arms around my waist drawing me in closer. I put my arms around his neck, pulling him down more. We continue our kiss for what seems like hours but is only mere moments. We pull away breathlessly. I look up at him; staring deeply into his eyes. But something out of the corner of my eye, I see something. I look away in that direction. Hell must really like my company.