Kassidy ripped her arm from my grasp, tears threatening to fall from her eyelashes.
”Because you’re my brother, not my friend.”
Those words sure had shown me. What a fool I had been, trailing after my own sister like some love-sick puppy dog. All of the foolish dreams of Kassidy falling deeply in love with me rose to the surface, sickening me. That had always been the dream, it had been what urged me to continue living. She was my reason. I’d hidden behind it for far too long, pretending that I believed I would never get anywhere. All along I’d had hope. Hope was something, it was the glue that kept the pieces of my heart in place. That hope was disappearing each time I replayed the words Kassidy had spoken last night.
I saw the regret flash through her eyes almost instantly. I knew my sister didn’t want to hurt me but I couldn’t really blame her. She had to draw the line because I was far too incompetent to draw it myself.
“Ry, snap out of it.” Brendon’s hand moved dangerously close to my face as he attempted to gain my attention.
“Sorry.” I muttered, “Mind is just elsewhere tonight I guess.”
“Same here.” Spencer agreed, stepping away from his drums. “I don’t think we are going to be able to practice much tonight. I know you wanted to piss the neighbors off tonight but I just don’t think it’s worth getting the cops called on us when our hearts aren’t even in to it.”
Brendon sighed heavily, “But those... those bastards called my cat fat.”
“Your cat is morbidly obese.” Jon said, “Though cute.”
Brendon glared for an unnecessary amount of time before his shoulders slumped, signifying that he was to give in soon. “Fine, but only because we are missing out on a party.”
Jon yawned, “I’m actually going to skip tonight. I’m going straight home.”
“Wait, let me get this straight... The party boy of the group is going to skip out on a party? Something terrible is bound to happen tonight.” Spencer commented.
Jon laughed, “Yeah sorry guys, I’m exhausted.”
Brendon grinned, “Have no worries for Brendon will be there!”
I rolled my eyes, unable to truly fall in to the conversation. I knew Kassidy was already at Aaron’s party. I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to see her or stay away from her but I knew I had to at least check on her.
Brendon jingled his car key’s, glancing at each of us. “Either of you want a ride? I just have to pick up Marie, then we are heading to the party.”
“Sure.” Spencer glanced at me expectantly.
“I’m just going to take my car but I’m sure I’ll see you guys there.” Surprisingly it only took moments to slip away, our conversation having died.
I drove with a purpose, aware of nothing other than the road. My thoughts had gone so deep that even I could not extract them, so instead I let them linger, slipping far from my awareness.
It was moments like this that I lived for. Those brief moments in which you could simply be, immune to your own feelings. If I had a way to bottle this feeling and apply it whenever necessary... Then maybe, just maybe I’d make it through life unscathed.
I arrived at my destination far too soon and the relief I’d been feeling melted away. It was time for me to force a smile to my lips as I maneuvered through teenage drama, while fighting my own less heard of drama.
As soon as I stepped outside of my car I could feel the party atmosphere. There was the stench of alcohol, mixed with vomit from those who’d drank far too much. Loud cat calls sounded as teenage boys attempted to attract teenage girls to them. There was drunken singing, coming from those who’d recently failed to attract anything but despair.
Of all the parties I’d been to this was the saddest, or maybe that was my own emotion clouding my judgement of said party. I couldn’t be sure but for all the laughter I heard... I couldn’t find one thing worth laughing over.
I passed Lily in the hallway and quickly doubled back, catching her by the arm. “Where’s Kassidy?”
Lily sighed heavily, as if there was no reason to ask such a question. “She’s in the kitchen.”
I didn’t say anything as I turned away from her, attempting to make it to the kitchen. Stumbling idiots played suitable opponents, making the struggle a little harder.
Finally I made it through the sea of drunk teenagers and found myself stumbling through the kitchen door. I didn’t have to look far. “Hey... so I’m not sure if a brother can hold a conversation with his sister in a public place without seeming too friendly but I’m going to give it a shot.” The teasing words slipped out, framed by a cold tone.
Kassidy looked up, her eyes red and irritated. “I’m sorry Ry.”
“What for?” I moved closer, smelling the alcohol coming in waves from her breathing. She’d been drinking. Usually she wasn’t stupid enough to stoop to the level’s of those around her.
“I just wish it were easier!” The words slipped from Kassidy’s mouth, a look of anger distorting her features. “There are so many lines and I just don’t understand!”
“Are you like, hung up on math or something? What lines?” I was thinking in the form of perpendicular lines and I was too caught up to truly understand just what she was saying to me.
Kassidy grinned sloppily, accidentally knocking a stray beer to the floor. The glass crashed to the ground, shattering in to pieces. The smell of the beer was overpowering, causing my stomach to convulse. “Math.” She laughed, but I found no humor in her being drunk. “Wanna solve an equation for me Ryyyan?”
Kassidy made her way around the counter, grabbing on to my shirt. I stumbled forward, coming as close as I could to her. “What’s you...” She licked her lips seductively, “... plus me equal out to?”
I closed my eyes, wishing that this moment was occurring without the influence of alcohol playing a part. “That equals out to family Kass.” I mumbled, pulling away from her.
Kassidy’s smile fell away and she let go of my shirt though the fabric was already stretched. Slowly she shook her head, “It’s not supposed to feel this way.”
“What isn’t?” For all the times I’d been told I was smart the intelligence within me still had it’s limits and I came up short in many areas. I couldn’t read between the lines for instance, sometimes I couldn’t even read within them. “Does your stomach hurt? How much alcohol did you drink?”
Kassidy looked away, “Can you just... go away?”
“No.” I wouldn’t just go away.
“Fine, then I’ll go away!” Kassidy attempted to walk past me but I grabbed on to her arm, holding her in place.
“I don’t understand.” I snapped, feeling the anger I’d felt at myself bubbling up. I was losing patience with Kassidy for something that wasn’t even her fault but I couldn’t help myself. The way she was acting wasn’t like her and even though I knew it’d be healthier, I wasn’t about to let us grow apart. “Why are you acting like this suddenly?”
“Acting like what?”
“Like such a ... a ... /bitch./” The whispered word clung to the air, refusing to leave the room.
“I’m sorry that you find me so intolerable.” Kassidy ripped her arm from my grasp, tears threatening to fall from her eyelashes.
“I don’t.” Unfortunately the words had already been spoken and there was no taking them back.
Kassidy walked out of the kitchen and as I attempted to follow after her I instead ended up stepping on a broken piece of glass that cut right through my shoe and in to my flesh.
The stinging sensation was nothing compared to what I felt on the inside.
Just twenty four hours ago everything had been... Well, not perfect... but things hadn’t been so bad. Kassidy and I had been what I considered best friends. She told me everything, I was the person she came to.
Now she was turning away from me and each conversation pulled us further apart.
What was happening to us?