“I just want a kiss…”
“Why aren’t you eating? You love chicken.” Ryan put his spoon down and openly stared at me, speaking for the first time since getting home an hour ago.
“I’m just not that hungry.” My appetite died the minute I saw the cherry red lipstick stained on the collar of his white shirt. I couldn’t remember Jon ever wearing lipstick that color and for some reason it seemed worse that he was lying to me, than me lying to him.
My stomach grumbled just in time to prove me wrong. I still didn’t want to eat. There was a difference between being hungry and not having an appetite. Sure, I could eat and it would probably be better that I did but I didn’t want to so I wouldn’t.
“You’re lying.” Ryan sighed heavily, “There are obviously things we need to talk about but I’m just not sure what those things are.”
How about we talk about the way your eyes crinkle at the corners when you laugh? What about the way you smell right after you get out of the shower? The weird snore like sounds you make when you sleep? I had a list of things I’d just love to talk about but I never would. Those were all things I’d only talk about in my head.
“I’m just not that hungry-“ My stomach grumbled once again in protest of my words, “-for chicken.”
Ryan nodded, though he didn’t smile. “How about I make you some pancakes?”
I stood up, bringing my plate with me. “I think I’m just going to grab a granola bar and go, I’ve got plans tonight.”
“I thought you weren’t going to the party at Allison’s.” Was that where Ryan was earlier?
“Is that Allison’s lipstick on your shirt?” I just wanted to know. I didn’t want to know but I had to ask. I had to know. I was a glutton for emotional pain evidently.
Ryan seemed startled and before he responded he looked down, attempting to see what it was that I was looking at. I sighed and approached him, pulling the piece of his shirt forward. The stretched fabric was now clearly in his view but he still didn’t speak.
“I’m not going to your whore’s stupid party.”
Ryan stood up as I walked towards the trash so that I could empty my plate. We rarely ate leftovers so I figured I’d just skip the whole finding it rotting in the fridge later on step. “Hey, that’s uncalled for.” He snapped, a harsh tone that I’d never before heard guiding his words.
“What, does the sex mean something this time?” My words were sharp and aimed straight for his heart. I wanted him to hurt because right now he was hurting me, even if he didn’t even know it.
“I told you-“
“You told me nothing.” I inhaled sharply, as I tried to calm down. We used to be best friends and now he didn’t even have to do anything to set me off. I was a ticking time bomb and I needed to be far away from him before something terrible happened, all because I couldn’t control myself. “You’re just as full of shit as any other boy I’ve ever met. By the fucking way, Marie and Brendon had sex before they were dating you fucking liar.”
“Why are you so mad?” Ryan asked, stepping closer. I watched as his anger grew. I’d seen him angry before, but never with me. “Because I want to save you from becoming a slut like most of the girls at our school? Pardon me for trying to avoid the evidently unavoidable.”
“Why does it make me a slut if I enjoy sex?” Such a double standard, applied so liberally. “You sleep with anyone! Have you moved on to guys yet? God knows you’ve fucked every girl in our school.”
“Stop.” The word was quietly whispered but it held so much emotion that for a moment I did stop, trying to think over what was coming out of my mouth. The trash was unfiltered though and the poison just kept falling out, hurtful and cold.
“That’s it, isn’t it? You like guys now. What, are you worried I’ll sleep with one of your boyfriends or something?” That was completely ridiculous and out of line for me to say but I couldn’t think of anything else to say that would hurt Ryan. I wanted so badly to hurt him but I didn’t want to use the things I actually knew against him so instead I made up whatever came to mind.
Ryan didn’t say anything but the look he gave me said enough. I watched him quietly as he walked to the sink, grabbing a cup. I half expected him to throw it at me. I even kind of thought I’d deserve it. Instead he simply filled the cup with water and took a careful sip, still not saying anything. The silence was hitting every nerve in my body, setting it on fire. I’d never felt so antsy in my life. Why wouldn’t he say anything? Preferably, something hurtful.
“I’m sorry.” My apology slipped out so ungracefully that I wondered if it even sounded like I meant it, because I did.
Ryan didn’t respond, taking another drink from the cup. He didn’t even make eye contact with me, instead staring at the white wall across from us.
“I apologized Ryan.” I felt so lonely with him just standing there, saying nothing. It was like he wasn’t even in the room. “I said I was sorry. Please say something.”
Ryan finally looked at me. I used to be able to read every emotion that crossed his face. He was my favorite book, and always so open. Right now I couldn’t place what was on his face though. I couldn’t even make a guess. He set the cup down on the counter and stepped towards me, “I told you to stop Kass.”
“But you didn’t.” Ryan cut me off, using another tone I’d never heard come from him before. “That’s your fault, not mine. You’re going to have to get used to dealing with the consequences because evidently I’ve been making too many mistakes by sheltering you. You’ve grown in to someone I don’t even want to call family.”
That hurt, more than I could ever explain. It was like something inside of me broke, shattering in to a million pieces. The pieces stuck inside, causing more damage with each breath I took.
My words were cold but Kassidy needed to hear them. As much as I wanted to stand by her side through everything I knew I couldn’t for much longer.
Something was happening. She was growing up and there was something she was struggling with. I wasn’t sure what it was but I could see the struggle beneath her eyes.
As I tried to help her she lashed out and I saw that as enough proof that I needed to back off and let her do whatever it was that she felt she needed to do. I just hoped she wouldn’t make a huge mistake in my absence.
“What’s wrong darling?” I could smell Allison’s perfume before I felt her touch, or heard her words. She had a lingering scent, far from natural, which invaded your senses, leaving you senseless.
I fought back my internal nausea and smiled before speaking, “My zipper is stuck.”
The line was fake but it gave Allison the opportunity to get on her knees, which is where most preferred her.
“Well, how about I help you with that then?” The bright pink lipstick lining her lips made her smile seem somewhat sinister and as she began to ‘help’ me all I could think of was Kassidy.
Had I accidentally ruined Kassidy without even knowing it?
I’d stood inches from her each day, wanting her so badly. Could she have somehow felt the heat of my desire? The questions of sex, the alcohol, everything… What was happening to my little sister?
“Lily, what are you doing?” My voice came out ragged, seeing as how Derek’s hungry lips had stolen my breath.
Lily grinned, holding up a long strip of condoms, “I’m tired of kissing.” She slurred, five shots of vodka leading her to this foolish decision.
I grabbed her arm, ripping the condoms away from her. “I don’t think so Lil.” I unceremoniously shoved the condoms in to my pocket, “How about we go to that party?” It would beat being here alone with two boys, Lily wanting to bed one of those guys.
I didn’t want Eric to be her drunken mistake. The taste of Derek on my lips wasn’t helping me forget about Ryan either so I wanted to see that he wasn’t letting Allison be his decision for the night.
“I think I like the idea of Lily’s party a little more.” Derek whispered, moving closer to me.
“I think that maybe we should go to the actual party before making a party of our own and hey! - hands off of her.” I snapped, pushing Eric away from Lily.
Eric rolled his eyes but thankfully Derek pulled out his car keys, “Fine, but on one condition.”
“What?” I felt dread building as I waited for his condition to be explained.
“I just want a kiss…”
“Mmm, damn Ryan.” Allison mumbled my name, running her fingers through my hair.
My shirt was about to come off when I suddenly felt vibrations from my jeans pocket. “Wait a second…” I turned away from Allison, checking my phone. “I’m going to have to take this.” I informed her, glancing at the caller ID. It was Kassidy.
“Where are you Kass-?” My question was cut short as I struggled to hear what was being said.
“I don’t want to- I said no.” Kassidy’s voice sounded far away, as if she were holding her phone away from her mouth.
“I brought you and Lily to the party like you wanted. Now, remember… there was something you had to do for me.” I didn’t know who the other voice belonged to but it was a male.
They were at the party?
“Where are you going?” Allison asked, glancing at me as I got off of her bed.
I didn’t answer her as I headed for the door, attempting to catch anything else that was said. “You just have to kiss it…” Another male voice urged, causing panic to build.
As soon as I opened Allison’s door I couldn’t hear anything else being said, as the music drowned everything out, everything but the quick pounding of my panicked heart.
“Dude, where you going?” Jon met me at the bottom of the stairs, holding a beer out. “I grabbed an extra. You look like you’re in need.”
I shook my head, heading towards the door. “I need you to help me find Kassidy and Lily.”
“There’s a naked chick in the parking lot!” Someone yelled from the partially opened door.
Jon raised an eyebrow, “Come on dude… I doubt Kassidy would be that stupid.” I didn’t. What if she was drunk?
The cold air proved just how hot the house filled with people had been and as I filed out, so did thirty or so other party guests.
It took me a second to find the naked girl, mostly because there was a partially nude man in front of her, pushing her on to a vehicle.
Where was Kassidy?
The naked girl I saw was her best friend Lily, and she seemed to be quite consensual in her make out session with whoever she was kissing.
I stepped forward, drawing the crowd’s attention. “Hey buddy, back off. This is a little too public for shit like this.”
The boy spun around, glaring at me. “Do you mind?”
I could smell the alcohol radiating off of them. It made me sick to my stomach. “Jon, can you grab Lily?”
Jon immediately appeared beside me but as he reached for Lily he was violently greeted by the stranger’s fist.
“Fight!” Someone in the crowd enthusiastically yelled.
Things got bad fast, getting even worse when the car door opened and I realized behind the tinted windows there was another party going on.
Kassidy wasn’t wearing a shirt but thankfully her bra was still on, as well as the rest of her clothing.
“Can we go now?” She whispered, grabbing on to Lily’s hand.
Ryan sighed heavily, hidden from my view by the chair he was currently sitting in. “I understand. Yes, I’ll call Mr. Richards.”
Mr. Richard’s was our family lawyer; he handled any legal issues we ran in to. Why would Ryan need to call him?
“Yeah Dad, she’s okay…” Ryan’s tone lowered until I couldn’t hear another word.
Soon enough he stood though, coming in to view. I noticed he was no longer on his phone but he still looked deeply troubled.
After gaining his attention I wasn’t really sure of what to do. His eyes burned in to mine, leaving me speechless.
“You should go back to bed Kass, it’s still early.” Ryan moved closer, the floor creaking beneath his feet.
“What’s going on? Why do you need to call Mr. Richards?” Finally the words came out, forming the questions I needed to ask.
Ryan shook his head, “That’s not something you need to worry about right now.”
“I’m worrying about it already so why don’t you just tell me?”
Ryan reached me, stopping in place. “Are you still mad at me?” I asked, seeing as how he hadn’t answered any of my other questions.
“Why would I be mad?” Ryan asked, gently brushing loose strands of hair off of my forehead. Goosebumps formed upon my skin at his gentle touch.
“Remember, we argued earlier… you got mad at me…” Why was he tiptoeing around me? “What is going on? Were you on the phone with Dad?”
Ryan sighed heavily, shaking his head. “It seems that Derek Evans is pressing charges against you for pepper spraying him. He’s currently in the hospital and well, they aren’t sure he’s going to regain his eyesight.”
“But I- I was just protecting myself.” I guess I didn’t have to pepper spray him but he wouldn’t let me get out of the car and I hadn’t known where Lily and Eric went off to causing me to worry for her.
“Derek is telling a different story.” Ryan looked down, “Why were you in that car with him Kassidy?”
“We- he was… he was taking me to the party and well, he thought I owed him for the ride.” I was uncomfortable talking this over with Ryan.
“Owed him what?”
“A-“ Well, now it felt nasty just to say it. “A blowjob.”
Ryan flinched, as if the word had physically injured him. “Did- did you?”
“No, instead I used the pepper spray to get out of the car.”
“Did he physically detain you?” Ryan sounded so… legal. Where was my brother? “Did he force you, actually physically force you, to stay in the car with him?”
“Well, I- yeah, he grabbed my wrist.” I showed him my bruised wrist, “And the door was locked and he kept locking it when I unlocked it… and… I was just scared Ryan. I’ll just tell everyone the truth and…” I trained off, wondering just what I would have to tell people. The story was embarrassing enough to tell to Ryan, but everyone else too?
“Show me one person who cares about the truth and I’ll show you twenty that don’t.” Ryan said, using a rough tone. “You have to understand how the story will sound and it sounds… stupid.” Ryan shook his head, staring in to my eyes. “We have a lot of money Kass, a lot of people are going to be watching this- if it goes to trial, which our lawyer is supposed to prevent. We might even have to make a settlement, that’s money loss. Things like this take intelligence. This is why I didn’t want you at that stupid party, and this is precisely why I don’t like it when you drink. You make stupid decisions which impact this entire family!”
I cringed, hurt by his words. “I’m sorry Ryan… I didn’t mean to-“
“Save it for the judge, if it goes that far.”
Tears welled in my eyes, struggling for freedom. How could Ryan be so cruel?
Ryan seemed to back off, as his body relaxed. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing Kassidy but… I won’t let them hurt you. I’ll get you out of this mess.” He leaned down, pressing his soft lips against my forehead.
“What’s a terrible thing?”
“Knowing what you want, and knowing you can’t have it.” Ryan answered shortly, pulling away.
I stood, letting the confusion sink in.
What did Ryan want?
(I promise the charges being pressed are relevant to the story! It just hasn’t gotten that far yet!)