Hey everyone! Sorry this took me about…10 million years. I just really couldn't think of what to do. I personally don't think this is the best chapter I've ever done, but I really just wanted to get SOMETHING out, before everyone just stopped reading this, because that would be depressing….anyway! I really hope that I captured the emotion in this story well, because that was kind of the intention, but I'm not really sure how well it played out. So yeah! R&R!
1. The Spot Across from Mine Came Back
-Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
Lying on the floor, surrouded, surrounded
Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late, you found me, you found me
-You Found Me ~The Fray
I waited in the house. Playing with a stray piece of fabric on my button down shirt, I gazed at the clock hanging on the wall. It must have been the 20th time I checked it in the past 20 minutes.
10 minutes. He was supposed to come in 10 minutes. For some reason I was anxious. It didn't really make sense, why I was anxious, but there was no doubt that I was. My palms were sweaty, and the room felt like it increased a hundred degrees in 10 seconds. I made Charlie stay in the living room. I knew he was going to be looking over my shoulder constantly. He was always fearful that I was going to be murdered or something when a friend came home from school that he hadn't met yet. It hadn't happened yet, and I was confident that it never would.
The shrill sound of the doorbell, as it chimed down the hallway and to my waiting ears, made me jump and let out a tiny gasp. Time did really fly when you aren't paying attention.
I tiptoed to the door and leaned up to look through the peephole. It was he, wearing the same clothes that he wore to school, but they were slightly tattered. He appeared to almost be in pain and he was panting. Odd.
The full-moon light came in brush strokes through the now open door as I held it open for him. He didn't even utter a word of thanks. He merely walked over to the table in the kitchen and carefully placed the books onto it, staring at each one for a few seconds before putting it down, "Here?" He mumbled.
"Yeah sure." I replied simply. I wasn't sure how I would learn since neither of us spoke much. I sat down gently and gestured for him to do so as well in the chair beside me. He did.
"Uh…so let's get started," he grumbled and pushed a piece of paper in front of me. He carefully explained the math concepts to me, not skipping a beat. I listened to each word he spoke, well most of them. My eyes were almost constantly trained on Charlie, as he sat there. The newspaper was pushed up to his face, yet his eyes would peek over the paper and over to the table where we sat.
It seemed like Derek knew that Charlie was watching. Every time Charlie would look over his paper, Derek would fidget. Not just a little, but a lot. He would clear his throat, stop talking or look down. It was like he was uncomfortable with Charlie watching him.
I put down the pencil in my hand and pushed the maple chair away from the table. Derek's gleaming green eyes met mine briefly and looked at me curiously. Those eyes seemed to ask where I was going, so I nodded. Even though it didn't particularly make sense.
Charlie had put down his paper and cleared his throat, "Bells?" He looked at me knowingly. He suspected that Derek had done something to me, "Everything alright?"
"Everything's fine," I walked over to him and lowered my voice. We were far enough away that Derek wouldn't hear, "Dad what is wrong with you," I hissed between clenched teeth.
"I don't trust that boy around you."
I was offended. Derek had been nothing but nice to me. He didn't deserve this kind of treatment from my own father, "What? What did he do!"
"I'm your father Bella. I have father intuition."
I shook my head, "Please Charlie, he's a friend. He's helping me. He didn't have to do this you know."
"I know and I'm thankful for that. I just don't want you alone with him."
"I'm not alone with him Charlie, you were sitting right there," I pointed at the worn leather sofa that was indirect view of the table where Derek still sat. His head was bent over the page. I felt bad for him.
"He looks like that kind of kid Bella," he looked over at Derek distastefully. His own green eyes, the same piercing color as Derek's, bored holes into the back of his head, "Like that Edward boy."
I just stared at him, and he stared back. Wordlessly I shuffled back to the chair and sat carefully down. Derek raised his head from the notebook paper to look into my eyes, "You were talking about me."
I felt my cheeks heat up with a cherry colored blush, "Uh…n-no…" He said absolutely nothing as he continued to look at me. The only sound in the room came from the TV in the corner, where that night's hockey game blared. The announcers explained the "hatrick" that Sidney Crosby just scored, which left Charlie glued to the screen, "We were…" I mumbled as I gathered up the pages on the table and arranged them into a neat stack, "My dad doesn't like you."
The muscle in his jaw worked, "What did I do?" He mumbled in the same dreary tone that nearly always came from his mouth. He looked down at the paper with the complicated math problems still clutched firmly in his hands, but the edges were frayed and split; he had ripped it. He put the paper down in embarrassment, his flat cheeks spread with colour. A mumble slipped through his tightly closed lips. It sounded like a "sorry".
"You didn't do anything…my father, he's….he's…" I stopped when I realized he was staring at me. Those piercing green eyes held onto mine. They were open wide, the whites encircled the irises and the pupils were small. It was like he was scared, but his mouth, revealed that he was surprised. In an instant the maple chair that he was sitting on was on the floor. He was leaning over the table his face inches from my own. I cowered away from him instinctually; pushing the chair that I was sitting on backwards until it to crashed to the ground with me still in it. He grabbed me by my forearms and yanked me up. His bone crushing grip sent me flying into him, and I fell into his chest. He yanked my chin up and stared into my eyes.
"What-t?" I tried to pull back and away from him, but he held me fast.
Charlie that instant came barreling into the kitchen; he grabbed Derek by the back of his bicep and pulled him backwards. The force of Charlie's pull sent Derek flying back into the cupboards. Charlie put himself between me and the panting boy that stood with his hands on the counters, bracing himself as if he was about to fall.
"Bella." He said, clear as day. He wasn't mumbling, I was actually surprised at how deep and hoarse his voice was, it reminded me of Grandpa's.
"What?" I still stood behind Charlie, who glared at Derek.
"Your eyes…" He was staring at me again, his eyes wide, "They're mine…"
I licked my lips and stared back at him. He was right. Our eyes, they were the same. The same gentle shape, the same grass green framed with heavy black lines, the same gold flecks that made our eyes look almost photo-shopped when an afternoon sunbeam shone into them. I got them from Dad. My palms became slick, and I got that horrible disconnected feeling that makes your heart thud hard in your chest and your vision go blurry.
I backed up into the counter, feeling like I would fall at any second. A baby screamed, footsteps thudded on the ground, and still my head spun, I closed my eyes to stop the spinning. I slipped down onto the ground, next to the baby on the cold grey tiles. He was swathed in terry cloth, only his pale white skin of his face and the brilliant green eyes were visible. My tiny hand reached out and stroked the baby's face, he calmed instantly. My whole body felt sluggish, making even the simple movements of petting the baby difficult.
A man suddenly appeared next to the little one. He was kneeling down; he picked up my brother and gestured to the guards next to him to pick me up. I tried to fight back, tried to get my limbs to move away from them, but I couldn't. They picked up my small body.
I could hear Renee crying, why was she crying? I wanted to go to her, to tell her that I was ok, but I just couldn't. Nothing felt right; this was wrong, all wrong. I wanted to get away. I didn't want to be carried by the man in the white lab coat. I could hear Renee's hysterical crying. "BELLA, DEREK!" she screamed. I could faintly see her form, throwing herself, imperiously against the guards. Her eyes were wild and she was shaking so hard, "BELLA!" I had to get away, I had to go to her. I needed my brother, my brother. I needed Derek; I had to get to him, to take him away from these scary people.
And I opened my eyes. Charlie was holding him by the arm, holding him back as Derek continually jerked, trying desperately to get free from my father's grip. His eyes were wild, and he was screaming my name. I stood up from the spot where I lay and walked over, taking vigilant steps and stood a few feet away from him. My hands were shaking and I felt like I would cry. I reached out and touched his pale cheek tenderly, like I did to the baby. I gasped at the familiar feeling.
He stopped trying to free himself from Charlie's grasp. He hung there, his hulking size submissive to my touch. His eyes continued to stare into mine. His pink lips formed my name over and over, in a mantra, "Derek…" I whispered. My voice sounded foreign to me, but the word rolled across my tongue with ease. The second I said Derek's name; Charlie released his death grip on the boy. He repeated the name in a tone identical to mine.
Derek stumbled a bit, but caught his footing and stood there, still staring into my eyes. He took a hesitant step toward me, and the stopped. I stood there, unmoving, barely taking a single breath. A single, fat tear rolled over my cheek and dripped to the ground. My vision once again got blurry, but this time from the threat of on coming tears. Derek took another step toward me. He was right in front of me, staring down at me, I lifted my eyes to still look into his, "Bella." He whispered again, his voice overwhelmed with unseen emotion. His arms opened like they had been caught in a whirlwind of up turning air. I went into them and wrapped my arms around his waist, and hugged him with desperation. He closed his arms and hugged me back. His heart-breaking sobs shook his whole body. I clung to him tighter.
We stayed locked together, crying into each other. Painful memories came flooding back. Ones that had always gnawed at my consciousness but never made any sense. Like how I'd always looked at the empty spot at the dinner table when I was a little girl. It was for mom I'd always assumed, but she had her chair across from Charlie. The empty spot was across from my spot. The spot was for my brother, the brother I'd forgotten.
I wanted to ask him questions. I wanted to know everything about him, where he'd been, why he never came home. Nothing made sense, I didn't understand how I was able to forget that I'd ever had a brother. I felt so happy, yet so completely enraged all at the same time. Why had Charlie or Renee never told me, why did they let me forget his existence? 15 years. That's how long we'd been apart. 15 years of bonding that we'd never get back. But all those questions that entered my head would have to wait. I didn't want to let go of him. I wanted to hug him and never let go. I loved him. I remembered that. I loved him so much.
I rolled the fabric of Derek's t-shirt across my thumb, and breathed in his scent. It still faintly smelt like baby. It still smelt like the shampoo that mom and me used to use to wash his hair. The color of his t-shirt was the exact same color as the baby blanket that he used to have in his crib. This was my brother. My brother was Derek. I had a brother, and his name was Derek.