I wrote this a while ago, and am finally getting around to posting. Hope you enjoy!
It was winter break of our senior year in college, and we decided to visit home.
"Dude, see those girls over there?" Otto asked, nodding to a table where two blondes were sitting. When they caught me looking they smiled, and one wiggled their finger for me to come over. Probably the one Otto designated as mine.
"What about them?" I sighed, already knowing where this conversation was going.
"They have an apartment nearby and invited us over for some lemonade." He grinned, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
This happened everywhere we went. Every female around wanted a chance with Rocket boy. Sure he had game in high school, but ever since he made the cover as one of the hottest bachelor athletes under thirty women have been swarming him. What makes it worse is when they circle me thinking it'll get them closer to Otto. I was tired of being used like that.
"I think I'll stick to my beer." I declined.
"Come on man! Look at them." He pleaded.
I did look at them. All I saw were two shallow women ready to run to TMZ and brag about their hookup with Rocket Boy. "I'm not interested."
"In hot women that want to sleep with you?" He countered unamused.
"Dude, they want to sleep with you." I corrected.
"I can't sleep with them both, bro." He groaned. After a minute of thinking it through he continued, "Wait, that's actually not a bad idea. Last chance Twist. You sure you're not interested?"
I insisted, "I'm sure."
I called the bartender over, ready to drown my pathetic self in whiskey and put this night behind me. I was on my fifth glass of my good friend Jack, when I heard my name being called. At least, it sounded like my name.
"Twister? Twister Rodriguez? Is that you?" I heard my name echoing. I looked up and came face to face with a blast from the past.
"Hey look, its rocket girl!" I grinned, naturally for a change. I jumped up from the bar stool and wrapped her in a tight hug, forgetting for the moment that we haven't spoken in years so this might be weird.
"Are you drunk?" She asked, seemingly amused.
Her voice rang in my ear. "Just maybe a little."
I released her, finally realizing how awkward it felt to be touching her. Taking my seat back at the bar, I gestured towards the empty stool beside me for her to join me.
"How have you been? I haven't seen you since…" Her voice trailed off, no doubt trying to remember the last time the two of us had been in the same room together. It had been a while.
After her and Sammie graduated high school we saw each other less and less. Sammie sent a letter every month or so, and he always stopped by when he was back in town. But with Reggie, it was different. We tried to stay in contact at first, but soon after she left she made new friends. She stopped visiting Ocean Shores, stopped returning calls and texts. Soon enough she just disappeared from my life. All that I knew about her now I learned from Otto.
In a way I was grateful she cut ties. It helped heal my broken heart, which made the move to New York easier.
I broke out of my thoughts, realizing she had asked a question. When was the last time I saw her? "Not since Otto's signing party." I reminded her. Her and Raymundo made the trip across the states to see Otto get recognized as a star athlete. That was two years ago. I made sure to avoid all future Rocket family reunions after that.
"Wow, it's been that long?" She asked surprised. I couldn't tell if she really meant it or was just trying to cover for the fact that she had let it go this long.
"So what brings you back?" I asked. So many questions were running through my head. Why was she here now? Did she come alone? If she didn't was it something serious? She was probably getting married. Did she come to announce her engagement? My mind was going overboard.
"I'm moving back home." She answered, bringing me back to earth.
"Really?" I asked shocked. Reggie had always wanted to get out and see the world. I always thought it was funny how her idea of branching out meant traveling North to Stanford, while Otto and I took a giant leap of faith and moved across country to the big apple for school.
I don't know if I should blame the alcohol or the fact that I was seeing her again after so long, for the fact that I couldn't concentrate. I almost didn't hear her reply, "Yeah, I kind of got fired. Without a job I can't afford to make rent."
"Wow. I'm sorry Reg." My hand instinctively reached out to cover hers in an attempt to comfort her. Of course, almost immediately I pulled it back realizing my mistake. Why did I suddenly feel the need to constantly touch her?
She shrugged it off. "No biggie. It's not like I even liked my job anyways."
I knew she was working for some magazine, covering celebrity gossip of all things. I had tried not to ask Otto about her, and he didn't really offer up much information.
"What are you gonna do now?" I asked, sure that rocket girl had a plan. She always had a plan, and always stuck to it.
"I don't know."
I was almost speechless. Things must be really bad if she didn't have a clue. "I'm really sorry Reggie."
"It's fine, Twist, really. What about you? Why are you drinking alone at a bar on a Friday night?" She questioned, averting the attention to me.
I sighed, so much for keep the conversation on her. "I didn't come alone."
Was it possible I detected disappointment in her voice?
"Otto brought me." I clarified, watching her carefully.
"Otto's here?" She perked up.
"Was." I corrected. "He left about an hour ago with his latest fans."
"That sounds like Otto." She chuckled. "What about you?"
"What about me?"
She looked around, gesturing towards the lot of women around us. "Don't you have any 'fans' of your own?"
"I'm not the famous athlete." I reminded her.
"That didn't hold you back in high school. Girls were always chasing you." She reminisced, with a frown on her face.
"Yeah to get to Otto." I scoffed, finishing my drink.
"That's not how I remember it." She grumbled.
"So, uh, did you come alone?" I asked, dying with curiosity. She had to have come alone right? What kind of guy would let his date spend a good portion of the evening talking to another guy?
"Yeah. Most guys lose interest when they find out I'm twenty three and moving back in with my folks."
Her hand brushed my knee. While I'm sure it was on accident, it stirred up feelings I thought were buried long ago. At least I was able to convince myself until I saw her again. But did I really expect a different outcome? She didn't like me then, what made me think she would like me now?
I leaned closer, staring her dead in the eyes. Was she playing with me? Either I was hallucinating or she was showing signs of interest.
In a split second I decided it was worth it. I ended the distance between us, kissing Reggie like I had wanted to since I was ten years old. I reasoned with myself that it was okay because when things went sour I could just blame it on the fact that I was drunk. I didn't have to worry about losing her as a friend, I already had. I thought maybe if I just kissed her and got it out of my system I could finally get over her and actually feel it. Only, now, I felt more like my old self than ever.
I could feel her breath on my face, "Twist, what are you doing?"
She could have stopped me right away. She could have slapped me, called me names and walked away. Only, she didn't. She kissed me back. Since she didn't recoil away from me, I took it as a good sign to kiss her again, silencing her with my mouth. I was about to pull away when I didn't get a response, thinking I had allowed myself to believe in the fantasy inside of my head. Suddenly, as if she knew I was about to stop my assault on her lips, I felt her fingers lock in my hair keeping my head in place.
Maybe, just maybe, dreams do come true.
"Well, we can cross that off our 'things we've never done before' list." Reggie chuckled nervously.
"Yeah. Because we've never done that before." I replied back just as tense. Did I ask her to come home with me? I couldn't remember. Small parts of last night popped into my head. Crashing through the door, clothes coming off as we barely made our way to my bed.
"So I should probably go." She spoke, drawing me out of my thoughts.
"Yeah? I mean if you have to."
"I'm supposed to meet Raymundo. Actually I was supposed to meet him last night." She sighed, rubbing her eyes.
I shot up in bed, "You're not going to tell him, are you?"
Big mistake, I felt my stomach lurch. I definitely had too much to drink last night.
"Tell my dad that I didn't come home last night because I was sleeping with my brothers best friend? I don't think so." She replied, almost mortified.
"Oh, okay good." I sighed in relief. "Because if Otto found out…"
She rolled her eyes, "Right. And we wouldn't want that." She snarked.
I sensed that I had done something to upset her. She seemed annoyed by something, but didn't say anything. Maybe I just didn't know her as well as I thought. I mean it had been years since we last spoke. A lot can change.
Again, her voice brought me back. "Yeah?"
"Do you mind closing your eyes? I mean so I can get dressed?" She asked. I glanced down at her holding my bedsheets tightly against her chest.
"Yes, yeah, sure, of course!" I blurted out as many ways to say yes as I could think of. I closed my eyes upon her request. The funny thing was, though, that as soon as I did, her naked body flashed across my mind. She didn't want me to see her naked, and yet here I was thinking about it.
After a few minutes her voice broke me out of my thoughts. "Okay you can look now."
She was dressed in her jeans from the evening before. Only, instead of the lacy half top thing she had on last night, she was wearing one of my shirts.
She didn't say anything about it though. Instead all she said was, "See you around."
Before I could even offer to walk her home, she was running out my door. I got up to go after her and realized I of course was naked as well. I knew she would be long gone by the time I made it downstairs.
I got dressed anyways before laying back in bed. Did I really just sleep with Reggie Rocket? My best bros sister? My at one point best friend? The girl I was madly in love with since I was ten? Did she regret it? Was that why she ran home so fast after waking up? Or worse, was it that bad that she needed a quick get away?
I tried concentrating really hard, trying to remember what happened last night. Images from the bar danced in my head, turning into Reggie on top of me calling out my name. Unless my mind was making this stuff up, she really seemed to enjoy herself. I was just about to get lost, enjoying myself, when I heard the front door slam shut.
"Twister! You up?" He shouted, running up the stairs.
Cold showers were nothing compared to the fear of being found out about day dreaming of your best bros sister.
"Dude, what happened to you last night?" He asked, surveying my room.
"Nothing out of the ordinary." I lied.
"Don't lie to me Twist! I went back to find you, and the bartender said you left with some chick. Apparently, you guys were getting hot and heavy at the bar and he had to ask you to leave. So who is this mystery girl?" Otto asked.
I was a terrible liar. I knew I had to try and stay as factual as possible, knowing that if I strayed too far from the truth Otto would catch on to me. Only, my mind was blank.
"Do you think it's hot in here?" I panicked.
"Dude, quit stalling. Who was she?" He continued to question.
"You know, I don't even remember her name." I caught myself rubbing the back of my neck. A dead giveaway I was lying. Something he knew. "But hey man, how about you? What happened with those blondes?" I asked, knowing that he couldn't resist talking about himself.
He crossed his arms. "No way bro, no details until you spill yours!"
"You know my parents come home today?" I pushed, trying a different tactic.
"Nice dodge Twist." He rolled his eyes, then realization hit. "Aw shit!"
"What?" I panicked, thinking he knew. How could he though?
"I forgot Reggie came home last night, Raymundo is gonna be pissed! I better head over there." He started to leave, but turned back. "Hey you should come with! Maybe the 'rents won't be so harsh with you there. Besides you haven't seen Reggie in ages!"
"That's true, I haven't seen her in ages. So I really don't think that's such a good idea Otto." I said, gently pushing him out my door.
He dug his heels in, "Come on man! It'll be fine."
I tried harder to talk myself out of it. "I really shouldn't. Besides, my parents are coming home remember? They'll expect me to be here."
He wrapped his arm around my neck, strong arming me out of the room, "You won't have to stay long."
I was hardcore panicking as we made our way across the street. There was literal sweat running down my back as I passed through the threshold of the Rocket household.
Raymundo, Noelani, and Reggie were all sitting at the breakfast nook. Reggie was the only one surprised to see me.
"I told you he was with Maurice." Noelani laughed, rubbing Raymundo's shoulders.
"You're right. You're always right." He sighed, locking eyes on Otto. "So, what was so important that you boys missed coming home last night?"
I froze. Again, images of Reggie in my bed filled my head. I swallowed nervously.
"We got caught up filming a new stunt. Sorry I missed your coming home Reg." He apologized to his sister, pulling her into a hug.
"Turns out your sister didn't think it was all that important to be here last night either, so you're off the hook." Ray replied.
"Come on dad, I told you I got caught up. What difference does one day make?" Reggie pointed out.
"A phone call would have been nice." He replied before going into the kitchen with Noelani, no doubt cleaning up breakfast.
"So what have you been up to sis?" Otto asked, taking a sit at the table.
"Nothing much, same old stuff. How about you?" She asked, also aware of just how much Otto loved talking about himself.
"Same, same. Actually, I'm more interested in what Twisters been up to." He replied, drawing the conversation my way.
I had been sitting in the corner mute for the last half hour. I knew it wasn't going to last forever, but part of me was still hopeful they had forgotten I was there.
"Whys that?" Reggie asked curiously.
"He hooked up last night, and doesn't want to brag about it." Otto complained.
Suddenly Reggie clenched up. "Did you strike out last night?" She asked her brother.
"What? No! I had two women fighting for my attention all night!" He assured her, holding up two fingers and putting them in her face.
She pushed his hand away, "Gross."
"Whatever sis." He said to Reggie, before turning his attention to me. "I'm gonna go shower, you can go home to your mommy and daddy now Twist. But don't think you're off the hook, you'll spill the beans sooner or later!" He shouted before running upstairs.
"Jeez that was close." I swallowed, letting out a sigh of relief.
"Can you not." Reggie replied ridged, getting up from the table, ready to retreat upstairs.
"Are you mad at me?" I asked, trying to think of where the attitude was coming from. Was she mad about last night? Because it's not like I didn't give her plenty of opportunities to say no. No matter how badly I wanted her, I put her feelings into consideration first.
Although, maybe that was the problem? Did I ask her too many times if what I was doing was okay?
I didn't think she was going to respond, when she finally blurted, "You haven't changed one bit Twister!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked taken back.
She was rubbing her temples, I could tell she was tired. Then again, I knew she didn't really get much sleep last night. "The only thing you still care about is my stupid brother!"
"That's not true." I defended.
"Really? Then why were you so worried I was going to run home and blab to my family what we did last night?" Her hands were on her hips now. She was really mad.
"Do you have a death wish for me?" I couldn't believe her right now.
It was her turn to look confused. "What?"
"If Otto found out, he would tell your dad, then they'd kill me?" I explained to her, feeling pretty stupid that I had to spell it out for her.
She huffed. "So what then, I'm just the 'hit it and quit it' type?"
"No!" I shouted, quickly to assure her.
"Then what exactly was last night Twister?" She looked defeated.
I grabbed her arms. "Me expressing how I feel about you. Things just got a little out of hand." I admitted. "Look Reggie I've had a crush on you since we were kids and I was always afraid to say anything because your friendship meant so much to me. Yeah, we probably should have talked more about things first. I was just so happy to be kissing you, and to have you kiss me back. It's not like I had anything to lose-"
"What's that supposed to mean?" She interrupted.
I dropped my arms. "Come on Reggie. It's no secret we're no longer friends."
"And that's my fault?" She asked, taking a step back.
Now I was the defeated one. "Well, yeah. I mean you ignored me so much I just stopped trying."
"Do you have any idea how incredibly painful it is just to be friends with someone you're in love with?"
"How do you think I felt?"
"Well how was I supposed to know? You always went around saying I was your friend, or worse your best bros older sister like I meant nothing more to you." She bent her head down, unable to maintain eye contact. "Why didn't you tell me how you felt?"
I chuckled, "For the same reasons you didn't! I was afraid."
Her mouth twitched, I could tell she was fighting a smile. "We're both idiots."
"Yeah, but we always knew I was an idiot. You, that's news to me." I told her, pulling her into my embrace.
"I had thought Margret told me Trish was skiing with her boyfriend this weekend." Noelani spoke, coming in from the living room.
We broke apart, my hand immediately went to my neck.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the woman is always right." Raymundo chuckled, patting me on the back.
Reggie grabbed my hand, and laced it with mine. "Okay, so I wasn't with Trish last night."
"Twist, what are you still doing here?" Otto questioned, bouncing down the stairs.
Everyone was silent. Noelani and Raymundo were trying to hold back laughter, which got Reggie and me in on it, and before I knew it, everyone was laughing but Otto.
"What I miss?" He asked, confused, until his eyes caught mine and Reggie's hands intertwined.
"What's going on?" He demanded to know.
"Otto, man, I'm in love with Reggie." I finally admitted.
"What? But what about that girl you were with last night?" He asked, still not putting two and two together.
"Otto, I'm the girl."
"No, he met some chick at the bar last night. They were all over each other, Bill had to kick them out." He was slowly losing his confidence that the girl wasn't Reggie.
"I don't need to know any more." Raymundo winced.
"But? I just? Why?" Otto shuttered.
Slowly, each of them left the room, until just Reggie and I remained.
I took her in my arms, "So, what would you like to do today?"
Thanks for reading!