I was 16 when I first met Ryan. My best friend Annie had taken me back to her house for our first of many sleepovers, and I was introduced to her weird and wonderful family. She had four younger sisters, Alice 3, Amy 5, Alexandra 7 and Adrian 11.
Both of her parents had matching haircuts to symbolize there “togetherness” and they were one hundred percent against dishwashers. Apparently they created laziness and killed traditional methods.
Annie hated how strange her family was, and there was only one other person in her crazy home who agreed with her, her older brother Ryan. He was 18 when I was first introduced to him, and instantly I recognized that he was the black sheep of the family. Even by the way he stood you could sense the silent rebellion fueling inside of him.
He looked very similar to Annie, with dark tanned skin, thick black hair that was difficult to control at times, above average in height standing just short of six foot, and possibly one of the sweetest people I had ever met. If you were to compare the two of them you could guess they were related straight away.
I shared a similar tanned skin tone with Annie, but that was as far as our similarities reached. I was frustratingly short; at around five foot five I was the shortest in my year. I had inherited my father's golden blonde hair, with large blue eyes and my overall body shape wasn't too shabby either.
I was the captain of the athletics team, and I had to endure some pretty hardcore training every week for the over 16's 100m finals I was competing in. So I guess the training toned my body enough to be classed as attractive.
Annie had always been embarrassed about her home life, which was why throughout the three years we had been friends, not once had I set foot in her home. So letting me meet her family was a big deal. However she came to realize how much I enjoyed being at her house, so I slept over at least once a week.
I remember one day after coming home from school with Annie to go to hers, Ryan had become even friendlier with me. He’d tickle me and we’d play fight. And we had taken up the habit of texting each other probably more often than we should.
Of course I didn’t think much of all the hugs and cute texts we would exchange, he was 18 and had a beautiful girlfriend. I’d just assumed that he was wanting to get closer with me because I was practically his sister now with the amount of time I spent over there. But that didn’t stop the butterflies from awakening in my stomach whenever he winked at me.
He was obviously very attractive; what with the smooth skin, muscular body, jaw line as straight as a ruler and large soppy brown eyes with long lashes, it was hard not to notice. And I loved his quirky personality, he was pretty confident with his actions. He didn’t worry about how people would think of him, he was just him. I loved how outgoing he was, and the fact that he could be sweet and have that rebellious edge to him at the same time.
Ryan was constantly angry at his parents; their rules never made any sense and they would always find a way to make his younger sisters upset. They’d have rules like: Drawers must be opened from the bottom to top, all homework is to be done outside and any mention of a dishwasher and they would be kicked out. It was so strange, and his mother Talia would always offend Annie and her sisters by insulting them about anything and everything.
If they so much as walked into the house wrong they’d be bombarded with accusations. I think this was the main reason why he was so protective of them; I’d seen him come to their defence on many occasions. I was surprised how well Annie and Ryan had turned out with such a different up bringing, however the sisters were unfortunately a lot like the parents. But I still loved being there no matter how odd the family was, the parents loved me since I was really the only friend that had stuck with Annie for so long, and I generally loved being part of the family. It was just me and my dad at home, and let’s just say we didn’t always see eye to eye. It was nice to get away from things. But one weekend things for me changed in a way I had never imagined them to.
“Lilly!” Annie wailed happily and wrapped her arms around me so tightly I was afraid she might kill me.
“Woah.” I chuckled. “It’s nice to see you but I’d rather keep my internal organs all in one piece if that’s okay with you.”
We were stood hugging on her doorstep. I’d just got back from my grandparents house in Cornwall and hadn’t seen her for two weeks. It was her birthday the following day, so I’d come back early to surprise her.
“I know, I’m sorry.” She beamed back at me and yanked me indoors. “It’s just me, you and Ryan for this weekend. Mum and the girls went to Kent.”
I was a little shocked by this, her parents had always been odd but going away on her birthday? That wasn’t right. “Really? Oh I’m sorry, Ann,” I said leading her into the kitchen. I was starving.
“No It’s really okay. It just means we can to whatever the hell we like for two days.” She opened polished oak cupboard to reveal countless bottles and cans of alcohol.
I smiled. “That’s my girl!” I began raiding her fridge for anything edible. Her parents were vegans so it was difficult to find something I liked. Finally, I settled on a low fat gluten free cereal bar and sat at the breakfast bar beside her. She’d taken out a bottle of vodka and three cans of cider. She knew I was a cider person.
“Starting on the drinks already?” Ryan laughed as he came waltzing through the door. “You aren’t allowed to start the party without me remember?”
This is why I loved Ryan, he didn’t care. “Get your own!” Annie swatted him away from the cider playfully as he attempted to grab it. “That’s for Lilly not you.”
He went to the cupboard and grabbed a different can. “Yeah but that is my own since I was the one who bought it.” Ryan and I shared the same taste in most things, so he always bought double the amount of what he loved so I could have it too.
“Yeah thanks for that again,” I said as he came to sit beside me.
“No problem.” He’d only recently turned eighteen, so he was using his new found freedom in every way possible. And now that he could buy alcohol I was round even more often than I used to be. Annie poured us our first drinks of the night and turned on the radio. “Here’s to being irresponsible!” She held out her drink and yelled out.
“To being irresponsible,” we chanted back, and all clinked our drinks together.
“Steady there,” I said as I struggle to hold Annie upright; she’d had a little too much to drink.
“Thank you, for.. Thanks for being such a, such a good friend.” She giggled into my shoulder and tripped up the stairs some more.
“No worries, now time to get you into bed.”
After several minutes of stumbling up the stairs and down the hallway, she collapsed onto her bed face first and mumbled something inaudible into the sheets. Gently, I slipped off her shoes and slid a blanket over her. She’s going to regret this in the morning,
I placed a bucket by her bed for the morning and tiptoed down the stairs even though I knew she was dead to the world now, and avoided the pile of puke on the carpet in the hallway that neither Ryan or I could muster the courage to clear up.
“Is she in bed?” he asked softly as he held and ice pack to his eye. She’d punched him in her drunken state and neither of us knew why.
“Yeah” I said, struggling to contain my laughter.
“It’s not funny!” But even he knew that it was.
“How is it then?” I ask pointing to his face.
“Not too bad any more, throbs a bit but luckily she hits like a girl.”
We both laughed at this. Annie was pretty entertaining when she was hammered, by eleven she was dancing on the table to Lets get it on
and forced me to get up there and dance with her. Then she started to ramble on about fish, then she puked. Then she decided to punch her brother.
“Let me see.” I walked over to him on the red velvet sofa and let my female instincts act. I sat beside him and took off the ice to check the damage. His eye was pretty swollen, but it could have been much worse. “You’ll live, for now at least,” I told him. I probably should have stopped touching his eye but I didn’t want to.
He smiled at me. “Good Good.”
Warning bells were going off in my mind. Stop it now, he can’t know you like him. Stop touching him!
But I couldn’t. We held eye contact and my hand explored his face. My fingers traced his sturdy jaw line and dipped into his left temple. I ran them around the swollen eye for a while and returned to his jaw. I loved his jaw.
Throughout this we never broke eye contact. My heart was killing itself inside of me. His orb-like eyes locked onto mine as my fingertips brushed his skin, and then they fluttered down to my lips and back up to me. This was when reality hit me, Annie was my best friend. I had to stop. She’d kill me if she found out.
I quickly got up from the sofa and walked into the kitchen before I said anything stupid. Fuck,
I thought to myself. Why did this have to happen with him? He was probably drunk, so he wasn’t thinking. He has an excuse, I hadn’t had much to drink so what I did couldn’t be justified.
Would things be awkward now that we’d almost kissed? I had no idea. But I was suddenly afraid to go back inside. I stood leant against the kitchen counter for a while, nervously sipping from a glass of water and trying to find out what to do.
After a few moments I managed to compose myself. It wasn’t a huge deal. We didn’t kiss and I could just blame it on the alcohol. Sorted. That didn’t stop me from being nervous when I walked back in, though. He was still sat on the sofa when I came in, but he was no longer holding the ice pack to his eye. He looked concerned, and opened his mouth as if to say something but I got there first.
“Let’s forget about it, yeah? I’m going to get changed, I’ll be down in a minute.” I left to get changed up stairs before he had a chance to say anything. He probably thought I was just some little kid who was crushing on him or something. Oh my god it was humiliating. What was I thinking? I couldn’t compare to his girlfriend, she was a bikini model with DD breasts and platinum blonde hair. And she was his age. Why would he want to get with a scrawny sixteen year old?
No, he definitely wouldn’t have done that. So it was a good job I stopped pathetically drooling over him when I did before I did something stupid. I snuck into Annie’s room to grab my bag. She was still passed out and snoring with her legs spread across the bed. Looks like I’m sleeping downstairs tonight.
I thought glumly. I couldn’t be bothered to take my makeup off, so when I got to the bathroom I just slipped on one of my dad’s big t shirts (they were really comfy) and some small pyjama shorts. You couldn’t see them under the shirt because of how long it was. I took my hair out of its bun and let it fall down past my shoulders. I’d let it grow out over the years, so the tips were just brushing against the bottoms of my rib cage. In the right lighting it looked golden.
As I brushed my teeth, I gazed at the image before me in the mirror. This girl was tanned, but inadequate against Ryan’s girlfriend Harriet’s pale flawless skin. My hair waved, hers curled. I smiled, she beamed. Nothing I would ever do would compare to her. It was as simple as that.
Don’t beat yourself up about it, there are lots of people in the world. It doesn’t have to be him. I tried to convince myself. When I got back downstairs to the sitting room, he wasn’t there so I assumed he’d gone to bed.
I sat down with a blanket and searched around for the remote. Good,
I thought. Now I can sleep without having to deal with the awkwardness.
With a sigh I leant back and switched on the T.V.
“No don’t turn it on!” Ryan called and ran into the room, causing me to jump. It was too late, the room was filled with seductive moans and laughter. Two school girls wearing nothing but underwear and ties were leant on a desk, The brunette with unnaturally large breasts had her finger inside of the petite blonde's depths. Porn was now playing before me. I burst out laughing, it was his turn to be embarrassed.
“Shit,” he cried and stumbled over the off button on the T.V. He whirled round to face me, panting hard and face beetroot red. I wasn’t even bothered by it, though; I just found the entire situation hilarious.
“Now I see what you get up to in your spare time.” I winked, still struggling to suppress my laughter.
He relaxed slightly. “You aren’t freaked out?” he asked me, he looked generally concerned.
This was the most serious I had ever seen him. “Nope, we all do it. Some people are afraid to admit it but everyone watches shit like this every now and again,” I told him, but he still seemed panicked so to make him feel better I said, “My favourite is public, some of those people are crazy!”
This seemed to calm him down a lot, he smiled. “Seriously?” He came and sat down beside me now. His face was beginning to turn to its original colour.
“Yeah you can judge me all you like but there’s something about the thrill of being caught that I love.”
He laughed at this and shook his head. “I’m not judging, it’s just most girls wouldn’t admit to watching porn. And I never would have expected it from you.”
I wasn’t sure what he meant by this, but I laughed anyway. “Why not from me?” I asked, crossing my legs and shuffling to face him.
“Because you’ve always seemed so, I don’t know sweet? And I couldn’t really imagine someone like that watching porn.”
I wasn’t sure whether to be offended of flattered. He thought of me as sweet, which meant that he saw me as a kid right? I felt a little let down, but hid it. “Yeah well I’m not as sweet as you might think.” I smiled and switched the porn back on.
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/my-best-friends-brother-part-one.aspx">My Best Friend's Brother - Part One</a>