TW: Scenario that defies logic and would NEVER happen in real life.
“Bren, if you think he could make you happy, you should be with him. I’m fine with it, more than fine. I love you both and I want you both to be happy.” Perry looked sincere but the words coming out of his mouth were so unexpected, so unlikely...
“I can’t just jump from one to the other. What will all our friends think?” Brenda was crying. Perry’s unexpected blessing both thrilled and horrified her.
“It might take them a beat or two but when they see all three of us are happy, they’ll come around. I will make it clear you have my blessing. I won’t let anyone give you any shit over this Bren, I promise.”
How we got here from three points of view.
POV: Brenda Sloan
Perry Jensen had been my boyfriend for about four months. We met at the community college where we were both taking classes. Perry was handsome, kind, considerate and gentle. I loved spending time with him, we could talk for hours about deep intellectual things. If I had one complaint about my relationship with Perry, it would be our sex life. There wasn’t one; and I was beginning to wonder why.
Our circles of friends had begun to merge and mingle now; the core group being Perry, myself, Anna, Kristen, Peter, Evan and Perry’s twin brother, Kyle.
Perry and Kyle were identical twins. They looked exactly alike from their wavy brown hair, green eyes and dimples to the mole on their left butt cheeks. At least that’s what I was told. I had never seen either of their butt cheeks. Their looks are where the similarities end. Perry is a bit on the shy side; he’s always polite, safe, colors between the lines I guess you’d say. Kyle is more of a wild card, a jokester and always dripping with sarcasm. In the four months Perry and I had been together, I’d never seen Kyle with a girlfriend. That kind of surprised me given his outgoing personality, but he said he was holding out for “the one”.
Perry was out of town to attend training for the awesome job he just landed. He would be gone for a week. It was the longest we had been apart since we started dating and I missed him. I could hardly wait until Friday when he would be back. Naturally I was thrilled when he showed up at my door on Thursday evening with a bottle of wine.
“Perry! I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow!” I flung my arms around him and gave him a quick peck on the lips before ushering him inside. I opened the wine and poured a glass for each of us. I noticed Perry was staring at me in an odd way. “Why are you looking at me like that? I have something on my face?”
He laughed. “No. Sorry. I just missed you, that’s all.”
We settled onto the sofa with our wine, and I cuddled up next to Perry. “How did the training go?”
“It was good but; I don’t want to think about it right now. My brain is kind of fried.” He whipped out his cell phone and turned it off. “I vote we ignore the rest of the world for a while. You in?”
“Absolutely. I turned my cell off and tossed it on the coffee table next to his. “I’m all yours.”
“Bren?” He hesitated.
“I really want to kiss you.” He took our wine glasses and sat them on the coffee table, then he pulled me to him and pressed his lips to mine. Perry’s kisses were usually soft, almost timid; In fact, if there was any kissing at all, I usually had to initiate it. We’d had a few make out sessions on the couch but nothing like what was happening now.
Perry’s lips seemed to be everywhere all at once; on my lips, my eyelids, my earlobes, the curve of my neck. He awakened something in me that had laid dormant for a long time. He whispered in my ear.
“We have to stop. We have to stop now Bren before we go too far.” He pulled away from me and I felt a sense of emptiness. I wanted him back in my arms. I wanted his lips on mine again. We sat staring at each other.
“Perry Jensen, if this is what happens when you go out of town for a few days, I’m going to need you to travel more often. I don’t know what got into you, but I like it.”
“You do?” He looked curious. “You like this more than what we usually do?”
“Considering that you usually barely touch me? Yes, I like this much better. I was beginning to think you weren’t interested in me really.”
Perry sighed heavily and averted his eyes from me. “I assure you Bren; I am more than interested.”
I could tell he was struggling with something but, I didn’t understand. I decided to follow his lead. “What do you want to do?”
He lifted his eyes to mine but didn’t say a word. He let out a small moan and grabbed me, folded me into his arms and kissed me; hungrily tasting my lips and my tongue with his. “This is what I want to do. Every time I see you this is what I want. “ He kissed me once more before pulling away. “I have to go Bren, or I won't be able to stop.” He grabbed his cell phone and headed for the door. “I’ll come back in the morning with breakfast, ok?” I nodded and he was gone.
I sat on the couch dazed, unsure of what had just happened.
POV: Perry Jensen
I’d been out of town for the week at a job training. Tomorrow I’d be going home. I spent the last night in my hotel room thinking about Brenda. We had been together for several months. Bren is beautiful and kind. I love being around her, I love the way she thinks and articulates. All my friends adore her. Bren isn’t the problem, I am.
I’ve known from day one that Brenda was out of my league. Sure, we like a lot of the same things, music, literature, but she’s outgoing and adventurous. I am not. Sooner or later, she’s going to figure out that I’m holding her back. Now my conundrum is this; I don’t want to lose her friendship; I want to stay in her orbit, I want to be able to meet for coffee and talk about books and do all those things friends do. I figure my chances at that are better if I don’t go too far with her physically speaking. I think she has begun to catch on to the idea that things aren’t progressing in that department. I keep waiting for her to ask me why. The last thing I want to do is hurt her. I half hope she will decide to end our romantic relationship on her own and ask me if we can still be friends.
Leave it to me, I get the girl and then I want to go back to the friend zone. I’m going to have to tell her soon, but I have no idea how.
POV: Kyle Jensen
I’m pretty sure I’m a horrible person; at the very least, I am a horrible brother. I’ve been lusting after Brenda Sloan since the day my twin brother Perry first brought her around. Frankly, I’m not sure how they are even together. I love my brother but he’s an introvert, a shy rule follower. Brenda is clearly more like me, an extrovert, adventurous. I can see fire and passion burning just beneath her carefully contained surface. There’s nothing I want more than to help her unleash it. But there’s Perry and I hate myself for even thinking these things about my brother’s girl.
Perry was out of town for the week. I made up my mind, I was going to go to Brenda and confess my feelings to her. She’d probably throw me out on my ass but, maybe she wouldn't. All I knew for sure is that I couldn’t go on like this. Even if she rejected me, at least maybe I could let it go, stop thinking of her all the time.
I picked up a bottle of wine on the way to Brenda’s. My stomach was all butterflies as I rang her doorbell and waited. She opened the door and her face lit up; she threw her arms around me and briefly brushed my lips with hers. She thought I was Perry, that he had come back early from his trip. Of course, she would think that because it would never occur to her that I, Perry’s brother would come to her house. I watched her pour glasses of wine for us. I knew I should tell her that I wasn’t Perry, but I froze. I knew it was wrong, but I wanted to know, just for a little while, what it would be like if she was mine.
I listened to Brenda talk, I watched her movements and expressions. The urge to touch her and kiss her was overwhelming. I told her I wanted to kiss her, and then I did. I knew she thought she was kissing Perry, but I pushed that thought aside; I let myself pretend, just for a few minutes, that she was mine. The way she responded to my touch was intoxicating. I wanted to devour every part of her. Telling her we had to stop nearly killed me. Hearing her say this was better than usual gave me hope. Perry didn’t have the kind of spark with her that I did. I kissed her again before I left. I prayed it wouldn’t be the last time I held her in my arms.
I hardly slept at all Thursday night. I kept replaying what happened with Perry over and over in my mind. I couldn’t figure out what had changed to make him suddenly want me more, but I hoped he wouldn’t revert to the way it was before he went out of town.
Perry knocked on my door at 7:45 a.m. with coffees and donuts in hand. “You are a life saver. I hardly slept a wink last night.”
“I didn’t either. Can we talk?” He led me over to the couch and we sat down. “I have to tell you something.”
He looked nervous and my stomach flip-flopped. Was he about to tell me he had cheated on me while he was away? Was that what last night was about?
“Bren, Perry won't be back in town until this afternoon.” My brain wasn’t processing correctly.... “I’m Kyle. I was here with you last night, not Perry.”
I stared at him mute. I tried to look for any indication that the man sitting next to me wasn’t Perry or that it was Perry making the most horrible joke ever. I couldn’t breathe.
“Are you ok? Say something.” He reached for my hand. I jerked it away.
“Why? Why would you do this?”
“Because I’ve wanted you since the moment, I first saw you. Last night, I intended to come here and tell you how I feel but then, you thought I was Perry. I know I should have said something, but I didn’t. That was wrong and I’m sorry. “
He really was Kyle, not Perry. I’d had the best make out session of my life last night and it was with my boyfriend’s brother. I put my head in my hands and muttered a stream of profanity that would make a sailor blush. Kyle looked horrified.
“Is this some sort of sick sibling rivalry thing?”
“God, no! Bren, I have been struggling with this for months. I love my brother. I don’t want to hurt him but, I can’t deny how I feel about you.” He waited for some sort of response from me. I gave none. “From what you said last night, I know you don’t have with Perry what we could have together. Don’t try to deny it.”
I burst into tears because Kyle was right and because Perry was going to hate me forever for it. Kyle put his arms around me to comfort me. I let him hold me.
“I’ll pick Perry up at the airport and I’ll talk to him. You didn’t do anything wrong Bren. This was all my fault and I’ll make that clear. I’ll fix this.” Kyle kissed me on the forehead and left.
I was pleasantly surprised when the plane landed, and I turned on my phone. A text from Kyle said he would be picking me up at the airport. Not having to get a cab was awesome. I only had a carry-on bag, so I thankfully didn’t have to deal with baggage claim. Within twenty minutes of landing, I was in Kyles car.
“Thanks for picking me up.”
“I have ulterior motives. “Kyle confessed.
“Of course, you do.” I laughed. My brother was always getting into something. I couldn’t wait to hear what it was this time. “Let’s go grab a beer and you can tell me all about it.” Kyle drove us to Matty’s, a local pub where we could talk.
“Perry, I need to talk to you about Brenda.” Kyle had just taken an unusually large gulp of beer and he looked dead serious. I feared for a moment that something had happened to Brenda.
“Is she alright?”
“She’s fine. I mean, she’s upset but that’s my fault.” More huge gulps of beer.
“Do you love her Perry? I mean really, passionately with all your heart and soul love her?”
I wasn’t sure if Kyle was pulling my leg or what. Maybe now was a great time to get some brotherly advice. Kyle was far better at interpersonal relationships than I. Maybe he could advise me on how to end things with Bren without losing her friendship which I truly valued.
“No. I don’t love her, not that way. We should have just been friends, you know? I’ve been trying to find a way to tell her that without hurting her feelings. I still want to be her friend. Any advice on how to achieve that?”
“Are you serious?” Kyle looked dumbfounded.
“Very serious. You gotta help me, I don’t know how to handle this.”
Kyle word vomited the entire story of how he had been crushing on Bren from day one and the events of last night and this morning. He was adamant that Brenda was not to be blamed. I threw my head back and laughed.
“It’s not a joke Perry. I feel horrible about it but... Look, if you want to rearrange my face I totally understand. I won't even fight back.”
It took me a minute to get my laughter reigned in. I probably should have let him sweat a little longer before I let him off the hook, but I was just so dang happy. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario than this.
That’s how it came to be that Perry Jensen ended up sitting in Brenda Sloan’s living room encouraging her to pursue a relationship with his brother Kyle.
“You don’t hate me?” Brenda asked, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“I could never hate you Bren. You’re my best friend. All I ask is that you STAY my friend. Can you do that?” Brenda nodded and hugged Perry, in a friend sort of way. “Then it’s settled. Kyle is waiting outside; I’ll go get him.”
Perry opened the door and invited Kyle in. “I love you guys.” Perry said, walking out the door and closing it behind him.