My sister dated a lot of guys. Treated them like pieces of gum. As soon as one had lost their flavor she would discard it and shove in a new one. I lost count of exactly how many guys she had been with, all I knew is she used a lot of gum packets. It used to bother my parents that one day she would go on and on about how much she loved this person and the next day he was the worst person in the world and she couldn't stand to be anywhere near him. Then only hours later there was a new guy and the circle continued. But my parents couldn't really do anything about it. If they added rules she would just find creative ways to bend them.
My parents tried to talk to her about it and how unhealthy it was, but she just responded that she needed to try everyone and eventually she'd find the one who was right for her.
But my parents tried to remind her that there were millions of guys out there and the one for her might not be in her grade or in her school or even in this state and maybe she'd meet him in college or at work when she was older. But she just shrugged and responded that he could be in her grade and she didn't want to take any chances and she wanted to find him as fast as she could.
There was no convincing her so they just kept out of her love life. They were polite to the new guys she brought in but after a while, they gave up learning their names. Now I have a pretty good memory but even I don't remember all of them. I mean it was practically all of her freshman year. Sure there were a few memorable ones, Like the guy who never talked and had a concerning love for cake. I'm not really sure how they got together in the first place. And then there was the guy who thought he was an amazing magician and after diner would always make us watch his cheesy tricks. Boy, I was glad when that one was gone.
When she became a sophomore and there was still no sign of this cycle stopping we all had gotten as close as possible to accepting it.
And then one day she brought home a guy named Adan. Adan was a running back for their school football team but he didn't seem like the others. Sure he was muscular and good looking, with messy brown hair bright blue eyes, and dark skin. But he wasn't self-obsessed like some of her other boyfriends. He didn't go around flexing and talking about how strong he was. He didn't go around showing off for girls and flirting with the ones that caught his eye. He was quiet, sweet, and sort of a nerd.
I started noticing him around town once she started dating him. Reading under a tree or studying for exams on a platform at the playground which I thought was pretty weird but he got straight A’s so I'm not about to question his methods.
We passed in the halls a few times and he would give me a smile and a wave. He had been around for a few weeks and my parents and I thought that maybe she had finally found the one.
Annabeth sure acted like she had. She smiled a lot now and always seemed so bubbly and cheerful when he was around but then again, for pretty much every guy she dated she had thought she had found the one but then hours later she would break up with him. But there was something different about how she was acting this time. More childish maybe. But something about Adan seemed to bring out the best of her.
It's not like my opinion of her boyfriends mattered to her but I was really starting to like Adan. For one he didn't ignore me like most of her other boyfriends didn't act like I was just background noise. He always made sure to say hi give a wave even if Annabeth wasn't around.
Some of Annabeth's boyfriends would say hi and act really friendly and nice when I was with her but as soon as she wasn't looking or she wasn't around they would scoff at me, roll their eyes, and be flat-out rude giving Annabeth the completely wrong impression.
But Adan wasn't like that, he was just a really nice guy. I asked her one night why it took her so long to find him why she didn't find the diamond in the rough a long time ago. She giggled when I said that and said I had a way with metaphors which made her giggle some more. “But seriously.” I had replied. “Why didn't you discover him sooner?”
She cracked up again and started snorting. “The way you said ‘discover’ made it sound like he was a newly found piece of land I had just stumbled upon.” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, the reason is that you know my friend molly?” She asked.
“Well ever since eighth grade she's had a major crush on him and-”
“You didn't want to break her heart by dating him.” I finished
“Exactly.” I knew the rules, you should never date the person your friend likes, and even worse you should never date their ex.
“Wait, then why are you dating him now?”
“Well, she likes this guy named Evan now so I took him when I could.”
I started snorting. “You were laughing at me for saying discovered and now you're talking about him like he was the last chocolate bar at the grocery store!”
She started laughing right along with me and soon we were rolling all over the bed laughing our heads off. After we had calmed down she was like. “I know I know. Now, this conversation never leaves this room right?”
I smiled at the memory Annabeth was being a lot more friendly nowadays, not that she wasn't naturally friendly just some days she was prickly.
The doorbell rang jolting me out of my thoughts about Annabeth and all her boyfriends. I grabbed a brush, quickly ran it through my hair and applied lip gloss. Adan was coming over for dinner tonight. I rushed down the stairs. And ran into the kitchen trying to look busy. Even though this is routine Annabeth brings her boyfriend over I still get nervous every time I don't know how to act what to say.
Annabeth rushed to the door and flung it open with such a dramatic flair I giggled. Annabeth turned around and rolled her eyes at me before throwing her arms around Aden and kissing him on the cheek. “Hi, Adan!” She exclaimed giddily. Like a child in a candy store.
“Hi.” He said shyly. Annabeth removed her arms and motioned for Adan to come in. He took his shoes off and put them off to the side, like the polite gentleman he is. Then he just stood there like a deer in headlights, like he didn't really know what he was supposed to do next. “Come on silly.” Annabeth giggled, grabbing his arms and leading him to the kitchen. Adan looked drastically relieved.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Grant.” He said politely.
“Hi dear!” my mom exclaimed. “Good to see you again!”
He nodded shyly. “Welcome son.” My dad said with a pat on his back.
Adan turned his head to look at me and I just froze. Literally froze. I couldn't remember anything at all. My mouth couldnt form words. Annabeth had sat down on a barstool behind me and took this chance to kick me. The pain brought me back to my senses.
“Hi..” I stuttered.
“You look pretty.” he told me.
I blushed profusely and ducked my head letting my golden hair cover my face like a blanket. It was nice to be noticed I loved my black off the shoulder shirt and I had taken a fair amount of time to do my make-up so it was good to be noticed. But still I shouldn't be freezing up.
“Hey what about me!” My sister demanded sidling up to him and blinking her large golden eyes. “You know I think you're pretty. Of course, you are. Everyone knows that.”
That was one of the truest things ever. With her large golden eyes and jet black hair that had strands of gold her beautiful face and her stunning looks just in general was some of the things that helped her snag so many guys.
“Aww, thanks.” She replied, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“Dinner should be ready soon, why don't you take a seat?” My mom called from the kitchen.
I was already sitting down so I just shifted uncomfortably as Adan sat down beside me with Annabeth on his other side.
My mom scurried from the kitchen and into the dining room with a large chicken on a silver platter and set it down with such a flourish me sister and I giggled knowingingly at each other and Adan looked to me and to Annabeth and then back to me looking very confused. Moments later my mother returned from the kitchen with a large bowl of Brussel sprouts and a salad.
“Come eat!” She called my father who was in the living room reading a newspaper. My father took off his reading glasses and sat down at the table. “This looks splendid Ellie!” He exclaimed.
“I was about to say the same myself, Mrs. Grant,” Adan said with a smile.
“Aww thank you but please call me Ellie.”
My dad raised a glass and we all dug into our food. I ate slowly, never peeling my eyes off of Adan. At one point he turned around and saw me staring at him. He turned around confusedly and then patted his face self consciously.
“Is there food on my face?” he asked with a look that made me think of a confused puppy. I giggled loudly and he grabbed a napkin and wiped his face off. “There's nothing on your face silly.” I giggled.
“There isn't? Oh that's a relief. Then why were you staring at me? Oh never mind. But there's no food on my face? You not just teasing me?” He gave me a serious look.
“I wouldn't lie to you,” I said gasping loudly.
Adan laughed for a few moments before smiling. “I never said you would. But there was this one time I had a friend..” Adan went into telling this story about his friend that made everyone laugh and chuckle but I wasn't paying attention. The only thing on my mind was Adan, Adan Adan Adan. The way his lips moved and his eyes sparkled.
“Hey did you hear me?” Annabeth snapped.
“What?" I said looking around confusedly.
She rolled her eyes. “I said clear the bowls. Adan already cleared your plate for you.”
He did! That was nice of him!
Yeah cause he’s a nice guy.
I cleared the bowls and handed them to my mom who was washing the dishes. Annabeth and Adan are starting a movie. It's a good one so make sure to watch it!” I nodded but I didn't go into the living room and watch the movie. I couldn't be in a room with Adan anymore. It made me dazed and filled my head with thoughts I didn't want to think and emotions I didn't want to feel.
I went into my bedroom and layed on the bed letting time pass as my thoughts went around and around and around like those spinny rides at the fair where you get on and you can never get off.
“Adan’s leaving!” Annabeth called from downstairs. I jumped up and bolted down the stairs without even thinking about it and then there he was right in front of me. “Why weren't you watching with us?” he asked.
“Uhh. I had homework.”
“On a Friday? How terrible! What class.”
“Math.” I blurted the first thing that came to my mind.
“Too bad. Well, have a nice weekend.”
“Thank you too,” I said moving my mouth in the automated response I was supposed to give. And then he was gone and I don't know how long I just stood there fixated on the spot he stood.
“What's with you today?” Annabeth asked, poking me in the side.
“Test. I'm nervous about a test.”
“Hmm.” She replied before flouncing upstairs.
I followed her upstairs in a daze and eventually landed on my bed staring at the ceiling and I realized what i had done.
I had fallen for my sister's boyfriend.
I knew the rules. You don't date your friend's ex or the guy of their dreams and the same rules apply to your sister if anything anymore. I could have fallen for any of the other guys she had dated any of the ones she didn't love at this moment. But no. I fell for the one of her dreams, the one she was really starting to get serious about.
I had always tried to avoid whoever my friends liked, whoever their exes were so I didn't fall for them. So this didn't happen. I had done a pretty dang good job of it. And yet here I was falling in love with the one guy I couldn't be with. The one guy all my instincts said so stay away from, the guy my sister was dating.
This couldn't be happening. I couldn't let it happen. Annabeth could never know I don't know what she would do if she knew but I couldn't let her know I couldn't let Adan know if they didn't already suspect. I had to push my feelings down. I had to ignore them. I had to act like I didn't care, act like it didn't hurt every time they made out. I had to push it down and ignore my feelings. And that was exactly what I was going to do. Because I had no other choice.