Chapter Eighteen

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   Leo's Point Of View

   Who could have possibly known about Derek and I? I still had hope that it was just assumptions, because we were inseparable. And inseparable people were usually more than just friends. But more importantly why would anyone think two brothers are dating? How on earth did a conversation like that even begin?

   But this was different. We weren't real brothers, so all doors were open.

   If Derek were my real brother, things like these wouldn't happen. As much as it pained me to think it, I'd probably even be disgusted by the idea of him and I being something.

   Um, probably? PROBABLY? Forgive me, person who is reading my thoughts. But I don't have siblings. I don't know how it feels to think about your own sibling that way. I'm sure it would make me puke an ocean if it was true and I did have one. I would forever be thankful that Derek wasn't blood related.

   And because of this idiotic drama that just seemed to unfold randomly, I now had a girlfriend.

   It sucked that we had to go to such measures to keep me safe. I didn't agree with Derek's plan. I thought it was stupid, and he was stupid. And his face was stupid. But I understood him completely. I'd already read some awful things that happened around here to people who were . . . different.

   And that sucked even more. Did these people really enjoy inflicting pain on others? Did it make them feel better? How dare they think we're the disgusting ones. They should look at themselves in the mirror.

   And you know what else sucked more than anything? I actually had to stop talking to Derek completely. I already had to do that while I was at home because of our parents, but now that ruled applied anywhere. It hurt like a daughter of a pimp.

   I couldn't concentrate in school anymore, and everyone knew that too much Nicole was like too much Coca Cola; in the end you'll just get a really bad stomach ache. Nicole was now my stomach ache.

   All jokes aside, I was going through the most terrible time of my life. The whole world was against us. Those we loved had a hard time adjusting to our "lifestyle." And all of our friends – wait, I didn't have any friends. I guessed that was it. I had no one. And for how long would I have to endure this? Was it possible to call Obama?

   The following week was an exhausting one – and I didn't even do anything. On the weekend I called Nicole so we could hang out, but my mom insisted we'd all watch a movie together. So on Saturday night we all went out as a family and watched some animated movie about Jack Frost and a talking bunny. I didn't pay attention to it at all, not when Derek was sitting two seats over with Nicole in between. Our parents were knowingly torturing us, trying to break whatever was keeping this family together. They were the devil.

   On the following day Steve eyed me for a couple of hours while Derek and I sat on the couch watching SpongeBob and a couple of episodes of Teen Mom. Really? What did he expect would happen if Derek and I shared a conversation? That we'd thrust into each other's mouths publicly? No, we'd do it privately. Jesus, what kind of person did he think we were?

   The last day of this pointless drama was a day I'd never forget. It seemed as if faking I had a girlfriend wasn't working. Derek's genius plan was failing, and it all backfired on Monday during lunch.

   Derek and I couldn't really be together, so we managed what we could and tried to see each other during lunch breaks. We would leave the cafeteria separately and go into one of the empty classes away from everyone else. We'd sit on one of the tables inside the classroom and eat, talk and just stare at each other like two lovers would. We'd kiss after lunch period was over and I'd try hard not to cry like a sissy, but it all worked out fine. But no one believed what was happening outside that classroom. Maybe because I wasn't kissing Nicole enough, or touching her enough, or looking at her in the same way I looked at Derek. It didn't matter, though. The guy who started this whole drama stepped up that day. He revealed himself and I knew instantly that it was going to be over for everyone.

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