Jacks sits silently in the passengers' seat as I drive to our old high school. I know of a way he can take his mind off the present situation. I did this with Gil, back when he and Sabrina were having relationship problems. It had been his idea, but he knew I was not in a good mood at the time either. I turn the corner and pull up in front of the school building. I park the car, but wait to see how Jacks is holding up. He unbuckles his seatbelt, but makes no effort to get out of the car. I know how he feels all too well.
"Want to go kick balls around?" I ask slowly, taking of my seatbelt as well.
Jacks shrugs and gets out of the car. I sigh; this is going to be harder than I thought. Of course, I have no idea why I would bring my brother to the place he had met the love of his life. Then something inside me clicks. Soccer will help him a bit, but I know what will be even better. I quickly get out of the car and lock the door. I glance at the building, memories of my teen years coming back to me.
"I hear the team has never had any players better than us," I say as I follow my brother towards the soccer field.
He grunts, but says nothing. I chatter away about some of the games we played and the good times we had. Jacks doesn't even crack a smile when I bring up some of my most embarrassing moments in high school. When we arrive at the field, the team is practicing. Coach Benson is still here, which is both awesome and weird. He has been coaching the team for over ten years. I think he had started coaching around the time Sabrina was attending school here.
We climb to the top of the bleachers and sit to watch the practice. Several teenage girls, most like girlfriends of the team and their friends, are also sitting on the bleachers. Some of them look at me and my brother, giggling and pointing. If Jacks were in a better mood, perhaps I would joke about them having crushes on us. But that would not do any good today.
"Looks like a good team," Jacks says in a low voice. "Coach Benson must really be working them hard."
"Seems that way," I say, nodding as I watch the players run drills. "Remember when we first tried out for the team? We were only freshmen, but we knew we were all that."
"We certainly did, and we still are . . . I don't mean to bring this up, Eric, but . . . why does history repeat itself in our family? Why is it Mom left Dad when she was having a hard time? Why did Sabrina leave Gil because she did not want to deal with the problem? Why did Karissa leave me?"
"I honestly don't know . . ." I sigh, shaking my head. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"I do," Jacks' replies, and I look at him. "Maybe you can make sense of it . . . This morning, the doctor came in to run some more tests and I was asked to leave the room. I was only outside the door. I was not going to go far. When I went back in, she told me it would be a little while for the results. The news made Karissa feel worse and I tried comforting her . . . Out of nowhere, she started yelling at me incoherently. She was blubbering; I barely understood what she said. I tried to get her to calm down so we could talk, but then she said she didn't want to see me anymore. I said I would let her take the time she needed and that I would be waiting for her . . . she told me I was better off moving on. That we're done."
I furrow my eyebrows. That doesn't make much sense.
"Okay," I say, shaking my head. "I think she really does just need some time to herself for a while. I do not know how long, but let her be. That is the advice Mom gave Gil, when he and Sabrina had their problems. You weren't always around . . . but I was, and I learned more about our Mom in those nine months than I did before that . . . Oh!"
I jump to my feet, suddenly connecting pieces to a puzzle.
"What?" my brother says, looking up at me confused.
"Remember when Annie's mom came over yesterday?" I ask and Jacks' nods. "She said something about her being the one to convince Mom to go back with Dad."
"So . . ."
"So . . . Mom told me a bit of the story. She mentioned her friend, Angela. Annie's mom is Angela. But that's not what I am getting at. Mom left over something stupid. Apparently, Dad had told Uncle Nathan about what had happened, because he was explaining something or another . . . Mom got mad and left in the middle of their romantic rendezvous. She lived with Angela for a couple months and Dad just waited for her. He was on the verge of pushing himself to move on when Mom did finally come back."
"How is this helping me, exactly?" Jacks asks with frustration, holding his head in his hands.
"What I'm saying is don't give up. It will work out . . . I know it will. You can't go steady with someone for six years and suddenly leave over a misunderstanding. I mean, people do, but not you and Karissa . . . Orange you glad I finally moved on?"
Jacks glances up at me, dropping his hands, arching his eyebrow. He cracks a smile, nodding.
"Things are working out for you and Annie," he says, sighing. "It's good to see you with someone you care about . . ."
"Dude, she'll be back," I say, sitting down again. "Karissa is part of our family now, whether you married her or not . . . Technically, you did marry her. You were gonna have a kid."
"I suppose, but you know she doesn't think that way."
I shrug, "Yeah, I know . . . Hey, remember Rice? She used to live down the hall from us."
"What about her?"
"Just asking," I say, shaking my head. "Want to see if Coach Benson will let us kick some goals?"
Jacks sighs, looking at the field with longing, but not quite. He shakes his head and sits back.
"I'm probably not best company right now," he says softly. "Sorry . . ."
"Don't apologize to me," I shake my head. "I think you're entitled to moping for a while. Heck! I moped for years . . . Not that you're going to suffer for years. Things will work out."
"You keep saying that . . ."
"Because it's true."
"And if don't work out?"
I don't know, bro, I want to say, but I don't. I sigh; this sucks. I'm not even the one with the broken heart, but I don't feel too keen either.
"Being a twin sucks," I say, the corner of my mouth turning up as I look at Jacks. "I think twin-telepathy exists."
Jack's cracks a smile, but it fades too quickly. I turn my attention to the practice and suddenly, my gaze falls onto the group of girls surrounded some guy at the bottom of the bleachers. I glance at Jacks, but I'm too late to turn his attention to something else. He shoots to his feet and stomps down to the group. I'm about to follow him when he stops. His shoulders droop and he just turns to leave in a different direction. Oh, boy.
YOU ARE READING
Superpower (A Trigger Novel)Romance
Eric Dominguez is a star soccer player at Adelphi University. His twin brother, Jacks, is living his life to the fullest, down to the fact that he is expecting a baby with his girl, Karissa, Eric's high school crush. Eric is still a little bitter to...