(My Brothers Bestfriend) Looks Can Be Deceiving 1

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I ring the familiar bell continually for a whole of two minutes, before finally deciding that it isn't working fast enough. Instead, I rapidly knock on the dark, wooden door.

I look over my shoulder at my parents, who’re both trying not to burst with excitement. I'm already jumping up and down, a grin stretched so wide across my face that I can feel it!

Mom and dad both beam back at me; dads smile a big, proud one, over mom's girly – though still proud – one.

Mom's always been more of a best friend, when dad's been the sensible one. But still, there’s no hiding their excitement, too.

Suddenly my fist hits a body and I hear an, "Oomph,"

Looking back in front of me, I see I'd hit Jason. I grin widely, satisfied with all of my achievements in only one day. Gotta love it!

Usually I'd ignore Jason, or become silent around him, but even he and his evil daggers, cold stares and disgusted looks couldn't dampen my mood.

Rushing past him, I run straight into the lounge room. As I suspect, my uncle and aunty are both in here, cuddled up and watching a movie.

They jump up in alarm when they hear me run in, but then they see it's just me. Jacob let's out a breath of air and Stefanie puts her hand over her heart.

They've always been the dramatics of the family.

"What's the matter, Licia?"

I can't find it in myself to calm down even enough to explain to Jacob. And so instead of enlightening them the good, old - normal - way, I run over to him and jump in his arms.

Luckily he catches me.

"I got the gig!" I just manage to scream through my excitement in a form of explanation.

He gasps and I hear Stefanie do the same. Suddenly I'm spinning around in circles as I listen to everyone cheer and whoop for me.

"Congratulations, baby!" I know how proud Jake is without even looking at him, I can even hear it in his voice. My uncle has been so supportive of me.

He puts me down and when I look up at him I see the same proud look my dad is always wearing when I'm around. He grins down at me and tousles my hair.

I'm then pulled into a big hug by Stef.

"We always knew you would get it! Congratulations! You have no idea how proud I am of you!" Stef tells me.

"How much we all are!" Mom adds in.

This isn't true. There's one person who I wish with everything inside of me that would come and hug me, congratulate me, everything that everyone else has done. Or maybe even smile at me. But I know this won't happen.

Instead, when I turn around, I see him casually leaning against the living room wall, watching the scene with confusion. Maybe if he'd been around, he'd know what was going on.

"When is it?" Jake asks me.

"The twenty second. Coming Tuesday. They aren't sure if all of the patients will be alright to go out, though, and so they might have to have it at the hospital." I tell them. "They promised they would call either way."

“I have no doubt they will,” Stef smiles. “It would be their loss if they missed out on you.”

I feel tears prickle in the corners of my eyes.


"Right, well everyone," Dad starts. "I think that this calls for celebration. Who's up for dinner at Jake's restaurant?"

Wiping the tears away from my eyes, I laugh alongside mom and Stefanie while Jake groans.

"It's my night off!" He protests.

I pout my bottom lip, knowing this is where I'm rehearsed to come in. "Please, uncle Jakey? I really love your garlic chicken."

He sighs but throws his arm over my right shoulder.

"Fine. Just for you, though." He winks down at me.

~

Dad also called Joshua and Dayna, who are like family to us, and told them to join us. Dad wouldn't budge and tell them why, but they said yes to come regardless.

When we got there, Josh and Dayna were already seated, awaiting our arrival.

Dad, Jacob, Stefanie and Jason went and sat down while mom pulled me to the side.

"Licia, what's going on with you and Jason?"

The question was is straight forward that it shocks me. Sure mom and I are really close, but usually she gives me my privacy, and doesn't get mixed up in my issues, unless I’m the one bringing her into them.

"Nothing." I realize straight after saying it that I answered too fast. Her face immediately turns suspicious.

"Look baby, I don't want to stick my nose in where it isn't wanted, but try to make amends with him." She sighs. "You two were so close."

Were. Past tense. A lot of people say the past should be forgotten, that everything is about the present and the coming future. But our past makes us who we are, and no one should forget who they are.

But of course, if you want to become someone completely new, so new that you need new clothes, new hair, a new style, new attitude and new friends, then I guess you'd be willing to forget your past, your old you.

Jason was more than willing.

And that's what brings everybody to past tense with him and me. We were close. We were considered cousins. We were best friends. Now? Now he's someone completely new. Someone that I don't like at all. Someone who considers the feeling to be mutual.

~

“I would have preferred it if you had cooked it,” I tell Jacob as I take another bite of my chicken. “It’s still nice, though. I’ll give them that much.”

He laughs, as does Dayna.

“As I said, it’s my night off. And if I was cooking for you guys, then when would I have gotten the chance to eat? And who would have made it for me?” He raises his eyebrows. “You can’t cook to save your life!”

I scold him before shrugging. “I’m more important than you.”

That earns more laughter.

“Whatever.” Jake sticks his tongue out.

“Such a child,” I tsk him and mom and dad laugh.

“Well I guess we know where you inherited it from?” Dad grins.

I frown.

“Why is everyone ganging up on me? I see how it is.”

“Don’t worry, I still love you.” Josh perks up.

“Oh, don’t you suck up! You aren’t getting any of my chocolate cake deserts!”

We all continue to pretend to bicker; filling in what would be silence. Of course, there’s only one person who doesn’t contribute. Well, when the topic is based on or around me, he doesn’t.

Finally, the question I’d been waiting to be asked had popped up.

“So, what exactly are we celebrating tonight, Kasey?” Dayna asks.

Mom shrugs, smiling. “Ask Alicia.”

I grin hugely before announcing, “I got the gig! I’m singing at the fund raising event for cancer awareness this Tuesday.”

Dayna squeals, reacting a little bit like mom and I had, and Joshua’s eyes go wide.

“We always new you’d come far!” Josh says proudly, their reactions similar to the rest of my overly proud family.

“I’m nowhere near finished.” I smile. “I’m just getting started. You’re looking at the next Michael Jackson: female style.”

Everyone laughs, again going into cheers. Jake calls over a waiter and orders some wine.

I chance a glance at Jason for the first time tonight, and find he’s looking at me intensely.

As soon as he sees me look at him, disgust washes over his face and he looks away from me, down at his food.

The one person I wish was holding my hand right now, celebrating with me, who means so much – maybe the most – is too sickened by the thought of even looking at me.

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