Homebodies part 1.

My name is Kevin Randle. Moving back home after several
years was tough. I had set up a decent office job after
I’d gotten out of college and had what I thought was a
pretty happy life. I had money in the bank, a nice car,
a decent condo and a girlfriend I thought I was madly
in love with. It’s funny how things change.

I just recently broke up with my girlfriend, Sarah.
She’d be cheating on me with her personal trainer and
had been doing so for almost six months. We’d only been
together for a year and she was cheating on me for half
of that time.

I was suspicious of her activities for most of those
six months. Unbeknownst to me, all my suspicions had
been right. The late night cell phone calls for Sarah,
the girls’ night outs that she supposedly had with her
friends, the change in attitude and behavior. It didn’t
take a genius to figure out something was going on. I
happened to go by her parents’ house one day when they
were away when I couldn’t get a hold of Sarah on her
phone. She had told me she was going to the gym but I
saw her car outside her parents’ house along with a car
I had recognized as her trainer’s. I knew what was
going on inside and didn’t bother to push the matter
any further.

I went back to our place and packed up as much of my
belongings I could fit in my Suburban and decided to
call my parents to see if I could come home for awhile
to figure out what I was going to do over the next few
months to get back on my feet. They were ecstatic. They
were out of the country on an extended vacation and had
left my younger sister, Katie, at home where she’d been
for the last two months.

They actually gave a nineteen year old girl access to a
joint checking account with them and gave her a monthly
allowance to live off of. My parents were well off
financially so that really wasn’t a big surprise, nor
was it a surprise they trusted Katie so much. I knew
her all my life and she was as trustworthy as a person
could get. You could leave a truck full of money parked
outside the house and if Katie were to find it, she’d
call the police instead of pocketing the loot.

My parents thought it would be great that I could come
home to give Katie some company as well as keep an eye
on her and make sure she was safe. I agreed to
accommodate them as they wholeheartedly agreed to let
me come back home and stay as long as I wanted. In the
middle of packing my stuff away, Sarah happened to come
back home, sans her walking penis, AKA her trainer. I
guess he was all fucked out and decided to go home.

Sarah was, obviously, stunned by what she found. She
ran up to me as I was tossing in a suitcase, my car
already almost full, and hysterically asked for an
explanation. Surprisingly, I was completely calm. I
simply told her that I knew what was happening and that
it was alright. I knew she didn’t need it by now, since
her affair had been going on for many months, but I
gave her my blessing.

By now she was in tears and begged me not to leave, but
I could practically smell the sex on her, even if she’d
probably showered thoroughly after her recent session,
which couldn’t have been longer than a few hours ago. I
couldn’t let that pass and had to stay adamant and
strong. I kept packing the car, looking for the last
bits of things I had yet to pack.

As I went back into the house, Sarah tailed me closely,
still crying and desperately trying to keep me from
leaving. Still calm as the wind, I just put my hand on
her cheek and told her that we’d be alright and that I
hope she’d be happy from then on. My heart sank when I
said those words but I knew they had to be said. By
now, I’m sure she was thinking back to every time she
had been fucked by her trainer, every time she’d
knowingly deceived me and kept her secrets, and how all
those secrets were now coming to the surface and that
she couldn’t hide from them.

Sarah hadn’t a clue where my parents’ house was, which
was about 150 miles from our condo. I had already
changed my cell phone number and given it only to my
closest friends I’d made in town in the two years I’d
lived there. I knew that once I left, she wouldn’t be
able to contact me. She still begged and pleaded but I
knew the ultimate truth: I’d found a pregnancy test
that she’d cleverly buried deep in the trash. It was
positive.

I knew that I wasn’t the result of that positive
because we’d only had sex maybe twice in the last few
months and I’d worn a condom both times and she’d had
her period after the last time we had sex, so she had
to have had sex with her trainer after her last period
and didn’t bother to make the guy wear protection.
Either that or she fucked someone else I don’t know
about without protection. It wasn’t my problem, though,
thankfully and was completely guilt-free.

I told her that I knew she was pregnant and that made
her freeze up immediately. Her eyes became sharp and
focused, her breathing stopped, her trembling and
crying halted. She just stared at me, knowing she
wouldn’t be able to talk her way out of it. I placed my
hand on her face again and wished her luck with the
father and hoped that the baby would be healthy.

Tears were streaming down her face as she looked down,
sinking in shame. I still loved her but her crimes
against me were unforgivable. I had to stay the course
and sever ties between us.

My car fully packed and almost nothing left behind,
anything of importance anyways. I turned away from
Sarah for the last time and got into my car and drove
away. As I drove away, I glanced at my rearview mirror
and saw her standing in the driveway, face still aimed
at the ground. I could tell already she was increasing
in weight from the c***d that was growing inside her,
the c***d that wasn’t mine.

I have to admit that I cried on the way home. The
nearly three-hour drive was arduous emotionally. I
spent the whole time thinking of the year I’d spent
with Sarah. All of the good times and bad, all of the
times we’d made love, and argued, then made up by
making love. All the movies we watched together, all
the meals we shared, the conversations. It was all
over.

Then I realized that about half of the memories I’d had
of us were during the time she had spent a good time of
time on her back, another man pleasuring her and
eventually filling her womb with his c***d. All the
memories I’d ever shared with Sarah were tainted and no
longer contained any sentiment. It would take time, but
I knew that emotionally, I could be free of her.

On the way home, I also thought of mom and dad, and of
Katie and how they were going to be as big a part of my
life as they were before I left home for college. My
parents, who were retired, had done well in the stock
market and, because of this, traveled. They traveled a
lot. It was pretty pointless that they even owned a
house. The vacation rentals they stayed at when they
were away were more permanent than the house that just
seemed to serve as their ‘rest home’ or ‘temporary
transition zone’ before jetting off to a new adventure.

Coming back home at twenty-two could be something to be
ashamed of, but I didn’t feel ashamed. Everyone faces
situations beyond their control and sometimes need help
and I was no different. Thankfully, my parents were
painfully and eternally generous people and would
always be willing to open their doors again, even if
they had to open them from many thousands of miles
away, to their son.

I’d felt a bit guilty at asking for help, but then I
realized how well off my parents were and how little
use they were getting out of the house and how much
their state of financial security allowed them to
encourage me to come home again. This helped the folks
two-fold. Firstly, it made them feel better that their
son was safe and sound, and secondly it made it
convenient that someone, namely me, could now be around
more to keep an eye on my sister, Katie.

It was weird because Katie and I were brother and
sister, had the same parents, were both half Asian/half
Caucasian, but we didn’t really look alike. If you had
to pick us out of a crowd, you’d never think we were
related. My hair was naturally light brown, my skin a
bit naturally tanned, and I kind of looked like a mix
of mom and dad, facial feature-wise, whereas Katie had
lighter skin, much darker hair and didn’t really look
like mom or dad.

She looked considerably more Asian than I did. Her eyes
were darker, whereas mine were like my hair, light
brown, even though we were of the same ethnic makeup.
She could probably pass as full-blooded to someone who
didn’t know her. To sum her up physically, if actress
Rachel Leigh Cook gained about ten pounds and was
Asian, she’d be Katie. She was super cute.

We were always pretty close growing up. Strangely, we
never were really at odds for any extended period of
time. It was actually kind of boring because we never
fought. We were always congenial and comfortable around
each other. She never really got on my nerves and I can
only assume I never got on hers. She was always in a
cheerful, yet reserved mood around me. Pleasant,
upbeat, yet not overly enthusiastic, possibly even shy.
It always seemed like when she was force a smile, she
actually wanted to smile, but was shy to let on that
she wanted to smile. It was sometimes strange to
behold, albeit cute and adorable.

Katie was a bit of a homebody. She had friends and
talked on the phone occasionally but she was so far
from the atypical teenaged girl. You’d never catch her
rolling around on her bed, chewing loudly on gum while
yakking nonsensically on the phone about unimportant
bullshit with some equally typical teenaged girl about
what boys they thought were cute.

She was usually pretty quiet and kept to herself but
when she did speak up, she was always soft-spoken, kind
and sincere and as if she was generally interested in
everything you had to say. It was quite refreshing to
talk to someone who made you feel like you existed. I
think that’s why I always got along with Katie. She was
hard not to get along with.

Strangely, even though she was quite cute, she never
seemed to bring a lot of attention out of other men.
Just on looks alone, she could definitely be the kind
of girl that got guys looking but she never seemed
interested in that kind of attention. She was a bit
shorter than me, around 5’2″ and was a bit shapely, she
had a few extra pounds of baby fat on her, but that
sort of added to her personality of not being overtly
provocative. She was like a shadow, blending in with
her background, never drawing attention to herself.

In public she was always quiet, reserved and never
dressed provocatively. She was a jeans and t-shirt kind
of girl and it was equally nice to know that on top of
being genuinely sweet, she wasn’t a whore, like
millions of other girls her age. I had respect for her
and cared for her not just as her brother, but as a
human being.

Secretly though, I always had this strange thought that
would float into my mind that I would question later,
then feel guilty about the honestly inquisitive nature
of the question, which was thinking of how ‘hot’ she
could look if she wore some short shorts and a small
top, along with some makeup. Then the voice in my head
would do a double take, be aghast at the thought, slap
itself, slap me, and pull my mind out of the strange
haze that was the state of mind where I would
pontificate about such things.

I don’t think it was a thought of sexual curiosity; it
was more about me being puzzled how a girl that was
really a diamond in the rough hadn’t caught the
attention of bunches of guys who would fight for her
affections. She was really almost too good to be true,
and then I realized how glad I was to be her brother
and to have her in my life.

When I pulled up to the house, it looked the same way
it did the last time I visited. I went up and rung the
doorbell, Katie opened the door. I was greeted by that
cute smile and a big, firm hug. She looked like she’d
just got out of bed, wearing pajama pants and a
tanktop, but was still unbearably cute. She helped me
unload my car and after several hours of unpacking, I
settled in.

***

After a few days, the pain of my separation from Sarah
had really settled in. I was pretty much drowning in
depression. I didn’t want to feel that way but I
couldn’t help it. Even through all of the things she’d
made me endure, the loss of our relationship was
painful. I found myself moping around the house
constantly. I ate little, slept less and spent most of
my time lying in bed.

I think Katie noticed it because I was less social than
usual. I don’t know if she expected me to be all smiles
and bouncing-off-the-walls-playful with her when I came
back but I was hardly cheerful. I tried to be, but it
was hard. I couldn’t mask the pain as much as I wanted
to, so I figured if I couldn’t mask the pain fully, I
wouldn’t bother trying at all.

Shy as she was, Katie couldn’t bear to confront me
about it. She would walk past my door sometimes and
peek in at me, but timidly keep walking without
uttering a word. Or she’d be in the kitchen getting
something to eat and I’d be at the kitchen table
nibbling on a sandwich, my mind focused on thoughts of
Sarah and she’d walk by and sneak a peek at my face,
but she could tell my body was present but my mind was
elsewhere.

I glanced up at her just quickly enough to gauge that
she was concerned, but didn’t make any effort to make
it clear that I was emotionally distraught. I’d simply
glance up, not flashing a fake smile or any discernible
emotion and would return to pecking at my meal. She
usually seemed disappointed in my lack of initiative
and would turn her eyes to the ground as she made her
way past me and into her room.

Finally, one morning, I was sitting at the breakfast
table eating cereal when Katie shuffled over in her
slightly-too-long PJs and sat down across from me with
a bowl of cereal of her own. I smiled politely at her
in an artificially genuine way and she smiled back,
hers was one of concern and warmth.

“So, did you sleep well?” she asked softly.

I felt like my body was creaking, my joints tight and
tense from my growingly depressed state that I was
afraid to move, afraid that Katie would hear my muscles
wrench and would be alerted to my shoddy physical
condition. I shrugged my shoulders slightly and tried
my hardest to answer without my voice cracking. “I
slept ok. You?”

“I slept good.” She answered awkwardly, tucking a tuft
of hair behind her ear while slouching over her bowl of
cereal.

Several minutes slowly rolled by when Katie abruptly
spoke again, breaching the dead silence. “So, what’s
been up your butt since you came home?”

I looked up at her, knowing my cover had been blown. It
was no use to try and dance around the issue or play it
out as if she’d never make the initiative to coax the
truth out of me, because she had. “What do you mean?”

She still came off as harmless, never making a sudden
movement as she prodded me, still hovering over her
bowl of cereal, her eyes alternating from the table, to
mine. Even though I should’ve felt nervous, I didn’t.
She was too innocent to make my privacy feel
threatened.

“You know what I mean.” She said.

“I don’t, really.”

She seemed to struggle with pushing forward in her
attempt to draw the truth from me. She wasn’t used to
being assertive and it showed. She made a face like she
was trying to figure out some deeply complex
mathematical equation. “Well, you’ve been pretty much
moping around the house ever since you got here. You
haven’t gone out or even talked to me much. I’m just
worried for you, that’s all.”

I thought it was such a sweet gesture. I felt ashamed
that I couldn’t trust her enough with my feelings to
tell her before. I looked down, searching for a way to
ease her an answer. “I don’t know, just been thinking
about a lot, that’s all. Just had a lot on my mind.”

She seemed only partially content by my vagueness. She
wasn’t completely satisfied but didn’t seem to want to
push the issue either. She didn’t want to tread on
ground I wasn’t comfortable with. I saw the lack of
total contentment on her face and knew I couldn’t leave
it at that. I hoped she’d find the courage to feed her
curiosity.

“I know I’m not a relationship expert, but if
something’s wrong, you can talk to me about it. I am
your sister.” She said.

“I didn’t want to come here and bother you with all my
problems.”

“Hey…” she said. “…I just don’t want you to keep
everything inside. You can talk to me.”

It felt nice to know that someone cared about me.
Actually cared about how I felt. “Just had some
problems with Sarah…”

“Oh…” she said softly, fearing she’d f****d me to
confront something I wasn’t strong enough for.

I drummed up the courage to tell her. “Umm, we kind of
broke up. Well, I broke up with her…”

Katie looked at me with eyes so calming that I felt at
home where nothing could hurt me, regardless of how
painful the memories were. “…I found out she’d been
cheating on me. She got pregnant too. She didn’t know I
knew. So I left.”

She looked almost as anguished as I was. “I’m so
sorry.”

“It’s okay. Time heals all wounds, right?”

She smiled and I realized how fortunate I was to have
her in my life.

I spent the next few days dragging through the house,
sluggish and anemic. I’d go from the kitchen to the
bedroom, spending most of my day lying nearly comatose
in bed, watching lackadaisical as infomercial after
infomercial plugged along. I never cracked a smile or
showed any evidence of consciousness, save for my open
eyes.

I noticed Katie walking by my door every few hours and
peeking in, but she never made the initiative to enter.
Part of me felt guilty that I wasn’t more hospitable
and brotherly, but the rest of me was too emotionally
and physically sapped to put forth the effort to
apologize or invite her in.

I was usually glad when I’d notice her shadow stop
momentarily at my door and then move away because I
didn’t have to face up to the questions she’d
undoubtedly ask. Questions about Sarah, about what I
was going to do next, about when I was going to snap
out of my stupor. I just didn’t feel like doing
anything but soaking in my misery. I wasn’t in the mood
for any human interaction.

It was a cool Wednesday night and I was settled in my
usual place: lying lazily on my bed, wrapped in
blankets and staring listlessly at the television.
Peripherally, I noticed Katie once more orbit past my
door, checking in on me, no doubt, but this time,
instead of leaving after a few moments, she wandered
in.

I laid there, giving no reaction to her having entered.
Without moving my head, I scanned my eyes over at her
and found her standing there, inconspicuously watching
my TV. After about a minute, though, she walked past
the TV to the side of the bed my head was and sat
Indian-style on the floor. She looked up at me and
noticed my eyes were open. She seemed surprised.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were awake. I thought I’d come
in here and check in on you. I hope I didn’t wake you
up.” She said.

“No, you didn’t. I’ve been awake for awhile.”

“Every time I’ve walked by your room, you’ve been in
the same position. You’ve been laying like that since
you woke up?” she chuckled.

“Yeah.” I said lazily, no emotion on my face, eyes
still trained on the TV.

Katie seemed to think for a few seconds, thoughts
stirring in her head. “Do you want me to leave?”

“It’s ok, you can stay.” My voice sounded like I was
ill, but I wasn’t physically ill, but my emotional
fatigue had shown and Katie realized it.

“Is… is it ok if I sit here?” she asked hesitantly.

For the first time in hours, I lifted my head and,
feeling the muscles stretch and creak inside my body, I
looked over my shoulder seeing the other side of the
bed vacant, so I slid over to the vacant end. “You can
sit on the bed if you want, since I don’t have any
chairs in here.”

Her eyes seemed to light up as she slowly stood and
carefully sat on the bed. “Ok, thanks. I’ll try not to
crowd you.”

“I don’t see how you could. You couldn’t weight more
than, what, 100?” I asked, my voice still stuffy and
muffled, my eyes blank and humorless.

She smiled nervously as she sat there, almost blushing,
her legs pulled up to her chest. “Hmm, actually, I
think I weight closer to 112 or 115.”

For the first time, I actually forgot about Sarah. My
eyebrows rose. I didn’t think she weighed that much,
which really wasn’t much at all. “Really?”

“Yeah, why?” she asked, tucking strands of hair behind
her ear.

“I don’t know. You look like you weigh less than that.”

“Ohh, ok.” She said with a perky smile, seemingly
flattered.

After about fifteen minutes of silence, she spoke up.
“Have you been feeling ok?”

It took me a few seconds to respond. “I’ve been ok, I
guess.”

“You just haven’t seemed yourself lately. I know
everything that happened with… what’s her name, but
I’ve just been worried is all.”

“Thanks. I think I’ll be ok.”

“Is it ok if I visit you from time to time? Or do you
want to be left alone?”

“Umm, no, you can stay if you want.” I said.

Over the next week, Katie became a constant tenant in
my room. After the first few days, she didn’t bother to
ask if she could come in and stay with me, and I didn’t
care that she didn’t ask. For the first time in awhile,
I actually enjoyed the company.

Katie didn’t pressure me with questions, or prodded me
to open up with my emotions. She just kept me company,
showed me that someone truly cared for me, and let me
deal with my internal conflicts in my own way. She
merely was there for me in case I wanted to open up. To
me, she was like a safety net, there to catch me when I
needed to be caught.

I felt completely comfortable having her around. She’d
usually just sit next to me on the bed, her knees
pulled up to her chest, her arms wrapped around her
legs, smiling and laughing as we watched cartoons or
funny movies. I even smiled once or twice. Ok, I lied;
I actually started smiling a lot. I still wasn’t ready
to leave the confines and safety of the blanket, but I
was loosening up.

After a couple of weeks, I’d become so comfortable with
having Katie around that the scars from Sarah’s
betrayal had begun to heal. I’d even kicked off the
blanket! Now, I’d usually lie casually on the bed, on
my side. I was now smiling and laughing more than I
ever had since I came home. Katie made the transition
back into normalcy easier by being my constant
companion, there for me when I needed an ear to listen
to me, a voice other than my own to listen to, a
presence just to keep me company.

It was strange being in the company of another girl and
having Sarah almost out of my mind. If Katie wasn’t my
sister, she’d make an ideal mate, for me, anyways. We
were highly compatible and almost always got along
really well. Only someone as sweet as her could have me
feeling so good so soon based on what I’d gone through,
and I don’t even think Katie realized the effect she
had on me.

I’d glance up at her sometimes as she watched TV in my
room, watching her smile and laugh. She was caught up
in being with me like when we were younger and
practically connected at the hip. She was completely
oblivious to how she was affecting me. I appreciated
that she was just there and didn’t ask for anything in
return, even my acknowledgment that she was there. She
was just happy to be with me and that made me happy to
have her.

One night, an incident happened that changed my
relationship with Katie forever. At the time, I was
excited beyond measure, and then I felt regret, but now
I realize how special the moment was.

Predictably, as every day for the last several weeks, I
was still finding solace vegging out in my room. Katie
was lying on her back next to me. We were watching some
cartoons. The mood was light and cozy. The evening
weather was neither warm nor cold, it was perfect.
Outside, the air was still, save for the rare slight
ocean breeze.

I noticed Katie was in a heightened, sunnier
disposition than usual. She seemed almost blissful. Her
smiles were deeper and richer, the look in her eyes was
friendlier, there was just something I couldn’t put my
finger on, but she was in a very good mood.

After the cartoon was over, she turned towards me, her
smile turning more serious, no doubt in respect for my
emotional condition. “Hi.”

“Hi.” I replied.

“You seem better.”

“I feel better.” I said. “Thanks to you.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“You’ve really made it easy to get my mind off of her,
off of what happened.”

Katie scooted towards me a few inches and placed a
gentle hand on mine. “You know, you don’t deserve what
happened. She doesn’t deserve you. You deserve better.
I mean, you’re such a great guy. You deserve a girl who
will love you the way you should be loved. I know I’m
not Sarah, but I know I can take care of you better
than she can. Well, not in every way, but almost every
way.”

I smiled. “What do you mean, ‘almost every way’?

She blushed. “You know what way I mean.”

I realized what she was talking about. “Ohh, that.
Well, I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t compare you two. I’ve
only been with her.”

Katie got this deflated look on her face. “I know.”

I felt guilty for saying what seemed hurtful to her. I
reached out to her and rested my hand on her shoulder.
“Hey, I didn’t mean it like… I’ve been with her,
yeah, but that doesn’t matter now. I’d never touch her
now. I know you’d never hurt me the way she did. That’s
why I know I’ll always love you in a different way, in
a way I could never love someone else.”

She looked up at me, my words having moved her.
“Really? You know, I don’t think you’ve ever told me
you loved me.”

“Really?” I said, surprised.

“Yeah.”

We sat there looking at each other for a tense moment.

“Hey, can I have a hug?” I asked boldly, holding out my
right arm to her.

She smiled and scooted the foot or so that separated us
and embraced me. The feeling was indescribable. The
warmth of her loving embrace was so intense that I
almost wanted to break out into tears. I held her
close, hoping I wasn’t squeezing too tight, but she was
squeezing me so tight that I didn’t think I’d need to
apologize for the strength of my hug.

The hug dragged on for what seemed like a minute or so
and then the thought entered my mind that we’d entered
into inappropriate territory. The hug seemed to slowly
evolve from an intense, loving one into a softer, more
passionate one. She wasn’t holding onto me tightly
anymore, but was just keeping me up against her, not
saying a word. Of course, I was doing the same and my
excuse was inexcusable: it felt good.

Having this warm, loving body pressed against mine was
a sensation I wasn’t quickly going to abandon. I didn’t
want to pry myself away from her but I was also
intensely curious about her state of mind. Was this
just an innocent hug gone long or was she being a bit
more affectionate than she’d ever been?

In an attempt to be extremely bold, I started rubbing
her back in a way that could be construed as anything
but brotherly. Her response surprised me. She clutched
me closer, started rubbing my back the same way I was
rubbing hers and started nuzzling her face into the
crook of my neck.

Being even bolder, as my hand ran down her back, when I
got to the bottom of her shirt, I slipped my hand under
it and rested my hand on part of her bare back near her
hip. With that, she seemed to tighten up and pull her
hands away from my back. She slowly reached down, as if
for my hand, which I gave to her, and she brought it up
in front on her, resting my hand on her stomach, just
below her breast. Instinctively, I ran my hand up over
her shirt and rested it atop the soft, fleshy globe of
her breast giving it a very gentle squeeze.

I heard let out a whimpering gasp. I whispered. “You
ok?”

All she did was murmur “Hmm-mhh.”

I continued very softly rubbing her breast through her
shirt. After about ten seconds, she pulled away from
our embrace just enough so that her face was in front
of mine, her hands resting on my chest. She had this
blissful look on her face, which was down turned ever
so slightly. She was so incredibly beautiful that I
couldn’t stop myself from what happened next. I leaned
forward and kissed her gently on the lips. After the
kiss, I left my lips on her and what she did surprised
me: she pushed forward, kissing me back.

The kiss was painfully soft and wet. I never wanted it
to end. After the kiss, we laid down and she snuggled
up next to me and we continued to watch TV as if
nothing had happened.

The days after the incident were actually pretty nice,
except for the fact that neither Katie, nor I dared to
bring up what had happened days before. Other than
that, I’d built up the courage and confidence to get
out of the bedroom. So I watched TV in the living room.
Yeah, I know, I’m slightly more active than a head of
lettuce.

Like a looping routine, I’d be on the couch, sprawled
out and taking up way too much room and Katie would
walk in carrying a bowl of chips or popcorn or
something, plop down on the smaller couch next to the
sofa I was on, ask me what was on TV and start watching
with me and we’d exchange pleasant snippets of
conversation as we watched a show or movie. Tonight was
no different.

It was Friday and things were lazy, like usual. I was
planning to just stay in, watch some DVDs, nothing
special. I had planned to watch some action movie, a
pretty gory one. In fact, it had some pretty intense
gunfights too. An all-around guy movie. I popped it in
and sat down. I was going solo tonight because I had
peeked in on Katie about an hour prior and found her to
be fast asleep, cozy in her bed.

After the previews finished up, I heard that familiar
shuffling and Katie wandered into the living room, her
hair teased and tussled, her eyes tired and squinting
from the aftereffects of prematurely awakening.

“Why didn’t you wake me up, jerk?” she asked, slightly
slurring her speech.

I was taken aback a bit by her slight annoyance at me
not having woken her up. I made an effort not to make a
lazy excuse.

“I’m sorry! I saw you asleep and didn’t want to wake
you up. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. It’s
just some dumb movie I’m watching…”

Arms hanging at her sides, she d**g herself over to the
couch I was on and collapsed, but sitting up straight.
She didn’t look at me as she talked, her eyes still
barely open but focusing on the TV.

“That’s lame, Kevin. You know we watch movies every
night. Well, almost every night. All you had to do was
nudge me a few times and I would’ve woken up.”

I didn’t know what to say.

“I’m sorry. Next time, I’ll just wake you up.”

Her agitation was more acted than anything. She wasn’t
mad, she just liked being theatrical, at least with me.
I think it was because I was the only person she felt
safe being theatrical with. In fact, I had only ever
seen her being theatrical around me.

She kept on the charade, really riding me on the guilt
trip.

“Yeah, right. I think you just don’t like spending time
with me and any chance you can get to get out of
spending time with me, you do. Jerk.”

Eyes still lazily fixed on the TV, she never turned to
look at me. I smiled and leaned over, wrapping her head
in my arm and pulling her into a one-armed hug,
nuzzling her head into the spot between my shoulder and
chest.

“Awww…” I cooed mockingly. “…poor baby.”

She sat up and pushed me away, scooting back over to
where she was. She spoke in hushed tones, her mock
anger having been tamed.

“Jerk,” she commented.

I looked at her and smiled. “But seriously, next time I
won’t start without you, ok?”

She didn’t respond. For a moment I started thinking
that maybe she wasn’t joking and might’ve been serious
about the whole thing. I straightened up, realizing
maybe I shouldn’t be so flippant about the whole thing
and consider her feelings. I reached towards her,
resting my right hand on her shoulder.

“Hey, look, I’m sorry if you’re really mad, ok? It was
a mistake and it won’t happen again.”

“It’s okay,” she responded quite plainly.

She kind of shrugged her shoulder a little, just
slightly, as if to signal me to remove my hand, but
without being abrupt and abrasive about it. I got the
message and moved my hand, turning back to the TV.

After a few minutes, she got up without any pretense
and walked into the kitchen, turning on the light.

“Want something to drink?” she offered in a voice not
wholly awake.

“Sure, I’ll just have what you’re having.”

After a minute she brought in a couple of glasses of
coke and we sat down to watch the movie. I realized we
were watching a testosterone fest and felt obliged to
apologize.

“Umm, I didn’t know you were going to be awake so I
kind of threw in this action movie. It’s kind of a guy
movie so I apologize if you’re not into it.”

“I like action movies, Kevin…” she threw back at me,
“You know that. Or, you should know that.”

I tried to be light about the whole thing, chuckling a
little.

“I know mostly what movies you’re into. I just think
that you’re the type of person that wouldn’t complain
regardless of what movie is playing, unless it was a
porno or something. I was just being thoughtful and
making sure you we’re into the movie, that’s all.”

She looked at me suspiciously. “If you throw a porno
in, it better be in your room when you’re by yourself.
It’d be so embarrassing having to watch a porno with
you.”

“Why?” I laughed.

She smiled. “Why? It’d be so awkward. What would we
talk about during the movie? “Wow, she has big boobs,
look at ’em bounce around.”

“Yeah, I know. It would be pretty awkward. I’d keep
making excuses to get up and leave the room.”

“Yeah, maybe to go spank your monkey or something.”

I laughed. “What’s gotten into you tonight? ”

She stared ahead, not locking eyes with me. “Nothing.”

I didn’t know much about women but I knew that when a
girl told you nothing was wrong, something was
definitely wrong. “Come on, it’s ok. Tell me.”

After a few moments of what appeared to be mental
conflict, Katie broke down. “You know, you haven’t said
anything about what happened the other night since it
happened.”

I knew it was eventually going to come up. The mood
instantly became hush. I looked down, searching for the
words. “Katie… I…”

“I’m sorry if you regret it.” She blurted out.

“No…” I stammered. “I didn’t… I don’t…”

She seemed sad, lost as her eyes finally wandered to
find mine. “It’s ok. I think I was just feeling a
little… you know, because of my cycle. I guess we
were just in the wrong place at the right time. If you
think I’m a total perv, I don’t blame you.”

I turned to her.

“Katie, I was the one that started it. With the hug,
then, you know… I really shouldn’t have done that.”

“So you do regret it then?” she asked, this time
looking me dead in the eyes.

“No… not at all. Well, I don’t if you liked it.”

She looked down, cracking a smile. “I liked it, that’s
why I kissed you back.”

“I don’t know what got into me. I just… maybe it was
the time away from you, but you seemed so different
when I came home. At that moment, I had trouble
thinking of you as my sister. I just saw this
incredibly sweet and cute girl in front of me and I
couldn’t control myself.”

She turned her head, looking at me with a very sincere
curiosity. “Is that bad?”

“No, actually. It’s great. I’m just so used to you
keeping to yourself but since I came home you’ve been
so open and kind and sweet to me when I needed you. ”

She turned back to the TV, clutching her soda close to
her. “I don’t know, I think I’m just comfortable around
you and that’s why I did what I did. Especially with
mom and dad being gone, you know? I figured I could
just do what I felt in my heart was right and you
wouldn’t make me regret it.”

I smiled. “Of course I wouldn’t make you regret it.”

“I guess we both just got caught up in the moment. I
definitely don’t regret it, though. You just seemed so
hurt. I just hated seeing you like that, so I just
wanted to do what I could to show you you weren’t
alone”, she said, making me curious as to what she
meant.

“How so?” I inquired.

She paused momentarily, her eyes seeking a way to put
into words what she was thinking without saying
something that could be misconstrued.

“Well, like when you gave me that hug, that was like
the first time in ages that you, you know, put your
arms around me or anything. I’ve never felt so…
loved”

“I figured that we’re on such good terms that we should
be able to goof off like that every now and then. I
shouldn’t be afraid to give you a hug every now and
then, right?”

She thought about that for a few seconds then looked at
me. “So I shouldn’t feel weird about asking you for a
hug?”

“Would you feel weird asking me for a hug?”

Her eyes moved away, the gears in her mind moving
again. “Yeah, a little, but only because we’d never
been like that before, you know, affectionate? But I
guess I can’t say that anymore, can I?” she said with a
smile.

“I just don’t want you to feel afraid around me for any
reason. Like, if you ever wanted to give me a hug or
something, don’t feel like I’d reject you or get mad or
anything, and that goes for anything. I want you to
just feel like you can come to me, because I am your
brother and I love you.”

She smiled. “I feel so comfortable around you. I’ve
never felt so comfortable around any guy.”

“I know, I feel the same way about you. I guess that’s
what I was getting at, that we should just be more
open.”

That having been said, Katie sat up, curled her legs up
onto the couch and turned to me, seemingly investing
more interest in the conversation.

“Can I ask you something?” she asked.

“Of course.”

She was clearly blushing and had difficulty asking her
question. “Did you like it when… umm…when you felt
me…”

I couldn’t help but blush too. “I’m so sorry about
that. I know that I shouldn’t have touched you like
that…”

She was almost whispering but I could hear her clearly
because we were not sitting so closely together. “No,
it’s ok. I think I was swept up in the moment too. So,
you didn’t answer my question.”

I smiled. “You never really asked one.”

Playfully flustered, she smiled. “When you felt me up,
did you like it?”

“Oh yeah, I really did. You have… a really nice
body.”

She giggled. “You haven’t seen my body.”

I laughed too. “Is that an invitation?” All she could
do was blush and giggle.
“Well, it felt really nice. I hope it felt nice for
you.”

She looked down. “Yeah, it felt really nice.”

“Are you glad we stopped when we did?” I asked,
curiously.

She didn’t seem sure of how to answer. It took her a
few seconds. “I kinda just went along with what you
did, so when you stopped I guess I didn’t want to keep
going. I figured you wanted to stop.”

“I just felt lucky that you kissed me and let me hold
you so I didn’t want to push my luck.”

She smiled. “It had nothing to do with luck.”

We were both now in what was just about the deepest,
most personal conversation we’d ever shared. We had
completely forgotten about the movie.

“So, how come you don’t have a boyfriend?” I asked.
“You seem like the kind of girl who could have all
kinds of guys on the hook.”

She smiled shyly, shaking her head. “No, I don’t know.
I’ve just never thought about it like that. I mean, I
want to be with someone, but I know how guys are. I
know guys really just want one thing and it’s kind of
tough finding a guy I feel safe with that I know won’t
hurt me, you know?”

“Yeah, I do.”

Katie’s eyes shifted a little. “I mean, you’re really
the only guy I feel safe with, but…”

“But I’m just your brother.”

She shifted to get slightly closer to me, her eyes
apologetic.

“No, no, I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, you are my
brother and I enjoy all the time we spend together,
but…”

“It’s not the same as having a boyfriend.” I finished
her sentence. I smiled, looking down. “Is that was you
meant by not being able to take care of me in every
way?”

She nervously tucked some hair behind her ear. “You
know what I meant by that. Even if I could, I wouldn’t
be any good…” She laughed. “I don’t even know how to
kiss, much less do any of that other stuff.”

“I think you kiss pretty well.”

“You’re just being nice.”

I wanted to show her that wasn’t the case. I leaned
forward and tried to more energetically plead my case.
“No, not at all. That kiss was really incredible.”

She seemed surprised. “Really?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

“How could you tell? That kiss only lasted like a
second or two.”

“It was so nice I wanted it to last longer.”

Katie smiled what was possibly the most beautiful smile
I’d ever seen, probably because it was coming from her
and I’d hardly ever seen her smile like this. We sat
there smiling for what seemed like an eternity but was
only a few seconds.

“Can I tell you something? Without you thinking I’m
weird?” I asked.

“Sure.” She said.

“You’ve got such a cute smile. I wish you’d smile more
often.”

“I’ve been smiling a lot more since you’ve been home.”

“So, is it still safe for us to hang out?”

“Yeah, of course.” She said timidly, almost in a
whisper.

“I promise I won’t do anything silly like kiss you
again.”

“You don’t have to make that promise.” She said,
trailing off into her quiet voice. “I think that from
now on, whatever happens, happens, and I won’t regret
it, okay?”

“‘Whatever happens?'” I replied.

“Whatever.”

“Katie, that’s saying an awful lot.” I replied.

She put her finger up to my lips in a strangely
assertive manner. “Shh. I know what I said and I meant
it.”

I smiled. “Okay then. Whatever happens, happens.”

I looked at the clock and realized how bleeding late it
was.

“Wow, I should really get up to bed and at least get
ready to go to sleep.”

Katie looked a tad disappointed at that, but
immediately played it off. “Yeah, I should probably do
the same.”

I had showered, brushed my teeth, changed into my
pajamas and was sitting on my bed flipping through a
magazine that had been lying on my floor for weeks. I’d
bought it weeks ago and completely forgot to look at
it, something that happens more than it should. One of
many bad habits of mine.

My door was about half open and Katie happened to walk
by, looking in. She stopped, looking on inquisitively.
I looked up and saw that pretty face, too shy to say
anything or come in and I couldn’t help but smile back.

“I thought you were going to bed.” She said, smiling.

“I am.” I chuckled.

“Oh, I see, you just wanted to get away from me,” she
joked back.

I disputed that with a laugh, stood up and opened the
door, reaching out and taking her hand and pulling her
into the room.

“Oh, come on…” I said as she allowed me to drag her
in, her feet shuffling as I pulled her.

“Take a seat, ya big baby,” I joked.

With a phony frown, arms dangling at her sides, she
lazily shuffled to the edge of the bed and plopped
down, looking at the TV. I crawled back into the center
of the bed and sat down, resuming reading my magazine.
After a few seconds, Katie turned around and propped
herself up on her elbows, looking at my magazine, or at
least pretending to be.

Katie’s eyes shifted a bit until coming back to mine.
“You know, I was thinking that since neither of us go
out much and we’re not with anyone, maybe we should
just start hanging out more often?

“Sure, why not? To hell with boyfriends and
girlfriends.” I declared jokingly but seriously.

She interjected. “I just figured that you spend a lot
of time in your room alone and I spend most of my time
in my room, and since mom and dad are going to be gone
for awhile, and since… that whole thing with
whatshername… it might be nice to start hanging out
more,” she proposed.

I looked up and she felt compelled to reinforce the
innocence of her proposal.

“I mean, instead of us both being alone in the house,
maybe we could just be alone together.”

I laughed. “That makes no sense.”

She smiled impatiently. “You know what I mean.”

“I know what you mean. I think that’d be fine. Great,
actually.”

Her face lit up. “Really?” she beamed.

“Of course! Hey, if you wanted, you could even sleep in
here. Like a slumber party,” I chuckled.

She seemed to like the idea but was hesitant to exude
too much of an emotive response. Her eyes were looking
for a deeper answer to my idea.

“You mean, like, in the same bed?”

My laugh became a lonely smile as I explained. “Well,
no, I was thinking you could take the bed and I could
take the floor. I don’t know. If you think it’s a dumb
idea, it’s ok.”

Her eyes widened. “No! I think that’s fine, but you
don’t have to sleep on the floor. We can both sleep on
the bed, I’ll just take up a little part of the edge,
so I won’t crowd you.”

“You’re sure? I move around in my sleep sometimes, I
wouldn’t want to get uncomfortably close in the middle
of the night, you know? And have you get all creeped
out,” I smiled.

“Uncomfortably close for you or me?” she said with a
curious seriousness.

I tried to get as serious as I could. “Well, I figure
it’d be uncomfortable for you. I don’t know.”

She smiled. “Why would it be uncomfortable? We
practically made out the other night.”

We both shared a nervous laugh and couldn’t lock eyes.

She continued. “It wouldn’t be uncomfortable for me,
unless you, like, sat on my head in the middle of the
night.”

I laughed. “No, no, nothing like that.”

“Ok, so, am I going to be sleeping in here from now
on?”

I thought for a second. “Do you think we could do that
without, you know, things getting weird? I wouldn’t
want you to end up hating me.”

“Kevin, I told you that whatever happens, happens. I’m
a big girl and if I do something, it’ll be because I
want to. As long as you don’t like, r**e me or
something, I won’t hate you.”

“You know I’d never force myself on you so you have
nothing to worry about.”

She smiled. “I know. Ok, let me go shower and change,
ok?”

“Ok,” I said.

Katie bounced out of the room with a bit of a spring in
her step. I was happy that she was happy. I got under
the blanket and went back to looking at my magazine.

About a half an hour later, Katie came back. She was
wearing some pajama pants and a tanktop. Her hair was
still a little damp. She walked in shyly, tucking some
loose hair behind her ear and crawled under the
blanket, not saying a word.

“Ya ok?” I asked.

She nodded. “Yeah, just a little cold.”

“It’s a thick blanket. You’ll get warm soon.” I smiled.

Within a half an hour, we were both asleep.