Let Me Take Care of You, Darling-byyuuum99|
Normally, when I walked up to the empty stairway all that could be heard was my own footsteps echoing loudly. Now, however, I heard something else, which was quite odd. This made me all the more attentive to whatever sounds were disturbing the peace of the otherwise quiet and peaceful. And, this focus made me so much more worried when I heard that the sounds were muffled shouting and yelling, coming out of one of the many rooms in the stairwell. I became even more worried when I realized those shouts were coming from my apartment.
Well, me and my sister Jessica's apartment, to be exact. Being 18, I was naturally going to a college. Unfortunately, the college was quite a bit away from my small home-town, in which you couldn't find much more than a grocery store, a pizzeria and a small tool-stoor. Fortunately, my big sister had also gone to said college and already had an apartment nearby, that I could relatively easily hop on into. Now, I had lived there a few months, and I know that the only probable person that my sister could be yelling at would be her boyfriend.
I didn't know the guy all too well. I knew that his name was Rick, that he was a pretty big guy, but had a small amount of confidence. Normally, he was cool, but he had the tendency to get triggered easily and get pissy with people. I assumed that something related to that was happening. I just hoped it wouldn't escalate. Rick hadn't ever been in a fight to my knowledge, but it was starting to sound pretty serious. As I got closer, I could hear insults being thrown in both directions and a lot of toxic language in general.
Just as I got to the top floor, where our apartment was, I could hear my sister yelling at him to 'just get the fuck out', and moments after that, I saw Rick shambling out, clearly furious, slamming the door so hard it seemed to shake the entire corridor. Our eyes met as he rushed down the hall, and when he reached me he just snorted at me and rammed into me so hard I almost stumbled into the wall. I considered yelling at him to fuck off but thought it better to not ignite his rage further. I had to admit he was much stronger and bigger than me, and would undoubtedly kick my ass if it came to that.
As I turned to the corridor again, my mind left Rick, for the most part. I hurried down to my door, and tentatively opened it, as to not scare my sister. The person in question came out of the small kitchen just as I entered with a glass of water in her hand, and her whole body jumped when she saw me.
"Oh, lord, I thought you were Rick."
She said, putting a hand on her chest, clearly shaken by whatever had happened. I hurried up to her, while gently asking her what had happened. I laid my hand on her shoulder, and into her eyes with worry. Even though my sister wasn't the longest person out there, neither was I. She was actually one inch or so longer than me. She was sort of big for a girl. Though, not that chubby to be honest. I guess curvy would be the best way to put it, considering her... Assets, and all. A pervert would probably call her thick or something.
"Oh, nothing. Just a fight."
She said, trying to wave the issue away with her hand. I raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, I noticed that it was a fight. Though, I don't believe it was nothing."
She breathed in deeply, then sighed out.
"Yeah, I guess it was pretty bad."
"Yeah, no shit."
I said, looking around the apartment. Everything was in its place, so at least it didn't get so bad they started throwing shit at one another.
"But what happened?"
I said gingerly, looking back at her.
"You guys haven't fought much in the past, as far as I know."
And I should know. I spent most of my time at home, either working for my IT class in college or just doing something else on the computer. In other words, whenever my sister and her boyfriend were home together, I was almost always there too. Well, not always. Sometimes on the weekends, she would bribe me to go out and watch a movie or something so she and he could... You know... That thing I really don't wanna think about her doing with him. EITHER WAY, they hadn't ever fought, especially not to the extent I just heard.
"I don't know, honestly. It started over something so stupid, and then it just grew out of control. I guess we just had a lot of pent up shit we wanted to get out."
I quickly asked, not really thinking about the fact that it was probably private. I hadn't heard much from the stairway, so I was genuinely curious.
"Oh, you know... Stuff."
She said dismissively. She then shook off my hand and turned away to walk to her sofa.
"Like I said, a lot of dumb things."
At that point, even I realized she didn't want to talk about it. Still, I was worried about her.
"Okay, but, he didn't do anything except yell at you, right?"
"Oh no, no, he didn't hit me, if that's what your asking."
"Or choke, or push, or threaten..?"
I asked, leadingly. She was quiet for a moment.
"He did push me when I tried to get him out of the apartment. We weren't yelling at each other yet, but he was being really rude and... Well, you know how he can get... So I told him to leave if he was going to act like a tool, and in response... He shoved me... And got even angrier."
She said, looking away and taking a sip from her glass.
"You didn't get hurt, did you?"
I Said, sitting down next to her at the couch.
"No, no, he didn't like shove me into a wall or something. He just sort of waved me away. Scared me, more than anything."
"That still doesn't exactly sound good..."
I said, with an ironic smile. I was so surprised by what was happening that I couldn't help but smile at how ridiculous it was.
"I know, I know. But, hopefully, it was just a one-time thing. The thing to do is learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat them."
She drank the last of her water after she said that.
"So, what are you going to do, then? Just forgive him, and act as nothing happened?"
I reached out for her to give the glass to me, which she did, with a shrug toward my comment.
"What else is there to do? We all make mistakes."
She said that, but she crossed her hands over her chest. It was clear to me she was at least bothered, possibly insulted.
As I walked toward the kitchen with the glass, I realized that even though I had been living with her for a few months, and that we'd ovbiously been siblings for quite a while, we had never really had a serious talk. As children, we didn't get along too well. Nothing bad, but you know, why would a girl want to hang out with her lame, younger brother? And vice versa, of course. We had gotten quite close in recent years, with us getting more mature and so. Jessica had become very kind, and I wasn't so bratty and annoying, so I guess we just grew together more.
As I filled up the glass with more water, I thought about what I could say to her. I didn't want to just give her some empty platitude about how she should keep trying or whatever, but neither did I want to probe too much. Ovbiously, this was a sensitive issue. I may have been a rather unsocial idiot, but even I knew that much.
"Can I ask... Who started it?"
I said, swallowing. That felt like an innocent enough question, so she could talk out her feelings without giving away personal stuff.
"Both of us, I guess. It just kept building up and up, and got worse."
"Yeah, but what started it?... It's okay if you don't wanna talk about it, I'm just wondering what happened, you know?"
I quickly added so she wouldn't feel pressured.
"You don't wanna know, it's really dumb."
"No, I do. If you don't want to talk about it, say so, but I want to hear. You're my sister, and I want to make sure you're feeling okay."
I said decisively, giving her the glass, and sitting down along-side her again. She laughed at me.
"You're not making this easier for me... With that whole 'sister thing', I mean."
I looked at her quizzically.
"What do you mean?"
She drew a long breath, preparing her for whatever she was about to say.
"Rick wanted to do anal."
She finally threw out. I was quite shocked.
"That's what you were fighting about?"
She said, nodding.
"Well, did you do it?"
I asked, almost not wanting to hear the answer.
"No! That's gross!"
She said, almost angrily sipping from her glass now.
"Then why did he want to do it so badly?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean... Why was he nagging you about it if you made it clear you didn't want to do it?"
"I don't know. He can be very... Needy, I guess... If you know what I mean."
I think I understood. After a few moments of silence she said:
"God, I'm sorry I said anything, this is so awkward."
"No, it's fine! Jessica, we're both adults, right? It's just... Sex, right? If you want to talk about it, feel free."
It felt super weird to say, and it felt weird to be the mature one, but my sister needed to hear it. She was quiet for a while.
"I don't know, Rick can be so sweet and romantic and all, but he can be so nagging, especially lately. You know, I like... Going down."
She said, a bit awkwardly.
"But, lately, he's always asking for it so much it's starting to feel like a chore. And now, he's doing the same with... Butt stuff, even though I made it clear I don't like that kind of stuff at all."
She was quiet for a second.
"Maybe I should just let him do it. So we can stop arguing about it."
I immediately protested, almost scaring Jessica.
"That's the one thing you shouldn't do! Sex is supposed to be... Nice, you know. Not feel like something you have to do."
I said, instantly feeling like an idiot afterward. I had said that with way too much bravado for a nerdy 18-year old with next to no sexual experience what so ever. I had made out with the one girlfriend I ever had, and ever touched her breasts over her shirt and bra, but nothing beyond that.
But, my sister didn't seem to think what I said was dumb. Instead, she looked at me with a big smile and said.
"Wow, that's so sweet of you."
She tentatively touched my neck.
"Maybe you're right.. Maybe I shouldn't give in."
"No, you definitely shouldn't. I mean, if you want to do it, do it, but if you feel like you have to force yourself... Then it's wrong, you know?"
"I guess you're right..."
She said thoughtfully. Then she giggled, to my surprise.
"Oh god, why am I taking sex-advice from a virgin? God, this is so silly."
I felt my cheeks heat up when she said that. Couldn't protest though. She was correct.
"That was so mean."
She says, though her smile isn't all that forgiving.
"You're a super sweet guy. You'll find your girl, someday."
I chuckle a little.
"Yeah, well, I can hope."
"Oh come on, don't be like that."
She admonished me, friendly slapping me on my shoulder.
"If I say you're great, then you're great, and that's that."
Now I got flustered again, but for a different reason. Compliments weren't something I got often, especially not from something who was, honestly speaking, as attractive as my sister. Though, of course, she's probably just saying that to make me feel better. So, internally, I dismiss her comment.
But then, she said something that genuinely surprised me. With a heavy breath, she said:
"Gosh, why can't I find a guy like you?"
"You know, somebody as gentle and kind as you. You've always been like that. Even when we were growing up, I'd always see you share candy with your friends or whatever. And I distinctly remember you always being the guy who cheered his friends up after they got dumped or whatever."
I looked away, a little bit flushed. Maybe she was being serious, after all. But, I didn't like to think of myself as super nice. That kind of takes away the point, I guess. Besides, I didn't think I ever did something special. Most people were nice, I thought. But then I looked at my sister, and the mess her apparently dickish boyfriend had left her in.
"Was I ever mean to you when we grew up?"
She suddenly asked.
"Uuuh, not that I remember. We didn't talk that much, but you never bullied me or anything."
"That's good. I would feel so shitty if I knew I made your childhood a living hell or something."
I didn't say anything. I was a bit... Suprised, honestly. I feel pretty average - Below average on most things, in fact. Didn't think my sister would feel so highly about me.
"You know what, let me return the favor. For you listening to me ramble and all."
I curiously looked at her.
"This weekend, I and Rick were planning on going to this party. I don't know if he's planning on going, but either way, I am. And you can come along if you want."
I sat quietly.
"It's going to be pretty big, and there's going to be a lot of different people, so you won't just stand around a bunch of old people like me."
Nothing she said made me feel calmer, to be honest. I didn't like parties, never had. I had gone to a few, but... I don't like drinking, I don't like the noise, there are so many people, so if you do anything stupid you're going to stand out like a sore thumb, with everybody staring at you. That's probably why I had never really had many girlfriends, or even one night stands.
I felt like declining. But, when I glanced at her, she seemed so hopeful. Her smile was so nice, with her round face and chubby chins.
"Okay, I'll come."
Her smile broadened.
"Good for you, darling. Who knows, maybe you'll even find some cutie for a girlfriend?"
She giggled at my face, as she then stood up.
"Let me make dinner. I'll treat my favorite little sibling to something nice, okay?"
"Aren't I your only sibling?"
I asked sarcastically, to which she responded in a joking manner:
"Don't sweat the details!"
I smiled as she began working in the kitchen. She was so motherly sometimes. And, I was getting quite hungry. I decided to get on the computer to distract myself while she prepared dinner. Normally, I would offer to help her, but she had made it quite clear that this was a treat for me. So, instead, I went into my small little hideaway, opened a window so I wouldn't cook to death in the late summer heat, and started looking at guides for programming. I had become interested in doing that recently and was trying to teach my self. It was really, really fucking slow, and my progress was questionable. But, progress none the less.
Dinner was salmon steak with potatoes. Indeed, it was lovely.
After that, the week crawled on by slowly. I didn't see Rick come by our apartment, which he usually did quite frequently. I did, however, quite often come home to my sister in her bedroom talking on the phone in a rather hushed manner. I figured that that was her and Rick trying to solve their dispute and fix their relationship. Honestly, even though I didn't particuarly like Rick, I did hope that he and Jessica would solve the issue. Jessica was really sweet and deserved to be happy. If Rick was the guy to do that, then so be it.
But, as the days crawled by, she kept talking on the phones, longer and longer with each day, and rick still didn't come by. I started wondering how good their mending of the relationship was actually going. I'd often spot her coming out of her room around dinner-time, acting distracted and absentminded. She actually seemed sort of sad. Normally, Jessica was super cheerful, even when it was just her, and I tucked away in my room. I'd hear her sing some song, or talk to herself or something. She stopped doing that. So I decided to spoil her.
On that third day of successive behavior, I immediately went out on the town and bought flowers. Because Jessica loved flowers. As I said, she was a very motherly person, and so she loved taking care of plants. She wanted to have an animal but thought that she didn't have the time or space to care for one, so she settled for flowers. I didn't know which flowers she liked the most. As I walked into the flower shop, I felt like a fish out of water, to be honest. I had no idea what to look for. I must've made that pretty apparent because an older lady quickly came up to me and asked if she could help. With said help, I managed to pick out a pot with pretty pink ones called Peonies, or something of that ilk. I didn't know if there was anything special about them, and the pot they were in was really big, but they did look nice.
After that, I hurried on home, only to find Jessica still hidden away in her room, talking on the phone in a quiet manner. She sounded quite... Desperate, to be honest. She was talking with a shrill voice as if she was on the verge of tears. When I heard that, I was close to just barging in her room then and there, but I didn't. Instead, I put away the flowers in my room, in case she came out I didn't want her to see them and went to make dinner. Some simple lasagna. I knew she liked that. I wasn't a very good cook. I mean, I can make it edible, but I can't make it look all beautiful and well done as Jessica can. I tried sprinkling some of that green stuff she sometimes uses, but I didn't know if it worked all that well.
When I was done, I noticed that my sister was silent, and also still in her room. I was a bit worried, to be frank. So, instead of waiting for her to come out, as I had planned, I went to her room, with the food and plats in hand, and gently called out:
"Hey, Jessica, can you open?"
I heard movement from inside, and within moments she opened. I smiled when she did, but my smile quickly faded as I saw her face. She had legitimately been crying, as I could see from her reddened cheeks.
"Hey, what is it?"
She said, in an almost groggy tone. I was speechless for a moment before I recovered enough to say:
"I made some lasagna. You haven't eaten yet, right?"
I tried to ignore her obvious state, and simply be as nice as I could. She forced a smile and said:
"No, I haven't, but it's fine. I'm not that hungry."
"Oh come on, you have to eat. We can eat it in here if you don't want to come out."
I asked. She seemed hesitant but said:
"All right... But don't spill on my bed, okay!?"
I laughed, and said 'of course not'. I followed after her into her room. It was rather dark and gloomy, which was unlike her. She liked it bright and colorful, most of the time. We sat down on the bed, squatting out legs, and laid out out plates and utensils.
"It looks nice."
"I'm not good at lasagna, but I know you love it. I hope it tastes nice."
"I'm sure it will."
It was painfully obvious to me that she was faking positivity. I didn't point it out, though. I hoped I could cheer her up without being too aggressive about it. We ate in silence. I looked at her nervously, trying to gauge her reaction.
"Hey, this isn't half-bad"
She finally said.
"You're getting a lot better at this whole food thing."
"Well, my teacher isn't half-bad herself, so I guess that's why?"
She said, feigning offense. It was happy to see her cheer up a bit, but immediately after that, she got quiet again, as the sound of the forks and knives against the platters filled the painful silence. I swallowed.
"Wait a minute, let me get something."
With my heart in my throat, I quickly stood up and waltzed into my room on fast feet. I was really nervous, to be frank. I hadn't ever done something like this for my sister. I didn't know if it'd be sweet... Or just cheesy and dumb. But, I guess sometimes you have to take a leap. So, a moment or so later, I came back with the flower pot in my hand. When she saw it, I could see her entire face almost lightning up.
"Uh, I noticed that you've been feeling down lately... So, I wanted to get you something to cheer you up."