I found myself at Kyle’s driveway the morning after I met Anabelle. After calling Ned in the morning he briefed me a little on what’s been happening with him for the past month. It was the first step I took since our break up. And although I was reluctant to be involved, I had to tell him about his brother.
I spent ten minutes sitting in my car, contemplating what I was about to do while staring unerringly at Kyle’s house. It took me a will of strength to finally get out of my car and walk toward his front porch.
I took a few deep calming breaths before buzzing at his door with nervous fingers. Somehow, I doubted he was in the house. From what Ned had told me, he has no idea where Kyle goes most of the time since he’s never at home.
I was about to give up waiting when the door wrenched open making my heart skip a beat at shock of it.
We both said with surprised tones at the same time.
Seeing him sent my pulse into overdrive.
He gave me his amused smile while I stood there in front of him and for a moment, as I smiled back at him, it felt like the last month hadn’t happened at all.
“May I come in?” I asked him, after a while of just staring deeply into each other.
“Yeah sure.” He invited me in.
I felt slightly confident for once since I last saw him as I walked through the door. Somehow, I managed to brush past him even though the door was wide enough that even an elephant could pass through it. Feeling his body heat and inhaling his scent disarmed me a little, but I straightened my back and walked past the familiar walls of his house until I reached the living area.
Kyle watched my movements like a hawk as he stood at the threshold of the living room door while I sat down on his office chair and swivelled it to face him.
Although he looked slightly confused with his frown, I could tell that I was a welcome presence from his smile.
“So what brings you here?” He asked at the very same time, I asked, “So how have you been?”
We both laughed nervously for an awkward second, until he gestured for me to go first.
“How are you?” I asked him.
“I’m good. I’m always good. You know that.” He said as he leaned against the wall of the door while crossing his arms.
I doubted his word but I nodded in agreement before I looked away from his form. It was seeing him like that, all tall and masculine, that brought back unwanted images of us being together. I swallowed them down deeply, repressing every urge to just run up to him and kiss him while demanding exactly why we split.
“What about you? I mean, I thought you’d be doing your internship by now?” He frowned slightly.
“I didn’t go. I guess Ned didn’t tell you, but yeah. I’m still around.” My voice was wary. I still didn’t know exactly where we stood at this moment. Where we friends or just ex’s?
“Oh.” He nodded as if in understanding although I could tell he was deep in thought about something.
It was silent again because both of us were desperately thinking of what to say next while awkwardly staring at the furniture or wall.
Kyle suddenly shook his head as if remembering something. “Do you want a drink or something to eat?” As he asked this, he left the threshold and disappeared quickly into the hallway, leaving me staring confusedly at his shadow.
“Um…okay.” I mumbled to myself I stood up from the chair and followed after him.
He was busy taking ingredients out for a sub as well as taking a glass out to pour orange juice into when I walked into the kitchen.
“So why are you here?” He asked me as he handed me a glass of orange juice.
I managed to take it from his hands without our skin touching and I thought of how I will answer his question as I sipped on the juice.
He had a hesitant frown on his face but that didn’t discourage me as I settled the glass on top of the counter and met his stare.
“I met someone yesterday.” I started.
“Oh.” He froze, his brows furrowing deeply.
He shook away the sudden emotion that rendered him and said, “I guess that’s good. You’re moving on.” He glared at the counter.
“Huh?” I asked, confused by his reaction. Then I realised what he must’ve heard. “Oh no, that’s not what I meant.” I shook my head as I placed my hand on my forehead. “It was a woman. I met a woman yesterday.”
“A woman?” His scowl changed into confusion.
“Yeah, Annabelle Higgins.” I told him.
“Anabelle Higgins?” He asked, pursing his lips as if trying to place the name.
“Am I supposed to know her?” He asked, his brows pulling upwards.
“Right. Sorry, of course you don’t know her.” I chatted as if we were having a normal conversation where everything was fine and dandy between us. “Okay, so I met her at Hill Park and she told me about this executive officer of Reycorp that she’s in love with.” I shook my head, stopping momentarily.
Kyle was listening attentively as I continued. “Anyway, remember that stranger I told you about, that man that was outside your house that day we–?” I stopped myself quickly, not wanting to refresh the memory.
“–well, it turns out that she knows him.” I continued. “So that same man I met a month ago is the same man whom is Anabelle’s boss.” I stalled.
Kyle stared at me as of waiting for me to get the point. But I didn’t want to get the point. I knew what revealing that point will do to him.
After a while of biting my lower lip Kyle’s eyebrows shifted into a frown. “You stopped.”
“I know.” I sighed. “Okay, here it goes…It’s Jason, Kyle. Your brother. Apparently that day I saw him was when he was about to come in and see you. Anabelle said she’s been getting him to contact you. But because he didn’t even knock at your door that day, she took matters into her own hands and met me today.” I breathed finally after rambling through everything. I took out the envelope from the bag I’ve been grasping tightly through the conversation.
I couldn’t meet his eyes as I handed him the envelope and said, “She said that Jason wanted to give you this.” I finally looked up to see his reaction.
He was too still. His eyes were hard as they glared at the envelope he now held between his fingers, as if the sheer weight itself burned him. My heart went out to him for that moment as I watched him. From the years I’ve known him, I’ve witnessed how the damage of his broken family marked him. I had an inkling of what he must be feeling or going through right now.
My reaction was out of pure impulse as I rounded the island and stood in front of him. I had to put aside our own mess because he needed me. I could see it in his sharp eyes that stared daggers at the envelope.
“Kyle?” My voice was hoarse.
He didn’t respond, so I touched his arm to bring him back to focus. He made a small movement but he was still rock solid. I was worried. I didn’t know what to do so I snaked my arms through his and pressed my forehead close to his chest as I hugged him.
He still remained unfazed.
“Please, please say something.” I muffled against his chest. My hands clasped tightly together behind his back.
Suddenly, I felt him shift and before I knew it, he gently pulled me away from him. I tried not to let his reaction sting as I watched him shift the envelope into his other hand. He looked like he was in a world of his own when he glanced absentminded at me before moving over to the other side of the island, where he placed the envelope.
I swallowed my emotions and asked, “Do you want to be alone?”
He looked up, trapping me with those listless eyes and nodded briefly.
“Okay.” I nodded too, pressing my lips together. “I’ll be in the living room.” I told him as I began exiting the kitchen.
He didn’t really pay attention to my departure. I didn’t want to leave him alone, whatever was in that envelope was unpredictable. I felt helpless as I reached his living room and began pacing to and fro.
I don’t know for how long I did this while patiently listening for any reaction from the other room. After a while, I just sat on his sofa with my head between my knees and thought of nothing else but how much he has grown from that small frail boy who’d lost everything, to this young man who was strong and so sure of himself even when sometimes his wounds still ran deep.
All I had done for him for the past eight years was try to repair him. But I knew now, that no matter how hard I tried and no matter what I did, the only way for him to ever be healed again was if he chose to face his demons, if he chose face the people who gave him those wounds in the first place.
I don’t know when the tears started, but I cried for him, for everything that he’d lost and everything that made him the person he was today. I realised then, as I lay balled on his couch that I loved him more than I loved anyone, even myself. And if there was something I could do for him, just to make him whole again, whether I was his friend or ex-girlfriend or whatever. If there was anything, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it. Even if it meant losing part of myself, I would do it; willingly, wholeheartedly. That was the extent of my love for him.
I guess I ended up sleeping through my tears when I felt a tugging and a soft sexy voice telling me to wake up an hour later.
I opened my eyes painfully to find Kyle crouched down beside the couch. He was playing with a tendril of my hair before replacing it back behind my ear.
“Hey.” I greeted him with my small smile.
He smiled lazily and the dark circles around his eyes told me that he’d gone through the contents of the envelope.
I sat up on the couch and Kyle reacted by burying his head in my lap.
I stopped breathing momentarily as my heart squeezed. I lifted one of my hand in mid-air, contemplating what to do with it. I ended up slipping my fingers through the thick swirls of hair that had grown back on his head.
He was silent in my lap and I didn’t mind as I kept running my fingers through his hair. As long as I was of some use to him, I didn’t mind at all.
He breathed out a deep sigh before he got up and stood before me. “Can I lie down next to you?” He asked me.
“Of course.” I nodded before I even thought twice of what he’d asked.
I made space for him and he scooted over until we were both pressed, face-to-face, against the couch. It was beginning to get dark outside, so I could not see his face except for the flash of green that were his eyes.
They caught mine in the silence that had fallen until I couldn’t stare at the anymore. I closed my eyes and buried my face against his shoulder. He responded by wrapping his arms around me, pulling me closer than ever.
“Good?” My voice was muffled against his shoulder.
I felt him his smile against my forehead as he replied, “Good.”
It was our own reassurance. I felt his sigh against my head and an overwhelming feeling settled below my ribs. I couldn’t describe how much I missed him, how much I missed us being this way, feeling his warmth and feeling safe in his arms as if nothing in the world could touch us.
“He wanted to see me.” His voice broke the silence. His tone was gruff against my hair and I could only imagine how hard it must be for him.
“It’s that what was on the envelope?” I asked, my voice still muffled.
“No.” He grunted a response.
I waited for him to continue.
“Just a letter, an old picture of us together when we were children, and a check.”
“A check?” I looked up to gauge his reaction.
His eyes were closed but when I shifted under him he opened them. He shrugged, “Said he’d been meaning to send money to me the day his business piqued.”
I didn’t respond to his reaction as I looked away and buried my face close to his neck. I simply asked, “What did he say in the letter?”
“That he was sorry for everything. He gave me an address to his place. He’s been living in Chicago for past eight years. I guess, when he came here he thought I was going to reject him, maybe that’s why he gave me his address.”
I frowned, “Do you want to see him?” I breathed against his skin. He froze and I felt his Adams apple bobbing.
“I don’t know.” The gruffness in his voice returned. “I feel empty, Key. I want to be angry at him but at the same time there’s a lot I want to ask him.”
“I think you should meet him. You don’t have to forgive him right away, I mean. I just think that maybe it’s better taking this chance to see his side of things.”
“Okay.” His sighed with his whole body and I felt him loosening his hold on me. I titled my head to see his face.
“You’re actually taking my advice?” I asked in disbelief.
He looked down and met my eyes, a slight humour glittering in his orbs. “Why are you so surprised?”
I scoffed and shook my head.
“Keya, I always listen to you. You don’t know it but I store everything you say to me.” He smiled that lazy smile that did wonders to his good looks.
“Well, good to know.” I mumbled.
He chuckled for a moment before sighing again. He pressed his lips against my forehead initiating a small sigh.
“So will you come with me?” He asked me, breaking the peaceful silence again.
“To where?” I frowned.
“Chicago.” He stated this as if it was obvious.
Shocked, I shifted to gauge his reaction. “Where your brother lives?”
His eyes rolled in “duh” motion.
“You’re going to fly there to see him?”
He smiled and nodded.
“But how?” My frown deepened.
“You’ve forgotten already? He gave me a check.”
“Oh.” I frowned slightly. “Um…how much is in it?”
He smirked, which was really refreshing to see after the ghostlike expression that had haunted his face earlier. “Why, are you a gold-digger now?”
I smacked him and this made him laugh. I glared at him but that only increased his smile. I was torn from feeling relieved that he was smiling again and smacking him again. In the end I chose hitting him.
“You know I was teasing right?” He laughed.
I rolled my eyes. “Just tell me the damn digits!”
He smirked. “One and six zeros.”
“What?” I almost chocked on my saliva.
He shook his head, his face going serious. “What Robert would kill to get his hands on that sort of money?”
“A million dollars?” I freed myself from his arms, I had to sit up for this. He followed after me as he pulled himself and leaned against the couch.
My jaw dropped for added shock. “What does he expect you to do with that sort of money?” I asked.
He shrugged. “That’s one reason I’m going to see him; to return it.”
My mouth pulled into an “O” as I stared at him. Although, at this moment he was acting nonchalant, I knew deep down he felt the profusion of his decision. He was finally going to see his brother after years of feeling abandoned. He had to be at least nervous about it. Who wouldn’t be, when you just found out that the person whom you’ve long lost hope of ever seeing again was trying to get in contact with you. If he wasn’t at least anxious then I was scared shitless for him.
✍️Authoress Ricky ✍️
To be continued…
Poor Kyle; he was left alone in his own world.
This kinda friendship is rare😞.
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