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“This is exactly why I didn’t call you Jeff. You freak the fuck out over the littlest thing.” I don’t know if what just happened to me is truly a ‘little thing’, but my brother doesn’t need to know that. He’s already on the edge, I don’t need another tirade about why I should live with him. The tough thing is, I love him more than anyone else in the world. And him, me. That’s why we fight so hard - because we love so hard. Our parents were taken from us by a drunk driver when I was 15, Jeff 18. He gave up on college and became my guardian, so I didn’t go into foster care. Despite that, he is now co-owner of a successful gym. I am beyond grateful for everything my brother has sacrificed for me. I absolutely adore him, so when he becomes this overprotective asshole, it’s hard to not punch him in the throat.

“J-bird-“ his tone is so condescending. I hate it when he does this – just like Dad used to. At least back then I was a kid, I’m an adult now. He’s only three years older than me, sometimes it feels like three decades.

“How did you even know something was going on anyway?” That’s a good question. Jeff has his own place about half a mile away. Did he hear the sirens and what? Just assume I was dying? He looks… guilty. Something is up. “Jeffrey, tell me on your own or I’ll make you.” I see that the Terrible Trio are with him; RJ, Trevor and Nick – his best friends since high school. They’re more surrogate big brothers I don’t need, as much as I love them. The three are the rest of the co-owners in Jeff’s gym, and all four rent a large house together. God help any woman that tries to hang on long term with any of them. Marry one, you get four. “Jeffrey!”

“We were just driving by and saw the commotion, that’s all.” Not.

“I know when you’re lying to me Jeffrey – and your nose should be poking my eye out about now. Spill it or I start kicking balls, and I don’t mean soccer.” Now all four of them are avoiding my gaze. Motherfuckers.

“Alright, who wants to taste ball sac first?”

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