Jessica Thompson as That Girl

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XXII. S Word

Jessica’s POV:

“Jess.” Brody hands me the keys. “I’ll meet you in the car.”

I grabbed the set of keys and made my way towards the car. I press the button, and the car doors unlocked. I look back to see Brody and Victoria in a heated battle. Everyone else was far away from them, but not too far, though. This will be tomorrow’s hot topic.

Head Cheerleader and Captain of the Swim Team Heated Battle.

Okay, I’m not good at coming up with titles.

I got inside the car and turned it on. After some moments, Brody came and slammed the door shut. I held onto the seat belt for my dear life when he drove off.

“I’m sorry,” I said when we arrived halfway home. “It kind of slipped out.”

Brody ran his fingers up his hair and grunted slightly. “It’s fine. I mean, I agree,” he said. “This autumn festival shit is driving me nuts too.”

“Well, it’s not driving me nuts or anything,” I grumbled. “So, what happened?” I’m not sure if he wants to talk about it or not, but I should at least try to ask about the situation I caused.

“Well-” he stops at a red light, “she said I should escort her to the autumn festival or-”

“Or?” I repeated.

“Or we should see other people.”

I mouthed: “Wow.” I puffed my cheeks, “What are you planning to do? Are you going to ask mom and dad?” I know if Brody asks, then our parents will allow him to go. Not right away, but if he bothers them enough, they will somehow bend the grounding rule. He did it before.

“No,” he responds.

“No? But she-”

“Are you fucking serious?” Brody asks. “She called you a loser, and all you’re worried about is how I’m not going to the autumn festival with her? Is there something wrong with you?”

I shrugged, “It’s not a big deal.”

“Not a big deal?” He scratches his head. “Why in the fucking world would you ever consider that as a small deal?”

“Because she’s not the first person who said that and I’m sure she won’t be the last. Plus, I mean, it’s not like you guys will last anyways.” I think I just had another oopsy. I feel like I’m just trying to pick a fight with someone today.

“You think we wouldn’t last?”

My eyes waiver back and forth, attempting to find the right answer. Since I messed up already, I might as well go on full truth. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Because she’s shallow like a puddle of water and you’re Brody. You’re a nice guy. A nice dolphin. And a nice dolphin like you would end up with someone deep, like the ocean.” Did that make sense?

His lips flatten, and he looks forward. His hands tightened against the wheel. “Jess. I’m not a nice guy.”

“You’re a nice brother. I mean, other siblings would have abandoned their hard to handle sister by now, but you didn’t. You always ask me if I want to sit with your friends or make sure I get home.”

Yes, I do notice all the nice things my brother does. All because he overshadows me in every aspect doesn’t mean I hate him.

“You really think a nice guy would’ve gone for someone like Victoria?” He asks. I guess even he knows that Victoria isn’t the nicest person in the world.

“Probably the sex.”

Brody swerved slightly, and I grabbed the door right away. Maybe he is trying to kill us. “What?!”

“What?”

“Did you just say the s word?”

“You mean sex?”

He gasps, “No!”

“What’s wrong with me saying sex?”

“No!” He shouted louder than ever. “You’re my younger sister. You’re not supposed to say that word.” His face cringes, “At least not to me. Doesn’t mom talk to you about this stuff?”

“You mean sex?”

“Yes!” Brody closes his eyes. He seems to really dislike it when I mention sex.

“I mean, she subtly does. She offered me a condom.”

“What! That’s all?”

“Yeah. Penis in the vagina without protection equals pregnancy, sexually transmitted, or both. I mean, what else is there to talk about?”

“That’s all you two talked about?”

“Well, STD is also transmitted orally. But, I knew all those things before she tried to talk to me. So, I told her I knew everything, and she offered a condom because she thought I would have a hard time getting it.”

“So, she didn’t have to explain anything to you?”

I stared at him. Don’t tell me. “Did dad talk to you about everything?”

He didn’t respond.

Wait another second. “Did you not know anything until dad gives you the talk?”

His eyes widen, “It’s time to go home,” he said. Quickly, he starts the engine and swerves us back on the road.

“Are you serious? It’s basic human anatomy.”

“I didn’t know until the talk, okay? I just thought girls smell nice.” He looks at me. “Except you.”

“Wow,” I mouthed. “That’s a surprise considering you sneak girls in every night.”

“You’re exaggerating.”

I banged my fist against the car door. He looks at me. I banged it repeatedly. “Did I also imagine that sound at night? You know your bed is parallel to mine, right?”

“I didn’t bring in any girls...or at least that much.”

My face cringes, “You’re-”

“No!” He exhales sharply. “I-”

I stared at him.

“I like to jump on my bed when I’m excited. And at night, my energy level elevates, and I jump on my bed frequently, okay?”

I stared at him. I never knew my cool older brother had such an embarrassing secret. “Me too.”

His eyes widened, “Really?”

“No.”

“Fuck. Just forget what I said.”

“I wish I can,” I mumbled. The image of my enormous brother jumping on his small twin size bed leap into my mind. It doesn’t look right.

“You’re imaging it.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Then, stop looking at me with that disgusting face.”

“This is me in my natural habitat.”

He pushes my face back, “Just stop.”

“Does mom and dad know about your elevated energy?”

“Yeah. How else would I sneak in girls and have se-”

Silently, we agree it’s best to drop the subject. I played with the radio, and he smacked my hand. He hates it when I mess with his music. “So, what’s going to happen now?”

“With?”

“Victoria.”

“I’ll talk to her when her heel isn’t in her mouth.”

“Sex is that great, huh.” And we’re back.

He glared at me.

I place two hands in the air as an act of surrender. Then, the thought arrives. “Can I ask you something?”

“As long as it’s not about the s word.”

“Do you like Krista?” Silence. I know it’s a bit too forward of me to ask, but I want to know the answer. Particularly with how Brady had been looking at Krista since Frances Weber’s extravagant appearance. “Are you not dating Krista because of me?”

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