Jessica Thompson as That Girl

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XXIII. The Main Character

Jessica’s POV:

It wasn’t particularly hot that day or cold. It was kind of nice.

The type of day where it’s perfect to go out for a run or walk your dog.

The type of day where it’s good to have a picnic underneath the ever-changing colorful trees.

Not the type of day where you’re stuck inside the car with your brother for another ten minutes.

It is not the type of day you asked your brother if he has a thing for your best friend while being stuck in a car with him.

Steadily, my eyes glazed over when he didn’t respond. “Hey,” I said. “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

He passes three yellow lights in a row. It almost seems as though he’s trying to get home as fast as possible to avoid my question.

“Don’t tell me,” I said. The music in the background seemingly fades. “You like Krista?”

Brody’s hands firmly squeeze against the wheel before he stops at a red light. There’s a lot of lights on the way back to our house. He laughs, “Come on. I like Krista? You can’t be serious.”

You would think it’s time to laugh. Burst out laughing and thigh-slapping at his response. But I didn’t. Instead, I continued to stare at him in silence. Why? It’s because he’s dodging the question. All I needed was a firm yes or no. Instead, he ran in circles.

In the past, I’ve never asked Brody if he likes Krista. He dodges her advances as if avoiding a bullet, so everyone assumed he didn’t like her. If he did, he could’ve hooked up with her instead of getting different girlfriends.

It was only logical to believe he only sees her as his little sister’s childhood friend or a little sister herself.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

But, with Jax’s words, my curiosity got the best of me, and I took a sneak peek of what’s inside Pandora Box.

How could I not see it?

The answer is obvious.

It’s because I choose not to see it.

Not to acknowledge Brody’s feelings for my best friend.

Why?

Because she’s my best friend.

Brody already has everything. Looks, brains, body, and talent. No matter what my parents say or do, I know they favor him more. I mean, who wouldn’t prefer a child that makes them look so good? It’s only logical. Although sometimes, I do feel sour, I don’t hate them for that. If I have a child, like Brody, I favored him too.

But, now, you’re telling me; he has a thing for my best friend?

You gotta be kidding me!

Outside I may seem calm and collected, but inside, I was raging a tornado.

When we got home, Brody unclicked his seatbelt and got out of the car like it’s on fire. After several steps, he knocks against the glass door, “Coming?”

I unclicked my seatbelt and got out of the car. The whole day was quite the blurred from watching tv to eating dinner to washing the dishes. I noticed that Brody would continuously glance at me, but I didn’t acknowledge it. If I weren’t such a quiet person initially, this would’ve seemed suspicious.

Should I tell Krista that Brody likes her?

Should I tell Brody that I know he likes her?

Should I just keep it a secret from both of them?

Should I approve of them dating?

Should I disapprove?

Do I have the right to approve or disapprove?

I mean, yes, Krista is my best friend, and Brody is my older brother, but whatever that happens between them shouldn’t include me. That’s the nonrealistic thinking.

In reality, it does affect me alot.

If they get together and stay together - good.

If they get together and separate - bad.

We’re all in high school, and the chances of them separating is quite high. What are we going to do once they do separately? Wouldn’t it be awkward for Krista to come over afterward?

The more I think about their relationship, the bigger the headache grows.

I can understand why there’s a rule for this—not dating your friend’s sibling or your sibling’s friend. The aftermath of things can be pleasant, but it can also be a big disaster.

I stop scrubbing the plate.

Todd Barrett.

This whole situation somehow reminds me of him.

Friend’s sibling.

Sibling’s friend.

Todd and I used to be close when we were younger, but we grew apart one day.

I stared at the plate.

Wait. No. I could be thinking too deeply into this whole situation, and now, I’m making up a problem. There’s no way Todd is staying away from me because of Brody.

Then, it surfaces.

The kiss we had when we were younger.

The sudden distancing after the kiss.

The - “What if I don’t have a girlfriend?”

The notes he kept inside his binder.

The looks his girlfriends always give me.

The - “Toad has a thing for you.”

At the time, I slightly believed Jax but not quite. Who would believe a guy they know for a month? That’s ridiculous.

I exhale softly and rinse the dishes.

What differences does it make if Todd does like me?

Does it change anything?

Not really.

He chooses not to confront me about it.

He chooses to get a girlfriend.

And reality says guys with girlfriends are troublesome.

What can I say after finding out everyone’s feelings?

“Hey, Brody. I feel uncomfortable that you like Krista, but go for it. Just don’t break up and put me in a difficult situation afterward.”

“Hey, Victoria. I know things are sticky between you and Brody right now. But, here, I’ll make the situation worse. It turns out my brother has a thing for my best friend. Oh, you’re so right to feel threatened by her.”

“Hey, Krista. Brody actually likes you, so tell him that you know because of me. Oh, and also tell him I don’t respect his reasoning for not chasing after you.”

“Hey, Francis Weber. I know I said you have my support, but Krista and Brody have mutual feelings. So, you’re out. But, you’re good looking and rich. So, no harm, no foul, right?”

“Hey, Todd. I know that you like me and I know you have a girlfriend. But, I sort of like you too. Also, you’re my brother’s friend, so that’s also another sticky situation. What should we do? I don’t know.”

“Hey, Megan. I know you and Todd are together, and things seem to be going well, but he kind of likes me. Yeah. I should apologize for attempting to ruin a decent relationship.”

“Hey, Jax. I hate you for forcing me to acknowledge everything because of your blunt personality. I hate you, but at the same time, I think I’m developing a thing for you.”

Everything sounds ridiculous, even inside my head.

“What’s wrong, sunshine?” I look up to see dad rolling his sleeves. He grabs a dish and rinses it off for me.

I look around the room.

It’s empty.

“I’m reading this book,” I said.

“Yes?”

“And there are these characters.”

“Yes?”

“The main character-” me “found out that her brother likes her best friend. But, the brother has a girlfriend, things aren’t going well between the brother and the girlfriend because the girlfriend was mean to the younger sister. The best friend also has a fake boyfriend who likes the main character’s best friend. The main character made a pact with her best friend’s fake boyfriend because she felt it was unhealthy for the best friend to continue chasing after the brother. Yes, the best friend likes the brother too, but the brother seems to reject the best friend because of his sister. What should the main character do?”

Dad stares at me as if I magically turned into another person. “Well-”

“Also, the main character found out that one of the brother’s friends likes her. She kind of likes him back. But, he has a girlfriend, and things seem to be going well between them. And, she recently found out she may or may not like this other guy.”

“W-Well-” He clears his throat, “Well-”

“Oh, and the main character, two other friends, has a thing for each other. Should she do something about that?”

“Wow,” he chuckles, “That’s quite the teenage lifestyle book. I didn’t know you were interested in those.”

Of course, he would be surprised. I don’t remember ever picking up a teen fiction book. I don’t even remember ever reading a book in my free time. “It’s a recent thing.”

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