I walked into my childhood home and was immediately enveloped into a hug.
“Hi Mum,” I grinned.
“I missed you so much,” she pulled away and there were tears in her eyes.
“I haven’t been away for that long,” I laughed.
She swatted my arm with her dishtowel. “Any time away is a long time for a mother.”
“Sure, but Connor is around,” I smiled referring to my younger brother.
She shook her head sadly. “Connor hasn’t been around in a while and when he is here, you can see that his mind is somewhere else. I’m afraid that he’ll never truly be okay again.”
“Will he be joining us for dinner tonight?” I asked curiously.
“I have called to invite him, but his phone goes straight to voice mail,” she noted with concern.
“What time is dinner?”
“I thought you’d like an hour to get settled in before I served dinner.”
“That’s perfect,” I smiled and kissed her cheek. “I’m going to have a chat with Connor. I’ll be back soon.”
“Thank you,” she murmured.
“You don’t have to thank me,” I rolled my eyes. “He’s my little brother and I’m worried about him too.”
I walked towards the door when she stopped me. “Please bring him home,” she murmured.
“I’ll try my best,” I said not wanting to make any promises I couldn’t keep.
I pounded on the door to Connor’s apartment. It had been more than five minutes and he still hadn’t opened.
“Connor, if you don’t open this door right now, I’m calling 911,” I shouted as I pounded on the door again.
The door swung open and Connor stood there in grey pyjama pants and nothing else. His hair was ruffled, and his eyes were swollen.
“Luke?” he frowned at me.
“Aren’t you going to greet your brother properly?” I raised an eyebrow.
He pulled me in for a hug, unenthusiastically.
As we sat down in his kitchen, I noticed that he was uncharacteristically quiet.
“Connor, you have to let go of what happened. You can’t let it affect you this much.”
“No matter what I do, I keep thinking of Lara. I can’t seem to get over her betrayal.”
“Not all women are like her. She just wasn’t meant for you.”
“Never again,” he grumbled. “I could never go through that again and survive it.”
“I know healing is a slow process, but can I ask you for a favour?”
He nodded solemnly.
“Please visit mum and dad. They’re so worried about you. You haven’t been visiting or answering their calls. I bet you didn’t even know that I was in town this weekend.”
He shook his head. I noticed the guilt in his eyes.
“I promise,” he whispered in a raspy voice.
“Thank you. Now please will you get dressed, pack a bag and come home for the weekend?”
He looked at me sceptically.
“I promise we won’t discuss Lara. I just need some family time. I won’t even speak about the woman in my life.”
“There’s a woman in your life?” he asked with wide eyes.
“Please,” I rolled my eyes.
He smiled. “Now this I have to hear.”
I would tell him whatever he wanted to know if I could bring a smile to his face. I just hoped that he’d be able to put Lara behind him and find someone who loved him for who he really was.