Chapter 1: You've Got to Be Kidding Me
“Rin, I think I’m in love with you...” My best friend, Levi Whittenbeck suddenly blurts out.
I had just taken a gulp of cola right before his sudden confession. Embarrassingly enough Levi ends up with it spewed all over him.
“Excuse me? What did you just say?!” I can’t help but raise my voice at him. My face feels hot, so I assume it’s about as red as I think it is- which is really freaking red. I’m talking creepy clown nose red.
“You heard me.” Levi says as he shrugs off his shirt. I look down at what used to be a perfectly white shirt. Now it is stained with diet cherry cola.
My eyes then go to his bare chest.
For the first time I notice just how muscular he is.
“Don’t just take your shirt off!” I screech at him as I look away quickly.
Why am I being like this?
It’s not like I haven’t seen Levi shirtless before. Hell, we use to even bathe together when we were little; however, back then he was just a pip squeak.
Without meaning to I end up sneaking another glance at him.
Since when did he become so fit? Abs... Did he always have those?
I think my head is boiling over just thinking about it.
I force myself to look away.
This is embarrassing enough to make my face heat up even more.
“I’m all sticky now.” He complains, obviously displeased by me having spit my drink all over him. “I need to clean up.”
Quickly he’s gone, walking out of my room and down the hall.
I go to pick up his shirt from off the floor so I can go throw it in the wash.
Now that he’s gone, I need to calm myself down, but I imagine my face is still about fifty shades of red.
Ha. Fifty shades of red. Sounds like some weird smut book.
I chuckle at my own little joke as I walk to the washroom.
I toss Levi’s shirt into the machine before making my way back to my bedroom.
When I get back to my room Levi’s already waiting for me.
I feel much calmer now. I think I can face him without having such a flushed appearance.
Levi is still shirtless of course but this time it doesn’t faze me at all.
It’s just the same old Levi who I’ve known since we were in diapers. My best friend. Or more like my only true friend.
“So?” He says as he sits on the edge of my bed.
“Is this another one of your pranks, because it’s a little...” I trail off.
Of course, he has got to be joking. It’s Levi after all. He’s always goofing off, though one look at his blue-grey eyes tells me that my words have hurt him at least a little bit.
He gets up from my bed and stomps past me. “Yeah, it was just a joke, so forget I said anything.” He grumbles out. He now hangs his head low, refusing to look at me.
I grab his wrist just before he can reach the door. “Levi I-” I pause, not knowing what I can really say to make things better.
His previous words about possibly loving me are so random and unsure sounding. Besides, I have never looked at Levi in that way before.
How could I take him seriously?
The thought of him liking me seems weird and uncomfortable. I don’t want our relationship to change into something romantic because I honestly don’t think I can like him like that. Not now. Not ever.
He’s just the boy next door who I grew up with and befriended.
Sure, he’s attractive with his light brown hair that he keeps cut short, nicely sun kissed skin, eyes that look like the sea during a storm, athletic build, and his dimple that shows on the right side of his face every time he smiles.
Yeah, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t find handsome- but I’m too close to him to ever want to risk losing him on some impulse confession.
Furthermore, I know way too much about him to the point that the things I know turn me off to where he has no chance in hell of me returning any hint of romantic feelings for him.
I just can’t do it…
How do I get out of this situation? It seems like whatever I say will ruin our relationship either way.
I don’t want that.
For as long as I can remember it’s always just been me and Levi. Levi is the only one who has never misunderstood me. I feel like I have no other real friends besides him.
People often judge me before they even got to know me. It was lucky for me that we’re neighbors and our parents are friends. If it wasn’t for that maybe I’d be completely on my own.
It seems like ever since I was young, I attracted too much attention and too many rumors.
My mom is of Japanese descent and my father’s family is from Puerto Rico. So, I’m half Hispanic- half Asian. Which shouldn’t matter but in a small southern town I happen to stand out among many of the residents.
So, yeah. It’s meaningless to say this again but that’s why it’s always just been me and Levi against everyone.
When I snap out of my thoughts, I realize Levi is staring intently at me waiting for me to finish what I was saying.
“I-” I start again, but before I can say anything else my bedroom door slams open hitting Levi right in the face.
He curses under his breath as he moves his hand to cover his nose. I can see blood start to immediately seep through the cracks in his fingers. Without saying anything or giving me a chance to check the damage he quickly pushes past the person in the doorway before making his way back to the bathroom.
Today just isn’t his day, huh?
I peer up beneath my eyelashes to cast a look in the direction of the intruder.
Silas Whittenbeck stands there with his eyebrows raised and a smirk on his face.
“What were you two doing? Looked kinky.” He says in a tone that makes me feel repulsed.
He’s always coming into my room as he pleases even though I clearly don’t want anything to do with him.
I flip him the bird. “What are you doing here? I thought you had practice with your band?” I mumble before turning my back to him. “Jeez. Couldn’t you have at least opened the door more carefully? You better hope Levi is okay.”
Two rough skinned hands touch either side of my waist as I feel something softly brush against my ear. “Levi’s shirtless and your cheeks are flushed. You two finally do it or what?” He whispers.
My face starts to heat up again not only because his words are mortifying but because they piss me off.
What is wrong with this guy?
I turn around fast and punch him hard right in the shoulder.
“You’re such a jerk! You just slammed the door into his nose! What if you broke it? Shouldn’t you be more concerned about that? Besides, you know Levi and I- we’re not like that. You’re just misunderstanding the situation. I accidentally got cola on his shirt. That’s all. Nothing else happened, you weirdo.” I seethe out at him.
Silas smirks before looking over his shoulder. “She’s so dense, isn’t she?” He says.
I direct my gaze over to Levi who is standing there with tissues sticking out of both nostrils.
“Levi...” I murmur. “Are you...?”
“I’m okay. It’s just a nosebleed.” Levi gives a sad smile before shaking his head. “I’m heading back to my house. See you later, Rin.” He tells me as he seems to be trying to keep his voice even however he fails at it since I’m able to notice.
Silas gives me a wicked look before taking a step back from me. “You’re both idiots.” He informs me before moving to follow his brother.
Remember how I said it’s always just been Levi and me?
It has actually always just been me, Levi, and his asshole of a twin brother.