Chapter 6: Less Like a Brother, More Like a Blanket
I’m in Levi’s room, playing Bioshock Infinite on his PlayStation 3.
I just started not too long ago so I’m only halfway through the intro part of the game when Levi suddenly takes the controller out of my hand. He moves to block my view of the TV.
I let out an almost inhuman sound in annoyance as I look at him with narrowed eyes. “What are you doing?” I ask.
It’s been a week since Silas forced a kiss on me in front of the main building in school.
At first Levi gave me the cold shoulder but it didn’t take more than a day for him to he caved in and everything was back to normal.
Levi says nothing as he turns the console off before setting the controller on the edge of his TV stand.
I feel more annoyed by this action. “Seriously, what’s going on? You told me I could play this game but now you’re stopping me before I can even save my little bit of progress. I’d expect this type of thing from Silas but not you.” I say unable to stop myself from pouting.
Levi frowns at me. “Don’t compare me to Silas. Why does everyone do that? It should be the other way around. I’m the older one, I get good grades, I stay out of trouble, and I’m a nice guy. Yet, why is everything always about Silas?” He complains.
Whoa! Did I just step on a freaking landmine with that one?
It’s not like I constantly compare him with Silas, or actually I probably do compare them a lot since Silas also seems to get angry when I mention Levi too much. In my defense though, my comparisons have always been in Levi’s favor so I really don’t understand his rant right now. I also don’t know what it has to do with him shutting off the game.
“Okay, cool down. Jeez, I was just saying. Tell me why you shut the game off? I mean, seriously. I wasn’t even done with the intro yet.” I grumble out still worrying more about the video game than his little outburst.
Levi lets out a long sigh before shaking his head. “Silas got in trouble again and I have to go pick him up from. I’d let you stay here and play but...” He trails off.
I make a face at him “But...?” I echo back.
He gives me a sharp look before walking over to his nightstand to snatch his car keys. “It’s nothing. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to leave you here by yourself. It would be better if you just went home. I’ll text you later to hangout, okay? I’m sorry.” He sounds genuine about the whole thing.
I can’t really argue against him when he’s like this. “Fine,” I reply even though I’m not too happy about it. “I don’t see why you’re always trying to act like my big brother.” I mumbled under my breath as a small last act of defiance.
I hear the sound of Levi’s car keys smacking against the hard wood floor. Before I can turn my head he’s already hovering over me. I peer up at him from my spot on his bed. “I’m not your big brother, Rin.” He tells me in a tone that makes me shudder slightly. He leans forward carefully touching the back of my head as he kisses my forehead gently. “Please realize that soon.”
I feel my face heat up. I wasn’t expecting him to do that.
“I have to go. Lock the door behind you and then go straight home.” He says as he moves to pick up his car keys from the floor before leaving.
Not my brother, eh?
Whether he likes it or not, Levi Whittenbeck is like the older brother I’ve never had.
Being an only child was tough for me when I was younger.
I was always jealous of Levi and Silas since they shared the bond of not only being siblings but also being twins.
From before Levi and I officially became best friends he still always gave off that warm brotherly feeling.
It’s really hard to think of him as anything other than an unofficial big brother, even if Levi’s feelings for me don’t seem so brotherly anymore. It just feels wrong to me. I guess maybe I should stop thinking of him as a brother...
Actually now that I think of it, Levi is less like a brother and more like... Hm. How should I put it?
Maybe a comparison might make my thoughts easier?
Silas is like a hurricane, uncontrollable and reeking havoc wherever he goes. He’s flashy and hard to ignore but easily disliked and gives off a feeling that makes you want to avoid him at all costs. Yeah, he’s definitely a hurricane.
Levi is the exact opposite.
Levi is... Levi is like a warm and comfortable baby blanket.
At my weakest moments I always cling onto Levi just as if he really is some childhood blanket that I’m quite fond of.
Yeah, I guess a blanket is a good way to describe him. A baby blanket is always there when you’re troubled by something and it always soothes you when you need it most but no one in their right mind would ever consider wanting to have a romantic relationship with their baby blanket.
It’s harsh but true.
Has my caring baby blanket really fallen in love with me?
Even if I keep trying to pretend like I think it’s all a joke it’s not hard to tell that Levi’s being honest with his feelings, though I just don’t know how to deal with these feelings of his.
Why did everything become so complicated in such a short period of time?
Life lately has been like the storybook Red Riding Hood.
The Big Bad Flirt (Silas) is on the prowl chasing after Rin Riding Hood (yours truly), and fighting with the reliable Huntsman(Levi) over who gets to devour(date?) Rin Riding Hood. Or something like that.
Forgive me, I haven’t read that book since I was seven so I might have gotten it all wrong but I think I’m pretty close.
Anyhow, forget that storybook nonsense I’m going on about...
As I see it, it’s impossible for my relationship with Levi to stay the same.
What’s going to break first? My perception of him? Or his of me?
Something has to give but I’m pretty sure it won’t be me.
After Levi leaves,I lock up his house. I then walk the short few steps it takes to get home.
Mom doesn’t let me have a video game console because she thinks video games are mindless self indulgence. I’m not allowed to have a TV in my room either and the TV in the living room is password protected for a majority of the good channels. All I can access are kiddie channels and news channels.
What am I five?
The boredom gets so bad that I actually consider doing my homework but instead I opt to take a nap.
Beauty sleep over studies and all.
The nap doesn’t last long though. Maybe a couple of hours and then I’m wide awake again.
That’s when I finally do get bored enough to do my homework. My teachers will probably be shocked when I actually have homework to turn in for tomorrow.
Except for math I’m nowhere near being bored enough to do my math homework.
Math can suck it.
It’s not until after dinner that Levi finally sends me a text message apologizing again and explaining the situation.
Apparently Silas was accused of shoplifting at a clothing store, but the accusation turned out to be proven false by the surveillance videos.
It’s no surprise that anyone would accuse Silas of theft... After all, that guy has a bad reputation and rumors always spread fast in small towns.
At the end of the text message Levi asks me to meet him out front.
I put my shoes on before heading outside.
“Yo!” I call out as I see Levi already waiting in his front yard.
“Let’s go for a drive.” He blurts out quickly. He’s not smiling though and he seems a little off which makes me feel anxious.
I open my mouth, wanting to refuse- but then I decide against it. “Okay,” I murmur out.
Two hour later Levi’s truck is parked just before the state line between our home state of Tennessee and the neighboring state of Kentucky.
When he first said to go for a drive I didn't know he meant this far out...
We’re already here though so it’s not like I can protest now.
We sit in the bed of his truck basking in awkward silence.
I tug nervously at the ends of my hair as I wonder what's going on with Levi.
I’m a bit too scared to ask because I’m not sure if I’ll like the answer.
Levi keeps staring at me with his stormy grey eyes. It almost feels like he’s looking right through me rather than at me.
I don’t like it.
I don’t like it at all.
“So... why did you bring me out here?” I finally muster up the courage to break through this awkward silence.
Levi adverts his eyes finally.
I feel relieved by that.
“I just... I don’t know. I guess I wanted to get away for a bit. I wasn’t really thinking.” He admits. His voice sounds so quiet that I have to lean close to him in order to hear what he’s saying. “Every thing has been so messed up lately. Things just aren’t going the way I want them to.”
I bite the corner of my lip before I open my mouth to say something that I know I shouldn’t. “What’s not going your way?” I foolishly ask, even though I’m 99% sure I know his answer.
Levi’s eyes are back on me again. His expression is so serious that it startles me. “Well, the girl I’m pretty sure I’ve been in love with since the ninth grade refuses to acknowledge my feelings.” His words are like a punch to my stomach.
“Levi-” Before I can say anything else Levi presses his finger against my lips, shushing me.
“To make matters worse I’m not the only one who’s been in love with her. My stupid little brother has been in love with her for even longer.” He adds on. Those words are another punch to my stomach.
Even if he doesn’t say my name I know I’m the girl he’s talking about. I’ve known from the start that this was coming yet I still have been acting naive about the whole thing.
“I want to go home.” I breath out not knowing what else to say. Anything I say will probably just make it worse anyways.
I can see the sadness in Levi's eyes but he just nods in agreement. “Yeah. Let’s go home.” He rasps out.
It’s late when I get home. My parents are not happy that I’m home late on a school night.
I take a scolding and the punishment of having my phone taken away for the night.
I’m okay with that.
What I’m not okay with are these emotions that I feel right now.
Why did Levi have to tell me that?
Why couldn’t he let me continue to play dumb as if I hadn’t already noticed that his feelings for me had changed? Why did he have to bring Silas into it too?
Wasn’t one person enough to worry about? Why now do I have to be so hyper aware of both of their feelings towards me?
Everything is confusing and painful right now.
I can’t even think straight.
All I know is that things are definitely going to change between all three of us and I don’t want that.
I want to continue being best friends with Levi because I can’t imagine my life without him.
I want to continue to sort of hate Silas but secretly care about him in a strange way. I really can’t imagine my life without him either.
I’m selfish and I want things to stay the same. I can’t help it.
As I curl up on my bed I try my hardest to fall asleep but I know I won’t be able to.
My heads too filled up with the words that Levi said.