#2 Trust me on this
I smile to myself when I hear Yoah singing along to the radio. He is without a doubt the worst singer in the whole world, and he couldn’t carry a tune if his life depended on it, but that doesn’t stop him from belting it out. I finish unpacking the box I was working on and fold it back into a flat piece of cardboard, putting it in the hallway with the others. It will take a few more days to truly settle into this place, but so far we’re doing alright.
I walk over to the bedroom where I can hear Yoah singing that he kissed a girl and he liked it, which makes me laugh out loud. He turns around when he hears me, his face alight with joy. His dark green eyes are so bright tonight that they could light the entire city, and my eyes move to his luscious red lips that is still forming the words of that cheesy Katy Perry song on the radio.
“Could you possibly get any cuter?” I ask him, walking over to give him a kiss.
“I could try, but I don’t think I could,” he replies, pulling me against him for a moment.
He’s right. He can’t. Which is exactly why I want to marry him. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to buy him a beautiful diamond ring soon, and I’m getting down on one knee and ask him to marry me. I’ll never meet someone like Yoah ever again, and for seven years now, he’s been making me happy. I should have proposed way sooner, but we were just so good together that I didn’t even consider it. That might sound strange, but… why change a good thing, right? Yoah is amazing, and our relationship has been good for seven years now, and I never really saw the need to propose.
That all changed when his dad, Christopher, called us two months ago and told us that there was an opening in the ER, and he took the liberty to submit my resumé. They wanted me to be an ER nurse, and I could start really soon, which meant moving to Yoah’s home town, and leaving Manny. To my complete and utter surprise, I told Christopher yes. Just like that, I decided that I wanted to do this, even though I felt horrible about moving away from Manny, and I loved my job in New York, the city, our friends…
I said yes.
I said yes because I knew right away this was what Yoah wanted. He loves his adoptive parents in a way I don’t love my own parents. He loves his two biological brothers. And he loves his two younger sisters. They all live in his home town, and I knew from the day we got together that one day, he would want to move back. For seven years, we lived in New York, and he was happy there, but I knew he missed all of them. He stayed for me and my brother, but he was never truly a New Yorker. He didn’t love the city the way I did.
For me to tell Christopher yes right away made one thing very clear to me: I love Yoah. Of course I already knew that, or I wouldn’t have stayed with him for seven years. Still, the realization hit me all over again. I love him. More than anything. When you love someone so much that you agree to move to a different town, leave a job you love, and move away from your twin brother… That is the kind of love that people write songs about. Movies, books, all of those things. I love Yoah so fucking much I uprooted my whole damn life just because I knew he would be happier here.
When you love someone that much, it’s stupid not to put a ring on it. So I’m going to do exactly that. I’m not sure when or how, but I am doing it. I’m buying a ring soon, and I am going to ask him to be mine forever.
“What are we doing for dinner?” Yoah asks between kisses, his hands knotting in my hair.
“Hmm,” I reply, a little distracted by how good he feels against me. “Erm… pizza?”
“You’re perfect,” Yoah sighs, kissing me again. “Will you order for us?”
I give him one last kiss, and then we break apart. He goes back to putting our clothes in the wardrobe, and I sit down and pull out my phone to order our usual pizzas. I know every little thing about him, including his love for a cheesy crust and extra pepperoni. I know he cries when he watches a movie where a dog dies, that he’d love to have a dog of his own, that he idolizes his older brother Jagger, and that he is so excited about living in the town he grew up in that he can hardly contain himself.
Me… I’m okay. I’m… well, I’m nervous. So fucking nervous.
I look up from my phone to see Yoah sitting on his knees in front of me.
“What’s wrong, love?” he asks in a soft voice, his expression worried.
“Manny,” I admit. “He’s all alone now.”
When we moved out and took all our stuff to this apartment in Yoah's hometown, that meant leaving my twin brother behind. Manny, who has been there for me since the day we were born. He’s an addict, or rather an ex-addict, a recovering one, so of course I worry about him. We’ve been living together since he went to rehab, and I’m so fucking proud of the man he’s become, but I know he’s way more fragile than he likes to admit.
“I know,” Yoah whispers, his eyes filling with tears. “I wish he would have come with us.”
One of the things that made me sure that Yoah was the one? His love for Manny. Yoah and I had a complicated start, since I was with a girl when I realized I was in love with him, but when we finally got together for real, I knew that this was it. I didn’t need to look elsewhere. He loves my twin just as much as I do, and Manny adores Yoah.
“I just…” I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. Manny is my other half just as much as Yoah is. And not just because we’re twins, but because he’s my best friend in the world. He’s the only one who truly knows what it was like to grow up with our parents. I’m so scared he will fall off the wagon now that we’re gone. So fucking scared…
“I know,” Yoah says, pulling me in for a hug. “He’ll be fine. He has Karina.”
Karina. Right. Manny’s girlfriend. Yoah adores her, and I agree that she is a lovely girl, but she’s not the one for Manny. Not even a little bit. She’s this cute, shy, bookish girl. Not Manny’s type at all. Yes, she is nice, and I think she’s an amazing person, but she will never make my brother happy the way he deserves. He chose her because she’s safe, and he’s afraid to take risks. After his many struggles with addiction, I get that. I was there every step of the way, so I get it. I do.
That being said… Karina and Manny won’t last. When they finally realize that they’re not right together, he’ll be crushed, and I won’t be there to comfort him. Me and Yoah have been his support system for years, but we’re gone now. On the other side of the country. What will happen when Manny is tempted to drink? He used to come talk to me when he was struggling, but now…
What if me leaving him is the thing to make him fall off the wagon?
“I know,” Yoah repeats, even though I haven’t said anything. “I’m sorry. I know we moved here for me. I know you didn’t want to leave Manny.”
“It’s okay,” I assure Yoah. “He’s a grown man. He’s been clean for years now. He’ll be fine.”
Maybe if I keep repeating it out loud, I will start believing it.
“I’m so sorry,” Yoah whispers, looking down at the floor.
“Babe…” I pull him up and onto the bed with me so we can wrap our bodies around each other the way we like to. “It was my choice to move here.”
“For me,” Yoah insists, sounding emotional. “I know you did it for me. And I let you. I’m horrible.”
“No, you’re not,” I tell him, pulling back to look him in the eye. “You wanted to move back here years ago. The second you got into med school here, you wanted to move, but you stayed in New York instead. For me. For Manny.”
He’s never said out loud that he chose NYU for me, but I know he did. He stayed longer than he’d planned because he knew I didn’t want to leave Manny. Yoah and Manny are thick as thieves, which is great of course, but Yoah put his dreams on hold for the both of us, and I knew I needed to put a stop to that.
“Your family is here,” I remind him, running my fingers through his short dark hair. “You stayed in New York for me three years longer than you planned, and I love you for it. We’re here now, close to your Mom and Dad, your siblings… It’s okay, Yoah. It’s your turn.”
He buries his face in my shirt and tries to keep his tears at bay, but he fails. I hold him while he cries, and I hate that I made him so emotional. He never said it out loud, but he didn’t want to go to med school in New York. He didn’t want to live so far away from his family. He didn’t want us to live with my brother, no matter how much he loves Manny. He wanted to live with just me, to move back to be closer to his family, and he wanted to do his residency at the hospital his father and sister-in-law work at.
He stayed in New York for me. It’s only fair I finally chose him after seven years of him being there for me and Manny.
“Hey,” I whisper, rubbing his back. “It’s okay, baby. I love you.”
“Love you too,” he replies, pulling back to wipe his nose on his sleeve. “Sorry, I’m such a mess.”
“You’re not,” I assure him.
I want to say more, but the doorbell sounds. The pizza is here. I get up to buzz him into the building, and I wait at the front door to take the boxes from him.
“Thanks,” the pizza guy tells me with a wink when I hand him his tip. “That’s nice of you.”
“Erm… right,” I reply, not sure what to do with his intense stare. “Thanks.” I shut the door with him still standing in the hallway, taking the pizzas over to the dining table. Yoah walks in as well, and he gets both of us a bottle of water before sitting down across from me.
“Manny will be okay, right?” Yoah asks me as we dive into our pizzas.
“Of course,” I assure him, although I’m honestly not so sure. He’s not as tough as everyone always seems to think he is. And without us… I don’t know. All I know is that I needed to move here for Yoah, for our relationship, because I have never chosen him over Manny in the past seven years, and Yoah deserves a boyfriend who puts him first. Manny couldn’t live with us forever. He knew that too. He wanted to move out ages ago, but he never mustered up the courage to actually do it.
“He’s happy for us, right?” Yoah asks, wiping at his eyes before taking another bite of his pizza.
“Of course, he knows how badly you want to live here.” I smile at Yoah and push my feet against his leg, trying to comfort him. “He’s 27, Yoah, just like me. He’s been clean for a long time now. He has Karina, just like you said. He’ll be fine. Us moving here is a good thing.”
“Yeah,” he breathes, smiling wryly. “I know.”
To love a man who cares so much about your brother that he’s crying over it… This is exactly why I want to marry him. So fucking much.
I drop my pizza on my plate and get up so I can hug him. “You’re the most amazing person ever,” I murmur, holding him tightly. “I love you. We’re going to be very happy here, Yoah.”
“I hope so,” Yoah agrees, looking up at me with wet eyes.
“We will be,” I vow. “Trust me on this.”