yeah, they're related
He feels dirty and disgusted.
No, no, no, it's wrong. It's so wrong.
Sometimes he wants his mom to find out that Alex isn't her dad's kid, wants his mom to find out Alex was the love child of some torrid affair.
But it would never happen.
He still wants it to.
It's not right. Not right at all.
She's sitting on the couch watching a comedy show, laughing at some guy walking around in his underpants.
He notices. Notices things he shouldn't notice about his sister, her smile, her eyes, her laugh, her god damn beauty.
He wants it all to stop.
He hates sitting next to her at dinner, watching a movie with her on "family movie night" because he's so close he can smell her flowery perfume. It intoxicates him, like alcohol, but he thinks it's worse, and he feels like he almost can't control himself, almost.
"Hey Alex, what's up?"
She greets him with a wave of her hand, signaling for him to shut up, and goes back to watching the show.
"Popcorn?" she offers, shaking the bowl haphazardly in his direction.
He refuses it.
Sitting next to her makes it hard for him to breathe. He doesn't want to do anything to give himself away.
She'd be disgusted, she'd never want to talk to him again, and he guesses that it's all for the best.
He dismisses it as hormones.
He wonders how life can be so screwed up.
Who the hell decided it was okay for him to feel physically attracted to his sister? He doesn't think it's okay, no one would.
It's raining, and the jagged lines of lightening light up the sky followed by the low rumble and crack of thunder.
She would be here any minute.
Thunder storms were her weakness, fear, and "falling in love" she had once told him.
He can hear her footsteps, cautiously making her way to his room, uneven because she picks up pace when the thunder sounds.
"Justin?" she asks the darkness.
She knows he'll always be there.
"Yeah, it's alright, I'm here."
She walks around to sit on the other side of his bed as he rolls over to make room for her.
They lay in the dark, and he turns to see her face, lit up by the lightening and she's staring at him. He's moments away from losing his self control, but the light disappears, and they're drenched in darkness.
It shouldn't feel wrong. It's a brother and a sister sharing a bed. Nothing physical was going on, but he can feel the heat radiating off her body and he wants her and it's wrong.
As he's just about to fall asleep he feels her fingers locking in to his.
The next morning he wakes up and she's gone.
He wonders if it was all just a dream.
It's the weekend, and their parents are gone on their honey moon, and Max is sleeping over at a friend's house.
He thinks that he shouldn't want to spend it at home alone with his little sister.
But he does.
They decide to watch a movie, something gory enough for her and with the right amount of sci-fi for him.
The movie is long, and by the time it's done, they're both half asleep already.
He carries her up to her room and puts her to bed before he returns to his room.
He's just changed in to his pajamas when she walks in.
"Hey…do you think I could bunk with you since mom and dad are away? The house is weird empty…"
"Yeah, sure, no problem…you can take the bed, and I'll take the floor."
"Hey, I'm not mean enough to make you sleep on the floor of your own room. You can sleep on the bed."
She shows him a couple of pillows and places them in the middle of the bed, "like a barrier" she says.
He agrees and they lay stiffly next to each other.
She's a wall of pillows away.
"Justin," she asks one day, "do you think we'll ever find love?"
He's racking his brains for some reassuring reply, but he can't find anything, "I don't know Alex, I don't know."
"Sometimes," he continues, "the person we're in love with is the one person we can't have, so we just have to settle for second best."
"I don't want second best."
"We don't always get to decide that."
She leans her head and places it onto his shoulder and he wills his heart to slow down.
"I guess we can settle with at least having them in our lives."
"Yeah," he breathes into her hair, "sometimes, that's the best you can have."
It's all good-byes and packing for the next few days.
It's his dream school that he's gotten in to.
She mopes around the house, making less of an effort than usual in her clothes.
"Hey, you can still call me."
She grumbles something and turns away.
"Hey, want to help me pack? You can pick out less nerdy outfits for my first days at college."
She snorts, "You'll still be a nerd, under all that cool…"
It's this constant back and forth that he thinks he'll miss the most.
His bags are packed and he's ready.
He's leaving this time, and he wonders who will be there for her when it rains, thunders.
Their parents and Max are waiting at the airport, having come home from chaperoning Max's school trip.
"Well, I guess this is it."
She sighs, tapping his suitcase with her fingers, "Yeah, I guess so."
"We should probably get going; mom and dad are waiting for us."
"Justin." She touches his arm and he's scared, so scared.
He turns around and she's staring at him again, like that night when it thundered, the same indiscernible expression in her eyes.
He lets his guard down, because he figures he's leaving and he wouldn't see her in so long, so why not?
He's close, closer than he's ever let himself get to her.
The perfume, he can smell it, and his hearts going to explode.
He's losing it.
She moves closer to him, and he's sure now that she's had the same problem, the same self disgust.
"Do you feel disgust?"
His breath tickles her face.
"All the time." She laughs out, but she's crying, "Does it kill you to want something you can't have?"
"As much as it kills you..."
"Sometimes, you have to settle with having them in your life and only getting second best."
She's quoting him and he hates life, hates it so much right now.
"Sorry Alex, this…we, we're against the rules."
He stutters it out.
"When have I ever followed the rules?"
She whispers it quietly, and he can't breathe, and he thinks the only way he can stay alive is to kiss her and to stop listening to society.
She beats him to it.
She always did.
He loses it.
He slams her against the front door and he's kissing her for the first and last time. She pulls him towards her because even with so little space between them, he could never be further away.
They're at the airport, and the pain has been replaced with a hollow feeling of emptiness.
He pulls her in to a hug, and their parents start to tear up because of the love between brother and sister.
They don't know the half of it.
He rips himself away and doesn't look back.
She wonders who she'll go to when it thunders.
She's never been more scared in her life, because she wasn't afraid of falling in love.
She was afraid of falling in love with him.