"Hey Sam, you wanna go grab a bite at the diner?"
Sam shook his head, not even looking up from the book he had been "reading" for the past few hours. Strangely enough, this ex-Stanford prelaw student had only gone from page one to four in all that time. Guess Ivy Leagues just aren't all they're hyped up to be anymore. Actually, I've barely even seen Sam's face properly in the last week. Or heard his voice. Since the job at the asylum, that is. You know, since he attempted to kill me.
Look, I know that Doctor Ellicott poisoned his mind against me and basically forced him to try and kill me, but, truth is, the only way he could have done that was if Sam already had those thoughts and feelings inside him. And apparently, he did.
At first I refused to talk to him completely. He was crying, sobbing in fact, telling me how sorry he was and asking me if he could patch up the wounds that he himself inflicted upon me. But I just point blank refused to speak or even acknowledge his existence. You can't blame me, can you? How would you feel if your little brother hurt you like that?
The wounds weren't even that bad. Sure, they hurt like hell for the first few hours, but it was just rock salt. I've had much worse, it comes with the territory. But there was a constant ache in my chest, which I knew, annoyingly enough, was not physical pain.
How could he do that to me? How could he say all those things to me? After all I've done for him; it was the biggest slap in the face.
But I guess I do forgive him. Actually, I know that I forgive him. I need to see those big puppy dog eyes and that dimpled smile. I really need to hear that whiny voice telling me off for playing my music too loud or eating like a pig. I just need him to be my pain in the neck baby brother again. Is that too much to ask?
"Sammy, please stop pretending to read and look to me."
Surprisingly enough, he actually listened to me. Kinda wish he hadn't though. That pain in my chest? Yeah, pretty much unbearable now. Those puppy dog eyes were bloodshot and watery, his lip was quivering uncontrollably. His breath was hitched.
"I'm s-s-sorry D-dean. P-p-please don't be m-mad at me."
The tears stung in my own eyes hearing that frightened little voice that sounded all of five years old, not twenty-two. Everything in me wanted to rush over to where he was sitting and wipe away all those tears that were now streaming down that innocent looking face. I felt like we were in a damn Sally Field movie.
So, guess what I did?
Within a couple of seconds I was crouched down in front of him, my palm on his right cheek, gently stroking away the offending tears. Chick flick moment be damned. I tried making comforting noises, tried settling those uncontrollable sobs. He was leaning away from my touch, feeling he didn't deserve any sort of affection or kindness from me. So I got up and wrapped my arms around him, embracing my little brother like I used to all those years ago when we were just kids.
"Its okay, Sammy, its okay. I forgive you. Gosh, kid, I forgave you ages ago. I know you didn't mean any of it. It wasn't your fault, okay kiddo?"
Within a few minutes he was settled down and out of my arms, lying down on his bed. We still hadn't broken contact though. His head was on my shoulder, my face buried it that wild mass of brown locks. In unanimous silent agreement it was decided that we share a bed like we used when we were little. And damn, I was sleepy. Who knew that a chick flick moment could be so draining?
"Yeah little brother?"
He was now looking up at me, a mix of sleepiness and adoration in those big eyes. I hated how much he had me wrapped around his little finger.
He gave me that infectious smile of his and then completely caught me off guard with a kiss on the cheek.
"Okay. Goodnight big brother," he said quickly and closed his eyes.
I laughed and wrapped my arms around him, nestling him against me.
Funnily enough, that ache in my chest has now disappeared.