ll Closer Than This- St. Lucia ll
"This'll be great, won't it?" Everett says, glancing over at me for a second before back at the road, his hand entangled in mine as we flew down the country road, past the green, lush tress that soon would be plagued with yellows and oranges, reds and browns, before they fell off for the winter. How the summer had gone by so fast. And here we were, at the end of the road of it all. "A weekend… just the two of us. A whole house to ourselves. No distractions whatsoever. Just us."
On paper, a weekend with your boyfriend sounds like the perfect opportunity to just do everything you've always wanted to do, mainly all of the things you couldn't do due to parents, and siblings, and friends, and for me personally, my own discontent.
To celebrate the end of summer, we were going out with a 'bang' as Everett had quoted it.
Although now that I was here, in this car, the lake house drawing nearer and nearer, I wasn't quite sure I really wanted to do this, and if I was going to, if I'd really like it.
"Perfect." I say blankly, avoiding his gaze and instead looking out the window.
"What's wrong?" He says, turning to me, suddenly concerned, confused maybe.
"Oh, nothing. I'm just tired. It has been a long drive."
"Well, it'll all be worth it once we reach the lake house." I could practically hear the smile in his voice. How excited he was. How anticipating he was making this weekend.
Little did he know, just how much I was dreading it.
Suddenly, we're there in no time, the car approaching the big, luxe house right on the lake, the large dock extending out to the visible, green-blue waters.
From the outside, it looks the same as it did when I visited it so many years ago. I spent countless weekends with Drew as a child. Always jumping off the dock into the water, or roasting marshmallows on an open fire with him.
This place brought back a lot of memories. And finally being back here once again, I was kinda amazed I wasn't here with the very person I shared the same memories. It was always Drew and I whilst we were here. We were inseparable. When we were here it was like no one else mattered, or even existed.
But here I was, with the other twin, the one I would least expect.
"It looks the same." I say admiringly as I step out of the car, my large overnight bag in hand as I stood back, glancing at the gorgeous house.
"Yeah… brings back memories, doesn't it?"
I can't bring myself to say anything else, so instead I just echo, "Memories." recalling everything right before Everett grabs my hand again, pulling me into the house.
Everything from the inside is still as picture perfect as ever, exactly like a home out of one of those interior decoration magazines. A living room so big and open, a kitchen stocked with any edible item you could think of, and a grand staircase leading to four bedrooms, each with a perfect view of the lake, one of which, would be ours.
"Come on." He says pulling me up to our bedroom. The one we'd be sharing. God, it feels weird thinking that it was 'ours'. Originally I had asked if we'd have separate ones, but Everett insisted that we were in a place in our relationship where we could easily and comfortably share one.
I hadn't shared a bed since last year… with Drew. Oh stop it, Ruby, I command myself. Stop thinking about him.
Being on rocky terms with Drew wasn't a good thing, I was learning.
Since walking in on him and Ellie, something had permanently changed inside of me. Seeing that had made me… angry, to say the least. Jealousy boiled over me and I suddenly, might've knew what Drew felt. Why he was jealous, I couldn't put my finger on it.
But he had succeeded in his goal- hurting me. Giving me payback. Finally giving me exactly what I deserved.
Drew had never hurt me so much. Seeing him with that sl.t, it tore me apart. My heart seemed to break. My lungs wanted to collapse. My brain shut down. I spent the rest of the night crying, sobbing, even, before suddenly getting into a fit and throwing a vase to the floor, which, didn't work out well since I now had Band-Aids on multiple fingers from the glass that had stabbed me in the process.
All of that aside, seeing that… it hurt me. And I was still hurting.
I wander over to the window once inside the bedroom, looking at the dock, the waters, the sun that had just begun to sink a little bit lower. "Still so beautiful." I smile lightly to myself, speaking not even to Everett, but more so to myself, just in a feeble attempt to take my mind off my thoughts.
"Exactly like you." Everett says this just as his arms snake around my waist, then spinning me towards him, our bodies cladding and lips crashing into each other, suddenly becoming invested in yet another make out session I had no intention or desire of being in.
Before I know it, we're on the bed, I'm kissing him, he's kissing me, his body suddenly on top of me, his hand reaching underneath the transparent cover up, toying with my bikini bottoms before I push him off of me, my mind abuzz. Fixing myself I sat at the edge of the bed without a word.
"What? Moving too fast?"
"No…" I say defensively. "I'm just not in the mood," I stand up, extending my hand for him to grab. "Come on, we can go outside… admire the view. Isn't that what we came here to do anyways?"
No, we came here because he wanted to have s.ex with me. This is the correct answer, but somehow, by acting so naive to the subject, it's helping me.
The longer I could avoid it, the better.
His hand grasps mine and we're outside soon enough, no questions, or words, asked from Everett. We're at the edge of the dock, shoes kicked off to the side, feet dangling over the water before I finally speak to him.
"So, have you talked to Drew?" I peer up at him.
Funny how I could only really love one twin's face.
"No. He hasn't talked to me much. He's still mad." He answers simply, dismissing the question. This was obviously something he didn't want to talk about, but I needed to press. I needed to know more. So I asked some more.
"I can see why," I sigh, "Do you know why?" I ask innocently, simple curiosity, as I raise an eyebrow.
"Well… I /think/ I know why."
"Why's that?" I'm suddenly overly interested, begging to hear more.
"I think he's always had a tiny crush on you… but he never realized until it was too late."
Once again, my voice echoes, no other plausible answer, "Too late."
"But come on, let's not worry about him, okay, babe?" He picks my chin up, bringing my face closer to his. "Let's just focus on us."
I can't focus on us, I think… because there's hardly an us.
All I can think about is Drew. He's all I think about. All I know. He's what keeps me lying awake at night, the good memories always making their way into my mind, knowing that that was their permanent home.
Hearing the possibility that he might have a crush on me? That changes a lot. Maybe even everything. Because suddenly, I think that I may have a chance.
All of the questions are semi answered, no longer left blank.
But in the moment, Everett kisses me and I kiss back. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I feel his lips of course, but besides that, there seems to just be nothing else. No spark, no spree of fireworks I felt for Drew, nothing of that. Just lips on lips and that's it.
I go with it for awhile, making out with him before we both pull away gasping for breath, for air in the night, which it now is, the new moon glowing onto the waters. Standing up I throw off my cover up, jumping into the lake. If I could avoid kissing him any longer, this would be the way. Everett's face is shocked and I have no choice but to giggle, flipping to my back and floating, an attempt to forget it all.
He strips off his shirt and shorts, down to his trunks, and hops in, splashing me before swimming towards me, grabbing me and kissing me once more. Oh God, can we not? Was this entire weekend just going to be him sucking my face?
When did I agree to this, and why?
Arms wrap around my body, as they did once before, hands traveling south to my bottom, his hands cupping my as.s. His lips leave mine for a split second only to find their place on my neck, traveling up north, right up to my ear. "Let's go up to the bedroom."
I find myself nodding, obeying obediently like I'm listening, but the words just go right past me and it's like I'm not even really there, hardly thinking straight nor am I in any control over my actions. Getting out of the water, I grab my dress and shoes at the dock, running towards the house and following Everett's command as he pulls me up the staircase, into the bedroom, where I drop my clothes just as he drops his. Still only in our swimsuits, our wet bodies are pressed up against once another as I find myself in the same compromising position as I was before, on my back, him on top of me, our lips together as his hands roamed my chest, heading towards the clasp of my bandeau bikini.
And I let him. I let him take it off, just as he reached for the waistband of his swim trunks before it all hit me, the actions mooing too quickly, my mind scolding me for even getting this far.
Not even getting this far as in tonight, but getting this far as in our relationship.
How could I let us get to this stage? Why did I let myself get into this with him? He was never going to be Drew. He was never going to be him.
There was no point in this. No point at all.
"Ruby, what's going on?" Everett questions, "I thought you wanted to do this."
"I don't want to do this…" I say slowly, my mind wrapping around all of it at once as I final had my answer.
"Wait…" He sits beside me at the edge of the bed, his hand grasping mine comfortingly, well, I suppose he sees it as so. "Are you… a v.rgin?"
I shake my head, staying silent and instead grabbing my soggy bikini top and re-clasping it.
"Ruby… it's alright if you are, I mean, come on, let's just do it, don't be scared," He looks at me and I'm so tempted to just roll my eyes.
"I'm not a f.cking v.rgin Everett! I lost it, I lost it to Drew a year ago and I can't f.cking do this, I don't want to do this… at least not with you," I stand up gathering my clothes, slipping the dress over my head and putting my sandals back on, my hands grasping for my tote back. "I'm sorry Everett but I can't keep doing this. I can't do this anymore… I can't keep pretending." I shake my head.
"Are you… breaking up with me?" His face is a mixture of shock and confusion. Suddenly he can't wrap his mind around the words I had said.
I nod simply, refusing to say another word, instead just clopping down the stairs and out the door, grabbing the car keys in the process. Everett calls my name repeatedly, but that doesn't stop me from getting into Everett's car and beginning to drive, to drive away from the tortuous lake house, back the way we came, right down the highway and into Healdsburg, passing town square and going straight into the neighborhood, right into Drew's driveway. I slam the car door, just to let him know I am home, amid the empty driveway.
My wedges clack on the hardwood floor as I make my way up the stairs, turning the corner though to find Drew standing there, a huge baseball bat in hand, as if ready to strike. My hands fly up in defense, "Stop! It's just me!" I squeal.
"Ruby…" He looks at me before dropping the bat and I realize I must look a sight to see. My body still gleaming wet, my hair dripping slightly. "What are you doing here? And you're… all wet… where's Everett? I thought he took you up to the lake house."
"He did…" I say slowly. "He's still at the lake house…"
"But… you're here and he's not?"
"I stole his car to come see you." I blurt.
"Wait… you /stole/ his car?!"
"That's beside the point, Drew!" I exclaim, my voice frantic, nearing tears. "I had to tell you…. I had to tell you."
"Tell me what?" He looks at me.
Was I really going to do this? I had to. I was in far too deep to get out this time.
"I know I'm not your favorite person in the world right now… and I'm sorry… I… I just… I love you, Drew… I love /you./"
"I love you too, Ruby." He says tentatively.
"No… not like that. Don't give me that friendly crap… I love your… not like a brother.. not like a friend. I really do love you. I'm in love with you and I have been… I have been since that night over a year ago. And I haven't had the courage to tell you because I didn't know what to do and so I started dating Everett to take my mind off of it and to make it all go away but it didn't go away… and tonight with Everett… he wanted to do it but I couldn't do it because… I'm in love with you, Drew." Salty tears are now running down my face, adding to my drenched appearance, but I don't' care because I finally got it out.
I finally told him.
He doesn't respond initially, instead just leaning in, cupping my face and pressing his lips to mine and finally, there it was, the sparks, the fireworks, the feeling, all of the feelings that I was missing before. The tears still stream down my face but I kiss back gladly, more than happy to, my body, although wet and soggy, ends up pressed against his as he puts an arm around my waist, holding me.
We pull out at the same time, pressing our foreheads to each other, looking deeming into one another eyes.
"I love you too, Ruby." He says this, this time with more meaning, more feeling, and it's there… that love is there.
I glance at him teary eyes as he grasps my hand, pulling me towards his bedroom, stepping inside as he begins kissing me once again, lying down on the bed, grinning against his lips.
"This brings back memories." I say as he lies beside me, both of us still clothed, but he wraps an arm around my shoulder.
"Here we are again," He says, looking at me admiringly. "I always knew we were meant to be together." And with that he kissed me, sending sparks flying as the beginning of us began, beginning to connect with the origins of our story, weaving softly together, just as we had been waiting for all this time.