Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What's a sister to do?

 Lynsey didn't know if she could wait for Jory to come to her because she knew he wouldn't. She was still shocked he'd found her after all this time. And she knew to him that was enough.

"Don't go worrying about him, it's not worth it," Casey told her she needed to forget about her brother's girl troubles.

"But I know he liked her," Lynsey winced. She hated to see him hurt because he wasn't good at sharing his feelings in the first place.

"He's young. You don't really know him, anyway." Casey's words cut like a knife and she was full of anguish. What she feared the most was that no one knew him.

She'd promised Poppy she wouldn't call him, but she couldn't wait. She did.

Of course, his first words were. "I'm fine."

"You always say that," Lynsey told him Poppy let her know they'd broken up. "What have you been doing lately? Do you need anything?"

Jory only sighed but said he was working and staying with some friends across the hall. "I guess I'll move out soon."


"I don't know."

"Not back to that motel?"

"Fine." He told her he would see if there was a studio at the apartments. He sounded as if he didn't need anything more.

"Will you let me know, when you hear something?" Lynsey knew she couldn't be there for him like she wanted. Casey would be furious with her. "You wouldn't do something, would you?"

"Do something?" He sounded hurt that she'd even ask. "Like what? Slash that guy's tires? Burn her clothes on the street? Ransack their place and pawn anything valuable?"

"Jory?" His words frightened her.  "You're not thinking-"

"Sure I am."

"But..but you can't think that way," Lynsey nursed her upper lip, thinking he wasn't that little brother anymore who liked to play by himself most of the time. But if you were to say or do the wrong thing, he might bite you.

"Well, if it happens to you, you might think differently," Jory said.

"You're worrying me," Lynsey was in a fret. She wanted him to listen. "Don't even think-"

"Oh God," Jory said with a sigh. "I can't even talk to you about this. You say you want to know what I'm feeling. I'm telling you and you're thinking I'm a psycho." He paused then as if to gather his thoughts. "I'm almost tweny-five years old, and I have a job to do. And it's important to me. I might not be a doctor like my parents always wanted me to be. I never played sports like they forced me. I am doing the best that I can."

"You'll find someone else," Lynsey tried to sound cheerful enough.

"I don't want to find anybody else," Jory said. "I'm all right being alone."

Monday, January 25, 2021

You & I


Poppy found herself full of worry and full of nightmares, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not a word from Jory. But she knew he wouldn't stay this way. There was something in that gaze of his that had always made her feel just a bit uneasy.

She called his sister, Lynsey. After a few questions of asking her if she'd heard from him, Poppy finally confessed they were no longer together.

"He was always quiet," his sister said they'd thought it might be Aspberger's. "But I don't guess so." She didn't know.

Poppy winced. She'd never thought of that. She didn't think so. Of course, she felt worse than ever now. 

"Nobody wants to hear that about their boyfriend," Lynsey then said. "I don't think anything is wrong."

"But..what I don't why he left the family that raised him," Poppy found herself saying. "Do you know anything about that?"

"Not really," Lynsey said Jory wasn't a talkative person. "He talks more to you than he does me. Maybe it's because he doesn't want to bother me."

When Poppy got off her Android she plopped down on the livingroom couch in tears.

"What's wrong?" Alfie wanted to know. He'd been busy getting the apartment organized and making the second bedroom into a guestroom. Although, neither knew anyone that would ever visit.

"I just feel so bad for Jory," she blurted as she grabbed a tissue. "I don't know what to do."

"Well, nothing has happened yet," Alfie put his arm around her to comfort her. 

"I didn't even have a messed up childhood and I'm still an awful person," Poppy said as she cried on his shoulder.

"It'll be fine," he told her he didn't plan on getting into any fight with Jory.

"It's not like I want you two to fight over me," She looked up at him. "I would never want that."

Alfie only sighed and he kissed her forehead. He then said he was the dummy. He should have told her long before now about his feelings for her.

"It's just I kept thinking you'd find somebody, a whole lot better than me," Alfie nursed his bottom lip. "You really are good. In fact, you're great. Everybody likes you. So stop saying you're not."

A knock came to their door. Alfie got up to get it. It was Jory. Poppy hurried to step in front Alfie. 

"What do you want?" She snapped with her fist tight.

"I thought I left a shirt here," he said very civil. "The plaid one that's red."

He pointed to the shirt Alfie was wearing. "I don't guess I need it now." Jory shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans.

"I thought it was mine," Alfie said with a nod.

Jory only smirked. "You've evidently thought this about a few other things, too."

He walked away then. 

Poppy hated his silence as she slammed the door. A shiver ran through her. Maybe she had created a monster.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

And the world keeps turning

 It was true, Valentina had some catching up to do with Jools. Christmas came and went without getting in touch with him. There was a time he was like another brother, but then he didn't live at his mother's house anymore. She thought he was still at the University, but she found him at the eye-glass place helping customers find the right glasses. 

She took a double take.

"Don't tell me, you need glasses?" Jools smiled. Valentina practically winked and handed over the prescription. Jools only grinned more behind the plastic shield.

"Why didn't you tell me you were working here?" Valentina felt they'd lost touch. Weren't they like family?

"You know how it is, places close down. You stay home wondering if you'll ever work again and-" He shrugged. "I didn't want to worry your mom."

Valentina sighed and looked him over.

"What about Evan?" He was Jools significant other.

"Oh, I should have told you," but Valentina could tell Jools didn't want to talk about him now as he was trying to show her the latest styles in glasses. "We broke up."

"Is it really that simple?" Valentina wanted to know the real story.

"No. But he was thinking of his mental health and even my mental health," Jools said he had depression issues and the pandemic was making things worse for him. 

"You should have told us," Valentina was hurt that he didn't feel he had family anymore. 

"I would have told you eventually," He shrugged, but he reminded her, her mom had been sick with COVID, and then she got married. He said he didn't want to be a downer.

"Where are you staying?" Valentina thought he should move back home.

"I am OK," he told her. "What about you?"

"Good," she nodded with a smile. She wasn't sure this was the time to talk about her real brother Dan, nor about her new boyfriend Matty. "Come over for dinner sometime. You know, Mom would love to see you."

Thursday, January 21, 2021

until I'm ready let me be

 "You've had enough vacation at your grandmother's. It's time to come home," Brick's step-father Gordy was firm. "She needs a vacation from you."

Brick sighed. He liked being in his old room. This would always be home to him even if he didn't live but a couple of houses away. He had liked being away from his mother. Of course, he couldn't explain it. Maybe it was the look in her eye when she looked at him. 

It was as if he was every bad thing she'd been through. He thought she might be happy if he wasn't around and she could have a new life with her new family without a reminder of her past. He'd felt it for so long now and maybe the brake up with Lily was just an excuse, but it made him sad to have to be around his mother.

She might have said good things to other people about him when he wasn't around, but he never heard them. She looked down on him as if he might be a cigarette butt she couldn't quite extinguish.

"It's not you," Brick told Gordy. He didn't have a problem with him. "It's just I don't understand how you can love her." 

Brick could only think of how she brought him down. No matter what good might come she was ready to kick him in the gut, full of raw emotion that she could not get rid of.

"Well, she can't seem to live without you," Gordy told him. "You are all she's talked about since the holidays."

"But you guys came here," Brick looked at him blankly. Granted, it was a short visit and everyone wore masks.

"It's just not the same. She cries every night," Gordy wanted him to pack his things.

Brick rolled his eyes at that. He found that hard to believe. It was as if she already thought of him as a criminal of some kind and he hadn't even done anything wrong. 

If only Lily were here, he'd have someone to talk to. It just hadn't been the same since she left. It was easy to see how he'd kept this part of his emotional turmoil hidden, but now it was back and it felt as if the war would never stop with his mother. 

"We'll get through this somehow," Gordy put his hand on Brick's shoulder. 

Brick only nodded as if Gordy understood this more than he knew.