Forbid Me(9)

By: M. Robinson

“Now you, Jacob,” I rasped against his ear. “You can go to hell.”

And with that I walked away, not sparing him a second glance.

We were home on Christmas break from Ohio State, Dylan, Lucas, and I all got accepted. It was our freshman year and it proved to be challenging and different. We were all nineteen and grew up in the small town of Oak Island, North Carolina. Moving to a big city like Columbus was a drastic change for us, but I think it was one we all needed. Although dealing with Lucas’s and Dylan’s sour fucking faces every day made me question my decision to move in with them on a daily basis.

We lived off campus in a three-bedroom apartment, finally being on our own away from home, I thought this would be the time of our lives. But Dylan was miserable and he made the rest of us miserable, too. He missed the shit out of Aubrey, his girlfriend of three years. She was still back home finishing her senior year of high school along with Austin, who got accepted to Ohio State a few weeks ago too. I couldn’t tell if he was excited or not. I never understood what was up with him, other than the fact that he fucked anything that had a hole and two legs. Always trying to be a rebel in a way. Dylan spent most of his time trying to talk to Aubrey, who happened to be busy more often than not. I think we all saw it coming, except maybe him.

Now Lucas… fuck, all the shit that had been going on between him and Alex throughout the years. He thought that no one knew, they both did. They thought we were oblivious to it all.

We weren’t.

Especially me.

It made me sick to my fucking stomach just thinking about them in that way, she was like our little sister, always had been and always would be. Fucking following us around since she could crawl. We all loved her. Lucas wasn’t good enough for her and I had to remind him constantly, making me sound like a goddamn broken record. I was just as exhausted from repeating the same shit over and over as I imagined he was sick of hearing it. I did everything I could to keep them apart. He needed to get his fucking head out of his ass and start seeing her the way we all did.

The way he was supposed to.

We were all sitting in Lucas’s living room, arguing about what to watch on TV. Dylan and Aubrey cuddling in the armchair while Alex lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow, Lucas not far from her. Austin sprawled out on the love seat and I sprawled out on the other sofa.

“Whatcha guys watchin’?” Lily asked, walking into the room with her guitar around her neck. She was thirteen but appeared much younger, sweet and innocent, like Alex.

I smiled. “About to watch Freddy vs. Jason.”

“What’s that?” she replied, moving my legs to sit down beside me.

“A scary movie, Lily, you can’t watch this. You won’t sleep. Mom and Dad will kick my ass when they get home,” Lucas called out from the floor, looking back at her.

Her face flushed, it was quick, but I saw it. She peered down at her lap before I gave it any more thought.

“Yes I will,” she softly whispered, strumming a few strings on her guitar.

“Lily, you hate scary sh—”

“I’m fine,” she argued, looking at him with wide eyes.

Lucas sighed and shook his head. “Whatever. Jacob’s crashing here tonight so you won’t be able to sneak into my room.”

“I won’t.” She looked over at me from the corner of her eye, and I moved my stare back to the TV.

I assumed she was embarrassed since we were all so much older than her. Lucas turned back and lay down, scooting a little closer to Alex. I shook my head in disappointment. Lily placed her guitar on the ground next to the couch. I pulled the blanket from the back of the sofa and handed it to her. She smiled, taking it from me and laying it over both our bodies. The movie started and it didn’t take long for her to curl up into a little ball, biting her fingernails and hiding her face in the blanket.

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