I went home with many things to think about. Things I was scared to think about. I hadn’t thought about love-real love-for years. Too many years I blocked off my feeling so I wouldn’t have to feel them, so others wouldn’t know how I felt, so I wouldn’t have to talk about it, think about it.
I was naive back then. I really thought he loved me. I was only 22. I tried not to think about it, and I hadn’t. Hadn’t needed to, wanted to. I went in my room to find my brother and his wife-only talking, thank goodness.
“I thought,” I said, “you learned you had your own room, guys.”
“We were just checking out the view. She said yours was better and I had to go see.”
“Is it true?”
He laughed. “No.”
That night, I fell asleep easier than I had in a while. About once every month now, I heard crying and talking from my brother and Yumiko’s room. I wondered what had gone wrong… were they going to end it? They seemed so in love, and yet I felt there was something else. At least I wasn’t the only one with relationship problems…
Derek ‘asked me out’ again today. I tried on so many new outfits. Dug out heels that had been in the back of my closet forever. Why was I doing this? He was a friend! But…
I know I have to get my feelings for him sorted out, and yet I haven’t tried to feel feelings for years. I just hope I remember what everything means to me… and that I’m right.
“I love your computer!” Derek said. “Is it the newest model?”
“Actually, It’s about 10 years old…I got it from my job a while ago.”
“It works like new,” he added, “so what’s your job?”
“I want to be an author, I mean, I am, I’ve written a children’s book, but…”
“That’s great! I wanted to be so many things. An astronaut, a scientist, doctor… and everyone always told me I was crazy. Getting A’s and not partying made me, let’s say, not so popular in school. Especially since my sister was the biggest party person in school.”
“Really now? I’d never been into parties. My best friend, Annalise never got it. Do you play any games besides the typical blicblock?”
“Oh yeah, plenty. Some might say that I’m a gamer. My username is Dr. 421.”
“Really? Don’t you hold the highscores on Plumbot and Simjump: Land of life?”
“Yes…so do you play any games?”
“Besides blicblock, not really…”
“You need a username!”
“I suck at usernames. How’d you get yours?”
“Dr. is my initials, Derek Romano, and it could stand for doctor, because I’m the doctor of gaming… 421 is my birthdate, April 21.”
“Ok, well, my initials are just S and C, nothing cool.” I laughed.
“What about Super Cute?”
Super cute… oh my Watcher… did he really like me? “Try something else.” I said.
“So I see Derek came over again.” Jonathan said. “Do you like him?”
“My Watcher, Jonathan! I don’t know! This is so confusing. The last time I thought I liked someone it blew up in my face!”
“You were 22!”
“You were 26 when you were married and your wife was pregnant!”
“Am I supposed to be sorry for that? Life isn’t always fair, Selena. You deserve happiness. You need to know at least if he likes you back.”
“I know! Stop acting like you know everything! I hear you and your wife crying at night!” I gasped. I did not mean to say that.
He stepped back, surprised. “Plum, Selena! I thought nobody heard us,” and then, “it’s not your business.”
“Then stop getting in my business! And I’m your sister!”
“Look, we aren’t ready to talk about it.”
I gasped… was I right? Were they over? “I’m sorry.”
“We’re not getting divorced, Sel. If that’s what you’re thinking.”
It was what I thought… but then what was it?