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Valentine V Card
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Valentine V Card
But when I finally give up on us, will fate step in and help me get everything I want?
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Pulling into my brother’s driveway, I take a deep breath. I should be more excited—I mean, I’m excited that I finished my internship. I’m ready to move on with my life and make something of myself. But really, it’s hard to do when you still feel like the little chubby girl in pigtails that followed her brother and his best friend everywhere.
I flip down the visor and slide open the mirror to look at myself. I’m still a heavier girl, but I’m grown up now. I finished college back in the summer, but wanted to finish my internship before moving home and looking for a job. I worked through the holidays and am glad to finally be home and close to my brother. I’m grown up and over my childhood crush. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I look back at my brown eyes in the mirror and it’s obvious that I’m lying to myself. I’ve tried to convince myself over and over that I need to move on, that I at least need to go on a date, but I always talk myself out of it. It’s been a few months since I’ve been home, but I know when I walk into that house, I’m going to fall back to the girl I once was. The one with love shining from her eyes.
I’ve made a fool of myself, time and time again, just wanting Michael to notice me. He may be my brother’s best friend… but he’s my first love—hell, my only love. I’ve never learned how to move on… not from him. I compare every man I meet to him and none of them – not one – has stacked up. That’s probably why I’m still a virgin.
The only reason I can walk back into that house is that I know he doesn’t have a clue how I feel. He’s always treated me like a little sister. He’s big and protective and has always been there for me. But that’s it. I’m glad now that I’ve never gotten up the nerve to tell him how I feel. It would make for some awkward holidays, that’s for sure.
I flip the visor back up when I see my brother walking toward my car. He’s all smiles and I can’t stop from smiling back at him. Our parents are on a three-month vacation in Florida. They had me later in life, and with all honesty, Alex pretty much raised me. He’s ten years older than me and has always treated me more like his kid than his sister. He was the one taking me to school, practices, games, making sure I was fed. Yep, I don’t know how I would have made it sometimes without him.
I get out of the car and meet my brother at the front of it. He says, “Hey, sis!” and picks me up in a big bear hug, squashing me to him. Over his shoulder, I see Michael standing on the porch watching us. He’s more laid back now. Used to be he would have run up to me, hugging me and swinging me around. We would laugh and cut up, just like old times. The last few times I’ve come home, he’s kept his distance from me and well, I don’t like it. I want to ask him about it, but I don’t.
Michael raises his hand and waves at me and I wave back at him awkwardly. Damn, why the sudden formality? I wonder if I wouldn’t rather him treat me like the little girl I used to be than the stranger that he treats me like now.
I watch him as he walks to the back of my car and starts grabbing suitcases and boxes. I was in the dorms for the last four years, and then company housing, but I didn’t accumulate a lot of stuff, mostly just clothes and books. We unload quickly and my brother walks into the next room to order pizza.
The room is filled with tension as Michael and I move things around in my room. “So, are you glad to be home?” he asks.
I look at him then. It’s the first thing he’s said to me, and I can tell he’s awkward being around me.
Politely, I nod my head at him. “Yeah. I’m ready to get a job. I plan to start interviewing this week.”
He strokes the light stubble on his chin. “You’re still young, Patty. You have time to figure it out.”
I sigh bigheartedly. It’s always the same. He still thinks of me like a child. I smile at him, but it doesn’t quite reach my cheeks. “Yeah, I know. I’m still just a kid.” I roll my eyes at him and start to walk outside to grab my purse and things from the car.
As I walk past Michael, he puts his hand out to stop me. As soon as he touches me, he pulls away quickly. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”