My Brother's Best Friend

Note : This is NOT a Fan Fiction. This is a romance between a normal boy and normal girl - it's called a book.
My name is London Green. My brother is Collin Green. His best friend was Jacob Scarf. We used to play together in the street when we were kids, but of course like all older brothers, Collin and Jacob used to pick on me. Jacob bullied me more and more as we grew up, until he moved to Edinburgh. It was a fresh start for me, away from that little porky kid that used to ruin my every day. But now, he's coming back. Now that we're older, will everything be better or much, much worse?

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3. C h a p t e r T w o

Jacob swings his backpack up onto his shoulder and struts towards us. His hair is shortly clipped now (but in no way unattractive) and brown like mine. His sense of fashion has calmed down a little from vibrant red sweaters and green woolly trousers to a plain white shirt and baggy jeans. His body is lean and toned, his arms ripping with muscle. He's a lot more tanned than he was, and looks healthy, though I can't recall anyone mentioning the heat in Scotland. He could easily make it as a model in a magazine but he'd probably go for footballing. 

When he reaches us he flashes Collin a brilliant white smile and gives a husky laugh. He leans in and slams his hand into his back in a 'man hug'. Collin coughs at the impact of the smack and Jacob takes a step back, confused.

"You alright?" He asks, chuckling. His voice has deepened so that it doesn't sound like a Disney princess anymore. And his accent is blush-worthy, being a mixture of cockney and Scottish. Something that I'd never heard before. 

"Yeah," Collin chokes, glancing up at the figure in front of him. His mouth gapes a little in shock at his best friends new height. I had to say, that it was a mighty difference.

"Hey Mrs G," Jacob beams at my Mum, who struggles to disguise the admiration of his improvements.

"Hello, err Jacob," She stutters, forcing a smile, "Wow, you really have changed!" She laughs, the boys joining her. I stand gobsmacked at the boy, who looks a lot more like a man than he should.

"So, what's for a dinner? I'm starving," Jacob asks, diverting their attention to a different matter. My Mum begins to create a dish, thinking aloud as she leads the way to the car, leaving us to follow. The boys talk and joke together whilst I stumble along behind,  scared to get too close to the beast. He's so massive he could probably squish me like a bug if I stalk him too much. 

Another point : He hasn't looked at me once, and that bothers me for some reason. I guess it's only human for a girl to want an attractive guy to look at her. I mentally kick myself. I don't like him. I don't think he's handsome. I don't...

I sit in the back with Collin on the ride home, whilst Jacob talks with Mum about old times. Why does he seem older than Collin? He isn't. I have so many questions that I have trapped under my tongue, because I'm so embarrassed to ask. Like, why am I so embarrassed? He's the one who bullied me. He should be ashamed. And another question, how did he manage to cut down on the donuts?

Mum curses under her breath as she pulls up outside our house. Our eyes dart to her and she blushes at the attention she's attracted.

"You alright there Mrs G?" Jacob asks, concerned. Mums lips tighten and I figure that she's uncomfortable with the 'Mrs' at the start of the 'G'. I'll drop a hint later, maybe...if I have the courage. I doubt I will. Hey ho.

"Yes, Jacob, of course. It's just I forgot to go shopping yesterday and we're all out of groceries, after Collin scoffed the bread for breakfast," I giggle as Collin frowns at Mum showing him up. She catches his expression in the mirror and adds, "But all growing boys need to eat!' Which didn't really help matters on Collins half, but I don't think Mum cares. 'I could run down to Morrisons, but it'll be busy and might take a while..." She chews on her lip for a moment.

"Hey, no worries. We'll be alright for an hour or so, right?" Jacob assures her, but neither myself or Collin look convinced by his words.

"Well, I suppose," Mum says, 'Collin, you'll come with me right?' She asks cheerfully. Well she was more telling him than asking him, but I guess she was being polite in front of our guest. He sighs but doesn't verbally complain. Jacob gets out of the car and goes to collect his cases from the boot. I lean forwards as Collin steps outside to sit in the passenger seat.

"Mum," I whisper in her ear and she jumps away a little as my breath tickles her ear, 'Please don't leave me with him,' I beg.

"What?" She asks loudly. I wince at her volume and continue,

"Mum please. Let me go with you, I don't want to be with Jacob,"

"Stop being so rude London!" Mum exclaims as Collin climbs back into car. "Where's your manners? He's a perfectly nice young man so stop complaining."

"What?" Collin questions, his eyes flicking between the two of us. I clamber out of the car, escaping before Mum can tell on me. I slam the door shut and jog up to the house, slipping the key into the door and twisting as Jacob follows me. 

I dash straight in and through to the living room, watching as the car rolls away down the street. The door creaks as it is gently pushed open and I spin to lock eyes with Jacob as he stands in the doorway. He looks away and places his bags down next to the sofa. I hope that he will sit down and become engrossed in the TV, but he doesn't. He turns his whole body to face me and lets his eyes bore into mine. He's blocking the only exit in the room so that I can't make a run for it, the only other option is...the window. 

But that's only if he's proving a threat. Mum will be seriously mad at me if I smash the window just because of Jacob making small talk with me.

"Hi," He speaks, his voice soft and soothing as if he knows that I'm petrified of him. It's like he's the lion and I'm a helpless little rabbit.

"H-Hi," I stammer, my voice mysteriously catching on the single syllable. I try to relax my face but it's frozen into an expression that resembles someone standing in the middle of the road whilst a car is heading for them at fifty miles an hour.

"You've grown," He lies, awkwardly. I snort in disagreement.

"Hardly," I say, and then jabbing my finger at him, "But you have...You've really t-" I cut off before the word 'toned' could leave my mouth. He raises an eyebrow expectantly, but I duck my head, letting my hair fall into my face.

"Yeah, well," He shrugs and flops down onto the sofa. He looks at me, waiting for me to join him but I decide that a few meters from him is close enough as it is. He may have fooled my Mum and brother but I'm still as wary as ever. He screws up his face a little, rejected and scans the room for something to comment on. "Boyfriend?" He suggests, nodding at a picture of myself and a male sitting in a stadium.

"Cousin," I correct him. "Girlfriend?" He looks at me and smirks, before flickering his eyes away.

"No. Ended last week." He informs me and I nod, understandingly, "Wasn't working out. She was too controlling and I was too ignorant."

"Probably for the best," I say, hoping that my words are more comforting than taunting. He nods, absent-mindly as he travels to a different time and perhaps even a different world. I exhale heavily and shuffle over to the opposite end of the sofa, putting a fair difference between us. "When did you dye your hair?" My mouth snaps before I can stop it.

"I didn't. It just darkened." He tells me and I make an 'O' shape with my mouth. He smiles, cheekily, and adds, 'Considerably. My whole head has changed really. The hair and well, I've grown into to my face a bit...yeah." 

We sit in silence for a while, watching the clock tick away from the mantle piece, waiting for the next second to pass.

"You've thinned a little," He suddenly pipes up, and then, his brow furrowing as he adds, "A lot in fact."

I swallow and the tears prickle at the back of my eyes. I swill the saliva around my mouth and down my throat to moist it. Finally, I whisper, my voice scarce,

"That's because you told me that I was so fat the room shook when I walked. And that no one would ever love a girl that was the size of a coliseum."

His mouth hangs open like it's being held up by a thread, and devastation glistens in his eyes.

"London -" He begins, but I cut him off, the frustration mixing in the pit of my stomach like lava. 

"I was anorexic for months," I growl, my temple pulsing with anger, "And then I was assigned to a mental hospital. I was in amongst the walking dead. Hollow eyes, shrunken faces - they still haunt me. I still cry about the memories now. But you wouldn't care, would you?" My question is obviously rhetorical, but I am interested to what his answer would be.

"London, I -" He tries again, but this time is interrupted by my Mother who shrills from the hallway,

"We're home!"

I stand erect in one sudden movement and leave him alone with his guilt to reflect on my words. 

My feet slap off the stairs as I mount them, my stomach clenching and the tears falling unwillingly from my cheeks...

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