Six years ago
“Brice!” I yelled over the raging thunder from outside. Thunderstorms were my enemy back then. To me, as a small child, the thunder sounded like a bomb going off right outside my window and the lightening was aliens abducting people to do crazy experiments on them. Let’s just say, Brice talked me into watching hundreds of scary movies when I was little.
I found myself roaming through the halls that night. Brice’s family was over for a business dinner and I wanted nothing more than to find someone who would sleep with me through the night. And Brice, being my best friend, was usually the person I begged and pleaded with. So, with Mr. Softy Paws in my arms, I hurried to find him.
Even though I’d been living in my house for ten years, I still got lost in the long, maze-like hallways. Our family was among the richest and because of that they wanted to show off their money with more than likely one of the largest houses in the world. They were smart, but not the wisest.
Another crack of thunder echoed through-out the house, sending me halfway up the wall. “Bri-ce!” I yelled once more, my voice breaking off as my trembles over took me.
“Ever,” I turned around to see Brice standing behind me in the doorway of another hallway. “What are you doing?”
Relived tears swelled up in my eyes. I saw Brice roll his eyes and with a sigh he opened his arms. “Come here, you big baby,” He said not as harshly as one might think. Brice was more along the lines of my brother instead of my best friend, but he had the benefits of both. He was the person that was close to me, but never too close. He was there, but never ultimately so.
Brice was only couple years older than me, but that never stopped him from trying to be more mature or from making me feel like, well, a baby. I ran over to him faster than I should have and knocked him over with sobs. He put his arms over me and let me cry. “It’s okay, it’s just a storm. If the aliens come I’ll only give them your legs, I promise.”
I pinched him on the arm. “Not funny,” I say in-between sobs and slobbers.
“I thought it was,” He grumbled.
After a few minutes, a door opened a little ways down the hallway from us. Brice’s father stepped out of the door, his tie loose and hair tousled, my dad stepped out a second later with his shirt unbuttoned. “Come by again tomorrow,” my father said, sounding a little out of breath. “Jenna will be out of town with Ever.”
They couldn’t see us. It was too dark in the house that night because of the storm. Not only that, but they didn’t seem that interested in us anyway.
Brice’s dad nodded as a warm smile crossing over his face. My father smiled back. They looked so sincere as they stood there staring at each other. Brice’s father leaned and grabbed my dad by the waist, pulling him close.
I tensed up against Brice. A small gasp left my lips and Brice silently covered my mouth. My father leaned into Brice’s, his fingers entrancing Brice’s father’s jawline. They only stopped smiling at each other when they leaned in for an embrace. Their lips meet and nothing but passion seeped out from in-between them. My eyes were wide as I watched them.
I was small, too small to understand what I was seeing. Brice’s arm tightened over my body. I glanced up at him. I wasn’t sure what I saw. His lips were pursed and his eyebrows furrowed. He didn’t seem mad, just something that slightly resembled that of melancholy. There was a longing in his eyes, something that was almost undetectable – for anyone but me.
My father pulled away first. “What it is?” asked Erik, Brice’s dad.
My dad sighed. “What we’re doing, it’s been a secret for so long. I don’t like lying to my family, especially Ever.”
“I know,” Erik concurred. “We said we’d stop once the boys were born, but…” Erik touched my dad’s face, running his thumb over my father’s lower lip.
“Stopping is just as hard as keeping the secret.”
My father looked away and for a split second, my father looked me directly in the eyes. I saw the expression in my dad's eyes, he was ashamed and surprised. I had just seen him and... his lover. I guess me seeing him that night was more than he could take because the moment his eyes were off of me, he made me be the hurricane to sweep the nation of his love-life. “We should stop this.” He said, once his gaze was back on Erik.
Erik took a step back, half a smile on his face and a pained look in his eyes. “What?”
“I’m – I’m ending it. It’s too much.”
Now Brice was the one to let out the gasp. It was like Brice was fixated on our fathers. He hadn’t even looked away since they stepped out of the door. “What are you talking about, it’s been so good between us, I thought – “
“You thought wrong. Now Erik, please, just go. I won’t say anything, but we’re d-done.” My father said and shut the door just as quickly as he made the final blow to end his relationship with Brice’s dad.
Erik stood there for a moment. He looked so hurt; my father showed no mercy in executing the secret lovers they had been. Brice’s father walked away without another word, slowly, he was gone.
Brice was breathing quickly, his chest rose and fell rapidly. A flash of lightening let me see the stream of tears running down his face. I wormed my way out of his grip. “Let’s go back, Brice.” I whispered as I tugged on his night shirt. I held his hand and lead him to my room on the other side of the house.
I held tightly to Mr. Softy Paws and Brice's hand as we entered my bedroom. Brice laid down and turned away from me. He was too strong for his own good. I did nothing but lay next him and rest my head on his back as he cried. Something had struck him too, back then. If only I had known then.