Working is terribly inconvenient to pursuing one’s dream, y’all. But I’m back on track. I’ve been making good time with this story. I’m in the final quarter, to use a sports metaphor. 🙂 In this unedited snippet, Laurel’s been reunited with her twin brother Hardy after a very long time. Of course you’re missing some rather interesting context, but I think this little bit will relay just how juicy that context is, and how fucked brother dearest is. I hope it whets your appetite for more… If you can’t read that thought bubble in the pic it says, ‘what a stupid old jerk.’
Hardy did manage to corner her once before she left. She was just coming in from the garden. She’d cut a few roses to put on Sam’s breakfast tray and was about to take it up to him when her brother stepped in her way.
“Put that down a minute, L.”
He held up both hands when he saw her lips tighten as she set the tray on the counter.
“Please, L. Just give me a few minutes.”
“Hurry up,” she said coldly, crossing her arms. “I have things to do.” Important things, her tone said, and you’re not one of them.
“I, I just wanted to say,” he ran a hand through thick black hair, wavy and shiny just like hers. “I’m sorry, L. For hurting you all those years ago. I should’ve protected you. I shouldn’t have let you go so easily, let you go off alone. I should’ve – ”
“You should’ve been my brother.”
His eyes shot to hers, hands falling from his hair to curl into impotent fists at his side.
“You should’ve been my brother, Hardy. You never should’ve believed anyone over me. No one. Ever,” she stressed. “You let a boy beat me, stalk me, abuse me, treat me like a whore, and almost rape me.”
He opened his mouth.
He closed it.
“I had to leave my home, I had to leave Gran, to escape violence that you enabled. And not only did you give him a free pass to slap me, kick me, punch me, cut and bruise me and talk to me like I was something nasty he’d stepped in, you let him ruin my reputation. You let others mistreat me. You left me all alone so you could hang with the rich kids. So you could have sex with some cheap girl, smoke pot on school grounds and drink some jerk’s parents’ liquor while they were out of town. If that wasn’t enough, you had the audacity to come to my home, a new home in a strange city, that I’m only now feeling comfortable in after all these years, and suggest that we should bury the hatchet, that you were ready to forgive me for some ill or sin I’d committed so long ago.
“You know what though? I don’t forgive you. I won’t forgive you. You make me sick, you know that? Worse than he did, and I once puked all over his shoes I was so upset. But you, Hardy?” She shook her head and laughed, a cold, soft chuckle that cast a shiver down her brother’s spine. “If I allow myself to think overlong on your betrayal, your part in how my life has turned out, I get so angry, I want to hurt you. I want to inflict every wound he put on me on you.”
She’d been stepping forward with each word, and he’d been backing up until he was bent awkwardly over the center island. Laurel straightened, ran a trembling hand over her long hair, hanging thick and loose the way Sam liked it.
“So you’re wasting your time,” she finished softly, in a cool, eerily normal voice as she plucked Sam’s breakfast plate from the oven, adjusted the flowers in their cream colored vase just so and picked up the tray. “And if you ever put your hands on me, or attempt to touch me again in anyway, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”
She stopped as she was about to leave the kitchen. “I owe you some pain, brother. A lot of it. If I were you? I wouldn’t give me a reason to pay down that debt. I’m not the same Laurel you used to know. You made sure of that.”