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I Can But I Won't, I Can't But I Will.2
I was in total shock.
Weeks passed. I avoided Russ as much as possible. I was hurt. I tried to forget about how incredibly handsome he was.
Months passed. Justin, still not aware, stopped asking me what happened, and he introduced me to his friends to help me socialize.
The season had changed. My window view had changed from lonely snow trees to quiet cherry blossoms. I got out of the shower, and saw an incoming text message. I opened it, and sank to the floor. “Meet me where we met months ago. I need to tell you something. Russ” I was confused. I had locked my memories of him in the back of my head. My mind was digging through my faded memories. I felt the long healed bruise on my head. I was trying to avoid certain emotions this whole time. Why come back now? Did he want to use me again? I looked over in Justin’s room. He was asleep. He slept peacefully. He knew nothing the whole time. He turned over, and I heard his bracelet rattle. I stared at my right wrist, and shook it to hear the jingle. My heart braced itself, and I texted back okay.
The next day, I went to school in a simple outfit. It was chilly spring day. I looked up at the clear blue sky. I wondered what was waiting for me tomorrow. I glanced at my new watch, which said I was five minutes early. I looked at the tree. There he was. He was never early. He was there, leaning against the tree like he had been there for a while.
“Hey there. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” He said in a smooth voice. I held my fists, afraid to break.
“Yes. It has.” I said hastily, my teeth clenched together. Panic struck his face, but he found himself and continued. “I want to tell you something.”
I stomped my foot in impatience. What could be this important? I was shaking, and I looked down at the ground. I was very surprised when he suddenly hugged me. His left arm was bigger than his right, like the way it had look like half a year ago. His body was warm, and his warmth comforted my cold arms. When I understood that I was being hugged, I started squirming. I had to get out of his grasp. This guy was gay, for heaven’s sake. He was interested in my brother. I had loved someone who was interested in my brother. That was so embarrassing. It had hurt me a lot. I really hurt me, it really did. I was upset at myself for finding out the truth myself. I had spent all of my efforts to delete my emotions of loving this dead-hot gay guy. I still couldn’t believe that out of all of the guys I could fall for, my instincts had led me to this person. If I had taken a different route that day, I could have had a lot more fun these past few months.
“Let go of me!” I screeched. My efforts were worthless. He was a lot stronger, holding me in his arms.
“You’re going to hurt yourself, Jane.” He looked at me, straight in the eye. I saw a different twinkle in his eyes. I gave up on escaping, and waited for him to let me go. All this time, I had thought that I was a strong girl, who could make a guy bleed without using her fists. And here I was, locked in the brace of a 190 pound gay person. I stood as still as I could. Time ticked away, and I was afraid someone had noticed us my now. I jerked my head to a different direction. He kissed the top of my head, where my bruise had been. I gasped, and stepped away. Do gay guys do that? I shook my head, trying to run away.
“Listen, Jane. I’ve changed a lot over this winter. I noticed something very important. Please don’t run away from me again. I need you to understand.” He looked at me sincerely; his golden brown eyes looked pleading.
“Russ, what do you want?! I know. I know you’re gay. I know that I was in love with you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry my brother is straight. I’m sorry I found out the way I did. I wish I didn’t know. Can you stop acting like you’re a good guy? I don’t know the details of gay behavior, but I’m pretty sure they don’t enjoy hugging and kissing girls. Please don’t pretend you’re anything you’re not, because right now, I really can’t accept you. Justin doesn’t know anything. I hope you aren’t going to freak him out too. I’m smart and I’m tough, Russ. I don’t want to be the one telling you, but Justin is the kind of person who likes everything perfectly in place. He is going to panic if he finds out that a guy his twin sister loves is madly in love him.”
I was trying to fight back tears, but it wasn’t working. A tear slipped from my eye, the cold air was whipping my tear streaked face but I didn’t care. I wasn’t sure if I was crying because I was sad or because I was mad. I didn’t know.
“Jane, Jane…Jane. I’m going to tell you about myself. What do you know about me so far?”
“You’re gay. And you’re left handed.” I answered flatly. He never took his eyes off of me. I sat down on the grass, and he did the same. I kept a safe distance between us, just case I had to make a run.
“How’d you find out I was left handed?” Astonished, he stared at my right hand. Then he whispered, “You wear the same bracelets. I mean, they aren’t exactly the same, but I’m guessing they’re for the same cause?”
“Yes.” I answered, bracing myself for the worst. I skipped the question about him being left handed. It was so unimportant right now.
“You see...Jane,” he started. I was suddenly interested in the conversation. Something was different about the way he looked at me. I could sense the different in the air. I was scared to find it something worse than the information I already knew. I crossed my fingers behind my back. “I didn’t know until I met you and found myself, but I think…I can be straight too. I think I’m love with you.” After the longest silence ever, he noticed that I wasn’t going to unlock my jaw. I was screaming inside of my head. So he opened his mouth to continue, not waiting for my response. “At first, I was interested in your brother. I’m not going to lie to you. I thought it was my luck that he was your twin brother. But after you found out about my sexuality, basically ignored me all together, and blocked me away from you and your brother…I noticed that my heart ached to see you. You, not your brother. I wanted you. I felt awful, I felt stupid. I let go of my football for a few weeks. I talked to my physicist, and she told me that if you were willing to forgive and accept me, we could work out a relationship.”
I was unable to move. My mouth gaped open like a blonde moron. I had never been so shocked before. I was usually got around things before they happened. I was smart. I had read all the books I could. I had seen all the movies there were to see. I had a lot of data in my brains. I was athletic. I knew what my body needed. I didn’t go on crazy diets the way my friends did. I thought I knew I knew the right and wrong in this world. I could tell if a person was right handed or not just by looking at the person. I could figure out if a guy was straight or not in two days. I was always level headed. The insides of my brains were never spaghetti, but right now, my head felt light and empty.
“So you’re bisexual, and at this point in life you are interested in women. In addition to that, if I’m getting this right, I happen to be your target this very moment?” I managed to say, as calm as possible. I was always the practical one. I can’t really get my feeling straight right now, but I had to, so I could let myself fall in love.
“Yes. I would understand if you hated me by now. I would totally understand if you would want to risk your time with a guy like me. But all I’m asking for is a chance.” He eased.
The voice in my head was talking to me again. It talked to me frantically, as panicked as I was. It was sending me more and more panic waves. I didn’t want to puncture another hole in my heart. I didn’t want to damage his, either. I had to speak from my heart. I had to spill the insides of my scarred heart. My heart softened. “I can’t think clearly right now. You’re the first guy I was seriously interested in. I’m really sorry, but when I found out that you are gay, it pretty much freaked me out. I was scared of myself. I felt stupid, loving someone that would never love me back. You know, it’s really hard to watch someone you love love someone else, especially if that someone is your twin. I understand, and I accept you. I trust you. I love you, yes. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand knowing you might love my brother more than you love me. ”
Tears were streaming down my cheeks. I looked up at Russ. His eyes were a little misty. I have never seen Justin cry. I had never seen my dad cry. I guess that is why it surprised me. Who came up with the stereotype that strong men don’t cry? I think that it is perfectly fine for a man to cry. It’s a natural reflex for certain emotions that vary from person to person. I watched as a solemn tear slipped from the corner of his eye. I asked him, “Why are you crying?”
He turned his body so he would face me. His legs crossed, he put one hand on my shoulder while stroking my hair with the other. “I can’t stand hurting you. If you would feel better if I left, tell me so. I just want you to know that I love you. I love with all my heart, and I know I want to protect you for the rest of your life. I’ll someday outrun you. I want to be the one next to you; I want to be the one to wipe your tears away. I want to make sure nobody is around to hurt you. If I’m the one that is going to put your heart to pain, I will stay away.”
“No. Don’t go anywhere. Please.” I choked out, my shoulders trembling. The bell rang. Why now? I thought. I sighed as he held my waist, and I was on my feet in no time. Gosh he was strong. I felt like flying. He kissed my forehead lightly, and hugged me quickly. He was so warm. “Yeah, I’ll give you a chance. I mean, I’ll give us a chance.” He wrapped his big arm around me as we walked towards the school building. “Who’s gonna tell Justin?” I asked, staring into his golden brown eyes. “You are.” We both said at the same time. He rolled his eyes, and said, “We are.”