I sat on the couch, lazily watching T.V., when I heard a knock on the front door. I turned off the T.V. to answer it.
I opened the door and, to my surprise, it was Chris. He looked like he had been crying.
“Chris?” I said, “What-“
Suddenly, Chris flung his arms around me, sobbing.
Surprised, I put an arm around him and closed the door with the other. “Hey, um… It’s okay, it’ll be okay….”
I sat him down on the couch, “What happened? What’s wrong?”
A feeling of panic started to flow through me. What if something terrible had happened?
Chris shuddered, swallowing, “Um…” He almost looked a little guilty.
“What?” I said, trying to stay calm, “Just tell me, Chris.”
Chris shuddered again and said, “I… I went to Geoffry’s house.”
“You what?” I said, trying not to sound mad. Chris had gone to Geoffry’s house without talking to me first! I knew better than to yell at him, so I let him go on.
Chris nodded, “I went to Geoffry’s house and we were in his bedroom…”
He must have seen my horrified expression, because he said, “No, no, nothing like that…. Well…. Not quite.”
Chris took a deep, shuddering breath, “We talked for a while and I told him that I loved him…”
I wanted to say, ‘You what? Oh, I can’t believe you did that, you moron!’, but I knew better.
I sighed and braced myself for the rest of the story.
“A-and he kissed me and…. He…” Chris whimpered, his eyes glossy.
“What did he do? Tell me, Chris!” I said anxiously. Oh no, what did that creep do to my little brother???
Chris bit his lip, “He… He… He tried to…”
Chris shuddered and I put my hand on his shoulder, “Chris, Honey, please tell me.”
Wow, I sounded like Mom.
Chris nodded and bit his lip again. He stuttered, “Um…He put his hand in my pants."
My jaw dropped and Chris started bawling. He leaned onto my shoulder and I stroked his hair.
“Don’t worry,” I said soothingly, “It won’t happen again. I promise.”
I promise: Never a smart thing to say in a situation like this one, but I felt so bad for Chris. He’s just so little and helpless sometimes…
I had always had a feeling that there was something weird about Geoffry ever since I met him, but I didn’t know what it meant. I wasn’t really in an I-Told-You-So mood and, clearly, neither was Chris, so I kept quiet.
My shirt was soaked with tears. Poor Chris was sobbing his heart out as I stroked his hair and told him everything would be alright.
“Hey, Chris.” I said. He looked up at me and I said, “I don’t think we need to tell Mom about this, she’ll just worry….”
Chris looked at me in surprise, “What? N-not tell Mom?”
I nodded, “Yeah, she’ll just get all upset and… you know. So, I think we should not tell Mom. Okay?”
“Not tell Mom…” Chris tried out the alien phrase.
I nodded and smiled, “Yeah, so we can just not tell her, right?”
Chris cocked his head to the side, “You mean lie?”
I gritted my teeth, “No, we just won’t tell her…”
“Which means lying.” Chris said, looking overwhelmed, “Oh my gosh… I can’t lie to my own mother!”
I was getting annoyed now, “No, not lying! Just…. Not telling her.”
“Which is the same thing as lying!” Chris sputtered. We started arguing about whether not telling was the same thing as lying, but it didn’t last long. We sat in silence for a while.
Chris sniffed and I looked at him. He shook his head, tears refilling his eyes, “I just can’t believe Geoffry would do that to me… I thought we understood each other so well.”
He started crying like a baby again. Oh, geez… I hugged him and he cried more.
It occurred to me that if this went on, we would have to come up with some sort of excuse in order for our plan to work. If Mom saw Chris crying, she would be all over it and Chris would spill the beans and our plan would fail.
Hmm… What should I tell her? I thought, My yogurt maker broke? Lady Gaga just got killed? I don’t know!
I would come up with something, I would…. Hopefully.
I ended up telling Mom that Geoffry’s cat, who Chris knew well (he didn’t, really), had just died and that Chris was heartbroken. I know, I’m almost as bad at lying as Chris. Harper family curse.
Luckily, Mom and Dad were out to a party at their friend’s house that night. I heard the phone ring and Chris answered it. I sat down by his bedroom door, holding the other phone. I got tears in my eyes as I heard their conversation.
“B-but Chris, I didn’t do anything wrong! I mean, I’ll apologize if that’s what you want-“
“You did do something wrong, actually.” Chris’s voice had an edge to it, but was slowly faltering.
“What? What’s wrong with you? Why did you freak out like that?” I heard Geoffry say.
“Just stop talking to me, okay?” Chris was yelling now.
“Wait, Chris-” Geoffry’s voice came from the other end of the phone.
“I don’t love you anymore, comprende?” Chris yelled, his voice cracking, “Stop calling me, you pervert!”
“Oh, you don't love me now? And come on, I’m not a pervert, now please, Chris-“ Geoffry sounded anxious and desperate, but Chris had no mercy. I couldn’t blame him.
“Goodbye, Geoffry!” Chris said, choking back sobs.
“Call me tomorrow?” Geoffry said, sounding cheerier all ready.
Disgusted, Chris slammed the phone down on the receiver.
I opened Chris’s door a crack more as he sat down on his bed, his head in his hands.
I sat down next to my brother and he let out a shuddering sob. I put my arms around him and he leaned onto my shoulder, tears streaming down his cheeks. I felt so bad for Chris. I mean, yes, I had always hated Geoffry, but he made Chris so happy. Now I suspected, being as modest as he is, Chris would never talk to Geoffry again.
I wanted to say something to help, but all that seemed to come out of my mouth that night was, “It’s okay, everything is alright.”
I was gonna kill Geoffry.