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Complicate Me(12)

By:M. Robinson

“She’s just a girl, Half-Pint,” he stated like he knew I needed to hear it. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course. You can ask me anything.”

“Do you like Lucas?”

My mouth dropped and immediately looked at him, shocked. “What?”

He held my surprised gaze, not holding back the sincerity in his eyes. “Do. You. Like. Lucas?”

“Of course not.”

“You sure about that? We don’t lie to each other, right?”

I felt like this was a test. “No, I don’t like him. I love him. I love all of you,” I reaffirmed. “It’s just weird to see him with a girl, that’s all. It’s weird to see all of you with girls.”

He narrowed his eyes at me, almost as if he could see through me, and was able to read the truth that I so desperately tried to hide. I turned my face, looking at the sand instead.

“Good,” he simply stated.

“What’s that supposed to mean? I’m not good enough for Lucas or something?”

“More like the other way around.”

I bit my lip to keep from looking at him and asking any more questions.

“You’re our little sister, Half-Pint, no one will ever be good enough for you. I don’t mean anything against Lucas, but Stacey is more his speed.”


“When you’re older you’ll understand what I mean by that.”

“I understand now,” I whispered to myself.

“Do you?”

I glanced at him. “Sex, right?”

His eyes widened.

“I’m not that young,” I reminded.

I swear the boys thought I was still six years old in pigtails with training wheels on my bike, which I only allowed on there for a few days. I was adamant that I would ride my bike like they did theirs and I skinned my knees more times than I could count, so they started carrying Band-Aids in their pockets for me. I rubbed the scar on my right knee. It was the same scar that Lucas bandaged up for the first time.

Exactly like my love for him…

It never went away.

“Obviously,” Dylan replied, pulling me away from my memories. “My, my, little Half-Pint, I think maybe we’ve underestimated you.”

“Seriously? I found your Playboys when I was ten. Did you not think I went home and asked my mama about it? I mean I didn’t rat you guys out or anything, but I needed to know, and I knew you guys wouldn’t have told me.”

“Damn straight.”

I laughed at his bluntness. “It’s not a big deal. I get it.”

“Do you now?” he baited.

“I do.”

“Just so we’re clear when it comes time for you to—”

“Dylan!” I shouted.

He didn’t falter. “We will beat the living shit out of him. That — I can promise you, so you may want to think about that for his sake at least.”

“Oh my God, that’s such a double standard.”

“Call it how you see it. I don’t give a shit.”

“You know this whole big brother stuff is gettin’ kinda’ old.” I pointed in between us. “I can take care of myself. You’re getting as bad as Jacob. I’m just going to scuff it up to testosterone.”

He cocked his head to the side. “What do you know about testosterone?”

I cocked my head back. “What do you know about periods?”

He laughed big and wide and clapped his hands. “God, I love you.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah… yeah…”

“I meant what I said before, though.”

I tore my eyes from him and back to Lucas. “I know.”

And I did.

“You ready?” I asked.

“Yeah. I just need to go to my locker. I forgot my Algebra book. She gave us a ton of homework to do over Christmas break,” Alex replied.

“I’ll walk you.”

“You don’t have to. I’ll meet you guys by the bike rack.”

I nodded, walking away. “Okay, hurry.”

Four months went by and it was officially Christmas break. We had two weeks of no school and no drama. Having Alex in the same school as us proved to be eventful, not only was she developing in all sorts of places, she was also coming into her own. She started wearing makeup, and I despised it. The first time she walked out of her house wearing lipstick, I was literally off my bike and over to her in three strides, wiping the peachy color right from her lips.

The boys hollered, “Hell yeah,” as they witnessed me doing it, and she didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day. Saying some shit about me embarrassing her and not letting her grow up. I didn’t pay her any mind because, for one, she could never stay mad at me, and for two, I wouldn’t allow her to stay mad at me. We pretty much beat the boys off with a stick. They knew Alex was off limits before she even walked through the doors on the first day of school, but that didn’t stop some of the fuckers from trying to get her attention.

“Hey, baby,” Stacey greeted, coming up beside me and nuzzling her arm around mine.


“I thought this day would never end. Finally! Christmas break.”

Stacey and I weren’t serious, and we weren’t exclusive either. I guess you could say we were dating. She tried to make me jealous with different guys an infinite amount of times, and I always blew her off each and every stint. She could do whatever she wanted, and I told her that often. All it did was confirm what the boys and I already knew about her, and as shitty as it sounded, it worked for me.

“What do you want to do over break?”

I shrugged. “I haven’t really given it much thought.”

“Oh, well then maybe I should think about it for us.”

“Or let’s just play it by ear.”

“Okay…” she muttered, holding me closer.

“Where’s Half-Pint?” Jacob asked as we walked up to the bike rack.

“She had to get her Algebra book from her locker. She said she would meet us out here.”

“She’s going to be a while,” Stacey smugly informed, baiting me.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I questioned, eyeing her.

“Oh, well, I saw Gavin cornering her—”

“Cornering her?” Dylan interrupted, stepping off his bike.

“Jesus calm down, guys, they’re just talking. Leave her alone.”

Austin raised an eyebrow, rounding the bikes. “I’ll go get her.”

“No one needs to come get me,” Alex chimed in, strolling up to us. “He was just asking me for the assignments that needed to be completed durin’ break. No need to come and scare him. Trust me, boys know I’m not to be messed with, y’all have laid down the law.” She rolled her eyes.

“What’s your problem?” I asked.

“What’s yours?” she argued, sitting on her bike.

I couldn’t tell if she was pissed because of the way we protected her or because Stacey was still wrapped around my arm. I assumed it was a little bit of both. Stacey had a way of making herself seem more important to me than she truly was, and it always happened to be when Alex was around.

“I’ll see you later, baby.” She tried to kiss me on the mouth, but I turned my face at the last second, and she kissed my cheek instead.

“Half-Pint,” I coaxed, getting on my bike, trying to get her to look at me.

“What? I’m here. Let’s go.”

She was the first to take off and I pedaled up beside her while the boys rode way in front, even after all these years she still couldn’t pedal as fast as us.

“Are you going to talk to me?”

She glanced at me, annoyed. “Why wouldn’t I talk to you?”

“I know you better than that. Give me some credit.”

“Fine,” she scoffed. “I think it’s ridiculous that you boys guard me like rabid dogs, I mean you pretty much pee on me to keep boys away and it’s not fair.”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it, she couldn’t say things like that and not expect me to laugh.

She glared at me.

“What? Oh come on I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh.

“Yes, you did.”

“Maybe. A little bit. Like half a cup.”

She grinned, staring back in front of her to avoid smiling at me. I told you she couldn’t stay mad at us, especially me.

“It’s still not fair,” she repeated, the attitude in her tone calming.

“I never said life was fair.”

“What if I did that to you? Huh? What if I made sure girls wouldn’t talk to you? What if I told Stacey to go fly a kite or something?”

“Fly a kite? That’s the best you got?” I teased, knowing that she didn’t cuss. I don’t think I had ever heard a cuss word come out of her mouth before.

“Bo, you know what I mean. You wouldn’t have it. You would put a stop to it immediately. You all would. It’s not fair that the rules are different for me.”

“You’re a girl,” I simply stated.

If she weren’t riding her bike, she probably would have tackled me to the ground because I called her one. Even though she dressed like one, it still didn’t give us the right to say it to her. The heated scowl she shot in my direction was enough for me to know that she was past her breaking point of not being taken seriously.

But again I didn’t give a shit.