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Complicate Me(7)

By:M. Robinson

Carry it around with her.

A memory ingrained.

The symbolism behind it wasn’t something I realized till I was older.

By that time, it was too late.

“I love you, Half-Pint, you’re my best friend,” was all I could say.

It was natural, normal. I wanted us to stay exactly that way. Losing her wasn’t an option for me and I knew that at thirteen years old.

Shit I knew it even before then.

She smiled, big and wide. “I love you, too.”


The rest of the school year went flying by, and it was once again summer, our favorite time of the year. The island was packed with tourists and the high season had begun. There were only two months out of the year where Oak Island was crowded with random people from all over the world. Living in a small Southern beach town, everyone knew everybody, you couldn’t walk anywhere without someone knowing your name. Town gossip ran rapid and everyone knew everyone’s drama and business, nothing stayed behind closed doors. I never paid any attention to it.

None of us did.

“Come on, Lucas, just take her out for a burger. She’s been fawning all over you since the beginning of the school year and that was almost a year ago. She’s hot. Why you keep ignoring her?” Jacob asked as we pedaled from the beach to Alex’s house.

“Because she’s dated every guy in our grade, the girl’s been ridden more than my damn bike.”

“That’s the point.”

“Not for me.”

“Lucas, don’t you want to do something? I mean your hand must be gettin’ tired,” he laughed.

I glared at him.

“Whatever, man, it’s your dick. I’m just trying to help you. That’s what friends do for each other. You know I got to third base with Lesley and Dylan is almost to second with Riley. Austin is still young but shit, man, he’s already tongue kissed a girl. What have you done, Lucas? Jack shit.”

My mind went to Alex, it wasn’t a tongue kiss, but it was still a kiss. I never told any of them what happened and neither did she. That should have been the first giveaway that it meant something, but how much can something mean when you’re that damn young?

Surfing, the boys, and Alex, that was my life. That’s all I understood. That’s all I knew.

It was the first time we hid something from them, but it definitely wouldn’t be the last. We never brought it up again either.

We didn’t have to.

The truth hung around her neck.

“How do you know that?” I asked, breaking away from my thoughts.

“Are you for real? Unless you done something with Alex that we don’t know about, then the only action you’ve seen is what you find in them nudie magazines. We all love Alex. You know that. But she’s a kid. You’re thirteen, not far from being fourteen. Man up!”

I sighed, annoyed with his stammer and the fact that he read my mind or maybe I was just paranoid. “I don’t want to ask her out. I don’t even like her. Why would I ask someone out if I don’t like them?”

He glared over at me like I’d grown four heads. “Bro, you do realize that you just sounded like a pussy, right? Please tell me you know that?

I rolled my eyes.

“You ask a girl like her out for one reason and one reason only. Do I have to spell it out for ya, Lucas?”

“I get it.”

“No I don’t think you do.”

“Shut your trap before I shut it for you,” I argued.

He laughed. “Awe, why so sensitive? Are you hiding something?”


“What? Do you like Alex? Is that what this is about?”

“No,” I adamantly repeated.

“Good. She’s like our little sister. If you did, I might have to beat the living shit out of you. You know we all would. It’s not like that with her, for any of us,” he reminded me, adding to my confusion and insecurities of what Alex and I should be to one another.

“I know that.”

“I’m glad. She’s a kid, Lucas.”

“We’re all kids,” I stated, trying to sway the conversation away Alex without being overly obvious.

“No shit. But an eleven-year-old girl because that’s what she is, even though she would probably tackle me to the ground before admitting it,” he chuckled at the thought and so did I. “To an almost fourteen year old boy is way different. She hasn’t even grown into her body yet. Trust me, Alex is going to be fucking gorgeous. Which is all the more reason that we have to protect her. You want her datin’ some guy like us? You know how we are when she’s not around.”

I nodded. “Why are you lecturing me on shit I already know? You’re beating a dead horse. I’m fully aware. Relax.”

“Then ask Stacey out.”

I sighed, knowing I didn’t have much of a leg to stand on. Everything he said was true. Alex was young and she was like our little sister. I blurred the lines with that kiss and I needed to make my way back over to the side with the rest of the boys.

It’s where I belonged.

“Fine. I’ll ask her out on a date just to shut you up.”

“That’s all I ask, brotha’.”

The next day I asked Stacey out on a date.

This would be the first time that I walked away from Alex.

But definitely…

Not the last.

“Whatcha’ doin’?” Alex prodded, walking into my bedroom as I’m playing with my phone on my bed. It was an early birthday gift. She scooted next to me, moving my arm so that she could lay in the crevice of my chest.

“Nothin’ much. What are you doing here? I thought you were going to town with your mom today?”

“We are,” she snickered. “But she had to talk to your mom about something important and told me to come wait up here with you.”

“Don’t want to go shopping, huh?”

She pouted, glancing up at me. “Do I ever?”

“It might not be so bad, Half-Pint. It’s not normal that you don’t like to go shopping.”

She sat up, facing me with her legs tucked under her tiny frame. “Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Like to go shopping?”

“Hell no.” I sat up against my wall.

“Well then. Why would I?”

“Because you’re a girl.”

She punched me in the chest.

“Ouch!” I rubbed where she hit me. “What was that for?”

“You know why,” she giggled, seeing that her weak ass punch had an effect on me, dwindling sideways on my bed.

I shook my head. “You’re so violent.”

“I learned from you,” she justified, pointing at me, sitting upright.

I laughed because it was true.

“You meeting up with the boys?”

“Nah, I’m meeting up with Stacey in a few hours.”

“Stacey?” she asked, taken aback. “Who’s Stacey?”

“The girl from the beach.”

With widening eyes she sat up straighter, trying to appear much older than she actually was. “The big boobed girl?”

I grinned to keep from laughing. “Yeah.”


“What do you mean?”

“Why are you meeting up with her?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know, we’re hanging out.”


I raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

She lowered her head to my comforter and started picking at the seams. She only did that when she was nervous. “Is this a date?” she muffled.

“I guess.”


“Why you keep sayin’ that?”

“No reason,” she lied.

“What’s wrong?”


“You know you can’t lie to me, so why don’t you just tell me what the sad voice and sappy face is for?”

She scowled at me. “I’m not lying.”

I stood, folding my arms over my chest and cocking my head to the side. She knew I wouldn’t let her leave my room if she didn’t tell me the truth. I would get it out of her, one way or another.

“I thought you didn’t like her. You said you didn’t,” she finally answered.

“I never said that,” I stated, taking in her solemn demeanor.


“Will you stop speaking in code?”

“I’m not,” she scoffed, moving her legs to hang over the edge of my bed.

“I told you she’s just a girl and she is. That’s all.”

“Then why are you going on a date with her, if she’s just a girl?”

“Because that’s what boys do.”

Her lips parted, displaying her bright red tongue. She must have been sucking on a cherry lollipop, our favorite.

I almost smiled. “It’s not a big deal, Half-Pint,” I confessed, rubbing the back of my neck.

She nodded, her eyes shifting to the door behind me.

“Well…” She leaped from my bed to stand in front of me, barely meeting my chest, and I was reminded how small she really was, how young she really was.

“Have fun on your date.”

My eyebrows lowered. “Why you actin’ like this?”

“I’m not acting like anything,” she replied, shrugging, the attitude evident in her tone. “I’ll see ya later.” She stepped aside and walked toward my door.

“Alex,” I called out, forcing in the breath I hadn’t realized I held. “You’ll always be my brown eyed girl.”