Illicit Desires (The Illicit Series Book 1), page 6
The first thing I recognized was the cold, oh so cold shower, and me as I scrubbed my whole body ferociously. I felt dirty. So dirty.
I wouldn't have known that I was crying if it wasn't for how hot my tears felt compared to the cold water that was coming out of the showerhead. I wanted to remove any trace of him that was left on my body. I wanted the feel of his touch gone – I felt so dirty, so, so dirty.
When my body started to ache and burn because of the sting I left with every new rub of my sponge, I got out of the shower. It felt like I'd been using sandpaper on my body all along, not a regular sponge. I felt so sore.
The next thing I knew, I was lying on my bed, hardly able to see or hear anything around me.
"Dave, she's burning up…"
"Open your eyes, sweetie."
"It won't break!"
"Should we get her to the hospital?"
"How is she now?"
"Hey, Lily, I brought you your homework."
"He said it'll get better soon."
"… only with medication."
"Dude! Can you hear me?"
"She's not in a coma, Sean!"
"Get well soon, Lilla."
"Sweetheart, it's been three days …"
"My dad made you some soup, I know you’ll like it."
"Sandra, she's sick and staying in bed, not going to a fashion show! Stop manicuring her nails!"
"Julia is going crazy worrying about you, darling, we all are."
"She's hardly awake at all."
" … and I recorded the new Vampire Diaries episode for you."
"Would you help me feed her?"
"Dave, I'm worried."
"… just stop messing with her iPod!"
"Lilla, we missed you."
"Forgive me, baby sis."
I felt his hand on my forehead. My eyelids were so heavy that I couldn't move them, I couldn't open my eyes. Then his hand touched my cheek softly.
"No! Don't touch me. Please don't!" I screamed with a raspy voice which I – again – didn't recognize as my own.
"Lily?! It's me. Dad!”
"Don't touch me," I repeated, in a whisper this time as I sat up on the bed, pulling the sheets up all the way to my chin. I glanced at him with my head bent down, only to see a confused look that was mixed with worry on his face.
"Sweetheart. Are you okay? How do you feel?"
"Don't touch me," I breathed. Somewhere deep inside me I knew it was my dad, and I knew it was okay for him to touch me, but I couldn't bear the thought of him touching me, though I didn't know why.
"Okay, sweetie, I'm not going to touch you. Here." He held his hands in front of him, showing me that they were not anywhere near me. Tears started to stream down my cheeks.
"There, there, sweetheart. Shhhh, everything is going to be okay. You had a fever for too long, over a week, you're just confused. I'll go call Mom for you and tell her that you're awake, okay?"
I nodded without looking at him.
I didn't know how long I stayed in bed. Weeks maybe… I didn't know; I’d lost all sense of time. I spent most of my days crying and shaking. What happened to me in his room just wouldn't leave my mind.
I couldn't help but flinch every time my father's hand came near me. I knew very well that my dad would never mean anything bad like – him, but then again, I'd thought the same about … him.
I trusted him … he did that … he's bad … he hurt me. All of my friends came to visit me every single day. They tried their best to get me out of the bed, or feed me, or do my hair and nails, or simply try to make me laugh. I was getting a little bit better, but I threw up most everything I ate, so I gave up eating as much as I could.
Talking wasn't even an option; it was the hardest thing to do, so I stayed silent. I saw him once or twice, but I looked away right away, trying my best to avoid seeing him. That only hurt more, never made things better. Until that time when I was in the bathroom and caught myself in the mirror, I looked … dead.
The person in the reflection wasn't me! I didn't look like that; she looked like trash: skinny, pale and nearly like a drug addict. I couldn't bear the thought of looking like that. I ended up crying my eyes out, hating myself and my life, and just being miserable.
Then one day I thought, 'that's not me, I'm stronger than that,' and I really was… I really am! I was never one who would just keep on crying and weeping when something bad happened to me; no, I refused to cut myself off from the world and end up in some mental institution.
I was going to face my problems. I was going to his room, and I would demand some answers! This needed to stop!
Next thing I did was to open my door that led to the bathroom and stand in front of his door, taking a deep breath to help me find the courage to knock and face him. I'd locked this door from the inside ever since… that day, and never unlocked it again. Before, I never locked it that much. If he was outside I never locked it, or if I was only brushing my teeth, drying my hair or washing my face.
Mostly, I only locked it when I was in the shower or in the tub … at six in the morning, masturbating because of a sexual dream I had about him. I shook the thought away. Even that I would talk with him about, and I dared him to lie to me.
I unlocked the door and knocked. Then waited.
Looking into his eyes was painful, but I tried my best not to look like the frightened mouse that I was. I straightened my shoulders. "Adrian, we need to talk.”
He stared at me for a second, then lowered his gaze to the floor and nodded. Once inside his room, I fought the unbearable need to vomit my guts out at the sight of his bed.
Get it together, Lily!
I sat down on the sofa on the side of his room, right beside his door and across from his bed. Then I took a deep breath.
He sat on his bed, looking all guilty and – scared? "Do you want to tell me what happened?"
"I … uh …"
"Forget that, I already know what happened." I shook my head slightly and looked at my hands that were resting on my lap. I took another deep breath and tried again. "Why did you do that, Adrian?"
Don't cry, I'm begging you, don't cry, you're stronger than this.
"Lily, I'm sorry. I can never tell you how sorry I am," he said in the smallest voice I'd ever heard.
"I'm not asking you to apologize, Adrian!" I folded my arms in front of my chest and rested my back on the back of the sofa, crossing one leg over the other. "I want answers!"
"Lily, please, don't embarrass me. I'm already embarrassed enough."
"Oh, really? Ah! Forgive me for hurting your feelings!"
"Don't you even realize what you did to me? Don't you know how you—" I couldn't finish my sentence. The tears I'd been holding in since I entered the room managed to choke me and keep me from saying anything further.
He came to me in a second, kneeling in front of me, yet keeping his distance, which I appreciated very much. "Please, don't cry, Lily. Your tears are killing me. Please, I'm not even worth those precious tears," he said in a very low voice, his own tears shining in his eyes.
"Why would you do something like this to me, Adrian? Just give me one reason why!" I sobbed.
"There is nothing I could say that would make what I did understandable, ever. What I did was wrong, I know that. And, if you were ever able to forget it someday… I would be your slave for the rest of my life. Hell, I'm already your slave for the rest of my life, if you would just accept it." Tears started to roll over his cheeks, but he made no effort to wipe them away.
I wanted to wipe them with my own hands, but I couldn't, I was still so mad at him. More than mad. I could only reply with more tears. I wanted answers, but my love for him made me feel bad for making him look like that. But I couldn't just ignore it; he put himself in this situation, not me.
"Why did you do it?" I whispered.
He sighed, then rubbed his forehead and cleared his throat. "O
How could I forget? I'd been trying since forever to block that memory out of my mind, but there it was, coming back to me with a strong force. I nodded and lowered my gaze, as if I was the one who should be embarrassed and not him.
"I've been having … thoughts about you that I shouldn't have since the first day of that vacation, since I saw you in a … bikini."
I gaped at him, trying to take what he just said in. "What kind of thoughts? Wait… Don't say it. God!"
"I swear to God that I have tried my best to push those thoughts away, but … I can't control myself when I'm close to you." He was the one to look at the floor this time.
"You mea— … Had you—… All that time?''
What is that? Why is that? I tried to understand what he was saying to me…
Was he saying that he's lusting over me? His sister? His twin? Oh … my … God!
'You were having similar thoughts about him, too,' a voice in my head accused. Yeah, but they were just dreams … or were they? What if they weren’t dreams all along I was having? What if they were true? Did he actually touch me that many times?
After all, I woke up while thinking it was a dream – what if the other times weren't dreams either? And I just happened to not wake up and witness it? "D— Did you… Have you done it before, Adrian?!"
He squeezed his eyes shut like I had just hit him with something heavy.
I brought a hand to cover the cry that wanted to break out of my mouth. I failed though, and it came out more like a muffled gasp. How could he? I felt my heart burning and pounding inside my chest, wanting to escape my body, not able to handle all the anguish that I was facing all of a sudden.
"How could you?" I whispered.
He answered me with tears of sorrow and agony.
"How could you do this to me, Adrian? To me? To me of all people? You forgot who I am to you? How could you do this?" I sounded hysterical even to my own ears.
I was in shock, my throat felt as dry as an abandoned desert; I couldn't believe that my brother would hurt me this badly. I started hitting him with my hands on his chest, chanting, 'How could you? How could you?' and crying my eyes out.
After a few moments he held my hands. "Stop! I deserve it, but you're hurting your hands, I'm not worth it," he said. He let go of my hands when I calmed down a little.
"How many times? Tens? Hundreds?"
"Just one time. I swear, just one time."
I stared at him; a painful look was on his face, shame and guilt decorating his features. "That doesn't make it any better."
We stayed in silence for some time, not looking at each other, not hearing anything but each other's sobs every now and then a sigh, a sniff, a deep breath—but no words.
"You know what the worst part is?" I asked, and he looked at me, his eyes red and looking all miserable. "I lost my brother," I sobbed. "I'm hurt, and I can't even talk with anyone."
"You took my brother away from me, Adrian. I will never forgive you for this." I stood up to leave, wiping some of my tears away with the back of my hand. I'd taken two steps to the bathroom door when I felt his hand gripping mine, holding me in place. I looked at his hand in mine then gave him a questioning look, and he released my hand right away.
"You didn't lose your brother, Lily. You never will; he's right here in front of you—ready to give you his own soul if it would make you feel slightly better." He wiped his tears with the back of his hand.
I gaped at him, considering what he had just said, my tears blinding me slightly, and my heart aching … for him. He looked like he was in so much pain, so much suffering, but I didn't find anything in me that I could offer… No assurances or even a fake promise that everything was going to be okay. After all, I didn't think it would ever be okay.
"He is?" I asked.
I locked eyes with him for a moment. "Brother?" I tried, and it was his turn to stare at me for another moment.
"Yes, baby sis?" His voice cracked a little, but he tried his best.
"I'm … hurt."
"…Tell me what's wrong."
"I've been … abused? Molested? I don't even know the right term," I sobbed. And big fat tears streamed down and out of my brother's eyes.
"I'm going to kill him!"
"You can't, brother," I said. "You can't kill him, because I love him so much. If you kill him, you'll kill me." I shrugged one shoulder to express my helplessness.
"Oh, baby sis. He loves you too, so much, words can't even describe."
"If so, why would he do this to me? To … v—violate my body while I'm unconscious, and take something that was never his?"
"He's sorry, I swear he's so sorry. He can never tell you how the guilt and shame and regret are eating him alive! He's so fucking sorry … he couldn't control himself."
"I trusted him more than anyone in the world, brother. He was my everything, my best friend, my safety… my wall." I chuckled slightly through my tears at the silly term I used to describe how much he… is to me.
But it fit so well, you know when something really bad happens to you and you feel like you're about to faint? And you're so grateful that there is a wall behind you that will not let you fall? That will offer you all the support you need to stay on your feet? That was Adrian to me – my wall. Whatever bad thing happened to me, I knew that Adrian would be there, for support and safety … he took that away from me.
"Was?" He couldn't help the terror that was showing in his voice.
"He deceived me." I said, ignoring his question. "I feel like I can't trust anyone anymore. I came to his room looking for safety, but he betrayed me instead. What should I do, brother? I'm so hurt. I feel like there is no goodness in the world anymore.
"I'm even refusing and shrugging away my father's touch, my own father! Because he's on the same level as him … or close to his level for that matter. I trusted my father too, just like I trusted him, though I keep thinking that I might wake up someday and find my father doing this to me. Even though deep down inside me, I know that my father would never do something like that to me.
"But then again that's what I thought about him, too." My voice cracked at the end.
All the time I was talking, Adrian seemed to be in massive pain, like someone was trying to remove the skin from his body while he was still alive. It hurt me to see him that way.
"He won't touch you again, baby sis. I swear with God as my witness, he'll never lay a finger on you again."
"No. Right now, all he can ask for is your forgiveness. If he has to pay for the rest of his life to gain your forgiveness he'll do it, just allow him to. Can you ever forgive him, baby sis? Please tell me you can."
" … I will try, Brother."
He wept fat tears again. "Can he hug you? Please?"
I considered it for a moment. "No."
He squeezed his eyes shut with an excruciated look.
"But my brother can." I offered him a small, sad smile.
In a split second I was in his arms, and he was hugging me so tightly, almost causing pain. But I didn't care; I missed him so much and I needed that, too. I needed my … safety.
"Oh, baby sis. He'll never risk losing you again, he'll never ever touch you again, I promise." He buried his head in my hair.
I sighed into his chest. Little did I know that he wouldn't keep that promise for long.
Okay, that's not good! Not good at all. I'd had enough of this shit and I really needed to tell her something about it.
"Lily," I called.
"Hmm?!" She was searching for God only knows what in one of the kitchen bottom drawers.
"Can I talk to you for a second, please?"
She looked up at me, sensing that something wasn't right just by my tone. "Yeah, sure."
"Uh, can we go upstairs?" I didn't want to risk Mom overhearing what I wanted to say.
She gave me a confused look, thought about it for a moment, then went up the stairs without replying to me. She choose going to her room. Of course.
I followed her, and when I got to her room, I left the door open – just to be cautious– then stood in front of her, not actually knowing how I was going to say this.
"Uh – um, I – look … um."
"Is everything okay, Adrian?"
"Uh, yes … uh … everything is fine, it's just—"
"What is it?"
"Uh… Your, er, clothes …"
She looked down at herself, then back to me. I moved my eyes to her face quickly after following hers to gape at those creamy long legs of hers that looked super-hot in those tiny shorts. I cleared my throat, acting all innocent like I wasn't drooling over her legs or anything.
I nodded, lowering my gaze to the floor, not able to make any eye contact with her.
"What about them?"
"They’re … uh, too … revealing."
"Adrian, they’re just shorts."
"Tiny ones … and the tank top is too tight, too."
"You do realize that I'm just staying home, right? I'm not going anywhere!"
"Actually, that's the problem." I used to fight with her all the time about the way she dressed, before our talk. I used to tell her that it wasn't appropriate to go out like that… Well, maybe I used the words 'whore' or 'slut,' too. Naturally, I didn't want guys to look at her that way, and I assumed she was thinking that I was once again playing the protective big brother, except trying to be polite about it. But the biggest reason was actually that I didn't want to see her in clothes like that.
She just didn't get it! Since we'd talked two months ago, I'd been trying to be nice to her as much as I could. I still didn't know if she'd ever forgive me for what I did to her, though.
Maybe by being nice I was trying to get her to forgive me or forget what I had done, but at the same time I knew that there was no need now to instigate stupid arguments just to push her away.
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