Chapter 10 - The Adopted Brother


We’ve only been here for a full day and things have already gone to hell. Ma has been nagging Dee none stop to the point where Dee just completely shut down. Her last comment was what sealed the deal. Telling your own daughter how selfish and useless she was simply because she slept due to a few beers was inexcusable. Those words should never come out of a parent's mouth no matter the circumstances.

Dee was far from selfish or useless and hearing anyone tell her otherwise pissed me off, even if it was ma. Dee didn’t deserve to be told that or be treated how ma has been treating her. She’s barely talking, even to Pa and that’s driving him crazy. Now he no longer wants to stick to the plans ma, and I made. He refuses to budge until Dee does and no one knows when that will be.

Knowing Dee, she could lock herself in her room through the whole vacation then go home and leave for another five years and be completely content. None of us can handle that outcome. We’ve already five days into the two weeks and just when I thought I had a chance to weasel my way in, ma caused a mess setting me back. Something has to give.

“Mom, we need to talk.”

“It’s about her, isn’t it?”

“Yes. This is not working. I don’t know what’s your issue with her is, I don’t believe she even knows. Whatever it is, just talk to her. All the nagging and remarks are getting extreme. Even dad has had enough. This is supposed to be a family vacation but look at us. She hasn’t left her room, talked, or eaten. She’s miserable and we’ve been here for only one day.”

“You and your dad are always sticking up for her.”

“And you don’t enough. You have people out there praising your daughter, people who envy you because you birth her. If I’m blessed enough to have a daughter who can be half of how Dee is, I’d be on my knees thanking every god known and unknown to man. Ma, I love you and will always appreciate you for treating me like your own, but Dee is your daughter, and she is beyond amazing. She doesn’t deserve how you talk to her and treat her. Why can’t you see what everyone else does?”

For the first time since I was adopted and she became my mom, I talked to her like this and have seen her cry. It hurt me to see her cry and to know that I triggered her in the way but I couldn't take this anymore. She needed to know what she was doing was wrong.

“Mom, please don’t cry.” I hugged her until she calmed down.

“You know, we had a daughter before her. Lovely. I was fourteen, had a few cramps and then boom came baby. She was premature and had many complications due to my incompetence. But she was sweet, loving, full of life, and needy. She looked just like me and my mother too. All she wanted was me and to me, that was everything to me. I had her and your father. But we were kids ourselves living in an undeveloped third-world country.

Our parents had enough to get us education and live comfortably but not enough to support another mouth, especially one that was constantly sick. So, they did everything to get us to the states, I was sixteen. Your father who was already eighteen found a job, continued college, later became an engineer. All that time leaving me behind, all I had then was her. My Lovely. She died in her sleep a few days shy of her eighth birthday. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. When I found out it was a girl, I had a spark of hope that my Lovely had come back to me.

Melody was born looking everything like her father, she only cried for him, only wanted him. she followed his every move, would stay and sleep wherever he was. He was her world, and I didn’t exist. Everything was about him. You heard the stories of how he would bring her to work to his meetings. I no longer existed. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t believe he would have found his way home nor stayed married to me.

I was told that in time, she would grow to need and love me. Yet it’s been the complete opposite. She only seems to be happy and show any sign of the daughter I craved for after you came into our lives and even that was short-lived. You are right, she is worthy of praise and appreciation. she is perfect in every way, everything I'm not. I love her, I really do but I don’t know how to connect with her or if I ever will.”

Damn, that was a boatload of a confession. As she cried all over again, all I could say to comfort her was that she was perfect, the best mother anyone could ask for. I finally understand now why she gives Dee a hard time. It’s not an excuse to treat her the way she does but I understand why she does it. I believe that all of this could be sorted out if they simply talked to each other.

If she told Dee what she just told me, that might help them both. Unfortunately, they both are too damn stubborn. If she wasn’t so blinded, she would have seen that Dee is more like her than she thinks. I was facing her, trying to console her not noticing Dee slipped out of the back door until it closed.

“Go after her and make sure she’s ok.”

I was more than happy to. I found her jogging, headphones in her ears. I watched as she did a couple of laps before walking up to meet her. A look of surprise flashed on her face, quickly replaced with a neutral expression.

“Hey. Care to go out for lunch and a few drinks?”

She stared at me, the wheels spinning in her head before nodding. We quietly walked back to the villa. She walked to her room without a word or even a glance. As if nothing was around her. I knew her enough to know what that meant. She was shutting that switch off. The one that allowed her to feel or care. The one that meant that at any moment, she’d find a way to escape.


I had my work cut out for me. We went to a little shack near the ocean. It was overly crowded, and I knew how she didn’t like being around a lot of people. Unfortunately, all the outside tables were full. Soft music was playing in the background making the atmosphere bearable. We ordered as I watched her look around drinking her pineapple drink.

She was looking without actually looking. Her mind was somewhere else. It was processing something, maybe a lot that she just couldn’t figure out the answer to yet. Hopefully one of those things was me. However, I was afraid she heard what ma said and was trying to process that too.

If I heard ma or my birth mother said that about me, I’m not sure I’d be able to process it. If anything, I’d be angry and overly pissed off.

“So, about this game, when does it start?” she asked

“We can start now if you’re ready.”

“Might as well. This so-called vacation is already a drag.”

She smiled and it took everything in me not to lean over the table and crash my lips on hers. I calmed my urges and simply studied her. She gave nothing away, just held my gaze. The tilt of her head and cocked of her eyebrow confirmed that the game was on. She was down to play, but was she ready to play the game I had in mind?

“Ok. Just remember that there’s no backing out. My game. My rules. No takebacks. No negotiations.”

“When have I ever backed out of a game?”

I could respond that she backed out on me when she took off five years ago after telling me she loved me. After she allowed me to taste every single inch of her and got me addicted. I won't because that wouldn’t be fair to her, and I don’t believe it was a game. At least not one I was aware of.

“Well, since you’ve put it that way. The first layer of the game…”

“Wait. There’re layers?”

“Yup. You forfeited and lost to regain rule one. Remember?”

“What’s the first layer Jaylen?”

“First off, you’re only allowed to call me Jay. Second, we pretend we’re not “adopted” siblings.”

The look of confusion on her face made her that much cuter. She’s about to lose her shit, but it’s going to be beyond worth it.

“Meaning, we’ll date for the remainder of this vacation. Not that crap you have going on with what’s his face either. Actual dates, like an actual couple. Starting right now, you are mine and I am yours.”