3.25 - Brother Love

3.25 - Brother Love

“I guess she might like this one,” I hold up a white teddy bear.

“What? No. When you pick a stuffed animal for a girl it should be memorable, remind her of you. You are not a small polar bear. For starters, you’re a black bear. Say it loud, you’re a black bear and you’re proud,” Elias screams in the toy store. I ignore him and he just screams louder, “I’m a black bear, and I’m proud!”

“Please stop.”

“Not until you scream it.”

“I’m a black bear and I’m proud,” I mumble.


“I’m a black bear and I’m proud.”

“I’ll take it,” he gives me a thumbs up.

“What about this,” I hold up a black teddy bear.

“Nope, this is more your speed,” he holds up teddy bear.

It’s a brown bear with glasses and a laptop. I don’t even wear glasses, I wear contacts. I only wear glasses around the house. Destiny has never seen me wearing glasses. But I guess it does kind of look like me, as much as a bear can look like me. I’m just glad it doesn’t have bucked teeth and braces, or that chubby phase I went through. Does Destiny even like teddy bears? I didn’t see any at her place.

“Yeah sure,” I toss the bear in the cart. “Why are we at the toy store?”

“Because adults love toys just as much as kids, and not just sex toys. You only start aging when you stop trying to have fun,” Elias smiles.

“That’s stupid.”

“Wow, you were no Chipper Charles before but your attitude has been a real downer lately. You must really like this Karma girl.”

“Destiny, and she’s a woman. Girl is demeaning to adults.”

“Not all girls, but I got you, it’s about respect and all that. Anyway, there’s a difference between growing up aging.”

“Let’s just pay and get out of here.”

“Sure, I’ll meet you outside, there’s a holistic shop next door. All kinds of great stuff in there. She sounds like a smart, neo soul gir- woman,” he points at me, “She’ll love the stuff we can get there.”

I leave the cart in the aisle and head to the register to pay for the bear. Looking around at all the parents with their kids, I don’t feel weird, I feel lonely. They’ve got all this love to share, and I don’t. I thought Destiny and I might start a family one day. Can vampires even have kids?

“Sir, Sir, will that be cash or credit,” the cashier tries to get my attention.

“Oh, sorry. It’ll be debit.”

Outside Elias is playing hacky sack as if he doesn’t have a problem in the world. He leads me across the parking lot a little shop called Camille’s. Inside it smells like incense and perfume mixed together way too heavily. But he’s right, this is the kind of shop Destiny would love. Handcrafted soaps made from natural ingredients, books on Black liberation and ornaments of power, this is her kind of place. I go a little wild with the shopping, a little of this, a little of that. I spend the most on a beaded necklace with a sapphire pendent at the end. Supposedly it means the wearer will find true happiness in life. Even if she isn’t with me, I hope she’s happy.

“Got enough,” Elias jokes as we pull off.

“Nope, we’ve got one more stop.”

“Now you’re getting into the spirit lover boy.”

The blood bank is where I’m taking us. Elias doesn’t need to go inside, and I nearly passed out last time, but I have to. I saw some great stuff that Destiny might like last time I was there. Maybe some candy, soda and other stuff. I won’t be sharing it with her, but she can enjoy it, even if I won’t be around.

“What are we doing at the blood bank? I’m trying to help you get your girl back, not give blood,” Elias jokes.

“I told you, vampire,” I exit the car.

“Big titty goth girlfriend, I see you,” he hangs out the window.

“She doesn’t have big breast, and don’t talk about her breast,” I’m embarrassed. I really can’t believe he just yells stuff like that in public.

This time I don’t have a panic attack seeing everyone inside. I purchase some treats, and wine. It’s the most expensive wine on the list, the alcohol content is low, but it’s sweet and made from the blood of Wood Elves, Destiny loves sweet things. They’ll go great with the rest of the gift basket. Elias doesn’t believe they’ve got blood inside of them despite the red tint to the treats. Destiny told me that you can’t really perceive the magic in the world around you until after you’ve been introduced to it. Maybe you just have to see it with your own eyes or something because I keep telling him and he doesn’t believe any of it.

“Can I give you a few words of advice,” Elias asks as we stop outside of Destiny’s apartment.

“Sure,” he does know way more about women than I do.

“Actually, I’m coming with you,” he gets out of the car. “Get your basket and let’s go,” he makes his way into the building.

“What are you doing,” I ask as we get in the elevator.

“What floor,” he asks, I just press the button.

“You can’t come with me,” I get louder now that no one is around.

“Yeah well, you never had a wing man. I should have been your wing man. Now I’m going to meet your girlfriend and fix this. You’ve done a lot for me little brother, let me do something for you,” he smiles as if he’s an anime character that did something cool.

“No thank you, and she’s not my girlfriend.”

“Friends with benefits?”

“We’ve never had sex.”

“Still? Okay, I’m coming for sure now.”

“No, you can’t.”

“Which way,” he steps out of the elevator. I don’t even remember pressing a button.

“I’m not telling,” I refuse to move.

He sticks his hand in the elevator door to keep it from closing, “there’s like six doors on this floor. I can just yell her name or knock on every door, and then she’ll really hate you. If she’s not on this floor, I’ll just go to the next one.”

“This way,” he’s finally got me.

He bangs on the door as if he’s the police and nobody answers. I feel relieved and eager to go away and give up. Maybe I can find a way back on her good side another day. A day when my womanizing big brother isn’t here to ruin it. I almost vomit when she opens the door.

“Who the hell is knocking on my door like they own the place,” she stares down Elias.

“Hey, I’m Elias. I assume you’re Destiny. My brother never shuts up about you,” he extends his hand.

“Why did you bring this nappy, green haired, dirty artist looking, cross colored asshole to my home,” Destiny leans around Elias and stares at me.

“Actually, my hair is black with spots of green. I’m growing freeform dreads similar to Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s going to be a big thing in a few years,” Elias leans against the door frame, keeping her from slamming the door. He thinks he is, but she could toss him with one hand.

“What do you want,” she asks, and for the first time I can see she’s been crying, maybe as much as me.

“Well, my brother fucked up. He keeps walking around the apartment crying. It’s really bringing down the mood. He’s sorry,” Elias begins.

“He’s already said that,” she cuts him off.

“I brought a gift basket,” I try to chime in.

“I don’t care,” she pokes out her neck and shakes her head at me.

“Hey, he fucked up. Even at his big age you’re his first girlfriend,” I’m surprised she doesn’t correct him. “From what he told me, he let some people get in his head. You two have been hanging out for months now, you know he isn’t like that. He’s been sitting at home complaining about losing the best thing in his life. I don’t want to see that, and I can see your eyes are all red, and you’ve got streaks on your face from crying too. A relationship isn’t anything without communication, and you two have both been ignoring the other. Now, I know you’ve had some good times, I’ve never heard him so excited about board games before. I’m not saying it’s wrong to cry, just cry together,” I’m shocked she let him get that much out.

“What’s in the basket,” she asks me.

“A teddy bear, some hand-crafted bath soaps, a few books, cookies, brownies, wine,” I start to list everything.

“Come in,” she tells me.

“We’re getting somewhere now, let’s all sit down and talk this out” Elias steps forward but Destiny doesn’t budge.

“Thanks for coming, but this is between us,” she gives him a light but forceful shove backwards.

“Two questions,” Elias stops before the door can close. “Should I wait in the car, or pick you up later?”

“I’ll call you,” I tell him.

“Question two is for the pretty lady,” Destiny doesn’t even smile at his joke. “Are you really a vampire,” she closes the door in his face.

“Don’t fuck this up little bro,” I hear from the other side of the door.


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