Uh-oh. Bailey’s annoying stepbrother has caught him! What’s next?
“Wow, man, I didn’t realize you had joined the bandwagon; I would’ve hooked you up with better stuff eons ago. We could have been shotgun buddies; firing rounds to the finest ones God made.”
Stupid Chris actually thought I was as perverted as he was. “I didn’t join your bandwagon.”
“Really? Could’ve fooled me.”
“Okay, look, it was an ad, I did not go there willingly, you can stop blushing now; I don’t like you and your pervy stuff anymore than I did when you first showed up in my life.”
“Uh huh, uh huh, and that was why you just closed a video player which is installed on your computer and not a web browser, right? Come on, Bailey. Accept it; you like this stuff, you love this stuff! Why do you have to be so prim and proper all the time?”
“At least I’m not failing classes and changing schools every three months because half the girls in my school are complaining of sexual harassment. I’m not the one who’s out selling Angelic Lust magazines to people and telling the bishop that I’m helping to spread the message of admiring the beauty of God’s creation. You’re over there being a pervert and I’m here working hard to try to make something out of myself. I’m prim and proper because I want to be somebody and not a failure, not like you.”
Chris just smiled. “I saw you, B. When Martha knocked at the door, you rushed out and ran into the bathroom and then rushed back out soon after. I have to hand it to you, man, you’re very smart. If I had half your brains, I would never have been caught by my dad. But you see, you wear your boxers based on a schedule.
“Every single day has a specific color and you even pile them up in the laundry basket in the order of the days you wore them. You’ve never deviated from the schedule since I got to know you. So I got curious when I went to use the bathroom and right there on the top of the dirty clothes were blue boxers; today’s color was green. So I picked them up, thinking they must have already been washed and mum probably mistakenly dropped them into the dirty laundry basket. Boy, I wish I had thought that decision through. I couldn’t get the sticky stuff off my fingers with soap; that was some unusually thick stuff! My goodness, that must have been residue from about five rounds of natural ammo!
“So I walked in and took a look on your computer and I have to say, your stash is very impressive; I can’t even get some of those videos and I haven’t even seen some of those beauties before. Your video player was closed; I opened it, hoping Martha would see it too and know who you really are but she never quite made it inside, so your life was spared.”
I had been so meticulous over the last ten years, making sure that every last trace of my problem was hidden or erased and it had worked until now. And the one thing I didn’t even imagine would give me up was the exact thing that did. Nosey Chris! Why did he always have to be the one who was never charmed or fooled by me!
“Leave my room, Chris. Leave, before I make you leave.”
He turned around, and then turned back. “Look Bailey, I know you’re not a fan of mine and I know that my personality and preferences severely offend you and mum, even my own dad. But I have peace. Believe it or not, even though you and everyone else thinks that whatever bad thing anyone else says concerning me is true although a large majority of them are not, I sleep like a baby at night. I’m not living a lie, I don’t have to pretend to be someone else to be liked or respected and I’m very sure that no one will be disappointed if they caught me firing rounds in my bed.
“I have peace, Bailey, I am a free man and no one’s opinion of me controls my perceptions or actions. You are the poster boy for all things holy and righteous and yet you’re in the same boat as me. So hate it or like it, you are very much like me; you just do a great job at hiding it. And by the way, if you don’t want to be a member, just stop. Unless…wait. Bailey, are you…”
“It is your fault that I even know about this stuff. I was a normal person until you got caught watching it. I had never even seen an unclad woman, let alone imagined one but thanks to you, now I do and I’ve had to live with the consequences ever since. Get out! Get the hell out! Get your foolish self and your stupid opinions out of my room! This is my room, you are not welcome on this side of the house!”
The adrenaline from being so angry at Chris left me trembling and very weak once he left my room, his smug, irritating smile still on his face. Too weak to think, I had fallen onto my bed to sleep and right before I dozed off, Martha’s text asking me whether I had completed my written thesis jolted me out of bed and into the chair.
I scrambled to find sensible things to say; missing a month of class had left me handicapped and for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. I had forty-five minutes to write a thesis that should take at least three hours to write and another two hours to thoroughly review.
I submitted it a minute to the deadline and forgot all about it because I was too busy figuring out how to apologize to Martha and keep her from talking to Chris so she wouldn’t find out about this. It was bad enough that he knew but if she found out, I would be better off being a hermit than watching her break down in shock and denounce me from her life completely.