Chapter 6: In which she takes a walk down the memory lane
Samuel McKenna. My older twin brother.
It’s been ages since I last saw him and yet, it felt like we hadn’t parted at all.
Out of the two of us, I'm the one with mom's honey brown hair while Samuel got our father's blonde. But we both have his brown eyes. It's an unusual color actually, not quite brown but with a bit of gold...hazel maybe...nah! It's too weird a color to even have a name. But while my eyes only had a few specks of gold in them, Sam was blessed with a light golden ring at the edges.
I really wanted to go over to him and hug him tightly, because this was the first time I’d seen him in four years, but I couldn’t. Our circumstances had never been kind to us.
"Hey, you okay?" Nathan's hand waving in front of my face broke me out of my trance.
"Huh? Oh! I’m completely fine...just perfect. Why would you say that?" I offered nervously.
"Well for starters, you had that faraway look in your eyes that people get when they are thinking too much and our dinner has been served, yet you took no notice," he pointed towards the table with a tilt of his head.
It was then that I noticed that dinner had indeed been served. My chicken parmesan and veggies looked just right in presentation and my wine was chilled and waiting. Nathan on the other hand, seemed to be waiting patiently for me to regain my composure so he could attack his medium stake.
"Let's eat!" I said, rubbing my hands together in excitement and picked up the cutlery as Nathan dived into his food.
Dinner was nice and the food tasted perfect. Nathan told me about his life after school when he got accepted into Harvard on a scholarship as we dined. Damn the brainy bastard, but I gotta admit that he got real lucky with his genes. But even amid my conversation, I kept glancing at the table where Samuel and his date sat...well, she looked more like a bimbo that a proper date. She was here with Sam but she shamelessly kept ogling at any guy that passed her by. Or was I letting my jealousy getting the better of me and judging a nice girl for sitting opposite Sam while I couldn’t even go talk to my own brother?
They sat three tables ahead of us with Samuel having his back towards me, so I couldn’t exactly ‘Morse-code’ him any messages. And since his ‘date’ hasn’t so much as glanced in my direction, so it was safe to assume that she didn't know me either. I wanted to speak to him, but I can't do that outright. Fuck! Why was everything so complicated?
The rest of my dinner date passed by with me sneaking peeks at my brother every so often and wondering on what to do next. It wasn’t until I saw him calling for the cheque that I knew I had to act fast or lose my chance of talking to him at all.
"Excuse me, I'll just go use the washroom," I got up from my seat as Nathan himself called for the bill. Nathan nodded as he took out his phone and I took that as my queue and got to work.
It was a good thing that Samuel was facing the washroom, so I walked towards it and stood at the entrance to the hallway. I looked at Sam and tried to wave at him without gathering too much attention. It worked.
Samuel turned to look at me in annoyance but as soon as he realized who it was, his eyes widened in surprise. I waited for him out of view, inside the hallway that divided the men’s and women’s toilet as he too excused himself and came my way.
Without another thought I ran into his open arms and hugged him tight to me. "Sam!"
"Sav! God, it's been a while," his voice was strained, like he was fighting tears. Well, to hell with that, I was already crying.
He pulled back and wiped away the tears streaming down my cheeks. "Its okay, Sav. It's gonna be okay soon, I promise." He held my face between his palms and looked into my eyes as he said that and I believed him. Because I trusted Sam completely.
"Anyway, how are you? I haven't seen you in four years. I missed you." I told him.
"I missed you too. I'm okay...I guess. And you?" He asked, pulling me into another embrace and kissing my hair.
"Better, now that I've seen you." He chuckled as he gave my shoulder a light squeeze. "By the way, who's that girl you're with? Your date? Seems more interested in the waiter than you though," I laughed but it died down as soon as I felt him freeze. "Sam?"
He pulled back and looked at my eyes seriously, "Sav, we'll get him for this, okay! I won't let him get away with everything he's done. You know that right?"
Ok, now he was scaring me. "Samuel, I know that, but that's not what I asked you. What's wrong?" I somehow got this feeling in my gut that I won't like the answer to this particular question.
Samuel let go of me and ran a hand through his blonde locks. He seemed to be debating whether or not to tell me the truth. Finally, he sighed and closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, all signs of nervousness he’s had since childhood. I stood there fidgeting, contemplating on whether I really wanted to know what had Samuel so on edge or just let it go.
Finally, opening his eyes and looking dead into mine, he said the one thing that I never expected him to tell me.