I grabbed Garrett's hand and pulled him upstairs to my room, urgency in my every step. We went in, I shut the door and rested my back on it. I looked at him.
"I think it's time you told me your story, Garrett." I said. He nodded solemnly, and sat on his bed. He patted a space next to him and I went ove and sat, legs crossed, ready for his tale.
"My name is Garrett Marillier. I was born in 1978. My... brother was born in '75. my father was Darren Marillier, a composer. Aaron was never gifted musically, so I got the full weight of my dad's pushiness. I would spend hours upon hours at the piano; I was going to be a great concert pianist. But I hated it. I wanted to play football like Aaron, I wanted to stay in my room all day like Aaron.
"Don't get me wrong, I loved music. But I didn't like classical piano. I loved real music; Rock and Indie bands that sang about life and how it was. I taught myself the guitar, and stumbled across musicals. Ha! I know what you're thinking. 'He likes musicals, he must be gay.' In a word... No. I wanted to act, to make people cry, and laugh and be simply amazed. I spoke to my parents about it, and my father laughed in my face, and then grew angry when he realised I wasn't joking. I suppressed my dream, and carried on being the perfect son.
"When I was 16, I packed a bag and left. Aaron begged me not to go, but I had to. I had saved up my allowace for years, and came from a relatively wealthy background, so had quite a lot of money to start me off. I went to auditions, and got turned down countless times, but once I got hired I had the time of my life. First in the chorus, seemingly nameless and pointless but bring the real power of a musical. I gradually made my way up to become one of the stars on the West End. I had fulfilled my dream, my ambition... but it had to end.
"Aaron was in trouble, and so I returned home, for one last time. It had been 4 years since I had been home. Aaron was a wreck. He wasn't sleeping, he wasn't eating. All he could think about was this girl." I nodded.
"Lilly?" He looked at me like I was on glue.
"How did you know?" I got up and grabbed the book on the desk, passed it to him and settled down on the bed again.
"I found this under the book shelf. I read all of the notes." I watched he scanned through them all, and saw his rich skin pale as he read the last one. "What happened next?"
"He was going to be arrested for stalking. I didn't want that for my big brother. We ran. We were on the road for about a month before we found the house. We lived here for just under a year. He was irritable, angry and hateful. As I made friends he grew more and more distant. I wished that I had never helped him, even though he was my brother. I went into his room to find something he'd taken, I can't remember what, and I found her. She was in his closet, dead. I honestly believe that it was an accident, but just kidnapping her was disgusting, let alone the sexual abuse and murder. He blamed me. He was totally delusional, hadn't realised that she had died and thought that I had killed her. I had never even realised how crazy and evil my own brother had become. Felix kicked him out, as was right. I don't know what happened to him. I carried on living here, and completely wiped him from my thoughts." His shoulders were drooped in sadness.
"What is this about a baby?" I asked him. He shook his head.
"I have absolutely no idea." I looked at him, and moved closer so I was properly beside him.
"You blame yourself. Don't. Don't you dare, Garrett. You protected your brother out of love. Who knows what evil there is lurking in that man's mind?" I told him sternly. He looked up at me, his eyes sad. I couldn't take it any longer. I wrapped my arms around him, and he returned my embrace. I breathed him in as I comforted him.
"I'm so worried, Aila." He murmured. I stroked his soft hair.
"You have every right to be. He's bloody scary!" I said. I felt him shake his head.
"I'm not worried about me. I'm a big boy, I can look after myself." He pulled back and looked into my eyes. He held my chin. "It's you who I'm scared for." As I looked at this caring, beautiful man, a tear ran down my cheek, despite itself. He let go and wiped it away. I looked down. I wish he wouldn't torture me with his affection. I knew that I was only a friend to him. I made my excuses.
"Felix wanted to see me about something..." I said, leaving quickly. I found Felix at the dining room table, head in hands. He looked at me when he heard me approach. "Hi, Felix. How are you doing."
"I'm fine, despite the circumstances." I nodded. I was desperate to get my mind off Garrett.
"So what did you want to talk to me about." I asked, innocently. He looked around guiltily, then looked deeply into my eyes.
"Aila, I just have to come out and say it. You're so good. You don't judge any of us, you're so loving and, hell, you've even forgiven Garrett for being a complete ass to you. What I'm trying to say is, you're one of the best people I've ever met. You've made the ache that Emily left go away. What I'm trying to say is... I love you." I was totally shocked. Felix? Love me? I blinked a couple of times.
"Felix, I honsetly don't know what to say. I love you, but as a friend." I said, carefully.
"You... don't think it could ever be more?" He asked.
"Oh Felix, I don't think about any of you in that way." Liar, I thought to myself. You're lying to one of your best friends. Liar.