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The Betting Game - Chapter Fourteen

I wanted to be a winner. In the process, I think I’ve hurt people who have started becoming an important part of my life...
"Like I said, you are amazing and I think you should go to school. You said you wanted to, and just because the idea scares you, you can’t back down." I say.

At the moment I’m sitting next to Tanner who seems to be whining about how he’s tired of staying home and not being able to see the ‘real world’ like his brother. Apparently he’s not ready to step out and go to a normal school though.

"Will I be like Ty?"

I grimace as I imagine him walking to school, his head up high and the girls literally falling for him. If he really wants to be like Tyler then…

"Maybe. I bet you’ll be better than him." I smile.

He grins. "Do you have a brother too?"

My smile immediately falters and I feel my heart painfully beat, but I try to keep the tears at bay as I take a deep breath. "Well, I did. An adorable twin brother…" My voice breaks out at the end.

He seems to notice something is wrong and frowns. To my surprise, he moves closer and hugs me tightly. I shouldn’t have a mental breakdown in front of the kid. It will make me a bad teacher. So I force a smile on my face. "Tanner, want to get some ice cream?"

He nods quickly. "Chocolate chip?"

"I’ll go buy some. Since you’re done studying for the day… we could even watch a movie together."

He grins and jumps up and down excitedly. "I’ll pick a movie."

I watch him as he grabs cushions and puts them together, and finally a genuine smile breaks out on my face. Honestly, Tanner is like my other family… and Tyler; is the first person I see when I feel down. He always manages to shock me with his sudden appearances. Which is why I almost gasp when I turn to the door and see him standing there, his arms crossed against his chest. His blue eyes somewhat darkened.

So, he’s angry. He has the right to be. I pretty much avoided him since ‘that day’. I’m always worried he’ll hate me when he finds out. It scares the hell out of me. Mostly… because the idea of losing him feels so foreign now. I pass by him, but it’s obvious he follows me. It’s rather strange that he’s being quiet, but I don’t push it.

Once we’re out of the house, he grabs my arm and I stop. "Did you walk all the way here?"

I look anywhere but at him. "Clara drove me here."

"You’re avoiding me."

"No I’m not," I resume walking, with him now walking in step with me.

"Where are you going? The closest supermarket is 15 minutes away. Are you gonna walk?" When he noticed I wasn’t going to stop he added, "I’m pretty sure the ice cream will melt by the time we get home."

I stopped. I expected him to be smiling smugly but he had that blank expression as he went back to get his car. I felt awkward when he was being like that. He drove silently and the moment we got there, he quickly got out.

I watched as he grabbed tubs of ice cream. Strawberry flavor, chocolate chip, caramel, cherry, cream, dark chocolate…

"Tyler!"

…coffee flavor, green tea… omg, I had to put that back. "Now, you avoid me?"

This time he turned and actually looked at me. "Aha! So, do you now understand what I feel when you ignore me like that?"

I feel my cheeks go red. "We don’t need all this," I mumble as I put back the extra ice cream he’d added to the cart.

"Oh, leave the caramel, chocolate chip, and the dark chocolate. I know that’s your favorite," he said with a wink as he moved to get more junk food. How did he know I like dark chocolate? After emptying the extra ice cream tubs I followed him with a stupid smile on my face.

He waved me, over and the moment I got there he practically emptied all kinds of other junk into the cart. I shook my head at him. "Tanner shouldn’t-"

"He doesn’t get to eat these much. Once a month maybe, and this is the first time I get all this. Live a little, will you?"

I snorted. "Whoever ends up being your girlfriend will end up getting fat in a few months."

He looked at me and smiled. "I don’t mind."

I looked down at my shoes. Are we really having this conversation? "You don’t mind if she’s not skinny like a Barbie?"

"If I’m going to date her, it’s because I love her."

"So?"

He laughed. I think my heartbeat just got faster. "So, it doesn’t matter if she’s fat. I want her for… her."

I looked at him in disbelief. "Really?"

"You’ve never been in love."

I shrugged. "Well, no…" I looked at him to see that smug smile on his face. I pouted, "What’s that got to do with anything?!"

"Your first kiss was with… me." His smile turned into a grin.

I felt the stupid blush creep up to my face as we walked to the cashier. "Shut up."

He chuckled. "So… you’re a vir-"

"Tyler!!" I practically screamed causing him to laugh hysterically. The woman stared at him like he’d just gone crazy.

I let out a deep breath once we got back in the car. Stupid, idiot! I was feeling both embarrassed and pissed at the moment and he was still laughing every once in a while as if he’d just remembered a funny joke. I, as a matter of fact, know that his funny joke is me being a ‘virgin’.

I glared at him when he seemed like he won’t stop laughing. "Stop the car!" I shouted. If anything, he laughed even harder. "It’s not even funny!"

By the time we got to our destination, I jumped out and ran upstairs. There’s no way I’m helping that idiot carry the junk he bought. "Tanner!" I pushed open the door to see him softly snoring on the cushions he’d laid out on the ground. I smiled as I pushed his hair away from his face. He’s such an angel when he’s sleeping. I think Tyler would also be most angelic when he’s sleeping and not making fun of me.

"What? He’s sleeping?"

I almost cursed. Why don’t I ever hear him approaching? Is he a ninja or something? He held up the bags of junk food and grinned. "I guess it’s only you and me."

Well, I can’t exactly say no to that. I mean, with all those chocolate and chips and my favorite ice cream. Also, watching a movie… I think it’s not a bad idea. I put a blanket over Tanner and kissed his cheek before following Tyler out.

"You would make a great mum," he said. I frowned when he started laughing like an idiot again.

"Is that funny?"

When he saw my grim look, he cleared his throat and looked away. "No?"

"No Tyler."

I took Tanner’s ice cream and put it the fridge so it won’t melt. Honestly, Tyler is too amused by the fact that I’m a virgin. It makes me feel too self-conscious. I think all the girls around him had already done it at least once.

After drinking water and making sure my hair wasn’t a mess, I walked into Tyler’s room which was pretty dark. The only light came from the huge plasma TV placed at the far end corner. He sat on the ground, now dressed in a white button down shirt and blue baggy shorts that reached below his knees. He looked casually cute, especially with that messy hair.

I sat on the comfy sofa in front of the TV and eyed him curiously. "What are you doing?"

"I’m going to start the movie."

"What’s it called?"

He just grinned as he grabbed his tub of ice cream. "If it’s too scary for you, I’ll let you hang onto me."

I rolled my eyes as I grabbed my ice cream. If it’s too scary, I’ll just not watch and enjoy the blissful taste of dark chocolate. "Thanks by the way," I muttered.

"For telling you that you would make a great mum, or for realizing that you’re a vi-"

"Tyler, damn it! Stop saying that. I meant, thank you for trying to understand me and for this," I pointed to the ice cream in my hand. "It makes me happy."

He smiled and quickly looked back at the screen. Is he being shy? I grinned at the prospect. He would be so adorable. I was about to say something when I saw something disturbing on the screen and started screaming alongside the other character.

"Oh God! That gave me a heart attack," I said once I’d realized it was just a movie and that whatever it is won’t jump out and kill me or skin me alive.

I felt Tyler chuckling and when I came completely back to my senses I noticed I had one arm tightly bound around his. Ugh! Talk about embarrassing.

Two hours later I’m nibbling on my nails nervously as the movie ends. I’m going to have nightmares but somehow I enjoyed the suspense and thrill I got from watching it. I look over at Tyler who looks rather tired as he pops a candy into his mouth.

"That was boring."

I give him an incredulous look as I try to get up but since I’ve been sitting on my legs the whole time, the numbness makes me fall back down with a yelp. Tyler’s arm immediately goes around my waist as if to keep me balanced. "Woah," he grins, and his free hand holds mine as he helps me up again. Then out of nowhere the lights are on and I’m blinking to get used to the sudden brightness.

"You finally awake buddy?"

I manage to turn and see Tanner standing there with a sleepy grin on his face. "I fell asleep. Ty, are you getting married?"

Tyler’s expression was priceless as his eyes widened and he blinked in confusion. "What?"

"If you hold Mia’s hand doesn’t it mean you like her?" He pouts.

This time I was the one with the wide eyes as I pulled back and cleared my throat. "Tanner, I’m sorry you fell asleep. I wanted to watch a movie with you but we’ll do that next time when you’re not tired, ok?"

"You’re leaving?"

I nod as I grab my bag and walk over to him, pinching his cheeks in the process. "I left your ice cream in the fridge. Eat it after you have dinner. Ok?"

He grinned. "Ok."

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"I’m not doing it!" I said and watched as Clara dropped her bag in surprise.

"So, you’re saying he asked you to the dance and you accepted, but now you regret it?"

I nodded as I jumped onto my bed and opened my laptop. "I can’t hurt him… I admit it."

"Mia… do you love him?"

My hand froze above the keyboard as I thought about it. Me? Love Tyler? She sat next to me and I resumed checking my e-mails. "Do you think he loves me? I mean, he did say I was different and he liked me, but does he like me only as a friend he can trust? He’ll hate me if he finds out."

"Mia, babe. I don’t know about anyone else but I think he’s already developed feelings for you and if you really don’t want to go on with this, I’ll be with you all the way. In fact, I don’t think by doing this, you’re losing anything… I think you’re winning. You’re winning the heart and love of an amazing person. You, yourself said that he’s different than what people think of him."

I smiled. "No… not really. I lost from the beginning. If I stay in his life he’ll soon find out and he’ll be hurt. I’m getting back to how things were before all this."

"Mia…"

"It’s over Clara. You tell the others for me."

You see, I think I realized something. In life, we don’t get everything we want. I wished for a peaceful, happy life before, yet I lost my twin. I spent half my time after that seeing a therapist, yet I still can’t forget. Deep down I still blame myself and some nights I can’t sleep. After that, all I ever wanted to do was 'win'. I wanted to be a winner. In the process, I think I’ve hurt people who have started becoming an important part of my life.

I think I’m beginning to understand that now…

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Hey Guys,

I posted a little faster this time, and I asked you guys what story I should write next so I can prepare myself. I usually make my characters based on people I know. Then, I pretty much try forming ideas. In other words, I'm still concentrating mostly on this story. I guess during Chapter 13 I had somewhat of a writer's block and now I'm recovering for it.

Plus, I was wondering who you guys see Tyler and Mia as. Comment the first actor/actress that comes to mind, and don't forget to give me feedback!!
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Published: 7/23/2013
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