We hugged each other after 7 months. Ray has become lean and his skin has become dark with Sun tan probably. I lost track of how long we hugged. He held me tight like never before. The shy self he is, he never gave me a full hug. I remember teasing him for behaving as if someone is watching him all the time.
When I met him for the first time, there was this salty breeze that created an oxytocin rush that failed to subdue even five years down the line. Beach has played a protagonist in our romantic endeavor. I still remember those shy hazelnut color eyes stuck on me. Women are blessed with the intuitive power of knowing when they are being watched. But would I tell him that I know that he is looking at me? Not a chance. To date, he doesn’t know that I put up the ignorant act despite knowing that he had his eyes on me. Those were the times we were playing hide and seek with each other’s feelings but we felt closest to each other.
Walking hand in hand, we reached the water. I whispered in his years “I missed you”. When I tried to move away he held my palm and pulled me back to his chest, our hands still intertwined. I reminisced how much I loved finding each other fingers alternatively. My fingers were slender and long while his were oversize bonsais. But how much I loved feeling them. I looked at the fingers and a chill ran down my spine. The realization was slithering up through my nerves forcing my facial hairs to tingle. I bit my teeth and tried to calm my nerves. Does he know that I know? The extra growth on his hand was the only sign that differentiated both of them. The eleventh finger!
How could I not notice? Have I forgotten how he feels? Has the salty breeze taken me over so much that I could not even recognize that this is his twin brother – Rex. The murderous lecherous creature. The one I despised growing up. If he is here, where is Ray? I tried to hide my nervousness and smiled. I am sure he recognized the awkwardness of the fake smile because I could see a creepy twinkle and his pupils were dilated, probably in delight.
Poor Ray! What has happened to him? I shouldn’t have pushed him away, I shouldn’t have judged him just because his brother was a wretched rogue. All the while he was trying to protect me from Rex because he has seen up close how much Rex despised me for looking down on him, for not paying heed to his desperate attempts to woo me. It was when their mother confronted me that I got to know how Ray came close to me just to protect me from his brother. On the other hand, I pulled myself close to him so as to pitch his brother’s ego. Coming to think of it, I am as wicked as Rex because I played with Ray’s feelings just to get back on his brother. Only when he was out of sight that I realised I was indeed in love with him. But see where it got me. I am right in front of the one whom Ray was trying to protect me from, because of my stupidity. How he reached me is not relevant because he has his means and connections.
Without leaving my hand, he led me to an empty shack nearby. I played along for there was nothing I could do, period. Where is Ray? Where is his mother? How did he reach me? Why did he pretend to be Ray? What are his intentions? Numerous questions rushed through my mind. But one question stuck in my head. Will I be able to escape? He took me inside and locked the door. A sudden jerk knock me out, and before I could decipher what surmised, I could see blood oozing out of my hands. My eyes started dropping and I slowly gave in to the fight to keep the lids apart. Through the slit of my eyes I saw Rex as two. ‘I was hit in the head, I am hallucinating, convinced my inner self. But before my eyelids kissed each other, I saw those hazel eyes.