Who Says You Can't Go Home

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Who Says You Can't Go Home

Post by Bri on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:44 am

Flight attendants were finishing the removal of tiny clear plastic cups as passengers began returning their seats and trays to an upright position as previously instructed by the pilot.  A tall brunette beauty attempted to gaze out the small window to her right only to find her flying companion who had insisted to sit next to it had curled up and passed out just moments before descent began.  “Seriously?” she huffed, her breath ending with a small chuckle as she nudged the woman beside her.  

The faintest grunt could barely be heard coming from the petite woman before she snuggled further against the plane’s wall and the crook of her slender arm.  “Bri,” her friend laughed a bit louder.  When said woman merely stuck her tongue out through her full pink lips, she’d had enough.  “Brianna Levine, you wake up this instant,” she demanded, crossing her arms over her chest only after giving one last nudge.  

Waiting for her friend to wake fully she attempted to push down the anxious feelings that had been building off and on for the past few weeks since she’d finally convinced her best friend they should return home for their high school reunion.  “What the hell was I thinking?” her thoughts began to ramble once again.  “There isn’t a damn person in our graduating class, let alone the damn town that will care to see me.”  Her thoughts continued their downward spiral as her parents’ faces entered her mind.

“You’re mean,” the petite beauty beside her grumbled, as she began to straighten herself out in the seat.  “That was a great nap you just ruined,” a yawn stopped the progression of her thoughts momentarily.   Upon hearing no witty comeback she forced her heavy eyelids open to glance over towards the silent woman beside her.  “Ok who are you and what the hell have you done with my best friend?”  A small sigh escaped her lips as she reached a gentle hand out to brush against the woman’s slender arm resting against the arm rest between them.

Thoughts were already flooding the young woman’s mind, the gentle touch of her friend not even registering amidst the chaos now consuming her.  She’d been convinced the moment the reunion Facebook page popped up in her notifications months ago that she’d never step foot into such a foray.  The closer the event approached; however, her heart had begun to soften.  She’d chalked it up to needing a getaway from the day to day of the big city.  In the moments she allowed herself to be honest though, it had everything to do with her parents.  

“Earth to Lore,” Bri snapped in front of her eyes, “come back to me, woman!”  The feisty brunette just scrunched her nose as she plastered on a huge, fake smile for the nosey old woman across the aisle currently shaking her head at her antics.  “I’m about to have to shake some sense into you girl,” she sighed, silently wondering just what in the world was going through her dear friend’s mind.  “You did not just wake me up with the intent of ignoring me,” Bri gave one final warning before reaching over to lightly pinch at the skin along Lore’s bicep.

“Jesus!” Lore squealed a bit too loudly as she finally broke from her thoughts, rolling her eyes as she heard the huge chortle of laughter that escaped her friend.  “Sorry, sorry,” she mumbled as she joined in on the laughter, hoping to avoid any conversation regarding an inquiry into her spaced out nature moments prior.  “I guess you had the right idea for a nap,” she forced a large yawn, trying to judge Bri’s reaction through squinted eyes.

“You’re the worst,” Bri’s exasperated reply came before she collapsed against her friend’s shoulder.  She rested there a moment, tugging her thin black sweater tighter around her body as the plane taxied towards the arrival gate.  Fishing her cell phone from one of the sweater’s deep pockets, she turned the power back on only to find a slew of text notifications register.  Rolling her green eyes she quickly pocketed the phone before her friend could notice or question anything.  “Can’t take no for an answer,” she thought to herself before following her friend down the aisle and out of the plane.

Both women remained in a peaceful silence as they ventured through the airport toward the exit for baggage claim, only stopping to use the restroom.  No words were spoken as they made their way toward carousel 5; plopping down against a bench to await the signal the baggage had arrived.  “Well, well, well,” came a deep male voice from no more than 15 feet away.  “Look what the cat drug in, Bo,” the man teased, nudging his friend as the two made their way closer to the bench.

“What are you, 80?” Bri grunted in mock annoyance before bouncing up and launching herself into her older brother’s embrace.  “What the hell are you doing here, Adam?” she questioned loudly, giggling as he easily picked her up and twirled around a moment.

“I can’t come to the airport to greet my beloved, long lost baby sister?” he chided, pinching at her side before setting her back against the tile floor.  At the familiar look of exasperation that crossed his younger sibling’s delicate features he let out a loud chuckle, wrapping a protective arm around her shoulders before pulling her to his side.  “I had to see with my own two eyes that you willingly made the trek home,” he teased, placing a brotherly kiss atop her head as she rolled her beautiful green eyes.

A few feet away Lori tentatively stood to greet her own older brother.  They had a deep bond as well, but it was a bond that had taken a beating over the last ten years.  “Hey Sis,” Bo breathed out, reaching out to wrap a firm hand around her slender wrist and pull her into a hug.  “You look great, kid,” he hummed quietly against her ear, smiling as she finally returned his embrace.

“Of course the first thing he does is comment on how I ‘look’,” the young woman grumbled inwardly.  She forced herself to mumble a quiet thanks in return before pulling back to offer a smile.  Biting her top lip anxiously at the awkward silence they now stood in, she gazed across to see Adam now yanking Bri’s enormous luggage off the carousel as her petite friend applauded his Herculean efforts.  “I should go locate my bag,” she mumbled, nodding towards her brother before beginning to wander off in the direction of the carousel.

Bo stood back a minute, watching her retreating form and scratching nervously at the back of his head.  He knew this had to be extremely hard for his sister, and he was filled with pride at the courage it must have taken to make it this far already.  Unfortunately he knew the trip wasn’t going to get any easier emotionally, and he prayed that she was strong enough now to handle anything that may cross her path.  “Let me help you,” he called out, quickly catching up to Lori.

Within ten minutes the group of four was headed out to the parking garage.  “I’m so hungry I may just pass out here and now,” Bri groaned, dramatically throwing her head back and placing the back of her hand against her forehead.  After a moment and a chorus of laughs she glanced up to see no one had stopped to attend to her.  “Seriously folks, I’m in desperate need of sustenance!”  She rushed up to be walking alongside the group again, “Feed me, please!”

“Can we make it to the car first?” Adam laughed heartily, reaching out to swat playfully at his sister’s arm.  He didn’t notice the way she flinched a bit at his actions, gently rubbing the spot on her tricep quickly enough to go unnoticed as well.  “Take off that damn sweater,” he murmured incredulously, confused as to why she hadn’t shed the garment yet.  “You do realize it’s May in Texas and already over 90 degrees outside, right?”

“Contrary to you my dear brother, I do not have a problem with sweating excessively,” she teased before pulling the thin garment around herself.  “I happen to get freezing cold on airplanes, thank you very much!”  She crinkled her eyes as she playfully stuck out her tongue, hoping that he’s not mention the garment again.  “A few more days and I should be able to ditch the sleeves,” she sighed to herself, glancing across at her best friend who seemed to look completely uncomfortable in her own skin at the moment.

Bri

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Re: Who Says You Can't Go Home

Post by Lore78 on Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:04 pm

“Well, this is fun,” Lore groaned inwardly as she watched Bri and Adam carry on while she and Bo struggled to make direct eye contact for more than thirty seconds at a time.  The small group was now seated inside of a local BBQ joint in downtown Austin as they waited on the waitress to come and take their order.  Flipping through the worn pages of the menu, Lore realized exactly why Bo had been so eager to eat lunch at this particular establishment.  “Great, he doesn’t even trust me to sit near a bottle of booze anymore,” Lore began fuming internally as she willed herself to calm down before she made any type of scene.  Truth be told, she knew she had put her brother through quite a bit with the choices she had made before beginning her road to recovery; she just wished that he could see how far she had come in the last few years.

“Adam, for the millionth time, I’m not dating anyone right now!”  Bri exclaimed, rather loudly; causing Lori to jump a bit in her seat.

Adam immediately glanced towards Lori, cocking an eyebrow, “Is she telling me the truth right now?”

“Afraid so, Adam,” Lore nodded, which as far as she knew was the truth.  She knew Bri had been in an on again/off again type relationship for quite a while, but she wasn’t sure if they were seeing each other these days or not.  Due to Bri’s schedule, there were often long periods of time where the girls didn’t see one another as often as they’d like.  “So you can give your sister a break now.”

Bri mouthed the words “Thank you” in Lore’s direction as she wrapped her sweater a little more tightly around her.  

“So, I have some news,” Bo chimed in; sensing that Bri might like a different topic of conversation.  “I’m living in Austin now.  I was asked to join the Austin P.D.’s plain clothes unit.  As a matter of fact, Adam was asked to join the same unit.”

“Wow!  That’s exciting!” Bri smiled at Bo before turning in Adam’s direction.  “Why didn’t you tell me anything about this?!”

“I don’t know,” Adam shrugged, “It’s not really all that exciting.  The extra money is cool and it’s nice not having to wear the uniform anymore, I guess.”

“Anything has to be more exciting than the Fayetteville P.D.,” Lore joined in, before glancing in her brother’s direction.  “I can’t believe you finally left, though.  I’m sure Mom and Dad weren’t very fond of that idea.”

“Actually,” Bo began, clearing his throat, “Dad helped push our paperwork through to the top of the pile.”

“Interesting,” Lore mumbled, barely loud enough for anyone to hear.  “Dad never supported anything I wanted to do.  Not even when I wanted to stop drinking.”

The words that had fallen from Lore’s lips now hung in the air creating an awkward silence amongst the four friends.  She was honestly happy for both Bo and Adam, but the strained relationship she had with her father made it difficult for her to accept his willingness to help just about anyone else who needed a favor.

“I’m sorry,” Lore whispered, “I really am happy for you both.  I’m sure it’s a great opportunity.”  

Just then, the waitress appeared to take everyone’s order, letting Lore off the hook for a few minutes.  Once the waitress was finished scribbling down the order on her notepad, the awkward silence returned.  

“So, I have a fun idea!” Bri grinned, hoping to lighten the mood a bit.  “Turns out that Lore and I need a couple of outfits for the reunion this weekend.  Since you guys know your way around the big city now, maybe you can take us to the nearest shopping mall after lunch.  It would give us some more time to catch up since we haven’t seen one another in so long.”

“Fantastic,” Lore rolled her eyes, “I’m sure Bo and Adam will have loads of fun doing that.”

“Actually, I think it’s a good idea,” Bo nodded his head in agreement, “Lori and I could use a good chat.  By the way, speaking of the reunion, one of your old classmates asked about you the other day.”

“Oh yeah,” Adam interrupted, “I almost forgot about that.  “Now that we’re more involved with the investigation on some of the cases, we get to visit the victims in the hospital and stuff like that.  This doctor recognized our last names and asked about you girls.”

“Oh really?” Bri replied as nonchalantly as she could, trying not to show too much interest.  “Who was it?”

Lore tried not to laugh, knowing that Bri was chomping at the bit to find out who might have asked about her.  “I can’t imagine anyone being genuinely interested in me.  No one has bothered to try and contact me in ten years, in fact, I’m pretty sure most of the people in our graduating class could have cared less about me.”

“Luke Bryan,” Bo jumped in before Lore could continue her rant.  “Does that name ring a bell?”

Lore78

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Re: Who Says You Can't Go Home

Post by Bri on Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:42 am

As soon as the name slipped through Bo’s full lips Lore’s heart beat a bit faster.  “That’s strange,” she thought to herself, brushing it off as she murmured something about vaguely remembering the name.  Bri saved the day as she began going into a story about having to save said boy from unwanted advances at some dumb party back in their high school years which thoroughly pissed off her on again/off again boyfriend at the time.  Adam and Bo had easily been drawn into Bri’s animated retelling, allowing Lore time to sort out her feelings.  The brunette sipped slowly at her tea as her mind drifted back 10 years, her mind’s eye landing her right back in the busy halls of her hallowed high school.  

A young Lori rifled through her locker, hiking her bag up on her shoulder as she attempted to coax her heavy Chem book from the back of the metal container.  “Damn book,” she grunted, feeling her bag begin to slip further from her shoulder just as her fingers finally grasped the textbook.  “Finally,” a sigh escaped her lips as she yanked the book from its confines, her hand ready to shut the door so she could make her way down the hall to class.  Just as she went to shut the locker door her arm was shoved forward from behind, a cackle soon filling her ears as she turned red with rage.

“Watch it, nerd girl,” the same voice soon boomed as Lori turned to face her bully.  “You seriously need to take your nose out of the book sometimes, loser,” she continued to cackle, spurred on by her blonde copycat friends who each flanked either side of her.  “Out of the books and into an Ulta for a makeover,” one of her bitchy sidekicks murmured to a flood of cackles.

Despite the fury coursing through her veins Lori knew she would be late to class if she attempted to engage.  As soon as she rolled her eyes and turned on her heel to leave the scene she felt another light shove against her shoulder.  “What the hell is so special about you anyway,” the same blonde chortled, eyes scrutinizing every inch of the brunette’s face once she’d turned towards her again.  “Why Luke Bryan ever bothers to give someone like YOU the time of day I will NEVER understand!”

In that instant Lori had just about enough of the degradation and humiliation for the moment, just opening her mouth to retaliate when she felt a strong hand grace her shoulder from behind.  “If you’re so curious about that, Brittany, you could ask me yourself anytime.”  A triumphant smile graced Lori’s still red face as she turned to face the boy with the deep southern drawl.  “You alright here?” he murmured as he looked her straight in the eye.  As she nodded he addressed her aggressors once again, “I think it’s pretty obvious to see that Lori here is not a catty, callous bitch,” he smiled sweetly as the blondes attempted to wipe the shock from their made up faces.  “That alone would get my attention any day,” he nodded with a wink to Lori, “you should take some lessons ladies.”


A small chuckle escaped Lori’s full lips as the memory began to fade, not realizing all eyes were on her.  As Bri cleared her throat, wondering just what the hell put such a goofy grin on her best friend’s face Lori finally snapped back to reality.  “Oh, sorry, are we ready to head out?” she questioned, attempting to gloss over the last few moments she’d spent in her own head.  Bri nodded her affirmation, cocking her head to the side as her narrowed green eyes glanced into Lore’s steel blue.  “To the mall, boys,” she hummed, standing to drag Bri out the door.  “So, I guess we’re paying,” Adam chuckled, shaking his head as he watched the girls saunter out the door into the parking lot.

Soon after arriving at the mall Bri squealed, yanking Adam along with her into a store after spotting something she apparently must try on through the window.  “Some things never change,” Lori thought to herself, following along behind her own brother into the store.  “Stop manhandling me, woman,” Adam’s voice rang out, allowing the quiet brother and sister duo to locate their friends once again.  “I do not want to see you try on THAT,” Adam’s voice rose eliciting a chuckle from Bo.  “Shut up!  You agreed to this bright idea, idiot,” Adam continued to fume.

Bri just waved Adam’s complaints off, quickly digging through the rack to find her size.  “Dear brother, you doth protest too much,” the petite brunette slowly drawled allowing the southern lilt from her youth to become much thicker than normal as she bat her thick eyelashes in his direction.  She pressed the red dress against her body as she glanced in a nearby mirror, the silk fabric would certainly cling to every curve.  She tilted her head to the side, her smile fading slightly as she stared deeper into her own reflection.  “The bruises will easily be faded enough in a day or two,” she pondered to herself, biting the inside of her cheek.  “I’m trying it on,” she finally announced, breezing past Bo before smooching her brother on the cheek as she ignored his protests and headed toward the dressing rooms.  

“Seriously, she’s in town less than two hours and I’m already a nervous wreck,” Adam grunted, staring at Bri’s retreating form as he shoved his hands in his jean pockets.  Lori stood back a bit trying not to laugh out loud at the man’s easily agitated nature when it came to ‘protecting’ his baby sister.  “You really need to lighten up man,” she heard her own brother laugh before clapping a hand on his buddy’s shoulder.  “Easy for you to say,” Adam hissed before storming off to wait for his sister.

Lori couldn’t help but feel jealous of the relationship she continued to watch thrive as if there had been no time spent apart.  Her eyes slowly drifted to her older brother just as his gaze was landing upon her own.  Her lips twitched up into a strained smile that failed to reach her eyes, her brother opening his own mouth to speak as the words she’d been trying so desperately to hold back escaped her own lips all in one breath.  “Remember when we used to like on another?”

The look of shock that quickly graced her older brother’s face sent a shiver of regret down her spine, seeing it instantly replaced by hurt made it even harder to swallow.  “Let’s find some place a little more private to talk, ok?” he quickly murmured, placing a tentative hand against his younger sister’s back to lead her out as he nodded toward a slightly calmer looking Adam to signify they were leaving.  Lori blindly followed Bo as he led them further into the mall, feeling small and swallowed by shame.

“I didn’t mean for it to come out like that,” she finally spoke once again, the words blurting from her mouth before she choked back a small sob.  She glanced up in time to see her brother avert his own gaze and give a small nod before steering them down a quiet hall where few people milled about.  Attempting to take a few deep, even breaths she slowly took a seat against the bench her brother now occupied, wondering if he’d ever speak.

“I never stopped liking you, sis,” he finally spoke, reaching up a hand to scratch absentmindedly at the back of his neck.  “I could never,” he let out a breath he’d been holding in after a few moments of silence that felt like an eternity.  Lori finally allowed her eyes to glance in his direction once again, fully taking in his features for the first time since she’d arrived back in Texas.  He was handsome as always, but she could see a few fine lines, worry lines, setting into his features she’d never noticed before.  

“I love you, Lore,” he sighed, rubbing his hands along his face.  “Please tell me you’ve never doubted that,” his bright blue eyes searched her red rimmed steel blue eyes.  Satisfied that she’d not doubted his affection he allowed himself to continue speaking.  “Dealing with Mom and Dad has just been taking its toll,” another sigh escaped his lips as she gave a brief nod in reply.  “You know they were never comfortable with you moving so far away, and with what followed…well…it’s been tough.”

She knew what he was alluding to, her alcoholism; everything always came back to that.  She couldn’t blame Bo or anyone else but herself for the way thoughts always ended up on the topic, she just truly wished more than anything that someday, somehow she’d be more than that to them…to anyone.  “I get it…I do,” she sighed, willing herself not to break down.  “I’m more than that,” she choked out, “more than my past.”

Sensing that things were getting too deep too quickly Bo decided to steer the conversation away from her addiction.  They had much to talk about, but it could happen bit by bit, it’d be easier on everyone that way he decided.  “Mom would sure love to see you,” he smiled, resting a hand gently atop her own.  “Heck, she’d have come to pick you up herself if she could have,” he chuckled; happy to see a slight grin on his sister’s face if only for a brief moment.

Forcing herself to gloss over asking the obvious question as to why she didn’t come herself she smiled lightly, her heart warming just hearing the words that left his mouth.  “I miss her,” she nodded, looking into Bo’s eyes once again.  “How’s she been doing?”

Before Bo had time to delve into the things he really needed to share Bri came traipsing around the corner, practically twirling before settling herself against the bench seat between the siblings.  “Did you miss me?” she chimed, bumping shoulders with Lore before batting her long eyelashes in Bo’s direction.  As Lori welcomed the comedy and dramatics that always followed her best friend Bo just chuckled, shifting somewhat uncomfortably as Adam came to stand before them.  “Don’t encourage her!” he spat towards Bo as he lifted his hands in defense.

Bri

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