Enemy Mine

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I think I’ll begin my story on a regular Saturday. Isn’t that where most stories start? On an ordinary day?

There was me, Andrew, 18 and out of school. Having fought my parents over college because I loved the thought of making money, I was now working at a diner and hating every second of it. The pig-headedness which was a large part of my nature meant quitting was not an option.

There was mom, dad, my sister Robin – who won’t be mentioned all that much. Think of them as scenery.

Then there was Peter.

Sweet, adorable Peter. About a year older, very much in college, making everyone proud.

Of all the jerk-faced foster-brothers one could ever have.

My mom and dad hadn’t always been that. They took me in when I was 10. Before that my life had pretty much sucked. My biological mother had been one of those compulsive alcoholics and my most vivid memories of that part of my life involve the stale smell of alcohol. She had a habit of forgetting my existence for stretches of time. Like a week. However when I was five, she voluntarily gave me up to the authorities, so I guess she couldn’t have been all bad. It was the last time I saw her. About the man who fathered me I knew nothing.

Anyway, I bounced around from home to home for a while, taking the good with the bad and the ugly until I landed in this house, this house that became for me the first ‘home’ I’d ever known. Abby and Tom had adopted Robin when she was very young, barely 4. That was two years before I got there. Apparently that worked out so well, they decided to try again with me. Guess the little squirt did me a good turn there. Maybe I shouldn’t tease her as much? Well, when she got a little less annoying.

Over the years, we’d all somehow melded together, separate pieces into a whole…A family as real as any.

Then the year I turn 16, mom and dad get that do-good itch again and Peter comes home.

“To complete the family, the last missing piece” and I almost snarled at Aunt May as she sobbed into a tissue at that first family dinner coz Jesus, who talks like that?

Now I know what you’re thinking. I am an ass. I was very lucky to be part of a wonderful family and I was a selfish bastard to not want to share that good fortune with someone who had had the same sort of miserable background I did.

Actually, I think Peter’s story was a lot grimmer than mine coz I mean, why else would he be placed with a new family when he had only a year to go before attaining legal age? Not that any details were revealed to me or Robin, of course. The parents requested we not ask too many questions when Peter arrived and we were willing to go along.

And that’s my point. I was very willing to get along with this new member of our family, to make him feel welcome, experience having a brother. It was kind of cool.

Until he walked in the door, until our eyes met across the room, those dark eyes so calm and…opaque somehow.

Still. I don’t know…something.

One look at his serene smile, as if he had been walking in through the doorway in just that way for years and suddenly I was hostile. Mom and dad didn’t know, I wasn’t ever that obvious, not to them. Robin guessed but didn’t care. She’d fallen into a fit of hero-worship five minutes after she started talking to him and likely she thought I was just jealous. She was surprisingly mature for her age that way.

And as for Peter himself…I had no idea what he thought of my instant antagonism. He never said. Not even after two years worth of sullen fits and sly barbs and random but frequent acts of passive-aggressiveness. Not a word.

So that regular Saturday found us all gathered in the kitchen, mom and dad over on the other side examining the cabinets and counter, discussing possible remodeling plans.

Robin and I had already finished breakfast but were hanging around. Ok, lazing. Peter had just walked downstairs, fresh from a shower, black hair turned darker from the water still clinging to it, looking tired from a night of studying late. On a Friday! That should tell you!

I waited while he got some cereal, his preferred breakfast. Watched him get everything ready in that methodical way of his…the bowl, the sugar, the spoon, waited till I had timed it perfectly right and about thirty seconds before his hand reached out for it, I went for the milk that was sitting on the table.

Tipping it over my mouth, my neck arched, I drank deeply, draining the half-full container before placing it back on the table.

Robin looked at me disgustedly. I smiled at Peter. He just watched me serenely, with those damned dark eyes that gave nothing away.

“Is there more in the refrigerator, Robin?” he asked, still looking at me.

“Soy milk,” I told him. “You want?” Knowing he hated it.

“No.” He looked down at the almost-ready breakfast, then smiled ruefully at Robin.

There it was, that smile that everyone from ages five to fifty were always gushing about. Why, I didn’t know.

“I’ll make kızılay escort you pancakes,” she said, jumping up.

His arm shot out and grabbed hers, stopping her before she was even fully out of her chair.

“Sit,” he told her. “You want to make me some?” Looking back at me with that half-smile he always used with me.

I snorted by way of answer.

He grinned. And got up to make his own.

Robin was cross with me. With a withering look, she said “Will you please grow up and stop being such a jerk?”

“How’s Ashley?” I asked, wiggling my eye-brows at her.

She squealed. “Ewwwww, gross! You keep away from Ashley.”

I didn’t give a fuck about Ashley. But I loved getting reactions from my sister about her ‘b.b.f’. Her built b.b.f.

She sat there breathing hard, arms folded and looking straight ahead. I watched her fondly, grinning. She knew I didn’t mean a word but could never keep from rising to the bait. It was a little cute.

Over her shoulder, my eyes met Peter’s. He was doing things on the stovetop but at my words, he’d turned his head to look at me, lips curved in that same half-smile, eyes very amused. I looked back stonily. Mom and dad had moved long since to the backyard, still talking plans.

And then, because those eyes were bugging the hell out of me, the same as that smile (couldn’t the guy tell when he was detested?) I did it. Went and made it one of those days.

“Another project?” I asked, tipping my head in the direction of the voices outside and emphasizing the second word. “You really aren’t giving them much to do, are you? I kept them busy for at least three full years.”

“ANDY!” Robin yelled, jerking out of her chair so hard, it fell over backward with a crash.

“Kids!” came my father’s voice from outside, sounding annoyed.

“Dad, Andy…” She was furious with me, mad enough to give me up to the parents but before she could say more, Peter’s arm came around her and he was hushing her, squeezing her lightly.

“It’s nothing, Tom. A chair fell over,” he called. He looked at me then but those eyes were as serene as ever.

I got up and walked upstairs very rapidly, ignoring the way my stomach was churning.


It was Tuesday before Robin spoke to me again and even then I guessed it had more to do with something Peter said to her than her own inclination. Which no doubt was to kick me hard in the shins.

I had come home the previous evening and caught the soft murmur of their voices from behind Robin’s door, hers slightly raised, his soft and soothing. Resisting the urge to play the music in my room really, really loud and hitting the gym instead, I had hoped a good workout would ease the tension in me.

It hadn’t. All that time lifting weights only gave me too much time to think. After every such incident when I’d go too far, I was left feeling agitated, unable to sit still. I hated upsetting Robin that way, I hated how it managed to upset me but most of all I hated how it didn’t upset him. What would it take to…to…

…make the guy break your nose? I asked myself grimly.

Most of the time, my dislike of Peter was something I didn’t think about. It existed and I just acted on it. At others, like just now, it made me uncomfortable. The guy never even retaliated. Why the hell didn’t I leave him alone?

Several days later, any feelings of unease long forgotten, I walked into the entertainment room, home early from work and found Peter on the couch watching TV intently, fly open, cock out, hand busy.

“Fuck!” I yelled, clapping my hands over my eyes, heart twanging like a giant rubber band, feet frozen to the ground. “What the hell!”

“Shit!”I could hear frantic fumbling, sounds of a zipper being pulled up, voices from the TV.

Then silence. That and the roaring in my ears.

“What the hell!” I shouted again furiously, so angry I could hardly speak. “In here? During the day? It could have been Robin!”

“No!” he said urgently. “No, Robin just left to Ashley’s house, Mom went shopping.” He paused. “I thought it was just me.”


“Andy,” he said. Was he laughing? I was going to kill him!

Then he said quietly “It’s okay now. Open your eyes.”

“Like hell!” I was still shouting. Why was he sounding so normal? His voice had been quite gentle. I wanted to hit him but my legs felt very shaky.

“Can we talk about this?” he asked.

I sensed him move and for a split second, all my muscles froze. Then spinning around, I stalked up the stairs.

“Like hell!” I said, in a low furious whisper, one I was sure he still heard.

Later I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling with my mind jumping all over the place.

My god! In the entertainment room! If Dad or Mom found out what Sweet Peter was really like..!

It was hard not to think in exclamations.

I turned on my side.

Stupid jerk. Playing with himself like that. Hah, the late night study sessions kolej escort in his room are real educational, I’ll bet!

The sight of Peter and his slowly moving hand and those softly parted lips seen in profile seemed imprinted in my head. Even in that he was so…so…

I rolled over on my back again. Unhurried? Composed? I felt wretched. As if he had all the time in the world and was content to wait for his pleasure instead of forcing it.

What a relief the couch didn’t face the door-way directly where I couldn’t possibly have avoided an eye-ful. And that the many pillows and his hand itself had hidden any specifics from view. I was probably going to need therapy after this!

What had he been jerking off to anyway?

As if they’d been waiting in the wings, the voices from the TV began to play in my head. I was slightly amazed I even remembered.

I thought hard. Cruel Intentions? Dweeb! Who jacks off watching Sarah Michelle Gellar? On HBO?? She wasn’t even hot!

My body realized what my mind didn’t until later, that I was strangely emotionally exhausted, and I fell asleep still thinking of what had happened.

When I woke up, I stayed in my room on the computer playing games. I had woken up feeling calmer. I mean, he was a guy after all. So he’d taken advantage of a situation and indulged himself. Was I going to judge him for being a guy? Just because I had a low sex drive and wasn’t used to getting all worked up about girls, brunette or otherwise, didn’t mean most guys had the same needs, if my friends’ conversations were anything to go by.

I had of course dated a few girls in high school on occasion with the usual necking sessions but it’d stayed at first base. I tended to date ‘nice’ girls that I was pals with and I’d never pushed for more. Often I woke up with cum all over me, having shot my load at night during intense dreams that I could never quite remember in the morning.

So when the knock came on my door sometime before dinner, I called out an abstracted “What?” without taking my eyes off the computer screen where I was in the process of ducking from enemy fire.

“It’s me, can I talk to you for a minute?” Peter said.

“Fine,” I said, not looking around as he came in and softly shut the door.

He watched me play for a few minutes and I wondered if he was really watching the game or trying to gauge my mood. But when I took a hit, his groan was in sync with mine so perhaps that was really where his attention was. It was clear my attention wasn’t or I would have seen that bullet coming. Damn, now I had only 3 lives left. Perhaps I should encourage him to finish this soon, before I died any more. But even as I wondered what to say, he was stepping in.

“Listen, I’m sorry. I know I made you uncomfortable and it won’t happen again. So you don’t have to worry about Robin.”

It sounded sincere and anyway, the nap had helped me come to terms with it.

“And mom,” I said sternly.

“Nah,” he said solemnly. “You don’t have to worry about Abby.” Pause. “She is always careful to make a noisy entrance.”

“Wha..!” I spun around in my chair to stare at him, considering it, rapidly flicking through my memory and realizing…yes, she always did stomp loudly up the stairs when she had to enter any of our rooms. And then I was hooting with laughter. “Oh my God, I never realized…”

“She’s a smart woman,” he said, lips twitching.

I cocked an eye-brow at him. “Or maybe she learnt the hard way?”

“Is that a bad pun?” he dead-panned. That one made me choke.

“Are you avoiding the question?” I returned.

My laughter subsiding to a grin, I rocked the chair slowly, using one foot pressed against the floor as leverage.

He lifted both hands in a ‘hey, don’t blame me’ gesture. “If she did, it wasn’t me.”

“Well, it wasn’t me either so you can take that look off your face.”

“Just smart then.”

I continued to grin at him and he watched me with that familiar half-smile, those eyes of his so still, as if he didn’t want to miss a thing. How odd.

“So we cool?” he asked finally, pushing himself away from the wall where he’d been leaning.

“Yeah, but it’s just a temporary ceasefire so don’t get used to it.”

He smiled as if genuinely amused then left, closing the door behind him.

It astonished me to find I’d been grinning to myself and staring at nothing while the enemy made mince meat of me online for over fifteen minutes after he left the room.

Of course over dinner I felt compelled to make up for my earlier lapse of judgment. I didn’t waste any time either.

As soon as everyone had started to dig in, I said “Hey, Peter?”


Why did it feel like he knew what I was going to do? That half-smile appeared and I longed to wipe it off.

“If you ever have a baby girl, I think you should call her Sarah.”

Robin looked daggers at me. She had no idea what the barb meant but she knew me maltepe escort well enough to know that it couldn’t be anything nice. Peter said nothing. And we were back to normal.

A few weeks later, walking down the hallway after a trip to the bathroom, I saw the light spilling out from under his door. I paused in disbelief. It was two in the night. The guy was insane!

A few strides took me to his bedroom door and then I was pushing it open without knocking. He was at his desk poring over a book, his eyes glassy with sleep as he looked up at me.

“Hey,” he said, smiling tiredly.

I scowled at him. “Aren’t you done yet?”

“Just a bit more.”

“Would you just get into bed?”

“Ohh,” he moaned, his head dropping down onto the desk, his voice a little muffled. “I want to.”

I watched him, angry because he pushed himself so hard. Angry that he didn’t know when enough was enough. Angry with him because why the hell was I standing in his doorway even bothering?

“I don’t know why you think you have to kill yourself over some stupid tests.”

Head askew, he looked at me. “You know I want to transfer from the community college to a university and I have to maintain my grades. I’m barely keeping up as it is.”

It was true, his schooling had followed a very erratic course through no fault of his own and it had its effect. There had just been too many transfers and it hadn’t been constant either as he moved from foster home to foster home.

However I stayed annoyed.

Closing his eyes, he pushed his fingers tight against the eyelids as if to try and ease the strain there. “I’m terrified I’ll screw up and have to give up college.”

“So what?” I asked, incredulous. “Do you think Dad will care?”

It had never been taken for granted that Peter would stay on with us after he turned eighteen. He had been almost an adult when he came to us from the foster care system and it is foolish to expect love and unconditional support to always work miracles. However, my parents are nothing if not optimists. They had calmly done what they do so well, nurturing and supporting, filling the void in his life like they had filled ours and making no attempt to bind him down. And in all honesty, Peter hadn’t fought them every inch of the way like I had either. His eighteenth birthday had come and gone but Peter had stayed, the last piece to our family.

“Is that who you think I’m doing it for? Dad?” he asked, smiling a little.

No. I knew he wasn’t. He was doing it for him. I had always known, even without him saying a thing, that it was something he just had to do. I didn’t know at what point in the years before we met he had set his goals but it was clear he would meet them or die trying.

He finally sat up, rolling his shoulders and trying to work the kinks out of his neck.

I found myself actually taking a step further into the room with the vague notion of rubbing his shoulders before I stopped. Jeez. If he wanted to kill himself, far be it from me to get in the way. When I had stood there for a full three minutes and still not gone back to bed, I gave up.

“I’ll bring some coffee up for you.” My tone was reluctant.

He’d been rubbing at his eyes with both hands, but at this he stopped. “Oh my God,” he said in a hushed voice, “Are you being nice?”

“Oh my God,” I said sarcastically, “Are you being funny?” Idiot.

He grinned. Oddly enough his shoulders went a little straighter and his eyes looked a little brighter than when I’d first walked in. Feeling slightly mollified for reasons known only to God, I resisted making all the other smart-ass comments that had zinged into my brain after the last one.

Then he had to go and give me that smile as he asked “Are you really going to make me coffee?”

Turning smartly, I threw over my shoulder, “It’s sweet how you never lose that child-like faith in people, Peter.”

It was annoying that even though he groaned, the smile never left his voice. Probably because he knew I was heading down the hallway in the direction of the stairs. Jerk.


Work was normally awful. That day it was hellish. All morning there had been difficult customers by the dozen, a shortage of available hands due to two co-workers switching to schedules later on in the day on almost no notice, not to mention spills and machine malfunctions. All around tempers had been running high. The only silver lining was that I’d been let off a full four hours early since I’d had to do the work of three from the time we opened in the morning.

Waiting only for the two co-workers to show up, I changed out of my work clothes and set off on the long walk home. The thought of coming back the next morning almost made me sick and I felt my heart sink. Did I want to wake up every morning dreading work? What kind of life was that?

Jesus, I thought, I think I’m ready to go back to school. It would have to wait a bit though, while I took the necessary tests and went through the torturous process of applying to various universities. Nevertheless, I knew it had to beat what I was running from.

I grimaced, anticipating Dad’s smug looks, hardly noticing that I had reached the local football field, my feet automatically carrying me along its edge past the groups of people out on it. Home was a few streets beyond it.

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