Sunday, May 16
“Hellooooooooooo!” A clean red Camry pulled up next to the curb of an upper class American home, positioned squarely in northern Oregon suburbia, as the voice of a rambunctious girl cried out, alerting the house's residents. A well groomed couple in their late 40s came rushing out seconds after the youthful cry, smiles wide.
“You’re finally here!” called out Tracy, a conservatively dressed woman with bootcut jeans and a grey knit cardigan that hid beneath a large apron with flour spilled all over it.
“She’s back!” announced the man, to nobody in particular. Like the male equivalent of his cookie cutter wife, Stuart held tongs in one hand and a spatula in the other, the top few buttons to his plaid shirt open from having worked too closely over a grill for the last half hour.
The driver side door opened, and out stepped the child these two parents had eagerly been awaiting all day, a 22 year old exercise physiology major freshly back from college named Olivia. She was dressed similarly to her mom, but with enough difference that anyone who knew what style was would be able to identify she was the more chic of the two: her thin pink sweater more than complimented her form-fitting, pale blue jeans and black and white checkered sneakers. She was a mix of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, while it was evident that her mom still frequented Nordstrom Rack.
A set of eyes watched from the window as the recent graduate gave her parents a warm hug that nestled their heads against her shoulders. Her parents were both of average height for their age, but Olivia easily stood taller than even most large men at a daunting 6’6.
“You haven’t grown again, have you?” Stuart asked, stepping back to adore his statuesque daughter.
“Just an inch,” she said, her rolling eyes communicating the frustrating familiarity she had with that question nowadays, no matter the level of acquaintance from the people who would ask. But a proud smile let her parents know she didn’t mind. Not for them.
The pair of eyes belonged to the last member of the family: Reese. His body had manifested a developmental disorder a year ago that left him at an unfortunate 4’9. He was lucky that it had stalled there, but he was still a foot shorter than most of the other guys his age, which was incredibly demotivating for him. His family had been unaware that he was genetically predisposed to develop the illness, and he was the only person at his school who had it. Reese had just started to feel like he was growing into himself and his personality as his junior year of high school came to a close, so to have had this problem come about right as he was starting his senior year had meant a big blow to his self esteem. The last time he had seen Olivia, just a month after the disorder had started its work, he had only lost an inch of his previous 5’11. He was optimistic that it wouldn’t be that bad. Most with the disorder only shrunk a few inches, which obviously, while not ideal, wasn’t the biggest of problems. But the disorder worked its worst over the winter, and even though he seems to have stopped, he was legally classified a dwarf. By an inch. Dammit. He hadn’t attended his sister’s graduation last week with his parents because he didn’t want to have to face his sister given his new height (and, unbeknownst to him, her recent addition of ‘just an inch’). But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that she would want to travel back home for a few weeks before setting off on wherever her adult life took her. Besides, she was never that far from home anyways. Would he really be able to avoid her for the rest of their lives? A normal, close family like theirs? Of course not. It’s only a height difference anyways, he told himself. She didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t kill anyone. It's no big deal. I have to face tall people all the time in school anyways. Most people didn't stand nearly two feet taller than him though.
Reese opened the door slowly and made his way out onto the driveway. His sister and parents heard the door opening and turned around, beckoning him over. Olivia stretched out her arms, smiling widely at the sight of her little brother. Don’t act like it’s a big deal and it won’t be, he thought.
“Reese!” she called out lovingly. “I missed you at graduation.
“Hey, yeah” he said, with a convincing smile as he walked towards her. “I had an important essay to finish for AP Lit, sorry.”
“Reese has been working a lot on his homework lately,” Tracy chimed in. “I figured his senior year would be a breeze since he’s almost done for good, but his report card had a lot of C’s and D’s when we checked.”
He hesitated, slowing slightly as he approached his sister. His sister would've had some of the largest boobs he'd ever seen on a person if she was normal size, but the fact that she was basically 25% bigger than all the other women around her made her tits even more massive. And her sweater wasn’t doing anything to hide that fact. Normally he’d hug his sister; despite their new height difference, he had always gotten along well with Olivia. But even after a year with the disorder, the height difference was a lot to take in, and right now he was at eye level with–
“Oh, come here!” squealed Olivia as she wrapped her brother in a warm hug. She was too tall for her arms to wrap around his torso, so she opted for encircling his head instead and nuzzling his rough, curly hair against the soft cheek of hers that curtained a smile.
Reese was taken aback but polite enough not to recoil as he was squished against his sister and her overbearing breasts. Are you even wearing a bra? he thought, just the littlest bit scared, as his head was forcefully snuggled in the middle of her bossom. Olivia had been on the road all day, only interacting with the public for a few bathroom stops and a restaurant for lunch, so before leaving this morning, she had decided to let her babies 'swing free' as she called it. They’d still be completely covered underneath her sweater, but at least her bra wouldn’t be straining against her all day.
Reese gave it a few seconds, his arms matching her embrace, before starting to pull back. Olivia wasn’t quite done though. “I was a little worried about you,” she said, her eyes closed as she remembered back to her days of college. She really had worried for him, and her hold on him tightened just a little. “You barely snap me nowadays.”
“Oh, he’s probably nervous about his new height,” Tracy chimed in.
“No, you can’t tell my height from a selfie,” Reese retorted defensively, successfully escaping Olivia’s grasp this time. “I’ve just been busy. Or something. I don’t know.” Tracy had been spot on.
“Too busy that you can’t spare 30 seconds to take a picture every few weeks?” Olivia said, hands on her hips as she looked down on him disapprovingly.
“You don’t snap me either. So… we’re both at fault, if you’re mad.”
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “I’m not mad, I just missed you. You don’t need to be so defensive.” He wanted to fight back but knew better. He hated when people called him that. Defensive. Even if he was in the right, disagreeing with them would only seem to prove their point. Besides, he was trying to keep a good attitude lately. His mom was right about his last report card, it did have several bad grades. But now they were lower. He was flunking in his history and literature classes, both of which he had to pass in order to qualify for his diploma when school ended in a month. He wasn’t sure what he’d do if he didn’t. Retake the year and be a super senior? Or study up for a few months and just take the test for a GED? That second option didn't seem like it would be a good use of his time anyways, if he was already having trouble studying for his current classes. Why did he even need to pass high school anyways? Because networking and social skills won’t get me a good job at this height, he thought, not for the first time. I still need to go to college. Either way, his parents’ attitudes were normally pretty reflective of their environments, and he was confident that if he was at least a “good kid”–not just good, but someone happy and obedient, who they liked to have around for more than him just being their son–then they might be lenient on him come this summer and whatever came after it. So for the past couple weeks, and for the next month or so, he was committed to being as good of a son (and brother) as he could be.
Reese smiled as he looked back up at his sister. “Yeah, sorry. I’m glad you’re home though,” he said, and gave her a second quick hug.
Olivia smiled back, nothing but love and sincerity in her voice: “Me too.”
“Do you need any help with your bags?” Tracy inquired. “Reese, why don’t you get her stuff for her?”
Olivia spun around, eyeing the allotment of duffel bags and suitcases in her backseat. “Oh no, that’s–”
“OK,” Reese intervened, eager to make himself seem useful and rid everyone’s memories of his small but argumentative spirit just a minute before. His parents hadn’t even said anything, or so much as changed the joyous expression on their faces, but he knew from past experience that they shared Olivia’s general stance that he could be stubborn sometimes. Who’s the nicest celebrity? he wondered as he opened the door, taking in all of Olivia’s stuff. Tom Hanks? Taylor Swift? Terry Crews seems to be a good dad. Maybe Ed Sheeran's just faking his nice guy persona to sell more albums. There were two suitcases stacked on the back seat across from him, with a third leaning against it, and a cheer bag on top of that too. Olivia barely had enough room to look clearly through her rear view mirror while she was driving. “When I go on vacation I just have the one bag,” he mentioned, leaning forward to grab at the cheer bag, emblazoned with years of memorabilia across it. “Hell, sometimes I just pack everything in a single backpack.”
“Yeah, but I’m not going on vacation,” Olivia reminded him. “I’m staying here until I can find an apartment downtown. Or maybe in another city. I don’t know yet.” She brushed past him to grab two suitcases. “But I won’t be living at college anymore,” she said as she turned to him with comically wide eyes and a thinly spread smile, making up a goofy face that said “fucking, duh.” With a strong grip on both the bags, she headed back up the driveway towards the house.
Reese leaned as far into the car as he could without getting in, snatching ahold of the last suitcase, and dragged it out into the fresh air. Inside the car was warm, and smelled a bit like stale clothes. With the two bags positioned on either side of him, he swung his butt against the door, slamming it shut. He picked up the bags, taking a deep breath as he realized how heavy her stuff was. What did she put in here other than clothes? As his parents followed Olivia back towards the house, he did his best to match their speed, but found it difficult considered the weight he was managing. He glanced up the path towards Olivia, who didn’t display a single hint of a problem with carrying her two bags. Her arms weren’t even straining, and he knew from having seen her in the past, she definitely had muscles under that skin. She wasn’t buff per se, but like most cheerleaders–and certainly one who was taller than 99% of people, girls and guys–she had to be quite physically fit, while still retaining the glow of stereotypical feminine beauty.
As soon as he got inside, Reese let go of the suitcase and bag. Seemingly to close the door behind him, but really to give him respite for a few seconds. After turning back around, he saw his parents were back in the kitchen, tending to the food again, but he didn’t see Olivia. Or her bags. Is she already in her old room? He let out a big sigh, bending down to pick the bags up again before slowly making his way up the stairs.
The sound of opening zippers came down the hallway, confirming Reese’s assumption. He brought back up his fake smile, then toned it down a few notches to not seem like it was too much, as he turned the corner into her room. She was kneeling, but was so tall that she still had to bend over to reach the clothes in her suitcase. He hadn’t realized how big the neck hole was to her sweater until now. Definitely not wearing a bra.
He faked a cough. “Um, here’s your uh, stuff,” he stammered, setting her bags down carefully as Olivia whipped her head up, oblivious to her display.
“Thanks!” she said cheerfully, and went back to ruffling through her clothes. Reese stood in her doorway awkwardly for a second, before stepping back to head towards his own room. “Wait!” called Olivia, looking back up. “You’re gonna get the boxes in the back too, right?”
Reese breathed in slowly, but not quite a deep breath, and not enough to make it evident he was any bothered. “Yep,” he said simply, and changed his course towards the stairs to head back down to her car.
“Alright good,” she said with a smile, and stood up to start putting clothes away in her old, empty dresser. Reese bound down the stairs with the hundredth sigh of the afternoon, still able to manage using every other step on his way down. I can be nice for my sister. This will only take a few minutes. He arrived at the car and popped the trunk. A dozen boxes of different sizes had been hiding back there, and there wasn’t any room for a single more. Actually, truly nice people don’t have to tell themselves to be nice. Or give themselves ultimatums or reasons or whatever. They’re just nice. He grimaced to himself as he loaded a heavy box into his hands, unable to carry a second, and looked up at his sister through her bedroom window pacing around her room. I wanna be nice.
About 10 minutes later, the last of Olivia’s belongings had made their way back to her. She gave her brother another quick squeeze, albeit still too long for his comfort as his cheek was pressed up against her breast for the third time that afternoon. I’m never gonna not notice that. Unfortunately for Reese, Olivia’s bubbly personality resulted in being a pretty touchy-feely person too. Maybe in a perverted, alternate world inspired by the likes of the frontpage of Pornhub, he would squeeze her right back, and savor her hug for more than was emotionally healthy for their sibling relationship. But Reese’s mind was in a good, rightful place, and each embrace he had shared with his sister today grossed him out. They weren't even and equal hugs, like hugs should be, heads close and hearts beating near each other. It’s not even that he was turned on by sharing that kind of literal headspace with his sister’s chest, but respectful enough to deny those feelings and allow them to gross him out. He just viewed his sister the same as he did any of his guy friends: a great person, sometimes with a bond as close as family (obviously in a literal sense in Olivia’s case), but with no sexual feelings whatsoever. He hoped that once she was more settled in, he wouldn’t have to hug her as much, but at least he didn’t have any doubts as to whether or not he was disgusted by any artifacts of his sister’s sexuality.
“You know I lived in an apartment at college?” Olivia asked him, interrupting his train of thought.
“Yeah I know,” he replied, “we visited a few years ago, remember?”
“Do you remember who my roommate was?”
Should I have? he thought, trying to recall any and all of the people he had met while he visited. “Uh…” Shit. “Roberta?”
Olivia scrunched up her face in confusion. “I don’t even know a Roberta. No, it was a trick question, I didn’t have a roommate.”
“It’s just been awhile since I’ve had to actually live with someone.”
“It’s a weird feeling I think. Like a step backwards.” Her thoughts trailed off into the conversation with her brother as she continued hanging up clothes in her oversized closet.
“It’s just for a little while though, right? So, shouldn’t be a big deal, I guess.”
She sighed. “Yeah.” There were certain freedoms that anyone who lives or has lived alone knows about. Even among her fellow college students, they were freedoms that she didn’t think were very common, since most of her friends had lived in the dorms, or saved some money by living with someone else. But she had appreciated the liberty that living alone provided. She hardly was alone anyways, always inviting people over and throwing parties and get togethers every other week (one such advantage: not having to worry about someone else’s night schedule). But still, the ability to be by herself and live independently was great. Watch whatever she wants. Listen to whatever she wants, cook whatever she wants. Say whatever she wants.
Wear whatever she wants.
She had read in a Buzzfeed article titled “23 Things To Do When You Live By Yourself For The First Time” that walking around naked was one such liberty. She only did it a few times though, despite the thousands of chances she had. It was certainly an… interesting aspect of independence. But she would obviously never do that at home. Hell, she wouldn’t even walk around in her underwear around her family, especially her mom. Or dad. Or brother! Whenever she watched shows on Netflix where guys didn’t wear their shirts around the house, she always felt so confused. She couldn’t understand it. But that was OK. She never felt socially trapped by her clothes when she was younger like some nudist. Another advantage of living alone for several years means one can try out a lot of things for herself to know if they like them. Yeah, and that just wasn’t one of them for her.
“Oh yeah,” Reese announced, the one to interrupt her thoughts this time, “we have a new internet service by the way. The password is in dad’s office.”
“Cool,” she said. “Actually, I think I’ll take a nap before I do anything else. Lotta driving today. Way too much.” She collapsed on her bed, sprawled out on her stomach. “Thanks for your help today. I definitely don’t remember you acting his normal when I was in high school.”
“Oh, haha” Reese chuckled nervously. “Maybe it was hormones, probably. Or something like that.”
“You’re only 18,” Olivia reminded him, as she closed her eyes and nestled her head deeper into her pillow. “You’re still going through puberty. You’re just nice for whatever reason now.”
He smiled weakly at her, even though she wasn’t watching him anymore. She was right. He was just a nice little brother now.