Word Count: 1460
Created for Tropetember Event - Reunions
I was extremely nervous.
Straightening out my skirt, I watched the onslaught of people walk through the airport gates. Originally my father was supposed to be here, but upon getting called into work he had elected me to pick my brother up from the airport. Now usually I’d be ecstatic to see him.
If it weren’t for the fact that his childhood friend was coming along to come visit the family, and extension his family. He was just staying with us since his family didn’t have room, with his younger brother taking his room and all.
Joshua Harvey was my childhood crush. Not only that, we did have a small fling when my brother was off to college - and Josh was taking a week off to gather his things, and his semester hadn’t started until a week after his. It was a drunken thing. I was drinking my parents wine when I wasn’t supposed to, Joshua had come over to visit a little bit and well…
Let's just say adult things happened. Things that shouldn’t have happened, and probably wouldn’t have if we weren’t drinking.
Biting my lip nervously, I kept going on in my head about what I might say to him. I had always been an awkward person, and never really knew how to talk to people. It was a problem I was trying to fix, and was being fixed with work being in the mix. I was able to have small talk without stuttering, which was a huge feat for me. While I was still awkward, I had friends - friends that I didn’t go to school with. I went out with them every week at least once or twice. They understood that I was a homebody and didn’t really enjoy going out all the time, but I did go out often.
Maybe this meeting wouldn’t be so bad?
I was an overthinker. Which tended to get to my anxiety, which tended to give me unneeded panic attacks. Calming myself down, I shook my head. It will be fine. Josh was a nice guy, and I was sure that he wouldn’t say anything about the fling to my brother. He valued their friendship, sometimes more than his own actual feelings.
“Pops!” My head snapped up when I heard that nickname. Only one person in the world called me that. My brother bounded over to me, a bright smile on his face. If he were a dog I could swear I saw his tail wagging in happiness. He was a bundle of joy, and I missed him so much. “I thought dad was picking me up?” He hugged me tightly for a second before letting me go.
Glancing over to the side I saw Joshua sauntering over to us, though there was an awkward expression on his face. “Dad got called into work,” I explained as I turned towards Mark, who frowned at that. He knew what that implied. I turned towards Josh and gave him a smile. “Hey Josh, good to see you!” I didn’t want things to be awkward between us.
Joshua smiled back at me and I saw some of the tension leave his body. Maybe that was what he was hoping for? “Poppy, it’s good to see you as well.” He brought me into his arms and hugged me, though this seemed much more intimate than what I was expecting. I blushed a little bit, but hugged him back - enjoying the feeling of his arms being around me again.
If my brother recognized the intimate feeling between me and his best friend he didn’t say anything. “Let's go! I miss mom, and I want to see Ellie.” Ellie was our younger sister who just turned seven this year. According to mom she was the last child in our family, but I knew that was probably not true.
That’s what they said about me, and looked at what happened there.
I grinned at the mention of Ellie, pulling away from Joshua - though immediately missing his warmth. “Ellie’s been missing you too,” I informed him, earning a shit-eating grin from Gavin. “All she could talk about today was you coming home. ‘When is Gavy coming home?’” I mocked in a baby voice, using air quotes. “I don’t know what’s so great about you.” I waved my hand dismissively, earning a snort from Joshua.
Gavin gasped indignantly. “Excuse you? I am incredible, thank you very much!” He refuted and I laughed. I have missed him. My Senior year has been total shit without my brother to tease. “So you choose what you are doing for college next year?” Gavin asked as we walked towards my car.
“I think English,” I nodded my head, “with a minor for Creative Writing. Mom wants me to go into Criminology and follow in the footsteps of dad and you, but I don’t know if I can do it.” I admitted, rubbing the back of my neck. Becoming a cop took a lot of courage, and I didn’t have that much. I loved writing and reading, and could see myself becoming an English teacher. Maybe even a writer if I put my head into it.
“That makes sense,” Gavin nodded as he tossed his suitcase into the trunk. “I mean, it’s not for everyone. The classes are intense but I like them,” he was always the ambitious one out of us. He’d be a Sophomore in college, and I knew he would do well in his future career.
“What about you, Josh?” I wondered, turning to face him. He was getting into the back seat of my jeep as Gavin took initiative to call shotgun.
He looked surprised that I asked him as he snapped his head up. “Alright. I suppose. It wasn’t my first major idea, but it’s not bad.” He shrugged and I felt bad for him. His parents had pressured him into going to law school. They wanted him to be a lawyer, but I knew Josh did not want that.
The rest of the ride was kind of quiet, albeit Gavin was telling me what he did throughout his college days. From time to time I glanced back to look at Joshua, who was already looking at me.
Seemed we were going to have a talk later, and I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing.
Hopefully Gavin didn’t care about whatever happened. Although thankfully my brother was more of a go with the flow type of person and didn’t exactly get so hung up over the little things.
“GAVY!” A shrill voice called in delight. Joshua pulled me out of the way so I didn’t get pummeled by my younger sister barreling herself into our older brother's arms. “I’ve missed you so much!” She squealed, her eyes bright in glee.
I scoffed, crossing my arms over my chest. “Hey now, I’ve been here the entire time!” I teased, knowing she didn’t mean it in a mean way.
Ellie just shrugged nonchalantly. “I see you every day,” she said innocently and my jaw dropped, though Gavin and Joshua were laughing at her audacity. “Gavy has been away.”
“So you’re saying I’m boring? I am not boring, you little demon!” Shrieking, she laughed as I tickled her in Gavin’s arms.
Joshua gave me a discreet look and I gave him a small nod. “We’ll be back, I’m going to show Josh to his room.” I called over to the two, who paid me no mind. Gavin had gotten used to us hanging out from time to time, which was a relief. When we were far enough away I gave him a small smile. “It’s great to see you again,” I told him genuinely. I missed my brother very much, but Joshua and I had a connection. It was something that I wasn’t very accustomed to yet.
“Missed you too, Poppy Seed,” he told me, though he paused as if he wanted to say something else. Eyes flickering towards the end of the hallway I opened the door that would be his bedroom. “I, uh, wanted to ask you something. And you can say no!” He added hastily. Pausing, I glanced over at him. “Well… I wanted to ask before I left, but we both got busy. I was wondering… would you like to go on a date? This weekend? Before we have to leave?” My eyes widened at that. “I enjoyed our time together. Maybe a little too much…” He admitted sheepishly and I laughed at that.
“I’d be honored.” I smiled when he beamed at me, and I knew this was the right thing to do. It was something we both wanted, wanted for so long.
I just hoped Gavin understood where we were coming from.