Kalif’s hands tremble. “I haven’t felt like this since the night mom and dad died.” He heaves a sigh and turns to look at me. “Relax, I’m not repeating that stupidity again. But at a time like this I almost wish I were still a drinking man.”
“Are you having an affair with my teacher?”
The words hang in the air between me and my brother. I know I’ve crossed into a world I never wanted to enter.
I’m expecting him to swear, hit me, throw things.
Anything but the look of fear that tightens his jaw. “No.” He lifts his hands in a helpless gesture of surrender. “Not now.”
“But you did.”
Whatever he’s feeling it’s more than fear. Something moves in the back of my brother’s eyes. I could swear he wants to say more. I think if I were older he would. I think he wants to confess. But not to his kid brother.
“It was a long time ago.”
“Before or after you got married?” I say as I jump to my feet and run up the stairs to my room. I thought their marriage was tight. Proof love was possible. I know without some miracle I’ll never be married. I may find a partner willing to be with me no matter what people say. Maybe we’ll live together, have a civil contract and one of those civil ceremonies and try pretending it’s the same thing. But marriage, real marriage, would require a miracle.
If real love takes a miracle too, I am so screwed.
And not in a nice way.