Madelene Martin

Deflowering Rose

“I can’t believe you’re really back!” I cried, flinging my arms around my brother right where he stood in the doorway. “It seems like it’s been forever!”

My step-brother Alec, momentarily stunned by the display of affection, dropped his luggage and guitar case and reluctantly returned the hug. His hand awkwardly patted me on the back.

I pulled away, and punched him on the arm. “I missed you, asshole.”

“ What the hell, Rose?” He said in disbelief. Then he looked me over, cradling his bicep. “Are you really my little sister? I barely recognize you!”

He had been away for eight months, touring with his mildly successful band. And I had turned eighteen while he was gone, and was just about to finish school.

I laughed. “I know! I got the braces off finally.” And I smiled at him, striking a pose, showing my newly straight white teeth.

But that wasn’t all. I was what you’d call a late bloomer. When he’d left, I had been a petite, skinny, slightly nerdy girl. I’d been self-conscious of my teeth and my gawky body. Now all of a sudden, I had filled out in the hips and my breasts had grown full and soft — I was curvy where there had been no curves before. It suited me, as though I had finally grown into myself, and lent me a new sense of confidence. I’d let my blonde hair grow long for the first time, and of course the braces had come off my teeth.

Alec coughed, looking away, and I suddenly realized he was embarrassed.

Even since before our parents had married, Alec and I had been close. We had known each other ever since elementary school, though we had only officially been brother and sister for a few years. I’d been upset when he’d left home, but we’d talked every few weeks on the phone.

“So, tell me all about it,” I prompted. “The gritty stuff, not the stuff you’ll tell Mom and Dad.” I smiled wickedly.

He dumped his stuff inside and flopped on the couch, and I sat next to him, leaning toward him attentively. I noticed he wasn’t exactly unchanged either. He’d put on some muscle — I guessed from carrying all his equipment around — and developed a tan.

“Uhh, what do you want to know?” He smiled, still slightly embarrassed.

I nudged him with an elbow, getting a perverse kick out of his discomfort. “Did you party?”