Kristen expected her brothers to respond exactly as they did except for the usually perceptive Holden. They were all extremely overprotective of their little sister, even Holden who would always fight with her. Now, you would think that an overprotective brother is nothing wrong, if not charming. But, her brothers made sure that no boy in Yellow Springs High would ever think about getting close to the McGregor sister.
No boy in her high school or entire county ever thought about approaching her without invoking the wrath of her menacing older brothers. Greg Dworkin gained the courage to ask her out for some ice cream during the weekend and ignored her brothers’ threats. When she confided in Owen that Greg had asked her out, Kristen got a call from Greg the next morning saying that he forgot he had to go to his grandmother’s house that weekend. The date never happened.
Kristen later got wind of what her brothers did and confronted them about their suffocating overprotectiveness. The argument led to nowhere, and her brothers just ended the conversation with “You’re too innocent to be tainted by some dirty sex-driven boy.”
After her brothers graduated, Kristen finally believed that she would be free from her brothers’ reign; however, she was sorely mistaken. Her brothers’ influence and tyranny still lingered fresh within every high school male except one.
“Who is he?” Owen asks one more time but much less aggressively than Brandon but no less accusatory.
“He’s a really nice guy,” Kristen doesn’t answer the question immediately. “And, he just gets me.”
“I’m sure he does,” Brandon says sourly.
“Is he the nice boy that you invited over the other day?” mom asks me curiously.
The boy was indeed the nice boy that Kristen invited over her house to work on a school project together. Kristen had been going out with Barry Pierce for four weeks now, and she did not want her brothers to ruin the relationship she with Barry so far.
“A nice boy? No boy is ever nice,” Brandon says.
“You’re not nice,” Kristen says immaturely.
Brandon was the worst out of all the three brothers when it came to protectiveness. He took it, as his sole mission to protect his sister from evil just like a knight-in-shining-armor would protect his princess from the dragon. It might have been the night he first laid eyes on his baby sister, a memory long forgotten, but he promised himself that he would protect his sister. So, that’s exactly what he did. Billy, the nasty kid in her kindergarten class, well… Billy didn’t dare to set eyes on his baby sister ever since. Tania, who decided to cyber bully Kristen freshman year of high school, didn’t get a date to prom.
“Immaturity aside,” Owen tries to mend the rising tension between two. He always was the peacekeeper between his siblings. “We just want to know what type of douche canoe you’re dating,” Owen says amicably despite making his own judgments. He isn’t always a perfect peacekeeper.
“Douche canoe? Really?” Holden makes fun of Owen.
“What expletive would you prefer then?” Owen glares.
“I was thinking of something classic you know… like son of a bitch or my personal favorite, asswipe,” Holden says amusedly.
Kristen feels a buzz in her pocket and takes out her phone while her brothers are distracted by their own silly conversation.
How’s the dinner going? Barry texts her.
Kristen lets out a sigh of relief. Barry always had a way to bring a smile to her face ever since Kristen met him on the first day of school. He was the new kid in school who transferred from the far and very mysterious Omaha, Nebraska, and Barry wasn’t just the new kid. He was the new hot kid. Barry had this rural cowboy feel going that made all the girls in the sophomore year go absolutely nuts.
They’re reacting just like I thought. I text him back
“We never asked you for your personal taste of insults,” Brandon says sharply.
“No need to get snippy with me,” Holden grumbles into his chair.
“What’s his name?” Owen asks his baby sister curiously without the same aggressiveness as before.
“Why don’t we just look here?” Holden swipes Kristen’s phone before her reflexes could stop him.
“Give it back!” Kristen shrieks and grabs for her phone, but Holden’s arms are way longer than hers.
“Barry, heart emoji?” Holden laughs at how much his baby sister sounds like a regular teenage girl. Kristen has always joined the boys in their adventures whether it was playing football in the backyard or digging for worms under their mother’s vegetable garden.
“You’re such a teenage girl,” Owen laughs.
“No shit, Sherlock,” Kristen glares at him, but her face is bright red in embarrassment.
“Young lady!” Mrs. McGregor gasps.
“You’re dating a guy with the name of a middle-aged trucker?” Owen says. “He’s not a middle-aged trucker, is he?”
“He’s not a pedophile!” Kristen screams in horror and indignation.
“Barry, heart emoji says, Don’t let them get you down. Oh, is he talking about us?” Holden says, enjoying moment of torturing his little sister.
“I want to meet this guy,” Brandon says.
“Oh, god. You guys are not getting anywhere near him,” Kristen groans.
“You should invite him over for Thanksgiving,” Owen suggests.
“He has his own family to celebrate Thanksgiving with. Why would he want to celebrate with you goons?” Kristen asks.
“Sassy, aren’t we?” Owen says.
“I’m serious,” Kristen says, frustrated at her brothers’ constant interference into her life.
“He says he can make it for lunch,” Holden says deviously.
“I can’t believe you just did that!” Kristen says with a dropped jaw of amazement. “How did you get into my phone?”
“It wasn’t very hard,” Holden rolls his eyes.
“But, I changed my password,” Kristen whines.
“Ah, but to me, my little sister, you are extremely predictable,” Holden says matter-of-factly. “A variation of your birthday backwards.”
“Goddamn it, Holden!” Kristen hisses in frustration and snatches her phone back from her brother.
“When did you two even meet?” Brandon asks.
Kristen shrugs, “At school.”
“Leave your sister alone,” Mr. McGregor interjects.
“I think we have a right to be curious about our sister’s boyfriend,” Brandon says.
“I’m going upstairs,” Kristen says and ignores all the protests from the rest of the McGregor clan.
“Was it something I said?” Brandon asks.