Episode II: My Sister’s Keeper

With all of the relationship experiences that I reported in my past articles, what helps me maintain poise is a social circle of friends and family. Let me assure you that trust is not something you should ever destroy. It's worse if you destroy that trust by a bad relationship with a family-friend. Confused? 

Let me explain...

When I was sixteen, my sister moved out of town to Victoria, and being from a small town in the Kootenays, it was always exciting to take a long weekend away to go stay with her. I got to meet all of her new friends, including a gay couple, who in my opinion always seemed mismatched. Being a daydreaming teenager, I heavily crushed on one half of the couple, Darren. The allure was obvious: he was an architect-in-training, three years older than me, and fit the “tall dark and handsome” stereotype.

Darren and I had always retained a good, friendly relationship over the years, co-organizing my sister’s birthday parties, and meeting up for coffee sporadically. But even though I had been in a four and a half year relationship, my crush, though dormant, never left completely. And Darren's relationship kept my approach stagnant for another four years. It wasn't until I was twenty-four years old that our world started to stir. We had all moved -- myself, my sister, and her best friends -- to Vancouver.

One  balmy summer evening, I ran into Darren near his house in Kitsilano. We decided to go for a drink. The drink, as you may have guessed, led to more drinks, which led to “let’s go watch a movie at my place.” Perhaps the greatest advancement for avoiding awkward “lead up” conversations was the invention of home video. It’s simply code for something far less easy to talk about in such situations... such as what my sister would think if she found out about where I wanted to take her best friend.

So, yes, we ended up his place, and there I was in my sister’s best friend’s bed, causing all sorts of future social problems. I didn’t feel guilty, and a small part of me felt that I had satisfied my  repressed teenage needs. The incident was no one-off, as last year I moved into my own apartment, and several repeat occurrences rounded out my year.

In the summer, my sister and I attended a No Doubt concert at GM Place, where we ran into Darren. This was the first time I had seen the two of them together in a while. My heart definitely skipped a few beats. Two nights later, at her birthday party, we were all together again. She must have been clueless to not notice the suggestive eyes and sly remarks, but I was happy to leave it between us. Eventually, weeks later,  there came a time when she flat out asked me if I ever had a thing for him. I was busted. I told her, in a very mature and adult kind of way, what had happened. No big deal, I thought.

The next month or so of my life was hell, with her constantly implying that I had jeopardized their friendship, and that I had betrayed her trust. “How would you like it,” she asked, “If I hooked up with one of your friends? What if I slept with Giles [The Courier's copy editor]?” I laughed out loud, denying the principle behind her implications. She didn't grow up with Giles, or build a strong friendship, before throwing it all away for the chance of appeasing a silent crush. The situation was entirely different.

Though sneaking around with my sister’s friend was fun, I eventually grew tired, and once she knew about it, it was no longer fun. So what was the joy in it all along? Just the secretive nature of my situation? The idea that this crush belonged to me and me alone? Either way, I think on both ends we were pretty uninterested, and we parted ways. But the remnants of this not-quite-even-a-relationship are still present. Cultural references in films and TV on this type of subject are aplenty, and any time one of the Gossip Girl characters winks at her friend’s brother, my sister’s eyes stare at me with disdain.

//JJ Brewis

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: