My name's Kenyon, and Kenya's my fraternal twin sister. We're fourteen, and It's one-hundred-twelve degrees outside our home in Sacramento, California and ninety degrees and climbing inside. Thunderstorms down south have knocked out our electricity for the last three hours.
We're sitting on the floor in the downstairs guest bedroom, the coolest room in the house, playing Tonk. I'm wearing my running shorts and a wife-beater undershirt. Kenya's dressed in cutoffs and a halter top. We are both slick with sweat.
I win the game and mark down my victory in a lined notebook. "You now owe me twenty dollars. I don't accept IOUs or checks."
"Fuck, it's hot as Hell in the summertime. Grampa used to say that. Remember?" She throws down her cards, messes with her phone. "Kenyon, you, fucking cheat in the heat."
"Hey, your phone's supposed to be off to save the battery."
"Fuck off. God, it's hot."
"We agreed to keep one phone on at a time. We need to have a working phone so that mom can reach us or in case of an emergency."
"Piss off. I need my phone. Turn yours off. No one calls you anyway."
I turn my phone off, wipe sweat from my face with my shirt. I pull my shirt off and toss it on the floor. "Hey, loser, I'm going to check the freezer in the garage. There may be more ice cream in there. Do you want me to bring you some?"
"God, you're so lucky you can take off your shirt."
I stand and ask her again, "Do you want ice cream or not?"
"Yeah, sure, thanks. I'm sorry for being so bitchy. It's just so damn hot."
"We could go next door and use the Wilson's pool. They wouldn't mind. They said we could use it anytime."
"Are you kidding? It must be a hundred and fifteen out there. It would be like swimming in a bowl of warm soup."
"No ice cream, but look what I found. Are you drinking beer?"
"I got you one. What is that?"
"A frozen coconut cream pie. You know who brought this, right?"
"Dad. Kenyon, do you still miss him? I don't. I hate him."
I open the pie box, remove the pie, sit it between us. "How long do you think it'll take to thaw?"
"Mom called. She said that all flights from Burbank to Sacramento had been canceled due to the thunderstorms."
"What thunderstorms? It's not storming here."
Kenya shrugs, "They must be close. There's a severe weather warning for Sacramento, San Juan, and Stockton." Kenya opens a beer and hands it to me. "Mom won't be back until tomorrow morning. We could have a party -- if we had ac."
"I still miss dad. I never remember them fighting. I still don't know why he left us."
"Because he's a dick. He started making 'real' money and cut us loose. Fuck him and his trophy wives."
We bake quietly for moment or two.
"Kenya, you know we don't like beer that much. So, why are we drinking it?"
"God it's hot. I don't know. Because it's cold?"
"Kenya, are you going to visit dad this summer?"
"Fuck no. I'll go to Seattle and see our cousins."
I stick my finger in the pie, pick out a bit of whipped cream and lick it off my finger.
"Fuck this." Kenya pulls off her top and throws it on the bed. "Ah, free, free at last, God almighty, free at last."
I'm staring at her small tan breasts with the chocolate circles around the mouthwatering nipples. My dick's stiff; my heart's pounding like galloping horses.
"Kenyon, quit staring like that. Don't be a freak. You're my brother."
"They're beautiful, really beautiful."
"You're making me nervous." Kenya pulls back her shoulders. Her breasts are like at attention. "They're kinda small. You think they're too small?"
"Kenya, they're perfect. Really."
"Oh, shit! You got a hardon." My sister's giggling and pointing at my bulging shorts. "Shame on you. What would Alison say, huh?"
I'm blushing, hot and sweating twice as hard. "Put your top back on, please."
Kenya starts to refuse, but she sees the pleading in my eyes, she stretches over and retrieves and dons her top. "Sorry. I'm sorry. My bad. It's this stupid heat." She swipes up some of the whipped cream and licks it off her fingers.
I want to yell at her to stop. To let me lick -- what's wrong with me? I don't want to want to lick her fingers or touch, hold, suck her breasts. I --
"Remember when I first got boobs and we did a weekly check to see if they were growing. You were more excited than I was. I remember that now."
I do remember, and I feel myself getting even harder. "Can we talk about something else? Do you think Mom would let you go to Seattle instead of Texas?"
"Hey, Kenyon are you and Alison -- you know -- doing it?"
"Quit! Just stop."
"What? I'm changing the subject."
"Stop, Kenya. Stop. Alison's not my girlfriend. She's my friend. We have all been friends since we moved here when we were five, and she was seven. I hope we will always be friends."
"Chill, chill. Wow, you so sensitive."
"Kenya, you know Alison's DD. She's sixteen, but she's like a ten-year-old, and she will always be ten. You know that, so stop teasing me."
"Well excuse me. I thought you liked her a lot. I mean, she has had a crush on you since day one."
"I do like her. I just ... I would feel like I was taking advantage of her."
"Really, the girl got the hots for you and you like her. You take her out, watch TV with her, text her. When she's home from school, you guys spend a lot of time together."
"Friends. Friends tend to do that."
"OK, just friends. But, she's a little hottie friend. So, like, if she came home and went out with other guys, would that bother you?"
"She's ten. She has a ten-year-old's emotional development. Her parents aren't going to let her go on dates."
"Not true. The Wilsons let you take her on dates. They even pay for them."
"Because I'm safe. I won't take advantage. They trust me."
Kenya scoops up some more whipped cream and offers me her creamy fingers. I want to, but she's really pissing me off. I shake my head no.
"So, you two like each other and her parents and mom approve of you guys, and the little hottie is creaming in her panties for you, and you won't give the sister a break. That sounds so cruel."
"What if, if she got pregnant? I mean --"
"Ah, Kenyon, she has been on birth control since she was twelve. I know you know that."
"Yeah, I ... I ... She's kinda like a sister ... but a lot sweeter than you."
"You keep teasing her, and I bet she'll show you the other side of sweet."
"Quit! She needs someone at her own level."
"She goes to school with people at her own level, but she rushes home to you."
"I think I hear thunder. Listen. Did you hear that?"
"It's mean to treat her like you do. At least let her give you a hand-job or something. You let our stepsister, Cindy, gave you a hand-job at Dad's and she's a slut."
"Kenya, why are you in my business so much? You got issues yourself. You can't keep a boyfriend --"
"Because Allison came to me in tears -- more than once. She thinks she's doing something wrong, that's why you don't want her."
"When? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I tried to. You told me to mind my own business." Kenya leers at me. "Have you ever even kissed her?"
"Kenya, I didn't know what to do ... I do like her, and I want to, to ... I know she wants to do it, but ..."
"Brother, you got to do something before it gets ugly."
I scoop up some whipped cream. I eat it, but I don't taste it. I hear thunder for certain.
"I kissed her a couple of times. She's a good kisser. The Wilsons would kill me if they caught us making out. I mean I would be out of her life for good forever."
Kenya laughs, scoops up whipped cream and flicks it into my face. "The Wilsons caught you two making out during the spring break. They told Mom and she --"
I wipe the whipped cream from my face, lick my fingers. "Gave me that lecture about sex, responsibility, and birth control. So, that's why --"
"See, everybody's in your business, and you don't even know it. And, and ain't nobody mad at you. And please, please drop the 'just friends' stuff. That's old and tiresome. Alison loves you. Everyone knows that. She deserves someone to love her back or to cut her loose. Get it?"
"Alison's just a child. She's not ready for sex."
"Oh, that's so dumb. She's ready. And no one can stop her. They can't lock her up or put her in a chastity belt. Kenyon, if she's really your friend you need to consider her needs as well as your own. You're so blind sometimes."
Wow! The Wilsons saw us kissing. They didn't bust us. Maybe the Wilsons might think of Alison having sex with me as the lesser of two evils. But, it just feels wrong to me. And what if we have sex and we stop being friends? This's so weird. I'm glad I can talk to Kenya.
"Kenya, thanks. You're the best sister I could not have." I lean across to kiss her on the cheek and scoop up a handful of whipped cream and smash it into her face.
"Asshole." She grabs the pie just as thunder explodes right over the house shaking the walls. Something falls and breaks in the kitchen.
There's the smell of ozone.
Kenya's phone rings.
The last thing my sister says before she answers her phone as I go to check out the kitchen is, "Kenyon, do right, okay? It's worse than Hell in the summertime to love somebody you can't have. Bring me another beer, please."