I actually think it’s kind of a miracle that it took until high school for Lucy to start dating. I don’t know whether it was a self-confidence thing or if she actually genuinely felt a close connection to every guy she ever met, but she could never stop talking about them.
Most embarrassingly, though, she just would not shut up about Jasper.
“He is so cool,” she told me once before leaning in and whispering, “Do you think he might have had sex already? I mean, he is in high school.” We were in eighth grade.
I knew that he had—I am who I am—but I still lied and said I didn’t.
Then of course Ellen Portnoy happened. And my niece. Lucy managed to be devastated and fascinated at the same time. So full of every emotion, as always. And then of course Ellen dropped out of the picture so suddenly and Lucy didn’t know what to do with herself.
“You think about sex sometimes, don’t you?”
Thought about it? I didn’t have to. I knew exactly what it was going to feel like, be like, how it was going to taste and smell and sound, I’d had visions of it for years. I didn’t knew for sure who it was going to be with. (I assumed Angus—at least I did back when I was certain that he was my mysterious redhead.) But I mean, I knew what it would be. “I guess,” I fudged to Lucy, but then realized my mistake.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I mean, I always have, but… it’s like more and more, it’s almost like it’s becoming real. You know?”
A few months after Jasper went off to work at the steel mill, I had a vision that made it a little too real for me, too. It was another one of my awkward my-family-are-having-sex visions, only this time, it wasn’t limited to family.
“Hey,” Lucy asked me not long after, “can I come over and study at your place this weekend?”
I knew what she was trying to do. She knew Jasper had weekends off, that he spent them around the house with his kid. She was triying to insinuate herself into—
“Would that be so bad?” Trevor asked. “I mean, I know he’s your brother and all, but like, why do you care so much?”
I cared because much as I liked hanging out with Lucy, the thought of her becoming my sister left me slightly queasy. Or, I don’t know, maybe I didn’t want my niece getting too attached only to—
“Come on! What is the problem?”
“I don’t want you dating my brother!” I finally blurted.
“Who said anything about dating your brother?”
“You have. For years. For years you’ve been talkign about letting him take your V-card—“
“Oh, honey, that ship has sailed.”
Some psychic I am. Assuming she was telling the truth.
“I just want things… separate,” I finally managed to confess. “It’s hard for me when it’s all… muddy.”
But there was no stopping them. I knew it. It had been in my visions.
“She’s sixteen,” I reasoned with Jasper.
“So? I’m nineteen, and in the state of North Carolina—“
“Don’t give me that bullshit! She is a child!”
“Maybe that’s what I need right now!”
“Are you listening to yourself?”
“Look… I don’t know what to tell you. She makes me happy. And I… I think I make her happy, too.”
Wouldn’t it be ironic, I found myself thinking, if Jasper and fucking Lucy McDermott were the ones to live happily ever after?
But I knew I was just being jealous.