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Posted: Jul 11 2006, 12:56 AM

Princess of Highland

Group: Admin
Posts: 647
Member No.: 71
Joined: 26-October 05

(Continued from: Unbreakable Bonds)

It had been some time ago now that Ricky Callahan had parted ways with Eric Silvstedt. After blatantly lying to an officer of the law for someone he considered a friend, Ricky couldn't help but feel a bit guilty. Before he'd moved to this town and made his current friends, never in his life would he have dreamed of completely lying to a member of law enforcement over such a trivial matter. Now, all that had changed. The sad part was, it was in a vain attempt to make and keep the people who he thought were his frends. In the end, Ricky knew that, but was unable to quell the urge to fit in.

Sighing aloud, the dark-haired boy now leaned against the Callahans' dinner table, brooding over a complicated mathematics problem. He used to be so smart, used to make top marks in everything. Then again, that was around the time popularity took over, and it became important to be in the "in-crowd" and nerdy to be "smart". Shaking his head somewhat, he couldn't help but condemn himself a bit for trying to actually dumb himself down to fit in with his friends.

There was a time when I wouldn't have trouble doing this...

Though he mused the thought, Ricky thought that perhaps he wasn't as smart as he once thought he was. Maybe he hadn't tried to "dumb himself down", maybe he just wasn't as intelligent as he was made out to be. His parents had always made him out to be the proverbial "golden child", their gift from God brought onto the planet to bless them with knowledge and skill. These days, that term couldn't be farther from the truth. Ricky's grades had slipped from the high marks he used to receive to just slightly above average. He wasn't all that impressive anymore. He wasn't exactly the Callahan's little sports phenom either. He was just now getting to get off the bench and play a bit, and he still wasn't really all that good.

"Hey, bro."

His silent contemplation was brought to an abrupt hault as the voice echoed out from behind them. Raising his head and turning to look, Ricky greeted his younger brother with a slight wave. The younger Callahan sibling, age 16, was currently chugging the pint of milk from the refridgerator, and Ricky couldn't help but muse over the fact, a faint smile coming to his face.

"That's really disgusting, you know."

At the retort, Matt put the lid back on the milk and stuffed it back into the refridgerator. A wide smile crossed his face, and Ricky couldn't help but shake his head and laugh lightly at the milk mustache that had formed over his younger brother's upper lip. It was at that point that Ricky took a moment to really look over his younger brother for the first time in a very long time. Gone was the wide eyed, innocent little boy who used to ride on Ricky's coattails everywhere he went. Instead, somebody completely different had taken his place. Now, that pudgy little boy had turned into an adult.

The messily-fixed, jet-black cowlicked hair had long since been traded in for gelled-up spikes; his innocent, wide eyes had gradually transformed into more mature pools of dark brown; his round, chubby face had become more aged, defined, and mature. In fact, everything about Matt had changed. The tubby little boy had become a young man with a rather impressive physique. Tilting his head to the side at this new revelation, Ricky looked on in a sort of dumbstruck manner as Matt took a moment to wipe away the milk mustache.

"So..." Matt mused, still trifling through the contents of the refridgerator, "I got some pretty cool news today."

"Yeah?" Ricky mused, finally turning away from his brother and staring back at the math homework in a dumbfounded manner. This problem was impossible.

"Coach said that with the way I've been going this season, he's gonna go ahead and bump me up to the starting lineup next year if I keep playing. Cool, huh?"

This new revelation once again caused Ricky to cast aside his homework to look at his younger brother. He had just joined the football team this season. By all rights, he should be on the Junior Varsity team. And now, the coach was promising him starting lineup for next season? Surely he wasn't that good. Surely he couldn't beat out all those other kids who'd been playing for ages in such a short span... could he? Ricky'd been playing baseball since he was a kid, and he was just now getting out on the field in a regular game. Matt had just started playing football at the beginning of the year as a time-filler, and he was being bumped up already?

"Huh. Yeah, that's pretty cool."

Once again turning back to his homework, though now visibly aggravated at the new information he'd been provided, Ricky stared vacantly at the math problem once again, simply unable to solve it. After having been told Matt's "good" news, he was a bit flustered. That certainly wasn't helping his ability to do any math lately. Despite that, Ricky put on a smile, appearing to be quite happy for his younger brother.

"So... congratulations," he mused, putting on a front.

"Hey thanks man, I appreciate it," Matt replied, a smile forming on his lips.

Although the younger Callahan sibling would never admit it, he'd always looked up to his older brother. Ricky was always so smart, always so on top of things. He was down-to-earth and never seemed to lose his cool. Best of all, Ricky was smart, and he could still hang with the popular crowd, and for that, Matt absolutely idolized him. To him, Ricky Callahan was one of the coolest people on earth, despite his short-comings and lack of self-confidence. Perhaps he should've told him that once in a while.

Casually leaning over his older sibling's shoulder, Matt scowered the math problem Ricky currently seemed to be stuck on. It looked pretty complicated, but the lightbulb in Matt's head suddenly seemed to come on, and his face lit up with excitement. It was rare that he got the chance to help his older brother, it was usually the other way around, with Ricky leaning over his shoulder telling him the answers. Now, for once, it was his turn.

"By the way, the answer to that problem's 47," Matt mused.

A content smile formed on the younger boy's lips as he headed off into the living room, the contents of whatever he may have pulled from the refridgerator stowed away in his hand. Ricky's eyebrows raised slightly, as he was clearly taken aback by Matt's answer. Quickly running through the basic steps of the problem again and again, he almost immediately discovered that his brother was right, and that he'd managed to work the complicated problem that Ricky couldn't even do on paper in his head.

Suddenly, a feeling of sickness overcame the older boy. It was something that had been going on for a long, long time now, but it was at that very moment that Ricky finally came to a startling new realization. Not only was Matthew Callahan starting to grow into his own, he was actually starting to outshine his older brother. If this kept up, Ricky would no longer be the golden child of the Callahan family, and that little weasel would have come in and taken it all from underneath Ricky's nose.

In a way, it wasn't surprising. Ricky had been so concerned about playing off academics and improving in a sport that he wasn't really cut out for that he'd never noticed his brother striving for good grades and excelling in the world of sports. Never in his entire life, though, did Ricky Callahan thing that his very own brother, the kid who seemingly wanted to be Ricky's clone for ages, would be the very person trying to usurp his brother's position as the golden child.

Ricky's dark eyes narrowed slightly as he looked on at his brother, who was sitting contently on the living room couch laughing at some program or another on the television. The kid sat there laughing, as if nothing was going on, as if there were no reason for Ricky to be insecure and almost paranoid about what the future may hold. Through those thoughts, only one word ran through Ricky's mind at the time: traitor.

(Continued in: Memory)
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