I like him. I love him. But it’s undeniable that he ruined my life.
It all started when, after my umpteenth failure in the workplace, I was forced to return to live with my father.
I had left home full of hope many years earlier, pursued university courses abroad and even tried to get a job there … but it all went wrong, and in the end I asked dad if he could host me for a while while I waited to resolve my situation.
Dad had remarried during my absence however, and his wife already had a son who was living with him at the time.
He is my “half-brother”, if we can call him that since he is not really my father’s son, and he is ten years younger than me; he was only 16 at the time, and he’s the one who ruined my life.
He’s not a bad person. Some might find him a little bit arrogant, but he has every reason to be; he was one of the best in his school, both academically and in sports, and he was also quite popular among the other students.
The reason he ruined my life is another… and maybe it’s not even his fault.
It all started from the first moment I saw him, that is when I returned to my father’s house after so many years away.
I remember being amazed. Dad had come to pick me up at the airport in his car, very happy to have me back home, and I thought that once I got back I would find everything as I had left it … but no.
Colors, smells, even the arrangement of objects … everything had changed. What I found myself in was no longer the house I grew up in, it was something else.
The first thing that struck me were the colors: the house looked brand new, shiny and clean; the walls, both external and internal, had been repainted; the windows were smooth and perfectly transparent; the floor was impeccable.
<<We’ve been really into cleaning lately. My wife’s son is very fussy, he’s allergic to dust.>> my father had said as he helped me to take the suitcases from the trunk.
On hearing those words I remember immediately getting a rather wrong idea of my half-brother; I pictured him as an obnoxious snobbish person.
<<Before entering, take off your shoes.>> dad also told me <<Put on flip flops, or walk barefoot which is better.>>
<<For the dust.>> he explained.
<<Do shoes cause dust?>>
<<Didn’t you know that? The soles of shoes and slippers carry dirt around the house, so if you don’t use them it’s easier to keep the floor clean.>>
I sighed <<Okay…>>
I was already getting nervous: when I lived there there weren’t all these absurd rules, everyone did what they wanted and the house was perfectly habitable anyway. But oh well, being the guest at that moment I decided not to complain openly and to comply with his requests.
I took off my shoes, and a slight shiver went through my body as I did it. I vividly remember thinking of an old friend from school, a boy I had a crush on when I was in high school.
I’ve always wanted to see him barefoot … if these rules had existed in my school days I would have had the perfect excuse to make him take off his shoes when he came to my house.
Who knows where he is now…
Anyway, once I got back home the feeling of being in a foreign place increased; the inside was even cleaner than the outside, and besides being clean everything was also in order. Too tidy.
There was also a pleasant, crisp, fresh scent in the air.
<<Wow.>> I remember saying as I looked around <<You weren’t joking when you talked about cleaning.>>
<<All because of my wife’s son. He cares a lot about these things. He’s the perfect husband in that respect. Just think that your sister developed a crush on him when she was still living here …>>
Hearing those words, I remember getting curious. My sister hadn’t left when I left, she stayed in that house for many years before she left too, so she was there when dad remarried and must have lived with my half-brother for a long time before she moved away as well .
If she had a crush on him, then he must be an interesting guy.
<<Where is it now?>> I asked my father.
<<In the bathroom. He’s getting ready to go to the gym.>>
<<And where does he sleep? My room is …?>>
<<Yeah, speaking of that… I gave your room to him. For now you will sleep in your sister’s room, okay?>>
<<And what about my things?>>
<<All in the cellar, don’t worry. We threw away almost nothing.>>
I walked into my sister’s room, and I remember immediately feeling strange; that place was “off-limits” in my time, I had practically never entered it.
Apart from some embarrassing posters and strange writings on the walls, I didn’t find anything special though; my sister’s clothes were almost all gone, the wardrobes were almost completely empty (only old jackets and blankets remained), as were the drawers.
I left my suitcases in the center of the room and sat on the bed; I remember thinking about my future, the job I had found, my next goals … my “little” excursion abroad had come to an end, and I had to find a way to rebuild my life in the small town where I was born. I thought about all the friends I had left behind and wondered what had happened to them.
And as I thought, I heard the bathroom door open; driven by curiosity, I got up and went towards the corridor to greet my “step-brother” … and it was in that moment that my life changed.
The boy I found in front of me was half-naked, covered only with a towel up to his lower parts; the upper part of the body was uncovered and showed a sculpted physique to say the least.
My half-brother has a spectacular physique, accompanied by an equally attractive face: I remember feeling my heart sink in my chest as soon as I saw him… I literally had a stroke.
When his eyes met mine, he put on a slightly puzzled expression.
<<Uh? And who are you?>>
I was so stunned that it took me several seconds to understand that he was talking to me.
<<Uh … ehm … I-me?>> I stammered.
<<Well, yes, you. This is my – OH!>> he then exclaimed, putting a hand on his head <<Sorry, I know who you are! I knew you’d arrive today, it’s just that I wasn’t thinking about it at the moment.>> Having said that, he approached me with a smile and extended his hand; I shook it while I reflected on the fact that although he was only 16 he was almost as tall as me <<So you’ll sleep there, uh?>> he then asked, pointing with his chin to the room I had come out of.
<<Okay. Did your father already tell you the rules?>>
<<R … rules?>>
<<Yes. First thing, no shoes in the house. You can use slippers if you want, but you have to keep them clean otherwise they accumulate dust.>>
<<Oh … y-yes, he told me something about that.>>
<<Perfect.>> he smiled <<And remember to keep the bathroom clean and just try to not leave things around. Now I have to go to the gym. We’ll talk later, if you want.>>
<<Yes … yes, of course.>>
He patted me on the shoulder and walked away, towards what used to be my room; I remember standing in the hallway staring at him as he walked away, paying particular attention to the muscles in his back and the delightful definition of his calves and feet.
I didn’t know it yet, but that meeting would mark me forever.
Things didn’t go downhill right away. To tell the truth, the situation has evolved VERY slowly.
I spent the first few days readjusting to my old life; I met my father’s new wife (nice woman, I like her), I heard from my sister some news (she told me some funny anecdotes about our new stepbrother), then I saw some old friends again and concentrated myself on the new job I had found.
I spoke to my half-brother just a few times during these days, because in the morning he went to school and in the afternoon he was always out doing something: sometimes it was the gym, other times it was an outing with friends … and so on.
The hardest part was adjusting to the “rules” of the house. I found it a bit annoying having to remember to always clean my flip flops, and I wasn’t very used to walking around barefoot, but after the first few weeks it all started to come easy and natural.
The “weird” things started happening after a few months actually. Subconsciously, I was starting to pay much more attention to what my stepbrother did so that I could align my work schedules with his.
I didn’t realize it at first, but I was starting to get addicted to his presence; if he was around, I felt happy … if he was missing, I felt sad. A whole day spent at home without him was like a wasted day for me… I felt like I was doing absolutely nothing (when maybe I could focus on something else); when he was there instead … I don’t know, I felt more energetic for some reason, even if maybe I wasn’t doing anything anyway.
Because of this, I started to “study” his movements: in the morning until the afternoon he went to school, then four times a week he went to the gym, from which he came back all sweaty and in need of a shower; he never had lunch at home, he rarely had a snack at home, he often ate dinner at home, and almost always slept at home … however, he almost always spent the evenings outside.
I started aligning my working hours so that I could be home at the same time he was… and one day I even asked for a change of hours to be at home with him.
When I realized that this behavior was actually a bit unusual and creepy, I tried to control myself and change. I wondered why I was fixating on him so much…but the answer to that question is pretty obvious.
I liked everything about him. The voice, the confident and arrogant tone in which he speaks, the way he dresses, the look… and of course the appearance. He’s an adonis, and had been since a young age, so I soon found myself in the same situation as my sister: I developed a crush on him.
Mine wasn’t a real “crush” though, so I didn’t quite understand my feelings at first. The fact is that I didn’t want to get engaged to him, kiss him or do anything romantic … but at the same time I wanted to be around him, I wanted to somehow have his attention, and most importantly I wanted to see him happy.
The situation changed further when, at the end of his school year, we all went to the beach together. I will never forget that day, because it definitively sealed my destiny.
Nothing special actually happened initially. It seemed like a trivial excursion like any other. But then two rather significant events occurred.
The first was the most intense. He had found a group of boys to play beach volleyball with, and since they were short one player to form two teams, he decided to ask me to play, even though I was much older than them.
Initially everyone thought that whoever had me in the team would have an advantage, because they expected that being the oldest of all I would also be the strongest. Well… they were wrong. I don’t know how to play beach volleyball, I’m not really the sporty type of person.
However, my half-brother is both arrogant and competitive, so he decided to play on the team opposite to mine so as to make the two teams more balanced. Thinking I was really a danger, he played with impressive fury, and… well… I was annihilated, crushed as violently as he crushed the ball.
Every shot he made was aimed at me, and the few I managed to intercept either knocked me down or went out of bounds; after a few minutes those present had completely changed their opinion of me, and I immediately noticed a drastic drop in respect towards me.
At the end of the game nobody wanted me in the team, so my half-brother decided to team up with me and no longer considered me a threat.
I remember him patting me on the back and chuckling with satisfaction.
<<I fucked you, huh?>> he said <<Sorry, dude, I didn’t think you were so bad, otherwise I wouldn’t have been so hard.>>
<<Don’t worry … it’s okay.>>
<<Well, now I’ll let you win so I’ll pay you back for the first game. Just pass the ball to me, okay?>>
<<Yes … sure.>>
In that second game my half-brother played much more calmly, so as not to spoil the experience of the others too much, who were just there to have fun; he still won, and I did exactly what he told me, that is limiting myself to passing the ball to him so as to allow him to score points.
That was the first time I did anything for him so directly. I remember feeling… happy. I was happy to be useful for him in some way, and it was great to see him jump and dominate the field thanks to my passing.
I was his shoulder, my every action only served to give him more agency, and every time I made a mistake or took a false step, I apologized directly to him, looking him in the eyes.
He always nodded and gave a thumbs up; he accepted my apology as if it was a normal thing to receive for a mistake I made, and this behavior of his only made me want to play around him even more.
It was at that moment that I realized I didn’t really have a real crush on him. I still couldn’t fully process my emotions, but somehow I understood my desires.
I hadn’t fallen in love. No. My feelings were something else, something that had nothing to do with romance.
After the game I remember that my half-brother got (deservedly) all the glory of our plays; the boys quickly forgot about my presence, ignoring me, and immediately gathered around him talking about what they would like to do at that moment.
He too forgot about me, because after proposing the next activity he left with the group without even looking at me. I could have followed them in silence, but I would have looked rather pathetic doing so… a thirty year old following a group of minors with bowed head is not quite the image I wanted to give of myself, and so I simply went back to my deck chair.
Those two beach volleyball matches had drained me of all energy, but at the same time they had opened my eyes. Being my stepbrother’s sidekick, the one who allowed him to shine, made me realize what kind of relationship I wanted from him.
Hours later, the second event that I will never forget from that day also happened.
My half-brother had returned to his deckchair (next to mine) accompanied by a couple of his friends; they had just returned from a swim and wanted to get off the beach and go somewhere.
Talking, I watched them drying and dressing… and then I watched my stepbrother take my shirt and use it to dry off and wipe the sand off his feet; not wanting to dirty his towel, he used my shirt, and he did it with extreme carelessness and naturalness, without even looking at me.
He then passed it on to his friends, who in turn cleaned their feet with it as well, after which he threw it back on my deck chair and without a word left .. As if nothing had happened.
My first instinct was to get angry. He had just used my shirt to wipe his feet dirty with wet sand … but I didn’t get mad. On the contrary, I looked at my shirt, now dirty and damp, and I felt a very strong need to wear it.
I didn’t know why… but I wanted to wear it.
In the end I didn’t though. It seemed out of place to do, and also quite creepy. But even that event was nice, and that too served to make me understand what I wanted from my stepbrother.
Upon his return he realized what he had done though, and apologised.
<<I hadn’t noticed it was your, sorry.>> he told me.
<<Don’t worry… it’s already dried by now.>> I answered him.
<<True. You can still use it.>> he concluded.
Following those words I did just as he said, I put it on.
His reaction was a banal amused smile, nothing more.
Upon returning home, we stowed our sand-stained flip-flops in a bag to prevent the house from getting dirty. Each of us was assigned the chore of collecting and cleaning their pair in the bathroom. However, none of us truly felt like doing it, as it seemed easier to just leave them in that bag until our next day at the beach.
But an unhealthy idea came to me; I said I would go and clean my flip flops, but I actually took my brother’s ones pretending I just screwed up… and once in the bathroom, before cleaning the sand off them, I did something I’ve never done in my life ever : I smelled them.
Right now I consider myself a foot fetishist. But I wasn’t before, it was my half brother who made me one.
Feet had always fascinated me a little, but generally my attention went to the muscles of the legs and abdomen. But since that day things have changed.
When I put on the shirt he used to wipe his feet, my nose was constantly flooded with a subtle bubbly smell… not finding it at all bothersome, I took his flip flops to make sure that smell was actually coming from him and not by some strange perfume … and smelling them confirmed my suspicions.
That fizzy smell came right from my half brother, his flip flops were soaked in it.
I sniffed them for I don’t know how many minutes before deciding to clean them, and I admit I did it reluctantly because the idea of washing away that tantalizing smell pained me … if it had been up to me, I would have stayed smelling them for whole days .
The story continues chapter by chapter, so as soon as it is ready you will find it published on this page.
This is one of the stories in the Red archive.
If you liked it, here is the complete list of stories based on the same concept:
- The Peeping Tom: the story of a voyeur, caught in the act and punished accordingly
- Little cousin: the story of a boy, whose life has been totally dominated by his cousin
- Guest: the story of a boy who was arguing with his sister; he didn’t know that her boyfriend was in the house
- Prodigy: the story of a young athlete so talented that he dominates his own master, physically and mentally
- Her boyfriend: the story of a boy, whose roommate is engaged to a rather dominant guy
- Trapped: the story of a poor weak man’s head that ended up in the grip of a young man’s muscular legs
- The friend: The story of a boy who befriends someone a little too dominant
- The step-brother: the story of a boy who found himself living with his half-brother, who was ten years younger than him