After mom died, Nate spent more time with a new group of boys. They were older, from another school, and I didn’t know much about them.
We’d tested our connection a few years before when Dad took Nate on his one and only hockey tournament across the country.
We texted like crazy when he was alone or with Dad in the hotel room.
I missed two shots
I feel your heart
Just stubbed my toe
What happened with your face earlier?
Cheap shot from offence. They play dirty.
Knowing that I could feel Nate three thousand miles away gave me a sense of invincibility about our connection.
If he was ever in trouble, I would know.
I guess that’s why I didn’t worry so much after mom died and he pulled away.
But these new guys didn’t feel right. There was something off. I checked in on him even though he asked me not to.
He didn’t get mad, which was unlike him. He acted like it didn’t happen. That should have been a clue, you know, but to what, exactly?
Something was off but I had no way of knowing what. And from within my limited experience, I feared he was drinking too much.
Nate never brought these guys home. They’d come to pick him up in Daddy’s Beamers and Jags. The seats were always filled.
The drivers just kind of sat there behind sunglasses looking cool and stoic while the others called to Nate after getting up on the leather seats and standing through sunroofs.
I kept checking in because, you know, the more he left, the more uneasy I felt.
There was no way for me to know that Nate had figured out how to block me. And what I was picking up on was something outside of him.
That’s when one of his friends started to, like, send out a signal. I guess he felt my concern for my twin and wanted me to feel reassured.
I didn’t know it wasn’t Nate until after making decisions based on this signal of him being okay.