I run through the puddles, the water splashing into the rubber interior of my pink rubber boots that I wanted so badly.
“At a young age, I lost my innocence.”
The rain fell from the sky, in a never ending cycle. Leaving my afternoon full of exploration.
“Things happen, it’s called reality”
I sailed the seven seas, and crossed Niagra Falls, all before dinner time.
“Alas, my reality, wasn’t what I made it out to be.”
When I came sploshing into the house, sopping wet from head to toe the scene I entered upon was to my dismay.
My brother sat in the corner, watching in horror as my parents yelled in one room to the next.
I quietly backed out of the house, and into my rain filled wonderland.
Although the rain didn’t hold the same appeal, it was better than listening to my parents face it off about something that most normal people could easily handle.
The puddles were already splashed, the creek by the house had already been explored, upstream and back down, so my options were limited.
I laid on the grass, and stared up at the sky.
The rain pelted my glasses, leaving beads of water sitting upon them, until gravity took hold and made them form a stream, falling down onto my cheeks.
A simple reminder, that crying was only an act of gravity.
Not something that could fill a void.
“I wish I could sit here and tell you that my childhood did have it’s ups, but honestly, that would be telling a big fat lie. My life was filled with bads, that I merely covered up with a curious imagination. Without it, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”
I walked through the school doors with a plain frown.
While most kids were ecstatic to return to school to see all of their friends, while they were all in the same boat, I was banished to the small island, where nobody knew I existed.
It wasn’t the learning aspect, or the teachers, it was the blank stares that I received everyday in class.
The questions that were thrown at me in whirlwinds, turning my head around so I couldn’t even think.
This place made me wonder who I actually was, and what my point of existence actually meant.
The worst part of it all?
That was only the first ten minutes, of the first grade.
“I didn’t have friends, I didn’t have support at home. I was a classic loner, wanting nothing more than to be left alone, to my own imagination, to my notebooks that I filled with short stories about everything I felt.”
My brother and I are polar opposites.
While I merrily played in the rain at any age, he took that advantage to go to the school and do acid on the monkey bars.
Once I caught him on the soccer field, it was only marijuana, but it was already taking effect on his personality.
He was the loud type of kid, the clown in a classroom.
But that night, he was quiet, we laid on the grass of the field and watched the sky spread over a light sprinkle.
It was the first time I ever felt close to him, I felt like I actually knew him.
That was when I was eleven years old.
Now, at fourteen, I can barely get a word to him before he shrugs me off.
He’s seventeen, old enough to get away from our hell hole we call a house, the shit relationship we call a family.
But he doesn’t leave.
When I do get a word with him, most usually when he’s higher than a kite, he talks about dying.
Flipping his car on the freeway, overdosing, a few too many drinks, an arsonist joy ride gone wrong, letting the world finally get to him, the metaphorical phrase for wrapping a rope around his neck and jumping off a dining chair entering a whole new story.
“Don’t you believe for a second that I never thought about killing myself. No, I didn’t have thorough plans, as my brother did, but I did have my options. A quick slit to the wrist too deep, a swimming adventure gone wrong. But I was afraid of dying.”
I bet nobody would come to my funeral.
I was only fourteen, I had no friends at school, I had nobody.
Maybe, my sorry excuse for parents would come.
And maybe, my sociopath of a brother would show up.
It might make page thirteen of the newspaper, hidden deep in the obituary section.
A short sentence summary of my life.
Now, if my brother were to die, well it’d make the front page.
I could see it now, drug overdose of a teen boy makes the town mourn of a suicidal boy that couldn’t take his parents any longer.
He’s been through the system, he’d die a juvenile that acted out because of his good for nothing parents.
But me, I was just the cast of his shadow, the sister that never spoke.
Mark my words, he’d make the story cut.
“My words would not be marked, not for another year of having my brother around at least.”
My final chat with my brother took place the day he ended it all.
It had started smoothly, a simple chat, something that we had come accustomed to over the past year.
Then, he said something that I didn’t comprehend.
Not once in my pathetic excuse for a life did he ever say goodbye to me, but that wasn’t what caught my attention.
I love you.
Were the last three words he said to me.
Although they were muttered, they were said with direct eye contact.
He left the house, and three hours later I turned to the exact news channel that was airing his story.
A police chase.
I watched him as he took a sharp turn, flipping his jeep into the road ditch.
I watched as the glass shattered, I watched in replay the blood staining the grass, I watched the crumpled figure of my brother limply slide out of the seat of the car, as if he was water running smoothly out of a hose.
The news replayed the footage over, and over and over again.
Making me relive the horror that was displayed every time.
After the news had replayed it for the fifty billionth time, the voice of the reporter shocked me back into reality.
‘The boy is still alive.’
“I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I managed to make my way to the hospital that was thirteen miles away. I wanted so badly to see my brother standing, smiling, ready to whisk me away to a new life. But that was merely my imagination playing with me, like it always had a knack for doing.”
My brother, was no longer my brother.
Brain dead, is what they called it.
His chest rose and fell alright, but it was at the works of a machine.
His organs were already harvested.
This was not my brother.
It was only the hollow casing that protected him until his last moments.
Whatever the matter, I couldn’t let go, and it was up to me to unplug the stupid machine that was keeping the hollow reminder of my brother alive.
I sit on the chair next to his bed.
I grab onto his hand, something I used to do so oftenly when we were so little our biggest adventure was through the backyard, and to the small creek that ran along the outskirts of it.
It’s still warm to the touch, which in my mind isn’t possible.
If he’s no longer alive, then why would he seem so life like?
Any second he was going to wake up.
I have anticipated losing my brother, but not being the one to cut him off from the earth.
I have been prepared to let go of him, but I thought he would do this part himself.
Instead, I have to do it for him.
Picking up the last piece of his mess.
This is nothing but a shell, a casing.
I force myself to think these things.
Under his skin lies no organs, under his skin is a hollow wasteland.
I take a deep breath, and let the tears role down my cheeks.
‘You know.’ I whisper to him, knowing somewhere somehow he is going to hear me. He’s going to know I cared about him.
‘I love you too, and when the doctors find out about your drug filled organs, I hope you’re the first to see their reactions.’
Trembling, I flip off the respirator, and for a moment, I hold my breath myself.
Maybe the doctors have made a mistake, maybe his lungs are still intact, that he’ll start breathing on his own again.
I rub his hand in small circles, burying the hope I have deep inside of me.
When I monitor flatlines I look at his face to see if anything changes.
I don’t see it, but I feel it.
His heart stops beating beneath my fingertips, the slightest loss of rhythm, the hollow calm that follows, that utter loss that I feel.
“Oh my words were marked alright. Right on the front page, broadcasting my brothers death, and I’ll swear to you, everyone and their cousin was at that funeral, and not a word was said to me the entire time. The painful reminder that what I predicted was true, that I was nothing.”
The final article known on my brother, was of the damaged organs that had been taken from him.
Not a single soul benefited from him dying.
Although, it was the same equation if he lived.
That night, after reading the newspaper, deeming him as the drugged juvenile that he was I packed up my things.
I didn’t have a single thing going for me, but I could definitely get everything.
That night I did what I so desperately wanted to my entire life.
I walked into my parents bedroom, and slowly, one by one, I took the shot gun my father used to threaten us with as children, and I pointed it at each of my parents heads.
One by one, I released the trigger.
Letting go of something I never needed.
“It’s been years since I let go of my brother, and to say the least it changed my life. It made me end up where I am today. Sitting here. Talking to you. I really think it was the turning point in my life. Something that made me snap into the true reality, but I still don’t know. I feel-I feel sometimes, that my life is but a sad story. Honestly. To tell the truth, my life is pitiful really, and I haven’t done a thing to fix it.”
My therapist looks at me. “Do you have anything else to say?” She asks.
I look down at my shackled wrists, looking down at the shaggy orange jump suit.
“You asked me what I would do, if I could change it.”
I smile, a twisted smile.
“You know. I wouldn’t change a damn thing.”
She stares at me, and shuts off the recorder.
"Our session is done." She mumbles, and as soon as she leaves the room I can't hold myself in any longer.
I start laughing, and the joke of it all, my brother stands before me, laughing with me.