Morning Bells are Ringing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Words for a lost older brother.

Submitted: November 04, 2010

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Submitted: November 04, 2010

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"Brother John! Brother John! Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing! Ding, dong, ding! Ding, dong, ding!"
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I used to run in your room shouting that song to the top of my lungs with my high pitched voice as a little girl. I must have been an annoying little sister. But you loved me anyways. Daniel, Bryant and myself thought the moon and stars of you. You were the one with no issues... it seemed. You and Stephen were cool. Older. You were the quiet one out of the dangerous duo.
I remember one Christmas...
Stephen came over with cool toys for us. We were poor. You saved your quarters that you had earned from catching bait fish for your Uncle's bait and tackle shop just east of our marina. We didn't know. You surprised us with dollar store presents. But after our buzz and excitement over the name-brand toys the other elder brother had presented us, your pride seemed to fade. I feel horrible looking back on that day. I was such a brat. I knew you were embarrassed with the cheep quality of the little doll over the more expensive Barbies that I didn't stop playing with. I wish now I would have expressed my gratitude and love for your effort much more than I did. I didn't realize that, that would be the last Christmas we would spend together. Never crossed my mind. We were all so close.
If only you knew how much I ended up playing with that doll. I named her Ruth. She became a very popular figure among the three toy kingdoms. I ruled the Katie-en-knights, which were all stuffed animals, governed by King Teddy. Daniel ruled the Narnians (pre or post Aslan, we were never really sure) and they consisted of all the 6 inch toys and action figures. King Duckbill the Dinosaur was the original appointed leader for his kingdom, but was killed by the great Empress (mom threw his toy away). In spirit, Duckbill would make holy appearances (Daniel's hand quacking like a duck shadow) when his kingdom was running amok to address new rules or judge hearings. Byant's kingdom, the Bryant-en-nights, were the smallest of kingdoms, the 12 inch GI Joes and Barbies. Since I had so few of Barbies and they had a very small number of GI Joes/Star Wars figures, we agreed he too should rule the Micro Machines and Polly Pockets. John and Stephen were of course too old to be rulers of any of the toy kingdoms. But they often participated as non-bias judges when kingdoms would go to war.
I digress... sorry
Back to the point.
John, since the day you disappeared so many years ago, it's hard to even remember I have another older brother. I don't know what exactly all happened back when things got out of hand on the houseboat we knew as our only home at that time, but I can't come up with any excuse for you that I can wrap my mind around that justifies you forgetting about us. About me. Your little sister. I needed you. We all did. I wonder if you ever consider how much that hurt. You didn't just leave, John, you dropped off the face of the Earth. With what was going on at that time... I waited for you to come back and take us away to somewhere safe and wonderful with you. I never thought you wouldn't come back. I wasn't prepared to face the realization that you didn't care about us anymore. You no longer wanted to take care of your little siblings. Not even check in to make sure we were okay. I started questioning myself if it was my fault you ran away. I even thought it was because of the doll from our last Christmas. I feared I had ruined it for everyone. If only I had been a better little sister, maybe then you would have stayed or at least took us with you. I was young and couldn't understand. We looked up to you. We needed you then more than ever. You just wanted to get away. And that part I understand. But years later, when the worst was over and we had all adjusted to our new lives on land, why did you still stay away? Our whole family lives in the same small town. We're easy to locate. We've tried to locate you... so many times. But every time I try, it gets harder and harder to remember your face, or the way you talked, your voice, anything. And I realize once again that I don't know you. And you don't know me. I wouldn't be the same person you remember... if you remember.
An hour or so of tears has been dedicated to you uncontrollably, every Christmas since. I'm determined to put an end to it. I will find you brother John. I might be disappointed or hurt all over again... but I need to know. So the case reopens once again.
I'm going to try to locate you.


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