Brother, we are not invincible. We can be broken. Our dreams can be shattered, and our reality can be tainted. Don’t take things for granted, we only have each other in our times of need, and truthfully, I think that’s all we will ever require. Our brotherhood, our unrequited love for each other, and our strong bond that can never be broken, will be eternal, as long as our hearts and minds are open. Don’t give up.
Staring at the page in front of me, with the word ’ Hero’ scrawled in large letters across the A4 sheet, i didn’t quite know what to write. I had been staring at the page for the last half hour, and hadn’t added a single word. I just didn’t know the words to describe my little brother, Troy. He, in essence, was the guy i looked up to, he was my inspiration in life. He was also my best mate.
“Okay class, I’ll be collecting those papers tomorrow morning, i expect at least a page on your hero. See you tomorrow,” said my English teacher, Mr. Borowitz, his sharp southern accent bringing me back to earth. I collected my books, and walked quickly out of the room, i didn’t want to be late to the bus, but it was a lost cause; my dazed state hindered my speed, and by the time I’d opened the school gates, the bus was already turning the corner, meandering its way into the distant burning horizon.
It was a long walk to my house on the outskirts of Phoenix, and on a hot day like this, it was a trek that would mean almost certain doom and constant, unavoidable torture. A torture that, at this moment, I don’t think i could handle without collapse, both mentally and physically. This trek is much more than a physical endeavour, it represents a struggle to come to terms with what i have learned over the last couple of days, this trek, this journey, could make or break me. Now, more than any other time, I wish I had an escape, anything would do under normal circumstances, but i really have no choice but to stay here, no matter the appeal of crossing the state line. My hero, my best friend, my brother. He needs me, I’m all he has. I must stay.
“GAH!, I’m such a coward!” I scream at the top of my lungs, the crowd of shoppers scattering to get away from the crazy teen on the verge of a breakdown. I had without realising, whilst in a state of deep thought, turned into the promenade, and found myself the subject of inquisitive glares, criticising stares, and facing judgement.
“Oi!, Clay … Dude … Are you okay?” came a voice from amongst the scattered crowd. It sounded like Dimitri, my closest friend, but i couldn’t be sure in my current state of mind. I turned around to find that I wasn’t mistaken, and it was in fact my friend who had followed me, to make sure I was okay. Surely he had enough sense not to assume, surely he knew to stay away, to give me space.
“Clay, C’mon man, wait up!”
He didn’t seem to get it. Of course he didn’t. He doesn’t know what I’m going through. He has no idea what it is to have the only person you could ever fit in with, slowly drifting away from you, slowly being taken from you involuntarily. It was torture. He has no idea.
“Clay, come on, talk to me! You NEED to talk to me!”
The words broke through my ears, as though to shatter my eardrums. They were words i didn’t wish to hear. The words that aside from “He is dead” could bring me the worst pain. I couldn’t confront the fear, of replying to his demand, of ‘blurting’ out my feelings. It couldn’t help me ; speaking my emotions couldn’t make the anguish any less. I see no point in shedding light on this issue with Dimitri. I decide to flee. The first place I think of is Troy’s room at the hospital. Third Floor, fourth room on the left.
I run inside the giant brick structure, unaware of anyone around me, and go straight for the elevator. I head to Troy’s room, and find, instead of my brother, a neatly folded note on his bed, addressed to me._Clay, My Brother,
I’m headed in to surgery this afternoon. They said it was an emergency, we couldn’t wait for you. But just in case I make it through, still remember this. Brother, we are not invincible. We can be broken. Our dreams can be shattered, and our reality can be tainted. Don’t take things for granted, we only have each other in our times of need, and truthfully, I think that’s all we will ever require. Our brotherhood, our unrequited love for each other, and our strong bond that can never be broken, will be eternal, as long as our hearts and minds are open. Don’t give up.
I love you, Troy x_
Those were the last words my brother ever wrote. He never made it out of the coma. I don’t know what to do now. I’m all alone. I’ve lost everything. It’s over. I’ve failed him. I give up.
An exploration of belonging to family, and the concomitant sense of alienation when family ties are broken.