Leave Out All the Rest

September 16, 2012
Leave Out All the Rest

“This isn’t happening.” My voice rang out roughly through my tears. I was laying in a once comforting, but now alien, bed, under the covers, in total darkness. “Please, God, no.” Time didn’t exist, it didn’t mean anything. I just wanted the terrible words repeating over and over in my head to go away; to not be true.

“Beth, there’s been an accident. Jeremy, honey, he didn’t make it.” My mother’s words ring through my ears, but I can’t make them stop. There’s no getting around them. No stopping them. Jeremy, my brother, my best friend, is dead.
~

It was a Monday night, and like every week, I had marching band practice. This week was special though; my big brother was home from college and we were going to go to dinner. Never mind how exhausted I was going to be, I hadn’t seen Jeremy in four months. A phone call with Jeremy can’t make up for the real him. He’s my best friend. We called each other every night, and, without fail, it was the highlight of my day, every day.

So, as I was leaving, struggling to keep myself from speeding on the drive home, I could barely conceal my excitement, trying not to jump up and down in my seat. When I arrived, however, it was a shock to see police cars and an ambulance outside of my house. I didn’t lock my car; I didn’t even turn it off. I just knew something had happened to Jeremy, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know what.

I sprinted up the driveway, but my father stopped me at the door, shaking his head, silent tears streaming down his face. No words came from his mouth, but when my mother appeared next to him, I knew.

“Beth, there’s been an accident. Jeremy, honey, he didn’t make it.”

I sank to my knees right then and there. I clung to my father’s legs, as if I was three years old again, longing for him not to leave the house. This was a different longing. A longing for my brother who I realized I would never speak to again.

It had been an hour of just sitting at our table, and still, no one had told me the obvious; how had he died? I hadn’t asked, for fear of the answer, but no one volunteered the information either. It had to have been terrible, awful, and yet, I wanted, no, I needed to know what had killed my beloved brother.

Without thinking, I pushed up from the table and ran for Jeremy’s room. I was stopped by a policeman, telling me to stop, but I didn’t. I pushed passed him, and the medic, and I came face to face with my so loved big brother. He was hanging by his neck.

After I had gotten through, the people stopped trying to bring me back out of the room. My time with him was limited though, because about a minute later they took to the ambulance. The last time I would see my brother’s beautiful face.

I was left in his room alone; my parents had gone to call our family members. I began to search frantically for a piece of him to latch onto. His smell, his smile, his clothes, but it was not enough. I finally succumbed to the quiet darkness of my room; hoping sleep would take me away, but sleep wouldn’t come. Not now.

I reached over to pull my pillow closer to me when my hand brushed a piece of paper. I couldn’t read anything since it was so dark, so I quickly turned on my lights. “Beth,” it said on the front of the sloppily torn notebook paper. I knew whose handwriting this was. I had read it a million times before. I opened the paper to find a letter; Jeremy’s last gift to me.
~
Beth,

I’m so sorry my darling sister. I’m sorry for hurting you this way. I can promise you it wasn’t my intention, but you see, I couldn’t go on anymore. Not the way I have been.

My life is a black hole, and you are the only shining star on the outside, trying to pull me away from consuming myself. You’re gravity is no match for mine. Oh how I wish it was, Beth.


Just remember me, sister, but only the good things. Don’t remember how I wasn’t excited the day you were born. Don’t remember the time I pushed you down when you were five. Not when I missed you’re thirteenth birthday party. Not when I stood you up for dinner tonight. Just forgive me, sister, so at least one person will still love me.

Remember when I didn’t let you go the day you broke your wrist. Remember when I held your hand that night when Grandpa died. Remember all our laughter, all our pointless games. Remember our phone calls, the ones where you told me everything. Remember me, and never let me go.
Just please, Beth, leave out all the rest.
Jeremy
~

I set the letter down, tears streaming down my face more heavily than before.

“Always,” I whispered to my brother, my best friend, my life.





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