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A dream within a dream
I can remember a time when we were happy. When I would be able to look at pictures of us and smile. When I could afford to remember.
I had never seen it as a luxury before. But now I lost the will to bring back even the slightest memory.
It all just hurt too much.
Occasionally his face will flash in my mind. Reminding me of his smile and of his laughing eyes. I tried to push the images awayâ€”not to forget, but to save myself from the pain. My heart is still raw from loss; these evil memories will be the insult to the injury.
I know that the pain will never stop, that I will never stop missing him. Maybe someday the pain will be tolerable. Maybe one day, I will be able to appreciate what he had given me so far. I will thank him for paving the road for me. For showing me right from wrong.
For thinking in my best interestâ€”in life, and in death.
And for being the best big brother in the world.
The sheer and unfiltered depression that washed over me in the hospital room is indescribable. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, and I wanted to laugh at this sick joke that we call life. But I did none of that. I just held his hand and stared into his eyes. I knew he was in pain, and I knew that I wanted him to stay. But I also knew that he simply could not.
“I love you.” I said. My eyes boring into his soul. Looking, begging for the will to live.
“I love you too.” He mouthed. I felt a single tear betray my eyes. I didn’t bother wiping it away. I let it dropâ€”the single droplet of water onto his hospital gown. He gave me one more smile, a loving and happy one.
Trying to tell me that this was okay. That he needed to go. In his eyes he asked for my forgiveness. I did not know what he could possibly have to apologize for, but I forgave him in my heart. His eyes were beginning to slip closed. As if he were tired. More tears fell from my eyes as I watched him. He seemed so at peace. If I didn’t know better, I would think he was sleeping peacefully.
The tears came faster now, my heart pounding in disbelief. I ignored the sound of the monitors near his hospital bed. I ignored the sounds of the nurses as they unplugged it. I just looked at my brother. For I feared that it would be the last time I would ever lay my eyes on him.
They let us stay there with him for a while. I watched, waiting for someone to come out and tell me that I’ve been fooled. That it was all a joke. My brother didn’t have cancer. He wasn’t dead. It was all some twisted prank.
Somewhere I heard my mother crying. She was being so loud and obnoxious. As if she were reading from a script. Everything seemed so fake all the sudden.
The sympathetic smiles. The â€˜I’m sorry for your loss crap. It was all fake.
No one cared. Nobody knew what I was feeling right now. I felt as if my lifeline had been ripped out from underneath me, and someone was there telling me to live. They were telling me to keep going. But it wasn’t encouraging. It was a mockery. It was a mockery of my pain, and of my life.
I wanted to talk to him so badly. I wanted to tell him how sad I was. I wanted him to help me through the pain.
But he couldn’t. He was dead. And he was never coming back.
I felt cold shiver up my body as the realization sunk in. Chris would never be back. He would never talk to me about school, or teachers or mom and dad.
He was gone.
But he had left me one thing. More than I probably could have asked for.
I went to my backpack and pulled out the large and heavy poetry book that Chris had given me. “The complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” It read in shiny gold letters. I flipped quickly through the pages until I found it; His poem. Our poem.
“Take this kiss upon the brow!
And in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”
I tore out the page, and slipped it into my pocket. I went up to the nearest nurse and tapped her on the shoulder.
“Id like to see my brother please.” I asked, my voice shaky. “Well he’s down in theâ€”the morgue.” She said looking embarrassed. “What did you want to see him for?” She asked.
I took out the poem from my pocket.
“He forgot something of his.”