The Loss

Brian Antonio is a senior in high school. It was going to be the best year of his life… or so he thought. Brian was liked by everyone and had a lot of friends. Walking through the hallways at school, he said “hi” to almost every other person that walked by him. Nobody knew what was so special about Brian, but it was probably his confidence, and the fact that he was just happy about life and everything in it. He had that glow, the envious glow that made him seem like he really just enjoyed himself and the people he loved. He was the kid everyone wanted to know. If you knew him, then you definitely wanted to be just like him. Confident as ever, Brian walked down the hallways always knowing there would be someone to acknowledge, and he could find the greatest joy in acknowledging them. Brian’s smile was unforgettable. Every time he smiled and said the usual “what’s up?” But the obvious happiness behind the smile is what made the everlasting effect on people. But one day, that all changed. Two days ago, Brian’s brother, Michael, died in a car accident. Michael was a good kid, he excelled in sports, always did well in school, he never really did anything bad, and he always obeyed his parents. He was the image of the perfect kid, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Michael was in his second year of college, studying to eventually become a doctor.

The other night, Michael went to the movies with his friends, and since he was the only sane driver out of all of his friends, he picked everyone up and dropped them off back home when the movie was done. After dropping off his last friend, Kevin, he drove through and intersection and was hit by a drunk driver. Michael died at the accident, and the family wasn’t even noticed until an hour later, which doesn’t seem fair. But either way, Brian was devastated, and didn’t go to school for two days because he couldn’t even find the energy to get out of his bed, since he had nothing to even get out of bed for. The day that he went back, he wore baggy blue sweatpants that looked slightly oversized, a Yankee’s sweatshirt that was also probably three sizes too big, and shoe’s that looked like bed slippers. And he didn’t even bother brushing his unruly hair, which resembled a bird’s nest. He just really didn’t care. He walked through those same hallways, the ones he used to walk through with this un-explainable confidence, but yet he now couldn’t even find it in himself to look up from orange-brown gum-covered high school hallway floors. He knew that the whole school probably knew about his brother, and they all were probably anticipating Brian being a mess. Well, they got what they were expecting, he was a mess.

As he scurried from class to class, it all seemed like one giant emotional blur. He couldn’t even find it in him to say “hi” to any one of his friends. He couldn’t look face-to-face at all of those people, knowing they knew about Michael. He just couldn’t do it, and he really wasn’t even sure why. All those people he once loved acknowledging, he now dreaded even being in the same hallway as them, knowing that they were all wondering and thinking about him. He wouldn’t even have been in school in the first place, if his mom hadn’t physically forced him out of his bed. But what was he supposed to do? Be happy? His brother, best friend, and only person he could really trust; was gone. No more playing sports in the backyard until it got so dark they couldn’t see each other, no more watching all the football games on TV every Sunday, no more randomly driving around to escape their parents complaining about anything and everything. It was all gone. It feels like the wind came in overnight, and swept up his every last ounce of his life, and his brothers. It seems like nothing’s ever going to make him feel better.

After a few days go by, Brian still can’t face his friends. He figures by now, he won’t ever want friends, in fear of losing anyone he gets close to. He just gives up on his friends, knowing that eventually they’ll give up on him too. But that wasn’t exactly the case.

“Brain, hey, Brain” his friend Michelle said, as she ran over, almost chasing after him because Brian tried to act like he didn’t hear her and walked away. “I guess you’re just going to ignore me?” she said.

“Hi” he replied. That’s all he could say. He wanted to say more, he really did. But the words just floated around in his mouth, and he couldn’t find a way to blurt out anything else but that one word.

“How is, um, everything?” Michelle responded regretfully.

“I don’t know…” Brian’s eye’s wandered. Hoping he would find some reason to walk away from this awkward conversation.

“If you don’t want to talk...I get it. I just wanted to say hi, and that I’m sorry about, um everything. And I hope you and you’re family are doing well. And… if you need me, I’m here for you”

“Ok, bye” Brain said as he walked away. He really wished he hadn’t just been so rude to Michelle. But he didn’t know what else to say. He used to like Michelle, a lot. And he was pretty sure she liked him too. But the fact that he even considered getting close to someone right now, just seemed really wrong and disrespectful. Brian thought, maybe I should have been nicer. All she was trying to do is be sympathetic. But what am I supposed to say? Thank you? Oh yeah, thanks, my brother just died, thanks. Saying thank you sounds so cliché and disrespectful. It doesn’t sound right. But I don’t think I said enough back to her… Brian’s thoughts were cut off as he entered his classroom. His day went back to being normal. Nobody talks to him, and he doesn’t talk to anyone. So for now, he wanders the hallways he used to know and love, but now these hallways that once represented his happiness and every reason for living, now uncovers a whole other side of Brian nobody ever knew even existed. He doesn’t face his problems, and never face’s the people he once couldn’t live without, and used to give him such joy. His high school senior year now takes on a whole new meaning. The year that was supposed to be the best, is one he will always remember, and he will definitely never ever forget it, but for all the wrong reasons. He wishes he could change it, but unfortunately he knows there is nothing he can do to bring back his brother, and his true self.





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