It Wasn't Worth It

September 1, 2010
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-July 8th, 2010

Chris is in his room writing his poetry when suddenly Shaun enters. Chris looks up at Shaun and notices the puzzled expression on his brother's face.

''What?'' asks Chris.

''Nevermind that.'' says Shaun. ''Whatcha doing?''

''I'm writing.''

''I can see that much, whatcha writing?''

''Poetry, short stories, limericks. The basic things.''

''I have no idea what you're talking about. Hey, me and a couple of friends are going down to the river. Wanna come?''

Chris considers this for a moment and thinks aloud to himself.

'Hmm... the river. This is excellent. The sound of rushing water and the bright shine of the evening Sun.'

Almost instantly Chris blurts out ''Yeah I'll go.''

''Great. Well the guys are here and you know where the river is so we're going to go ahead and go.''

''Alright Shaun, don't do anything reckless.''

''Who? Me? You know I'm not stupid.''

''Wait, Shaun. Why are you going to the river?''

''They're officially letting me join they're group, I've just gotta prove my strength. We're just going to play a game of Football.''

Shaun leaves the room and Chris sighs aloud to himself. Chris gets up and gathers his things. He walks out of the room and shuts the door. He then heads downstairs and out of the house and walks the path to the river.

'Wait a minute. Why would they want to go to the river? It makes no sense, they always go to the park or the field to play Football. Why did they go to the river? Unless ...'

Chris breaks into a run and sprints all the way to the river. He arrives at the river and looks around for his brother. He spots Shaun held in the air by the town bully. The rest of Shaun's friends are on the ground staring in horror. Chris was about to run to them but he was grabbed from behind. He bit the fingers of his attacker and as his attacker howled in pain he ran at godspeed to save his brother. The bully saw Chris running and laughed. He then looked at the river and gave Chris a look that Chris automatically knew what it meant.

''No! Don't throw Shaun in the river please. I'll give you whatever you want. Don't do it!''

The bully glares at Chris. Chris looks up at Shaun who is unconscious and bleeding from a cut above his left eye. A tear falls and he chokes as he tries to scream for the bully to put him down.

''Throw Shaun in the river?'' says the bully. ''I wasn't even thinking of that but you know what? That's a good idea.''

The bully raises Shaun in the air and tosses him into the river.

''No!!!!'' screams Chris.

The bully laughs aloud to himself. One of Shaun's friends stares in shock and then leaps at the bully, knocking him to the ground.

''Chris! Save your brother! We have the bully!''

Chris drops his stuff and dives into the river. He comes to the surface and looks around for Shaun. He doesn't see Shaun and starts to panic. He's slowly getting swept downstream by the current of the river. He then spots Shaun's head floating out of the surface of the river. He swims maniacally to Shaun and carries him to the river bed. He lays Shaun on the ground and immediately pumps his chest. Shaun shows no signs of waking up.

''Shaun! Wake up man! You can't die! You can't die!''

Chris continues doing this for 3 minutes as he hears the sounds of blows and kicks being landed between the bully and Shaun's friends. Chris sobs aloud and slowly looks up at the bully. The bully looks back down at Chris. Chris runs and tackles the bully. Another of Shaun's friends goes to Shaun and performs CPR. Chris is on top of the bully throwing amazingly-fast punches and screaming ''You killed my brother!'' Chris spots a very sharp tree branch beside the bully. Chris grabs the tree branch and drives it straight into the heart of the bully. The bully is killed immediately as the red liquid secretes from his mouth and stab wound. Chris hears a cough then water being spit up. He looks at over at Shaun and sees him coughing violently. Chris leaps off the bully and runs to his brother. The last of Shaun's friends is calling the police.

''Shaun! Are you okay?''

Without waiting for a response, Chris embraces his brother. They all hear sirens but Chris makes no attempt to move, he just sits there holding his little brother in his arms. He suddenly has a flashback.

-May 5, 1996

Chris, his father, and his mother were driving to the hospital. Chris's mother was going into labor and Chris's father was speeding getting to the hospital. They arrive and Chris's mother and father are rushed inside. Chris is escorted to the Waiting room. He was given magazines and they turned the television on for him. Chris asks for paper and a pencil. As the nurse goes to get the paper Chris thinks to himself.

'I hope mommy has a boy. I want a little brother. I wanna be there for him and hold him while he's a baby and boss him around when we grow up.'

The nurse arrives with the paper and pencil. Chris says ''Thank you'' politely and stares at the television.

-30 minutes later

The nurse comes out of the Emergency Room and calls for Chris. He stands up and walks to the nurse.

''You have a little baby brother. Do you want to see him?'' asked the nurse.

''Yes!'' screams Chris excitedly.

The nurse opens the door and motions for Chris to enter the room. Chris walks into the room and sees his mother holding the baby. His father is beside his mother.

''Do you want to see your little brother?'' asked his mother.

Chris walks up to his mother and sits on the hospital bed. His mother gives Chris the baby. Chris excitedly asked, ''What's his name?''

''Shaun.'' said his mother.

''Shaun,'' Chris repeats as he stares into his newborn little brother's eyes.

-Present Day

Chris stares into Shaun's eyes. The police arrive and see the bully laying on the ground. They see Chris holding Shaun.

''Who killed this kid?''

Shaun's friends all look at each other asking the same question in their heads, ''What do we say?''

Chris looks up.

''I killed him.''

The police look over at Chris. They walk over and ask him to stand up. They handcuff him and escort him to the police car. Shaun looks up and sees his brother one last time. An ambulance arrives and the men hop out, get a stretcher, and run to Shaun, who has blacked out now.

-6 months later

Chris is sitting in a jail cell when the jail guard comes up to his cell.

''Time to go.'' the guard says.

Chris gets up and leaves the cell, and walks down the corridor. Chris turns a corner and breaks into a run when he sees his mother and Shaun. They all share a warm, family hug and they walk out of the Juvenile Center. They all get into their car. Chris looks at Shaun and Shaun looks back at him.

''Chris. I haven't seen you for 6 months brother.'' says Shaun.

''I know. I've missed my family.'' says Chris.

''And we've missed you.'' says their mother as a tear runs down her cheek.

''Shaun.'' says Chris.

''Yeah?'' says Shaun.

''We went through all this so you could be part of a group of kids who do nothing but play Football all day. I just have one question. Was it worth it?''

Shaun stares at Chris with the most serious expression Chris has ever seen Shaun have.

''Chris, it wasn't worth it.''


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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm
It moved pretty quickly but it was a great story
MysteryMan replied...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm
Thank you. I know it moved fast and I'll keep slowing it down in mind next time I write a story. Thanks again.
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