Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

All That Mattered This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

he phone call came in at exactly 2:48 on the morning of June 3rd. I remember this because at the exact moment my mom's wail tore through the early morning the first thing that my eyes snapped open to; was the alarm clock that sat upon my night table. I jerked up to a sitting position, almost slamming my head on the rarely used top bunk. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and tried to jump to my feet. My left foot had gotten tangled in the sheet during the night and the strangle hold that it had on me caused me to tumble to the carpet. I shook off the sheet, carefully peeling it off the sweat that slicked my legs. I finally made it to the door and I whipped out it and down the hall as fast as my legs could carry me. Two doors down was my older brother Connor's room. I skidded to a stop in front of his closed door and started pounding on it, trying desperately to wake him up. Knowing that he was a light sleeper and not receiving an answer started to make me panic.
I threw open his door and was immediately assaulted by the mixed smell of salty sweat and Calvin Klein's latest scent. My eyes immediately jumped to the focus of the room, the single bed in the corner that was clearly unslept in. My breathing hitched and I started to hyperventilate. This was the exact moment when I realized that something was seriously wrong and that it had to do with Connor.
I spun on my heel and tore through the door, tears were already pouring down my face as I frantically tried to locate my mom and dad. I tripped down the stairs and bumped into my dad's solid back at the bottom. I gazed around and saw that my mom was collapsed on the ground cradling the phone as if it were a newborn baby and sobbing hysterically. My dad glanced over his shoulder as I ran into him and quietly gestured toward the living room across the hall from the foyer. We entered the dark room together and I could sense that there was a heaviness in the air and an air of sadness that permeated the house.
The moment that I set foot in the room everything became a blur. My father's voice kept circling through my head. There's been an accident. It was Connor. He didn't make it. I sat down hard on the couch trying to absorb it all. I could still hear my mom just outside the door, crying in a way that let you know her heart was breaking. That's how I felt too. Like the world had stopped turning and time was frozen. Life could't go on without Connor, it wasn't possible. Who was going to help me with my Physics homework? Who was going to talk with me long into the night when mom and dad wouldn't stop screaming at each other? I couldn't believe that he was really gone.
My parents had to go to the hospital to fill out forms and identify the body. I insisted on going with them, this wasn't a time where I wanted to be left alone. We climbed in the car and as my dad backed the car out of the driveway I rolled down my window, letting the cool night breeze drift inside. I hoped that it would take me with it. I didn't want to be alive if Connor wasn't there to enjoy life with me. I lifted my hand and held it outside, loving the feel of the air trying to force my hand backwards. My dad drove in stony silence and all my mom did was cry harder, I didn't know what to say to break the silence, but I wanted to know more about how it had happened. All my dad had said was that there was a horrible car accident involving Connor and his best friend Peter. He told me that Peter was in critical condition, but Connor died on impact.
When we reached the hospital my parents were whisked away to fill out all the papers and I was left alone. I must have looked quite lost because when a nurse asked me if I needed help finding someone I blurted out Peter's name, suddenly needing to see the person who had survived instead of my brother. The nurse asked if I was family and I responded with yes, somehow realizing that this would be the only way that I would get to see him. She led me to a room down the hall and as I breathed in that clean hospital smell I started to feel anger bubbling deep in the pit of my stomach. How dare Peter survive when Connor didn't. I hated him, I did. But as we reached the room I felt the anger and hatred slip out of reach, replaced again with the need to see the last person that saw Connor alive.
The door made a high pitched squeak as I pushed it open and I walked in on autopilot. I slowly approached the bed and looked down at Peter. His entire face was covered in bandages, as was his left arm and right wrist. As I stared at the bandage on his hand something didn't appear right. Puzzled, I gently picked up his hand to examine it better. It took a few minutes for it to dawn upon me that the simple silver band encircling his middle finger wasn't supposed to be there. It took a few more seconds for it to sink in that Peter's normally long and tapered fingers were a bit shorter and that his pinky was crooked as if broken in the past sometime.
It seemed like it was too much to hope for, but I carefully turned over his hand so that his palm was exposed. I didn't know that I had been crying until I watched as the tears dripped onto his hand. I clutched his hand in mine, still being careful about his injuries, crying now in relief that my brother was alive and in sadness that Peter was not. I said a silent prayer for Peter, asking him to forgive me for thinking that I hated him. I never did and I never would. I briefly left Connor's bedside to find my parents running through the hall in ecstasy. When I reached them I grabbed my mother's hand and tugged her down the hallways. She didn't try to resist and I didn't try to explain things to her. I picked up his hand again and watched as slowly the empty look in her eyes faded to one of hope. I smiled as I once again turned over his hand and showed my mom the scar on his palm that was identical to the one on my own palm from where we made a blood pact when I was 5 and he was 7.
My mom reached out a shaky hand to trace it, at first not letting herself believe. When a smile broke across her face and tears of joy sped down her cheeks I finally let myself believe that everything would eventually get better. There was still Peter to mourn, his parents to break the news to, and the doctors that we needed to clear things up with, but I still had my brother and in that moment, that was all that mattered to me.




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback