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A Lost Brother
“Justin! Justin!” I belted at the top of my lungs as I fumbled up the stairs.
Without even knocking, I busted through his bedroom door while voicing my excitement.
“Justin I scored the winning goal! The winning goal! Can you believe it? I was on fire!”
Then I found him, laying face down on his bed unresponsive to my chants of joy.
“Come on, wake up, I won... I thought you would be proud of me….” My voice trailed off.
“Justin…” I whispered softly while trying to wake him… nudge… shake…. pause… nudge… something was wrong.
“Dad,” I whimpered, “Justin won’t wake up.”
He didn’t hear me. I ran downstairs where my parents where preparing lunch. The somber, confused look on my face must have spoken because immediately my father bolted to Justin’s room. Moments later my father let out a loud cry that sliced the air and sounded like a dying animal. My mother dashed upstairs to investigate; lost in the confusion I followed, only to discover a gruesome scene. Blood soaked my father’s hands and face as he tried to bring his dead son back to life. Screams and cries came from both my parents as they prayed that they could wake up from this evil nightmare. Standing in stunned silence I attempted to grasp the situation, a hunting rifle lay at the foot of the bed,
and the dark blue comforter held puddles of blood that I hadn’t seen before. The blood didn’t splatter the walls and ceiling like in a movie but it terrified me far more.
Within the following days, family, friends, and neighbors poured in and out of our house. Each one showing me a new expression of sorrow, and trying to sympathize with me, and more than anything it made me frustrated. Everyone else could leave, go back to their home, and forget about death, while I was immersed in it. My brother’s death was only hidden by a closed bedroom door.
“Are you okay?” they all asked.
Obviously not, what a stupid question, but I masked the pain, gave the biggest grin I could manage and pretended that despair wasn’t eating me alive. I wished everyone would just leave. My mood changed continually. The most overpowering emotion, short of sadness, was anger. My brother left me alone; he took his own life selfishly. How could he leave me in this way? I felt empty, my best friend slipped away without even a goodbye. He left me alone to face the most challenging time I could ever encounter. I couldn’t help but think that life would be easier to face if Justin where still here. My parents had each other; one could be strong to comfort the other, even if only for a moment they weren’t alone like me. Forgotten the world pushed me to the back burner, while everyone else tried to piece their own hearts while mine remained shattered. Frequently I recall the day I found my brother lifeless and I ask myself,
“Which is sadder a seek or a find?”