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Spreading The Blame
“What are you thinking about?” Brandon whispered softly.
“There’s really only one thing to think about.” David responded in a harsh voice. “Mum’s in the operating room. They’re in there, looking at her while she’s open on the table, her insides being shown to everyone…”
“Thanks for that image. I really didn’t need that.” Brandon muttered in an annoyed voice. “I didn’t ask for the fun of it moron! I asked to make sure you were okay.”
“What do you want to know about? The fact that my head is pounding, or the fact that our Mum maybe dead?” David snapped, not meeting his older brother’s worried stare.
“Both I suppose.” Brandon nervously stated. “I’m really sorry Dave… I guess going on a drinking binge for your 21st birthday was defiantly not the best idea.”
“No really bro?” David smirked sarcastically.
Brandon chuckled nervously. “Again, really sorry.”
David grinned, but his face changed, suddenly very serious. “Brandon? Do remember anything that happened last night?”
“I honestly don’t remember. We were too drunk.”
David sighed out of frustration. “Think. What do you remember?”
The next few moments were quite with thought. A hum from the St. Mary’s hospital generators could be heard in the distance, but that was all.
“Well, I remember taking dad‘s car down to that bar down on Main Street…” Brandon recalled.
“Are you sure it was dads?” David asked
“Yeah, the head light’s weren’t working. Mum’s car head lights work. I was driving.” Brandon responded.
“I seem to remember the bartender… Phil, right? Dad’s old friend. Anyway, he said we needed to get a ride home, and I’m pretty sure he was calling us a cab.” David replied, trailing off in thought. “But I don’t remember being in a cab. Next thing I remember, I’m holding Mum’s hand as she’s bleeding on the driveway… and you were?”
“Calling the ambulance… I remember that. Blood freaks me out; I didn’t want to freak Mum out even more.” Brandon remarked.
“How considerate of you. I remember the rest, riding in the ambulance, you in the corner, Dad talking to mum’s sister on the phone…” David reminisced. “Wait, where was Dad during mum’s incident?”
“Probably in the house getting paperwork or something.” Brandon shrugged, moving on. “I’m still rather confused about one thing however.”
“How mum ended up on that driveway?” David guessed.
Brandon nodded. “I don’t get it… I mean I don’t even know what happened to her.”
“She got run over by a car.” David blurted, his eyes widened with confusion.
Brandon glanced over, a shocked look on his face. “Are you serious? How could that have happened? How do you know that?”
David’s eyes widened “I…I don’t know how I know that quite honestly. Maybe she was out on the driveway worried. She does that sometimes. I don‘t know anything for sure though.”
Brandon stood up so quickly, the waiting room chair fell behind him with a crash. “You know what David? What you don’t remember? I think I know why we don’t remember being in a cab, David.”
“Why don’t we remember Brandon? Why?” David smirked, a taunting tone in his voice.
“We didn’t take a taxi. We left before it could take us home. Which mean’s we took dad’s car home. And it was YOUR turn to drive home.” Brandon narrowed his eyes with fury.
David’s hands shook with fury. “How DARE you! What would make you think I drove the car home? You were too drunk to think any better!! Maybe YOU drove. Maybe this is YOUR fault. And maybe if Mum dies, that will be YOUR fault too.”
Brandon‘s nostrils flared, his fingers curling into a fist and in almost slow motion, punched David right in the nose.
Groaning, David got off the floor rubbing his now bleeding nose in agony. “You had no right to do that.”
Brandon scoffed. “No right? NO RIGHT? You just practically blamed me for putting our Mum into danger. You could have done it just as much as I could have!”
“Maybe I did. But you’re the one who got me drunk, so it’s your fault more than it is mine in the end anyway.” David argued.
I knew then I couldn’t listen to anymore. This fighting, two brothers, the best of friends even, shouldn’t fight like this. Especially when it was unnecessary. The door creaked open, David and Brandon glancing over in curiosity.
“Dad?” The two angry brothers asked.
I sauntered in, examining the room with my eyes. “Hello boys. Getting along nicely are we?”
David wiped the blood off his face which was red of embarrassment. “How much did you hear of that?”
I smiled sadly. “Mostly all of it. You boy’s are blaming yourselves.”
Brandon and David we’re silent, obviously still ashamed of their behaviour.
“Your mother’s out of surgery.” I reported “She hasn’t woken up yet. The doctor’s aren’t sure if she ever will.” I swallowed, holding in my tears and emotions. I turned on my foot, wanting to leave the tension of the room.
“Dad?” Brandon called his voice shaky.
Without turning, I replied, “Yes, Brandon?”
“What did happen last night?”
I sighed, knowing this question would be asked. I took a deep breath, listening to the sniffles of David from behind me.
“Phil called me. I walked over to the bar, and drove you boy‘s home in my car.” I gulped once more, holding in my tears. “The headlights weren’t working, and your mum was out on the driveway, worried as usual. I-I didn’t see her.” I stuttered. I opened the door and walked down the hallway alone, only the clicking of my shoes against the tiled floor to accompany me. Feelings of shame and guilt overwhelmed me. I knew my boy’s would never understand the pain. The pain, of being the reason that the love of your life would never wake up.