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My mom has always believed that education is the path to a happy and successful way of living. Maybe it was because she never got the chance to because she got pregnant at 18 and ended up with Bryce, me, and a no good boy friend that up and left her. So Bryce and I had made a pact that we would go off to college to please her. That was a long time ago. Now my brother could care less. It wasn’t until the end of our senior year that we realized college was approaching, more like impending if you ask my brother. Although he likes school, he doesn’t want to go. Bryce eventually retaliated by telling mom and I that he wanted to be a dj in some bar we’ve never heard of before. She was furious. Now the day has come. But little did I know Bryce had a different idea.
Mom invited the family over for a kind of going away party for Bryce and I. I could hear the flock of family members making their way into the house. One by one they filled in, loud and boisterous. I prepare myself for the onslaught of questions and all the eyes that will be on me while making my descent down the stairs. But that never happened.
“It’s about time you got down here!” my mother angrily exclaimed, “ They’ve been here for almost a whole fifteen minutes already waiting for you and your brother!”
“At least I’m down here, Bryce is still packing his last bag!”
My mother angrily made her way upstairs. I could hear the yelling from the kitchen and I know all the family members could too. Afraid of her screaming, they sit in silence, awaiting my brother.
My brother made his way down before mom did, angrily muttering under his breath. “Did mom yell at you too Brittany?” Bryce questioned.
“Not as bad as what happened up there I’m afraid,” I said, while condoling him by patting his arm.
“Why does she like you better than me?”
“What are you talking about? She doesn’t like me anymore than she likes you.”
“That’s a lie and you know it!”
“Whatever Bryce, lets just go say hi to the family to get it over with.”
I had an easy time picking what I wanted to major in at college. I’ve always liked to help people, and I would say I’m pretty smart, so I went with psychology. My brother on the other hand still has no idea. Adding to the list of things he’s done to make mom yell.
Getting the family to stop talking and let us leave was a hard task, but Bryce and I finally got on the road. We started up the GPS and put in the address for North Carolina University. Mom picked it since I couldn’t decide, and Bryce could have cared less. The exit is coming up, but Bryce won’t get in the right lane.
“Bryce, what are you doing?” I asked extremely confused. Did he not hear the GPS?
“Don’t worry about it, Brittany.”
“What do you mean don’t worry about it?” I said, “This is how we’re going to get to college so get in the right lane now!”
“We’re not going to college!” He exclaimed with a blind rage, “We are taking moms money she gave us and going and living our own lives for once!”
“Bryce, you know we can’t get away with that.”
“Please Brittany, will you do this with me?” He pleaded, “You're all I’ve got.”
Bryce and I have always been dependent of each other, with mom working 24/7 to be able to provide for us we kind of had to. Even when we got to high school, he would always be by my side because he never felt like he had any friends. He thought he couldn’t make any because they all knew he was gay. So when I said yes to his little excursion, it was because I felt like I had to because I was, in fact, all he had.
“Where do you suppose we go?” I pondered to myself and Bryce.
“I was gonna let you decide on that one Britt.”
“Wellll.. I’ve always dreamed of going to New York.”
“New York it is then!”
When we finally arrived in New York, I couldn’t believe we were actually there. The streets were filled with people of all different kinds of races and cultures that I have never seen in person before. Bryce went to go get us a hotel room while I looked at some of the sites, one of them being a theatre/musical school. I’ve always wanted to be an actor or be on broadway, but my mother thought it was ‘Dumb and impractical’. So from then on I kinda gave up on that dream and started being more practical. After that stop, I headed to a little sandwich shop down the street from our hotel to get Bryce and I some food. After I ordered our food and headed out the door Bryce is calling me.
“Hey Bryce, what’s up?” I answer.
“P-p-please, Britt, you need to get back to the hotel as f-f-fast as you can.”
After Bryce hangs up I don’t spare a second and start running as fast as I can back to the hotel. In my mind I replay how Bryce sounded on the phone to try to decipher what on earth could have happened. When he had asked me to come back to the hotel his breathing seemed heavily labored like he couldn’t get enough air. My heart thumped in my chest when I thought about it.
When I finally reached the hotel, I didn’t want to waste any time, so I sprinted up to our floor, and when I reached the room, the door was open like someone had pushed through without permission. As I walked through the door I could see Bryce in a curled up ball in the middle of the floor. Once I see his face I immediately begin to burst into tears. He has open gashes just gushing blood, and I can barely recognize him anymore.
“O-o-oh my god Bryce. What on earth happened?” I barely could ask through my crying.
“B-b-britt it’s okay, I’m okay.”
“Bryce, you are definitely NOT okay. We need to get you to a hospital like right now!”
“I don’t think you can get me there in time Britt. I can’t feel anything..”
I see his eyes slowly begin to close, and his breathing begins to slow down.
“No, NO, Bryce you can’t leave me...” By this time I’m crying so hard I have tears and snot rolling down my face, and my chest is heaving up and down.
The police had found me like that. They took me out into the ambulance to see if I had also been hurt and asked me if I wanted to know what had happened to him. They told me he had been beaten to the brink of death and even if the ambulance have had gotten there faster, he still wouldn’t have survived. I asked them over and over again how, how could this have happened? Who on earth did this to him and why? The only information they knew was that the person at the hotel desk said while my brother was checking in two males said they saw my brother was flirting with him and proceeded to follow him up to our room and attack him.
The police had concluded that it was a gay hate crime. Not only was my world shattered by the death of my brother, but that people in the world were still like this towards each other.