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Second to None
Second to None
Today is the day. What seemed like months away is finally here. I force myself out of bed, although my body is screaming at me to stay in bed for a few more minutes. The deli is only a few blocks south from my apartment, so I decide to treat myself with a delicious turkey sandwich and a nice warm cup of black coffee, with extra sugar. With my stomach full and satisfied, I walk back to my house thinking, “Oh boy, now I have to get ready soon.”
As I am getting closer to my apartment, two brothers pass by. The older one to the left seems to be in his late teens, possibly in college. The younger one to the right probably just finished second grade. His little hands are grabbing on to his older brother’s two fingers and they are telling jokes. As they pass, I just give them a smile. They give me a big grin and say, “Good morning!”
I am working my way up the stairs, to level three, room 302, when the picture of the two brothers keeps appearing in my head. “Maybe, just maybe,” I think to myself, “Maybe my brother could help me out in this situation? I don’t know what to do, what to say. I mean, sure it’s last minute, but maybe he can help?” That thought consumes me as I am dressing up. I decide to wear something a little nice. I put on a white dress shirt, black slacks, and black socks, and wear my old black Converse shoes.
If I could, I would have asked my father, or even my mother for advice. But how can I if they are not here? I guess fate destined things to be this way. My parents were on their way to Hawaii for vacation, when a sudden engine failure occurred. They plummeted down to the ocean, and went missing.
After dressing up, I get into my car and begin to weep as I rest my head against the steering wheel. If my parents were still alive, how ashamed they would have been of their own son; ashamed of what their son has become - a killer. I don’t know or remember why I did it. It just happened. Even my brother was ashamed to be my brother. He hasn’t talked to me since the incident. I left him numerous messages, but he has not replied. I know he wouldn’t want to talk to me or even see me. But I need him. He’s all I have. He’s my only family. I stop crying, wipe away my tears, and drive out the driveway.
I know if I go to his office, he won’t want to see me. But even looking at him will give me a little bit of hope, a little bit of security, a little bit of, well, love. As I enter the building, I approach his secretary and tell her that I want to see her boss. She asks who I am and my name, and I just say, “I’m his brother.”
“Just a moment,” she says, and hurries back.
I sigh nervously and sit down on the couch. I don’t know what to expect, whether he will yell at me, look and me and tell me to leave, or lecture me about how stupid I was. All three sound awesome to me. I just want to see his face. The secretary returns.
“He’s ready for you now,” she says with a soft voice.
Taking one deep breath, I go inside. I still remember that moment as clear as a gem. I am about to open the door but my hand is trembling. I just stand there with my trembling hand. “Get over yourself man,” I think. Finally, when I open the door, he just looks at me. We look at each other for what seems to be hours. To break the silence, I say, “Brother, I know what I did was wrong, but I came to you for help.”
He just looks at me. He knows today is the day of my trial. He knows that the only reason I would come is for help. I’ve always been doing that. Always coming to him when I need help. Not hearing a reply, I think of just turning back. Then he says with innocent eyes, “I’m sorry. I have a dinner with my boss. He’s promoting me.”
All I could manage to say was, “Oh.”
I turn away and head towards the door. Honestly, I don’t know what to do now. Do I go on with my life? I mean, here I am screwing up my life, committing crimes, no parents, and now I have a brother that doesn’t even care about me. Do I just end it?
One word. Four letters. They hit me like a wall. My brother comes up to me and hugs me.
“I would never want to see you by yourself in court. Of course I’ll help you. Of course I’ll go. For goodness sake, I’m your brother!”
Those words pierce me and I start to weep. We are just standing there, hugging each other for at least ten minutes. Once I stop, I ask, “What about your dinner?”
He replies, “Did you really think I would want to get promoted when I know that my only brother is getting sentenced to jail? Forget the promotion, I can deal without it.”
I just chuckle.
I guess I’m not alone anymore. Sure, I’ll be locked up behind bars for a long time, but hey, at least I have something to look forward to - seeing my brother. He visits me everyday, asking me how I’m doing and how he’s trying everything he can to try and get me out sooner. I can only smile. Sure, I’m stuck here when I could be living my life outside. But then again, what more could I want than to be right here, right now?