Sometimes Life’s Not Fair

October 15, 2007
It was the night of November 11, 2006, when we were all having fun at my grandmother’s house in the Bronx. It was like a family reunion; nice to see all of the family again. Everyone was laughing and drinking, and just having a wonderful time. My cousin who I hadn’t seen in at least 7 years, and his two beautiful children were there. I saw so many of my uncles and aunts, who I had missed. But there was one person who was not there; Uncle Brandon. He was my favorite uncle. He was the kind of person who would be the life of the party, joking and playing with all the kids, and everyone wanted to be around him.
Earlier that day, before going to the Bronx, things were great and it seemed like nothing could possible ruin my day. Little did I know. So at about 10:30 my dad had taken me and my brothers to get new phones, and we were so excited. My mom met us there, with my brother and his wife, and then we had to go and get my older sister. Everything seemed like it was good! So, when we left the store we all squeezed into the car, like a bunch of kids squeezed in a little room. But no one cared, because we were all just happy to be around each other. At about 2:00 we arrived at my grandma’s house, and I got ready and I did my mom and sister’s hair for the little get together.
Once I finished doing everyone’s hair it was about 4:30 and I didn’t have much time to relax. At about 5:00 everyone started to arrive. Everyone was hugging and kissing. I wasn’t worried about anyone else until I saw my Uncle Brandon. When he walked through that door, I made sure I was the first person to give him a hug and a big kiss on the cheek. After everyone caught up, and we were all settled down eating and watching whatever game was on, I went to sit next to him and we talked. We talked about how he was doing, how I was doing, how school was going. I asked him how work was, and he was told me about a new job that he just started and that he liked it, the people were very nice, and he enjoyed his job.
Later on, when everyone started to leave, I went home with my cousin and my brothers. My older brother and his wife went home, as well. But, before we left, we went to my aunt’s house. She also lives in the Bronx, and there he was again, my Uncle Brandon. “What was he doing there?” I thought to myself. Well, I didn’t care. It was just another opportunity for me to say good-bye. So I went up to him and I said “Hey what’s up? What you up to?”
“Nothing, just waitin’ for your aunt. We are supposed to go out with Joey.”
“Oh, well have fun!”
“I will. You behave and be good to your mom okay”, “And don’t forget that I Love you. Don’t be a stranger. Call me sometime your mom has my number ok.”
Not thinking anything of it I said “okay and I love you too!”…

The next morning we were woke up at 7:00am. All we knew was that we had to get up and get dressed. Why, though? We didn’t know…. all we knew was that something was wrong. But what? Something was wrong. There was a dead silence in the car. No one was talking to any one, and we were all still kind of sleep. My little brother got into the car, and by the look on his face, something was wrong, really wrong. My older cousin got into the car, and still, no one knew what happened. Now I was starting to get nervous.
So I had heard that Uncle Brandon was in a fight, then I heard he was in the hospital. Little did I know, I was going to wish he was in the hospital.
,“Brandon was killed last night”. I had my head up against the window and I just cried. I didn’t know what to say or do, and at one point I stopped breathing and felt lost. That was one of the longest most miserable car rides I have ever taken. But nothing was as bad as when finally arrived at my grandma’s house.
Hoping and wishing it was fake and all just one big lie or joke, I arrived at her door and entered the house. It wasn’t a lie; it was the true he had died. I remember walking into her house. It was dark like at night, except there were no shining stars; death swept the whole apartment like a big blanket you cover yourself with when you’re cold. For the first time in my life I didn’t know what to do. I felt so helpless and so innocent; I just couldn’t do a thing to bring him back. It was real. The hardest thing I had to do that day was to tell my sister. I had to call my sister and tell her that our uncle had just been killed. I picked up the phone and, dialed
“Hello is Ashlee home?” I asked
“Hey what’s up Nique, what’s wrong?”
I started to stutter, “Some, some, something is wrong with Uncle Brandon.”, “what Nique, what happened? Please tell me.” I couldn’t get it out.
Then I took a really deep breath and said “I’m sorry, Uncle Brandon was killed last night.” A dead silence swept the phone. All I could hear was her crying over the phone. She asked, “How and why and when…what the hell, why aren’t you answering me!” And I realized I couldn’t, and I didn’t know what to say to her. Then she apologized because she knew I couldn’t answer the questions.
The days after that were long and depressing. I wouldn’t do anything. I didn’t wash my hair, I would wear same clothes to school, and I was kind of depressed. When I came home after the funeral when I came home my dad said that I had looked like death. I knew he was right. How could I not? I had dark circles under my eyes, my hair was messy and I needed to wash it, I was wearing a selection of really gloomy colors and I wasn’t happy.
When I returned to school the week after people kept asking me; “why were you gone so long? what happened?” And I even heard someone say, “What happened, you looked like some one just killed your best friend?” At that very moment I didn’t want to be in school anymore. I couldn’t handle it, and on top of that, I didn’t want to talk about it. Months later, everything started coming back together. I mean, I’m still really uncomfortable going back to the city, and back to my grandma’s house, because of the memories of November the 11and the12 will not go away.

But by writing this story, I’m showing people that it’s okay to talk about how you feel because it hurts; it hurts when something like this happens. In this case, it happened to me, and yeah, it hurts but it also makes me stronger.

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