One Wrong Decision

January 8, 2008
By Garrett Knappe, Clarkston, MI

“Gregg! Can you take out the trash for me please?" mom said.
"Why? You’re right there. Why can’t you do it?" he said back to her in a stern, manly voice.
"What am I going to do with him?" she says with a questionable look on her face as she walks towards me.
Over the past few years I’ve watched my relationship with my brother slipping away day by day. The thing is; I cannot do anything about it, even how hard I try. My brother has been a person that I look up to and kind of idle in a way; whatever he did, I wanted to do the same way. Lately, he has not even been home or just hang out with the family anymore. That has started to eat away at my heart because I used to spend every waking moment with him and do activities to waste time and just fool around.
My family is one that likes to be together and spend time around each other all of the time. I cannot say that is the way I want it to be all the time like my parents want it to.
My brother has been changing those ways for the past few years.
It all started when my sister came home from college with her fiancé one day. She had been checking her face book and realized something somebody wrote on my brother’s wall.
"Gare," my sister yelled.
"What?" I yelled back.
"Come check out what Mike wrote on Gregg’s wall on Facebook."
I walked into the room with a scared look on my face. I was wearing my favorite sweat-pants that made me feel invisible. I felt like nobody could see or understand how I was feeling. It was a cold afternoon and everyone was bundled up. The den was freezing because it is exposed to the outdoors and has no shades. My sister was still in her pajamas just like I was still in mine; I always wore those sweat-pants to bed. What did my sister want to show me that was so important? She told me to look at the computer screen, read the words, and explain what I thought. My finger pointed touched the screen as I pointed to the words, as it hit, I got shivers down my spine; this was not going to be good. For the first time in my life those pants could not hide how I was feeling, I began to get very emotional because I did not know what was going to happen to my brother. At that moment I found out my brother had received an MIP when he was hanging out with his friends. They had been making fun of him for the past couple of days for it.
What was I going to do? The person that I have looked up to most of my life had just gotten a MIP and could possibly be going to jail. My big brother had always been there for me, whether it is for the good or for the bad. I guess that goes along with the saying "what goes around, comes around." My brother had not been following the rules my parents had given him so he decided to blow them off and go have a fun time with his friends.
Who was I going to turn to? I could always talk to my brother about anything. If I had a bad hockey game, he would tell me "Its only one game okay?" I can see our relationship collapsing as time goes by. Eventually, we may not have anything left.
My sister called in my mom and dad too. The moment my mom saw the writing on the wall, tears began to form at the tips of her eyes.
"I guess we will have to ask him what happened when he comes home," my mom paused. "If it is that important to him, he should approach us about it first."
After my parent’s saw this, they all of a sudden got the feeling that they had not done their job. They were putting all of the burden on themselves and nothing on him. There are moments in life when you cannot cheer anyone up and this was one of those times. My mom walked into her room and just cried for the rest of the night. What have we done wrong? My mom kept asking herself.
Days went by and there is still no sign of my brother. Maybe I wouldn’t even get to see him again? Maybe he is so scared to come home that he doesn’t want to? The moment I start thinking about these things the door opens; it was my brother. I give a huge sigh of relief when I saw it is him. My parents approach in a calm and classy manner. He isn’t going to know what hit him.
"Did anything happen to you last weekend?" my mom asked.
"No, what are you talking about?" he says in response.
"Don’t try pulling this on me! If I find out you’re lying you’ll be in deep trouble!"
He still wouldn’t man up and tell mom what he had done. I don’t understand why he has to lie so many times when my parents already know what he did and are just testing him to see if he does tell the truth. Some things that he does are complete opposite things of what I do.
"Mom," my brother says as he walks into their room. "We need to talk. Something did happen last weekend. I didn’t want to tell you what happened in front of Gare and Elizabeth because I was embarrassed about it."
"What happened?" my mom says in a disgusted voice.
"I got an MIP when my friends and I were driving home from a party. We were almost back to the person’s house, but she is a horrible driver, so the cops pulled us over," he said.
"How do you expect somebody to drive when they are drunk?" she throws back at him.
"The driver hadn’t been drinking mom! She was the only sober one in the car. We wouldn’t have gotten in trouble if it wasn’t for my friends yelling in front of the cops,” he yelled back in an unfashionable manner.
"Those are the choices that you decided to make and I guess they came back to haunt you."
My mom was furious. She didn’t want to talk to my brother for one second. She didn’t even want to look at him she was so disgusted by his actions.
"Do you realize what this is going to do to our families reputation?" as she yells in his face.
"Mom it won’t do anything, nobody is going to tell their families about it,” he said in a questionable voice.
"Are you serious? This isn’t a big town Greggory, word does get around pretty fast!” my mom screamed.
By this time my brother is speechless and had no idea what to say. In a way I think he is embarrassed, but then again he is trying to be rebel like, and not show any emotion. When my mom is done speaking to him he leaves the house immediately.
"Probably going to his friends house to get another MIP," I said in a sarcastic voice.
"Not the right time to say that Gare," mom said as she gave me the "stare down look."
My parents were crushed. Their middle child had disobeyed all of their rules and went out and got a MIP. They were blaming this all on themselves because they believe everything that he does in life is the way that they taught him to live. I tried everything to cheer up my parents. Nothing was working. There really isn’t anything you can in a situation like that.
My parents decided the best thing for my brother was for him to leave our household for a couple of months. They told him to pack his bags and go live with one of his friends. He was in shock and had no idea what he was going to do.
"Where am I going to live?" he asked in a questioning voice.
"Live out of your car, find a homeless shelter, find one of your friends, or you could even try living on the streets. You don’t want to abide by ours rules so you can live on your own. Then you won’t have any problems in your life. You’ll have your friends, a car, alcohol, and drugs, which seem to be the things nobody in this family does except for you,” my mom said.
This was a hard time for my whole family. Mom had to call some of the extended family and tell them not to except him into their home. She also told them what had happened so he didn’t try to tell them a lie that made them look like bad parents. Everyone understood what my parents were doing. Everyone except for themselves, they have no idea how their conclusion came to kicking him out of the house.
The next few days weren’t good at all. The vibe around the house was real "down in the dumps" like. Thoughts run through my head. I wondered if I will ever see my brother again or if he is going to die without me saying good bye to him. I couldn’t get these things off of my mind, I would keep trying and trying but it would always slip back into my head. Finally, one day the door opened when the family was eating dinner; it was my brother, he came home asking for a second chance because he had nothing left. My parents gave in thinking there was a chance he was going to change and live by their rules. Wrong! He kept living the same way as when he got kicked out the first time.
Eventually my brother getting kicked out was a regular thing, until he came home one day saying he was going to change. My parents took him in again, thinking that slight possibility of him changing was going to happen this time. All of a sudden he got a job, then he started paying of his court costs, then his "bad" checks he wrote. Things were all starting to come together and I was starting to get my old brother back again.
Ever since that one-day, things have been a lot different than before, I’m glad I got my old brother back and he didn’t continue to act like the old one. Now that I’ve seen what happened to his life involving drinking, I can make way better choices and I get to see the circumstances when you do make dumb ones. This is a lesson that I’m glad I have been through because it has taught me many important things in life.
Mistakes are made so that you don’t make them again. You must always go through life as if it was your last day to live. Look at the mistakes other people have made and learn from them. With the story I have given to you today, I hope you learn from the huge mistake my brother made of blowing off his parents, breaking the law, and last but not least, forgetting about his family for friends.

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