The First Cut is the Deepest

March 16, 2011
By , Wenatchee, WA
I looked up from my biology textbook. My mom had been on the phone outside for a long time.
Her face was more wrinkled than a scrunched up ball of paper, and a ruddy red.
“Something horrible has happened,” she said, her voice strange and off pitch.
The phone was still in her hands. Her eyes were an angry red and bloodshot, and still brimmed with tears. Her lips quivered as she tried to find the words.
Someone had died. It was written all over her face. I always thought that when someone died in my life, the person bearing the news would have a complexion to match the dead. Not the case, and still I knew what she was going to say. While she still hesitated for another second, I did a mental check of all my old relatives. Grandma. It must have been Grandma. She was old and ill, and even though it wasn’t really her time, she had lived a nice, long life. It was sad, but logical.
“It’s Sean.”
“No.” Sean was not my grandmother. He was my dearest cousin, and he was immortal. He climbed electric poles, drank 100 proof vodka, never wore shoes, could make a Bobby laugh, and was going to be a celebrity some day soon. His future was bright and shiny and full of bubbling laughter.
“No.” I repeated.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, like it was her fault. “I’m so sorry Sweetie. Let me give you a hug.”
She gave me a hug, but my arms didn’t move. Paralysis had set in.
“No, that must be a mistake.” I told her.
She shook her head. “It’s not a mistake. I just got off the phone with Grandma.” The tears started to flow again. “Someone broke into his house and shot him.” Shot him. Shot him. Shot him.
“No, no, no, no,” I repeated. “He can’t be dead,” I told her. “He just can’t.”
“I’m sorry.”
“No! He can’t be dead!” I shouted at her, and ran up to my room screaming it over and over. I hit my bed like a sack of bricks. The words continued pour out of my mouth, in close company with tears and sobs. I lay there, curled up in a ball, for a long time, my chest aching. My heart had broken.
I heard my Dad arrive and the door shut and the swearing as my mom broke the news again. He came up to see me. All I could think was I have to finish my homework and I have to go to the funeral. That was it. My dad told me not to do my homework, that it wouldn’t do any good. The emotional part of my brain had died along with the rest of me. The only part left with the reminder that I still had school in the morning, and my parents said I had to go. (In retrospect, this was the cruelest thing they could have done. What I needed was to stay home, but instead I drove myself there and cried in every single class.)
My little brother, just turned twelve, wasn’t home form tennis yet. My older brother, off at college, had no idea either. I texted the latter. I love you so much.
He called home within ten minutes to ask what was wrong. My parents told him over the phone and then made arrangements for him to come straight home. We would be flying down south for the funeral, and he wasn’t going to miss it.
When my little brother finally did get home, my parents told him together. I stood by the stairs, and watched as they settled him on the couch. He didn’t understand. It wasn’t real to him. He went to his room and watched Family Guy on his computer.
The second heartbreak came when my brother came home from college the next afternoon. It took him five hours, but he made it. He wasn’t two steps in the door before I was in his arms. He held me and let me cry. It was suddenly all too real.
“I know, I know, I know,” he repeated softly.
“He’s gone,” I choked out finally.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

NonCreepyGenius said...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm
I'm so sorry :/ You shouldn't have had to go through something like that :( I'm glad you pulled it through
Somerandomchick said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 10:05 am
I'm sorry :/ good story though. My friend and I are using it for a class project :)
Nykki7 replied...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 11:36 am
What's the project?
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