The Pain Of Happiness This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 29, 2010
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“How long is forever?” I ask him with my head turned upward looking at him and eyes burning. He smiled warmly then it disappeared just as quickly as it had came. “Forever.” he remarks softly holding me in his arms stroking my head softly. He had always been there for me, he should be, he’s my brother. The slightest move made me cling onto his shirt begging him not to leave yet with my whimpers.

“Why can’t you stay?” he seemed to sigh quietly in his throat so I couldn’t hear. The moon seemed extra bright and sad today. As he looked up again at the starless sky his hair fell back and he hugged me a little tighter. “Because life isn’t fair.” he spoke quietly. Nearby a few crickets strummed a sweet melody that later in life I would never forget. My hand was clenched in his shirt, my head resting on his stomach, and his shirt was my tissue.

My brother and I had always been close, even when my mother and father would slam doors and spit words at one another. I can remember the one night he came into my room after the argument got physical and he held me in his arms rocking my tears and fears away. He had done this for three hours, until both of us fell asleep. I had never known anyone to be there comforting me except my brother. Not my mom, not my dad, nor grandpa or grandma, or aunts and uncles, just my brother.

My cold legs felt the warm breeze, and my cheeks felt cold as the warm wind caressed them. The porch seemed dull and yet beautiful because this would be the last day my brother and I would see each other...ever.

My thoughts were interrupted with a loud crashing sound coming from inside the house and then a scream. I shut my eyes tight and covered my ears trying to make the nightmare go away, it never did, until I felt Eathen’s arms wrap around me and I felt my head cradled in his chest. My eyes widened and I felt fresh tears run down my cheeks again. I hugged him extra tight and made sure he knew I would always think of him and remember him.

His bags were already set on the bottom of the stairs and the engine of his car was humming softly in sync with the grasshoppers melody. I wish that time would shatter and just reverse back to when we were little, but I knew that was impossible.
“You promise you’ll come back for me?” I asked looking up at him with watery eyes. He nodded with a fake smile that comforted me anyway and I slowly smiled myself. He was always my favorite, and I guess when you love something enough you have to eventually let it grow wings and fly, especially when they have to.
“I love you Eathen.”
“I love you little sister.”
He let me go and cold air rushed all around me. I watched as he drooped a bag over his shoulder with his left hand, and he held a bag with his right. The car doors slammed and he stood there by his car looking behind at me.
He had wanted for so long to get away from all of the negatively in the house, and so he finally would be able to. He had enlisted in the army for a full four years and he had promised that once he turned twenty two, he would come back for me and we would be able to live on our own peacefully as we had always wanted. I couldn’t take the fights anymore myself, we did everything right, went to school, got good grades, didn’t give into any peer pressures and yet we were still being punished for no reason.

I smiled and waved and remembered the last five words he would ever say to me.

“I’ll come back for you.”





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