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Walking into the rugged barn, a pile of half chopped up wood lay in the far corner the red handle of an axe hanging from part of a log.
Blurry vision took over going up the creaky steps looking over the whole bottom floor. In the corner opposite the wood was a bright blue snowboard leaning against the wall.
Turning around to see hay bells forming a couch, and the telescope looking through the window over to the neighbor girl’s bedroom I rolled my eyes and slowly walked to the other side of the attic. I gazed at all of the artwork, painting of the horses in the pasture and the night sky resting against the railing.
Sitting down on a stool…staring at the half colorful canvas. The painting never to be finished.
“Derek!” an old crackly female voice hollered. “Come here please.”
I stood up from my stool and walked down the barn stairs...then battled the fierce rain through the meadow.
“You called?” I asked the pudgy grey haired old lady sitting at the small round table. Her arms were crossed resting on top of the red hens decorating the table cloth.
“How are you holding up?” she asked calmly.
“You’ve been crying.”
“What do you expect?” I said with some attitude.
She closed her eyes to keep from blowing up, she opened them slowly. Her eyes of the dark green grass were flooding. “It’s ok to be upset, and let your feelings out. You can talk to me.” She offered for about the tenth time.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“It’s quite alright. Would you be comfortable with meatloaf for dinner?”
I paused. I sat down in the little red chair across from her. I thought quietly to myself.
Meatloaf; my brother’s favorite food and all time specialty. I don’t know if I would be ok with eating it the night before his funeral. I mean he hasn’t been gone a week.
“Derek?” my Aunt Chloe asked.
“Oh,” I snapped back. “Yeah, it’ll be fine.”
“Ok, go wash up sweetheart.”
I left the small kitchen and went upstairs to my bedroom; I sat on the Toy Story comforter looking over to the Goosebumps bed on my right. Tears fell from my eyes.
Why him? I thought to myself. Why did Dylan have to be the one to die? I dosed off into sleep. Then awoke to my aunt telling me the funerals in two hours.
“I didn’t think you were hungry last night. So I just decided to let you sleep.” She left the room. I pulled myself off of the bed. And I got dressed in my tux.
“I remember when that car drove by,” I spoke to the people of the night my brother had died. “Dark night, just left the barn together, then next thing I know gun shots go off and Dylan was lying down on the ground. Lifeless.”
I put a red rose on his casket then sat down, and cried.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
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