reflecting is painful, especially when the one remembered is your baby brother..
I sat, staring at the stone in front of me, willing my mind to wrap around the fact that my baby brother was beneath it. Thoughts raced through my head-some welcomed, like his smile as a child; the one that broke my heart. And some despised, hidden away for only the darker side of my mind to see.
Tracing my fingers across the marble, I let my mind wonder, remembering the moments that had lead me here; I still hadn't decided on whether the Mikey I saw only a few hours previously had been real. I thought perhaps that Mikey had been created by the liqueur my mind had absorbed, or maybe my subconscious had finally become bored of facing the object of my fears, and had decided to run. To give me what I wanted.
I didn't care about where Frank was, I knew I should – he was probably close to death somewhere, hidden away in the corner of some smoked-out pub – but I couldn't bring myself to feel anything for him. All I felt towards Ray and Bob was resentment that they had so quickly moved on with their lives, but I also felt jealousy. Jealousy at the fact that they could live, breathe, and feel without him there by their sides. They were the extent of my emotions to the fellow beings I shared the planet with. Apathy, resentment, jealousy. Me. They had become me.
I seemed to be no longer sure of anything – constantly wondering from one decision to another, skipping over the important facts to face those that hurt the least – but I was sure of one thing; the Mikey I had seen whist I had been high on apothecary-bought drugs, had been real. I had felt his hands on my arms, his breath on my neck, and his voice in my ears. I had smelt the same smell I had taken for granted for so many years – the sour-sweet scent of vanilla and sharp smelling wood. The smell of Mikey.
His eyes had seemed so dead, almost as if his spirit had bled out of them and into the ground around my feet, that I had been frightened to look in them. I hadn't wanted to see what kind of monster my baby brother had become, but of course, he was the same boy I had ever known. Always there to save his big brother.
It pained me to know that even after his death, he was still saving me from myself, still keeping my head above the waves. Placing my hand face down on the ground above where I assumed Mikey's cheek would be, I let a single tear fall onto the skin covering it's back.
'That's for you, Mikes,' I mumbled uselessly, knowing he couldn't hear me, but praying all the same.
'You're never coming home..' this realization seemed to force it's way between my lips, parting them as a painful rush of air fought to escape the other way. A broken sob slid into the air separating me from my brother, before being followed by many more. These in turn howled to the ground, begging it to return my brother to me, each knowing it's cry was in vein.
Finally, I crashed to the ground, my fingers, teeth, hands, all clawing at the surface, seeking entrance to the case that held him. Digging my way towards him, I clung on to the simple idea that surely, if I found him, he would be okay. He would be okay. He would be alive. He would be okay.
My arms began to grow weak, my muscles protesting against the strain, while both my heart and my mind urged me on. Eventually I reached what seemed to be stone, hidden beneath the surface of the grave, and simply fell, my face colliding with the cool green that made up the ground. I buried my face in the dirt, mixing my blood and tears with the stale smelling earth.
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