What is Mikey about to discover?
Mikey was sitting by the window, his leg nervously jiggling as he stared out onto the street in the direction of his house, waiting for the silhouette of his brother to come into view. I tried to diffuse the tension by slowly strumming on Pansy, but after 40 minutes and still no show, neither of us could concentrate on the melody.
‘Where is he?’ Mikey hissed, still staring out the window. ‘It can’t have taken him this long, maybe something’s happened...’ His voice grew thick with concern and his lip started to quiver. I walked over to where he was sitting, feeling practically useless to help him.
Sitting down next to him I put my head in his lap as he mindlessly played with my hair.
‘He’ll be okay, Mikes. Give it 10 more minutes and then I’ll go to see if he’s alright. He might’ve just got caught up stealing your comics, you’ll see.’
I flashed him a grin that he didn’t return. Realising he wouldn’t rest until I dragged Gee in here, I got up and went to get my coat. While I struggled to get my arm through the sleeve, Mikey had gotten up and was leaning against the doorframe. After a pause, he practically whispered
‘No, Frank. I don’t want you to get hurt. I’ll go. He’s my brother, and it’s my fault we’re in this mess.'
I opened my mouth to protest, but Mikey’s expression made me close it and let him brush past to get his jacket. He was about to slip out the door when I grabbed his arm and pulled him in for a kiss. It was so long since I’d felt like I was his, and he was mine, so I relished in the few seconds of closeness. All too soon we broke apart and, with his half-smile lingering on his face, he slid out the door. I collapsed on the stairs and put my head in my hands, hating that I’d let him go so easy. If anything happened... I just don’t know what I’d do.
As I jogged down the road, my heart hammering wildly against my chest, and sick rising in my throat, I couldn’t help but think how easy it would be to run back inside and close the door. But, as always, I needed to know my brother was okay. I had the worst feeling he wasn’t, and I needed to prove myself wrong.
I turned up the drive, trying to ignore the memory of the last time I was here, which was desperately trying to resurface. The door was ajar, and a boozey smell was leaking out from inside. Not a good sign. I slowly pushed open the door, acutely aware that my panicked heartbeat was probably giving away my presence. The door opened halfway, and then smacked into something the other side, blocking it from opening further. So not good.
I hooked my head around the door. Nothing, nothing, could’ve braced me for the scene I took in. My older brother, the guy that always protected me, told me horror stories and showed me how to be proud of who I am, was laying broken, bruised and bloodied at the foot of our stairs. His arm was twisted at an unnatural angle and his glassy eyes were staring at something I couldn’t see. For an awful, heart wrenching moment I thought he was dead, but with indescribable relief his chest was moving raggedly. I squeezed through the door, careful not to make much sound. I knelt down beside him, listening to his uneven breathing. Gee, my dorky, talented, beautiful older brother, had tried to help me, and consequently nearly died. My fault entirely. No wait, not just mine. My dad’s. That awfully agressive alcoholic was so set in his ways - my father was willing to potentially kill his son, for trying to help his gay younger brother? Too far.
A cough in the other room jerked me back to reality - and the danger I was in. I was too afraid to move Gee, as it looked like he’d broken his arm, and perhaps his leg. Instead I slipped back outside, grateful to inhale air that wasn’t infected with alcohol. I pulled out my phone and dialled the number.‘Hello? I need an ambulance, there’s been an - uh - accident.’
I hurriedly gave them the information, and perched on the doorframe, clutching my brothers cold, bloody hand.