"Elijah?" I call out, "I'm home." I drop my backpack in the hallway and head to the kitchen. I swing open the refrigerator door and grab a coke. I fumble with the pop top as I make my way back to the hallway to retrieve my backpack and lug it off to my room. "Elijah?" I try again, taking a swig of coke. "Elijah, you here?" I trudge down the hallway. I stop outside my doorway and throw my backpack into my room. "Elijah! Stupid deaf kid! Where are you?" I try once more. I walk to the other end of the hallway, and tap on his slightly ajar door. "'Lijahhhh" I say softly. He's probably sleeping. I gently push open the door to see if he's in there or not. My coke falls to the floor, the almond carpet soaking it up instantly. My vision blurs and the room begins to totter. I stumble backwards, a scream rises in my throat, but no sound comes out. I regain my balance, turn and run.

One week later.

This book belongs to: Nadine Collin

April 174:17 PM

The therapist says I should keep a journal. She says it will help me to get all my thoughts and troubles out. She said it might make things easier. Somehow I highly doubt that, but whatever she says goes. Since I can't really talk to my friends right now…I know they want to talk to me and help me, but…I just can't. So, I might as well pretend that you're someone who is going to listen. Someone who actually, truly, honestly cares, that I'm just meeting. So I guess I'll be retarded and introduce myself. Hi. My name's Nadine. I'm fourteen and in 8th grade. Blah, blah, blah. You don't care, do you? I didn't think so. Oyez. So much for pouring out my feelings. Well, I must be of. Mom say's it's time for dinner. I'm not hungry.

April 174:42 PM

Dinner was a total and complete disaster. My dad came home right in the middle of an argument between my sister Cayln, whom is going on seventeen, and my mom who was extremely stressed out. It all started with Cayln's new hair color. Black with blue tips. I personally think it looked great on her, but mom…she had other ideas. Here's how it went:

"Cayln, you look ridiculous, that dye is coming out after dinner." "Since when do you control my hair color?" Cayln shoots back. "Since now and forever," my mother replies, sounding childish. "Well that's too bad, because it ain't coming out." "First of all, ain't isn't a word. And secondly, you are to wash the color out of your hair as soon as you've finished chewing the last piece of that turkey. No buts. If I don't see that dye gone by tomorrow morning, no TV, phone, computer, or dates for two weeks." "What the fuck is your problem?!" Cayln screams, shooting up out of her chair. And so the screaming and yelling between them begins. The whole time I stay quiet. I just watch them. Suddenly, my dad comes in the door. He sighs as he steps into the kitchen and sees that World War III has begun. Mom and Cayln keep at it. They haven't seen him yet. Dad is getting really pissed. "ENOUGH!" He boom, his fist landing on the table. "IF I HEAR ONE MORE GODDAMN WORD OUTTA YOU BITCHES, YOU'RE BOTH GONNA WISH YOU'D NEVER BEEN BORN!" Cayln and Mom freeze. Not a second later, they both hit the floor. Dad has started up on one of his violent rages. "BOTH OF YOU! GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!" He screeches. I freeze. Should I go to? I don't wanna get beat. I stand up to leave, but he motions for me to sit back down. "You're fine kiddo. Damn, am I glad I have one sane person in this house, unlike your crack head mom and sister. I nod my head. He takes the seat where my mom had been sitting and serves himself some potatoes and green beans. We eat in silence and I'm finally able to retreat to my room, where I sit writing this.

April 18 1:42 AM

I can't sleep. I keep seeing him. His dirty blonde hair parted and combed perfectly. His once bright, lively gray-blue eyes shut forever. His soft tan skin free of dirt and blood. The viewing was today. I just can't get the picture out of my head. Him. My brother. My own flesh and blood. One of the only people that ever understood me, lying there, perfectly still, in a coffin, dead.

April 19 12:34 PM

Nothing to say. I can't see my future. Yesterday and everything after it is a blur, as is any future I might have. I have nothing left. My life is gone.

April 20 9:56 PM

The funeral was today. I seated myself in the second of the church. The service lasted three hours. There were a lot of speakers. My dad, my sister, my grandpa, and my brother's best friend Nathan. I didn't cry. Nor did Cayln. I just sat there, barely blinking. Every word spoken floated through my ears and out the other side. I didn't want to hear. Because, if I listened I would surely find that my brother was truly dead.

April 21 10:24 AM

Good morning. Good, Saturday morning, that is. Dad is out back cleaning up the yard, mom is out running errands, and Cayln has been in the bathroom for the past two hours washing and re-dying her hair. She won't look me in the eye. I think she's embarrassed about dad beating her in front of me. Anyways, I think I'll go and get some breakfast. I think we have some Cocoa Puffs somewhere…

After Breakfast – Well, actually, I didn't eat breakfast. My trip to the kitchen caused me a breakdown. I stepped out of my room to go downstairs and for some reason, I went down the hall to Elijah's room to ask him if he wanted any food. As soon as I reached his doorway, I was hit. Elijah's gone. Dead people don't need to eat. Elijah's gone. He's never coming back. Silently, I gently opened his door. I found Cayln curled up on his bed sobbing. Well, this was something I didn't expect…I curled up right next to her and just started bawling. I think it's the first time I've cried since it happened. She looked up, surprised, and pulled me closer. I don't think I've ever seen my sister cry. She's always been the brave one. It sorta scared me at first. So we just laid there and cried for an hour. I lost all of my appetite and I'm feeling pretty depressed, so I better go. Bye.

April 21 1:30 PM

Aloha. I'm feeling a lot better. Cayln and I had this really long talk about the whole thing. We'd never really talked before. She's been my sister for a whole 14 years, but we were never really that close. I mean, we just never actually really sat down and talked to each other, one on one. I'm guessing the age difference had something to do with the barrier. Well, she told me if I ever needed to talk or anything she was always there. She also told me that she would love me no matter what happens. I think things are finally starting to look good.

April 24 11:14 AM

I am sitting in the lobby of the therapist's office waiting for my sister, and yes my sister, the one who refused to drive me anywhere or pick me up or anything having to do with her car and me. Ugh. I think this was one the worst sessions ever. Miss Kenzy said that she thought it was time to bring up the subject of my brother, the whole reason I came in the first place. Before, she just focused on talking about my family, friends, and grades. When she brought up my brother, I practically bit her head of.

Miss Kenzy: "Nadine, don't you think it's about time that we talk a little bit about your brother?"

Me: Nothing

Miss Kenzy: "Nadine, why don't you tell me what your brother was like."

Me: Standing up, "WHO GIVES A DAMN WHAT MY BROTHER WAS LIKE?! IT'S NOT ANY OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS ANYWAY! YOU'RE SO GODDAMN NOSY."

Miss Kenzy: Surprised, gasped. Says nothing.

God, it was horrible.

April 25 3:17 AM

Did you know that you were my hero?

Did you know that it was your hands that picked me up?

How about those tears that were wiped.

Did you know that it was your fingers that brushed them away?

Who was there when the world let me back
And turned its back once more?

You were.

April 26 10:47 AM

I'm in 3rd period Spanish. Bored to death. Our teacher, Mr. Alva is saying something I can't understand. Oh wait, I just caught some words…smelly postage stamp. Um. Okay. Anyways, things at home are pretty tense. Last night my dad left. He smashed a couple beer bottles, slapped my mom, took the car, and left. Mom went into her bedroom, and still hadn't come out when I left for school this morning.