Do you ever wonder what would happen if you could change the course of the future? If you made one different choice or you went to one place that you were thought it would be too awkward to go to, then maybe…things would be different. I haven't stopped thinking that since he passed away. You know, you try and try to get over things and you try to see the good in everything and everyone but sometimes it's just too hard.
At first, you just miss him. You miss his presence; his mannerisms, his laugh and the way when he would get angry his hands would fly through his hair. You never stop missing him, but after a while it almost gets too hard to remember. I'm twenty-eight years old and I still wish he were here to talk to. I wish I could tell him about my hard day at work, or when my girlfriend broke up with me. I wish he were still here to tell me that it would be okay. I feel as though I've lost every sense of having an older brother who would protect me from the bullies and evil things in the world. I've lost that because of one short night.
My brother was an actor; he enjoyed it and would spend his time in Los Angeles perfecting some new film while I would get my own two bits in here and there, doing low budget films. My sisters were into acting as well, but by far, my brother's freeing and favorite moment was when he was on stage. I remember watching him sing, his guitar moving with the rhythm because he couldn't keep himself still. I was mesmerized when he played; it was as if I saw a piece of him that he hadn't shown before. Every night I would see something new and it was as if I was just getting to know him better and better. I miss those moments.
I don't like talking about it now, in fact it's hard for me to even sleep sometimes because of the nightmares, but one thing holds true and that's that I will never stop missing him. I wish now, more then every, he was here for me to talk to.
I was saying to my sister the other day about which movie he would have enjoyed. A recent thriller came out and I went to see it with her. We sat through it, barely and when it was finally over she turned to me.
"He would have been perfect at that part." As if neither of us had to say whom we were talking about or why we felt that way. It was just how it was.
"You think so?" I stood up and put one heal behind the other so that she could walk in front of me.
"Didn't you see it? He would have eaten it up." She mumbled and walked up the isle, passing a few teenagers.
"But he didn't." I paused and walked past her excusing myself.
My sister and I talked about him sometimes, late at night when we were extremely drunk or sometimes when we went on vacation together. For the most part, we tried to keep him alive but it was getting harder as my mother was gradually growing older and it was as if each day for her was a burden. She hadn't changed to the point where we hardly knew our mother she had just grown tired. She missed him that was evident.
"Mother, do you know where my old sneakers are? I wanted to show them to a friend of mine." I asked one day while I was fixing lunch.
It was quiet as she continued to cut carrots.
"Why would you want to show someone an old pair of sneakers?"
"Oh, I don't know…we were just comparing them. He went through five pairs a year." I joked, taking a bite of my lunch.
threw them away or gave them to someplace."
"You did? My favorite white ones…the ones that I-"
"Just look upstairs, okay? I'm going outside."
I figured it was nothing and that she was just having a bad day. When I did go upstairs I was surprised to see a closed door. I hadn't been home in a while so I figured she was just trying to keep it clean. When I opened it I was amazed. It held boxes to the ceiling of random things that she had probably meant to throw away or give to the Salvation Army but she couldn't. As I pulled down one box I found t-shirts stacked mid-high along with hats and bags. I starred at them for a while and pulled out a few of them. They were my brother's. I threw them back into the box and began to franticly search throughout the others, but to my dismay I had no luck. Finally, I found a box in the corner filled to the rim with old Converse sneakers. My sisters had had them, as did my brother and I. I began to pull them out to find my white ones when I came across my brother's red ones, the sides worn but still new looking as if he were to pull them out, excited that he had found them, and slip them on his feet. Relaxed and comfortable, he was eager to go out and party. I hadn't resented his partying, I did it too…but I was angry at what had happened. Sitting with my back against the wall, I let the shoes rest in the box as I pulled my knee up near my chest. I wished my mother had thrown all of these away.
It was hot outside but from the inside of the club it looked cold. It looked like the type of cold where you can see your breath and confuse it with cigarette smoke or just a gulp of air. I rushed outside, forcing him with me as my sister told me to call for help. I was so scared, my legs were shaking and I was sobbing. I looked at her as she took a hold of my arm and tried to calm me down.
"Just do this." She had a strong hold on my brother as I rushed over to a payphone.
"Please, just please help us. I think he's dying. Please." I began to sob into the phone as the very calm and collected woman on the other end tried to settle me down.
"Help is on
the way son, okay?"
"Yes. I know, thank you for that. Just please hurry." I let the phone fall from my grasp and rushed over to watch as my brother threw his head back, my sister next to him as she laid herself over him in order for him to stop. People were slowing down as they watched, thinking that it was just another drug case. I wanted to kill each one of them as they muttered something to their friend and kept on walking. I dropped to my knees next to my brother and put my hand on his arm.
"Please." I repeated again, letting my tears fall against his convulsing body.
That night was the beginning of the rest of my life without him. The media tortured what had happened and my family along with anyone that had known him or had talked to him. He had become an idol, one that was not loved because of who he was but rather what he had done. I hated the idea of people claiming to know my brother but in all reality knowing very little. I hated life without him.
My sister tried to comfort me after the ambulance had come and after he had gone away, but I didn't want it. I didn't want to be assured that my brother had died, who does?
We would get phone calls of apology, flowers and letters from fans and relatives that hadn't spoken to us in years. We had love surrounding us but that was no great accomplishment considering the loss we had experienced. My mother was terrified without her oldest son, and I was scared without my only brother. We grew closer as a family and depended even more then we already had. But what I wonder the most is what it would have been like if they had gotten there sooner or if we had called a few minutes before?
I would probably call him late at night to ask him what he thought about a random story I had thought of. I would go and listen to their band play at every opportunity I could get. He would come to every premier with me, along with mother and my sisters. I would sit next to him and he would nudge me when he thought it was decent and applaud at the end, even if no one else did. We may even wrestle like when we were kids, throwing a scene for the family. My sister's child would entertain all of us and maybe I would even have a wife of my own by then. My brother probably would be married to the woman he was with the night of his death. They would have two or three kids and we would get together on holidays and birthdays and celebrate life. But most of all, we would stay up late and talk on the porch, forming alliances to protect animals and perhaps we would eventually write and direct a film together. In reality, I'm not sure what life would be like if he were here. I wish I did.