Amanda Paweska

Divorces are hard on everyone involved. It was hardest on my little brother, Brian. One day his school called expressing concern for him. Since our mother was drunk most of the time, I went. I went to all his events: Spelling B's, Award Days and Parent Nights. With how much I went to the school they could have thought I was his mother, but I'm only eighteen.

I went to the school, leaving mom to watch Brian. Sitting in the office waiting for the principal I twisted a tissue in my hands nervously. The door to the principal's office opened and an older man with glasses and a soft face invited me in.

"Miss Johnson, I am Mr. Benns," he extended his hand to me as I sat in the chair across from his desk. "Brian's behaviour has become disturbing."

"What makes you say that?" I asked as cheerfully as possible. All the while thinking isn't it enough that dad to be gone and mom being a drunk? Does there have to be something wrong with Brian?

"There are these pictures," he handed me three of Brian's drawings. One was said to be mom passed out, another a monster holding Brian away from dad and finally just red and black scribbles, very crude for a seven-year-old. I shuttered and the images made me cry.

"Maybe you should tell me what's going on at home," he handed me a tissue, collected the drawings and waited.

I collected myself. Taking deep breaths then began to explain the situation. "Ever since my father left, my mother began to drink a lot. She's passed out for around twenty hours a day. If it wasn't for the financial support from my father, we'd be starving and homeless. But we need his emotional support to" I broke down again and he handed me another tissue. After I recollected myself and wiped my tears away I continued, "I barely go to school because I take care of Brian and mom. Graduating this year is out. "

"Maybe I should call someone to help," he suggested but was actually telling me what he was planning on doing.

"No," my reply was stern as I stood. "It's my family and I can fix it. It's all up to me!" At this point I noticed I began to yell. Softening my tone I finished, "Thank you for your concern, but it's fine. Really." With that I left. Knowing it wasn't okay. Knowing I couldn't handle it. The images Brian drew were in my head.

When I got home, I had no clue what to do. I opened the door and saw mom passed out on the couch while Brian hid under a table. He looked up to me, his face wet with tears and he ran to me. Hugging my leg. He didn't speak much anymore.

"What's wrong Brian?" I pulled him off my leg and crouched down to his level.

He wiped his tears with the back of his hand, he looked almost two or three, "Mommy won't wake up."

"Brian stay here," I walked to the couch and placed my fingers on mom neck. Sure enough, there was no pulse. I covered my face with my hand taking three deep breaths than went back over to Brian. I held him. Now it'll really be up to just me.