‘Finding Happiness’ by Natalie R. Black

 

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This is all my fault. I should’ve protected you. I’m your big brother; I’m supposed to look out for you. I was supposed to keep you safe damn it. I can’t even sleep anymore. I don’t want to sleep anymore. Isn’t that the irony? You’ll never wake up again, and now I can’t even close my eyes without seeing you. Seeing your body contorted and collapsed half off the couch that night haunts me every day; as it should, I suppose. Your baby blue eyes lost their innocence as they crystalized to glass and fear sunk in to your shrunken pupils. They say eyes are the window to the soul, and it kills me knowing your final moments were on display for the world to see. Maybe that was my punishment. Your blue lips parted just enough for vomit to drip from the corner of your mouth. God damn it Davey, why?

That should’ve been me instead of you. Instead, I’m still here, and you’re going six feet under the ground. Maybe you should’ve gone to live with dad and Danny. I ruined your life. No, I took your life. How the fuck can I live with myself? Mom can’t even bare to look at me, not like I blame her. I’ve broken every mirror I stared at since this shit happened.

“Dmitri, man how you holding up?”

“Not now Jesse.”

“Look, I’m sorry man. I know it must be hard losing your brother, but you haven’t answered my texts or calls.”

“No fucking kidding. I want to be left alone.”

“Okay, fine, I get it.  Where’s your mom? I’d like to pay my respects to her at least.”

“No idea. She hasn’t talked to me since that night at the hospital, and it’s not like I want to show my face at the house anyway.”

“Okay then. So are you-”

“Damn it Jesse I said leave me alone!”

“Yeah, sure man. I’m here if you need anything though, okay?”

“What? Like you were there for Davey when he hit you up behind my back asking if you could give him some fucking dope? Like you were there for Davey when you ‘hooked him up’ with your friend?”

“Come on man. Don’t act like this is all because of me. He only meddled in the shit, because his big brother tried it first.”

Black pants, black shoes, golden brown floors, wax. The air smells like unscented candles. Don’t pick your head up. Don’t pick your head up. Get a grip D. Keep it together. How can I pretend to keep it together when everything’s falling apart?

Jesse may pretend to be all composed and have his shit together, but that fucker’s no better than me. At least I admit I’m a junkie. He wants to keep lying to himself and pretend he has his shit together, fine. I can at least admit I’m an addicted piece of shit. I can’t even find peace of mind without a fucking needle. How pathetic is that? I wanted to stop. I never wanted to get in this deep. How could I let you do this shit, Davey? Not even out of high school yet, and you’re dead. Just another graduation mom will never get to see.

“Well at least it’s not a double funeral today.”

“Yeah Jack? What would you like?”

“That’s dad to you, while you’re still alive anyway.”

“Like you’ve ever been a dad.”

“You and Davey shut me out, remember? You didn’t even give me a chance to be a better father.”

“And your secretary could’ve been mom number two, huh? We’ll all just sit at the table like we’re the Brady bunch.”

“What happened between your mom and I should have never affected you or Davey. Danny dealt with it just fine.”

“Like hell what you put our mother through doesn’t affect us. Danny’s just an asshole who cares more about himself. Looking out for number one. He wanted to make sure college was paid for.”

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