The shot cracked and I watched his body crumple. Before my eyes, only an arms length away. His body hit the ground with a thud that to this day still echoes in my head. With disbelief I grabbed a cloth and pressed it to his head. A piece of brain matter taunted me from the floor as the puddle grew larger. My mind went blank and I couldn’t reason with myself that it was too late. His breath was but a gurgle… Choking on his own blood. I sucked out three or four mouthfuls and spit them onto the ground then tried to breathe my life into him. When the others arrived, they pulled me off of him. They tried to tell me he was gone. But I just couldn’t fathom leaving here without him.
There’s an emptiness inside us that no pill or drink or drug can fulfill. The only thing that makes us feel half normal.. Is the thing that consumes us still. The comfort of your brothers right beside you.. Is the solace we crave to get us through. But when you go back home to your family.. The walls seem to magnify the guilt. You close your eyes and hear not echoes of their voices but their screams. The voices calling out to you for help. You try to reason that you’re only one person.. But how do you negotiate with hell? The look of terror in their eyes, it pierces. The wave of relief that washes over when they see you. It makes you proud but breaks your heart. You hold your brother in your arms ..and lie to him. You tell him it’s all going to be alright. You tell him how brave he was and how proud you are of him as he struggles for his next breath.. when you feel your brother go limp in your arms, you never can just let him go. You question every move and every choice.. And you carry his weight with you forever.
There’s an emptiness inside us that no pill or drink or drug can fulfill..