Weeks and months were spent typing away, and I was separated from almost everyone around me. I didn’t want to talk to anyone after his death, and I was sure my book would be published, and a big success. I spent hours on end searching for the perfect publisher, a publisher worthy of my book. I wrote the book lovingly, remembering everything about my brother before he had died. My fingers flew through the words, typing the last sentence of my book. Finally finished! My phone rang, and I picked it up. My sister Nora was calling, and I prepared myself for the barrage of questions.
I quickly checked the number of pages I had completed. Three hundred and twenty-one pages! Wow! I wished he could be here now, celebrating with me. I pressed the green button and Nora’s voice filled my ears.
“Rowan! You’re okay!” she exclaimed. I laughed.
“Yes, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” I looked questioningly at the phone even though she couldn’t see me.
“I’ve called you twenty-four times and texted you! You haven’t answered for the last four days!” An exasperated groan escaped me. I refrained from reminding her about our brother's death, which was still taking its toll on me.
“I told you I was writing a book!” I laughed, though I felt guilty for laughing when he wasn't there with me. “I wrote three hundred and twenty-one pages in two months!” I could almost hear her frown.
“Okay, that’s nice and all, but I was very worried about you,” Nora seemed genuinely worried. She seemed to understand how hard the death had hit me, even though I tried to be happy for her sake.
“Well, I’m fine…” an awkward silence overtook our conversation. “So… uh… how have you been?” Glad to have a new topic, Nora enthusiastically went into a detailed description of her last few months. From her puppy being sick to her new car, Nora explained everything in great detail. She occasionally mentioned our sister, Makenna and how the two of them wanted to meet up with me sometime. I tuned in occasionally with my assent and sympathy, but my concentration was focused on my book.
“...so I’m going to go to lunch with them! Isn’t it crazy how that worked out?” She finished.
“Yeah, that’s… that’s pretty crazy alright. This has been a nice conversation, but I really need to start editing my book. I’ll talk to you later, okay?” We said our final goodbyes, and I put my phone on silent. I sat in the worn leather chair, immersed in my book. I absentmindedly checked the time, and jumped out of my chair. Whoa! I had been editing for three and a half hours, with no breaks in between.
I stood up and stretched my stiff limbs. I walked to the kitchen for a midnight snack, a list of possible publishers running through my mind. After stuffing my face with ice cream, I downed a glass of water and sat down at my desk once again.
Hours later, sunlight streamed through the window. I closed my laptop and leaned back in my chair. I had gotten through twenty-two pages, and wanted to finish editing the whole book by the end of the week. I pushed my limp hair from my face, and closed my eyes. I slowly stood, and immediately opened a window. The air had become stale and dry. Walking almost as if in a trance, I ate a bagel with butter. As soon as the last crunchy piece of deliciousness was swallowed, I returned to my desk to resume my work. My pale hands almost seemed to glow against the black keyboard. His skin had been pale before he died…
I shook the thought from my head and continued. An hour later, I was hungry once again. I opened my fridge, but it was empty. I rolled my eyes before opening my pantry. Nothing. I reluctantly grabbed my reusable grocery bags and walked out the door. My car wouldn’t start, so I walked to the supermarket. I quickly got my food, eager to return home and avoid the stares of everyone around me.
I was crossing the street when I saw him. I had thought he was dead, but there he was. Smiling at me. I stopped in the middle of the road, to the annoyance of an old lady in a car. She honked loudly, startling me out of my reverie and I walked toward him. My older brother, who had died after a terrible car crash, was standing before me. He put his arm around my shoulders.
“What happened to you? You look like you haven’t showered in weeks,” he chuckled. I stared at him.
“How… why… what…” I stuttered, seemingly unable to speak a full sentence.
“You still didn’t answer my question,” he said. I took a deep breath.
“I’ve been writing a book. About you, when we were little. I missed you so much, our whole family did…” I stood still, and pulled out my phone. “You have to talk to them! They’ll be so happy!” I grinned, but he grabbed my phone.
“No. Don’t call them.” He looked sternly at me, more sternly than he ever had. I nodded slowly as I took my phone back and put it away.
“How are you here?” I asked.
“I wanted to visit you. You seemed like you could use some time with someone.” his infectious grin made me smile.
“Do you want to read my book? I haven’t finished editing it yet, but…” I trailed off. My brother was gone. I had unknowingly walked to his house, which looked more abandoned as the days went on. Our whole family had planned on fixing it sometime, but it still sat there, untouched.
I started on my way home, the heavy groceries weighing me down. As I walked into my living room, I noticed my laptop. I suddenly remembered my book, and hurriedly put my groceries away. I plopped down on the comfy chair and set to work. I added in the odd encounter, before closing my laptop. I stood, slowly, and walked to the shower. I washed my hair, enjoying the warmth of the water. I got dressed, ready to go do something.
Ten minutes later, I arrived at my brother’s house. I turned on the rusty hose, and brown water quickly turned clear. I sprayed the entire house with water, washing away the outer dirt and mold. The inside would be much more difficult to clean, and I would have to scrub the outside of the house. I knew I would need lots of help, so I called Nora, who called our mom, who called our dad. I also called our sister Makenna. After an hour, we were all there, ready to get started.