Pain Brings Healing

Submitted into Contest #44 in response to: Write a story that starts with two characters saying goodbye.... view prompt



I began to chew my lip while tears welled up in my eyes. I wasn’t ready for this. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Our lives shouldn’t have been like this.

My voice was shaking and I trembled, “No, I’m not ready to say goodbye.”

I put his hand in mine. I wasn’t ready to move on, but I couldn’t let him suffer any longer. That was selfish and cruel. I had to let him go.

“Doctor,” I called into the dense room.

A nurse walked into the tiny room and I could feel the intensity of sadness. Not only mine, but his. 

“I’m ready to let go,” I lied in between sobs.

My heart wrenched and I felt sick to my stomach as I took my last look at him. It should’ve been me instead of him. The nurse unplugged his life support. It was over. That was it. I wept with sorrow. I despise hospitals.


A light knock came from the other side of my shut door. I didn’t want to answer it. I didn’t want to do anything. I was too comfortable in my bed. The one place I tried not to think about him.

The door opened and my dad said, “Hey, honey. I just thought I’d check on you. It’s been a few days now. You can’t live in your room forever, you know.”

I turn to my side. I didn’t want to face my father. I felt too alone and scared. I didn’t deserve anyone’s kindness. I should’ve stopped what happened to him.

“I know you’re not sleeping. I just wanted to see how you’re doing.”

I felt he was invading my privacy. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to die. I wanted to take his place. I turned to face my father while tears stung at my eyes. 

“I’m fine. I just want to be alone.”

My father sighed, “If you’re fine, then will you come downstairs? Your step-mom and I miss your beautiful face. It’s not fun when our only child has locked themselves in their bedroom.”

I became angry and offended by his words. How dare he call me its child. That awful woman would never replace my mother and never would be seen as my mom. 

“That atrocious thing will never be my mother,” I said coldly and with spite.

His eyes became dejected. He shook his head at me. I didn’t regret my words nor was I sorry for them. They were one of the most real words I have said or thought in the last few days.

“Don’t call her an it. She is never going to replace your mom. But we both equally wish you would join us downstairs. I don’t want to see you suffer over,” he hesitated. “him.”

“You have no right saying that! He was the only thing I had! He was the only one other than mom who cared!” I said with a raised voice, feeling insulted. “JUST GET OUT!”

He left just as quickly as he had come.I knew my dad cared, but it didn’t always feel that way. He just didn’t get it. No one did. Now, I was regretting allowing him in. Nobody understood how I was feeling or even tried to. 


I woke up from a long, deep sleep. It was refreshing, but not enough to fill the void. I decided to try writing. I heard it was a good thing to do when trying to consume time.

I wrote, “Dear me, it isn’t your fault. You know that. You know the truth. And of course, it still hurts. You loved him. He was your half brother. He was the closest person to you. You told him everything. And I know it wasn’t easy to watch him die, but he wouldn’t want you to be sad about him. He would want you to live for him. He wouldn’t want you sitting here doing nothing. He wants you to be you and live your life. He’s gone. Face it. You can’t change it but you can decide how it’ll affect you as you move forward. Who knows? Maybe someone else will be put into your life and change your life just as he did, but that won’t happen if you’re locked in your room.”

Tears heavily escaped my eyes. The unspoken truth had finally come out. The truth I knew, but didn’t want to admit. I wiped the tears from my eyes and got ready for the day. It had been a week and it was time to go downstairs. It was finally to face my father and his beast

“Hey, Dad,” I said as he came into view.

“Hey, honey. How are you?” his shock came through his tone.

“I’m not great. But I’m going to be fine,” I gave a slight smile.

My brother had always told me I had a beautiful smile.

“Well, come eat. We’re just about to have breakfast. Bri made your favorite.” 

It called from the kitchen, “I am bringing it out. Feel free to sit with us.”

My mood darkened. That slimy, arrogant snake smiled at me. In return, I shot a blameful glare towards it. Its smile quickly left. Good. My brother’s death was its fault and we both knew it. But I wasn’t ready to hurt my father like that. I couldn’t lose two people.

“I actually am going to go to buy some stuff. Or something,” I trailed off.

“Well, let me come with you. It’ll be a great bonding experience,” It said excitedly.

I stepped back. I would not allow it. Definitely not going to happen.

“Yes, that’d be perfect,” my dad chimed in.

I was appalled by what my ears had heard. I decided not to argue. I didn’t feel like talking too much, anyway.


I slammed the car door in annoyance. I hated being in the car with it, and I wanted everyone to know that. I got to the entrance before it. 

I looked at it and said, “Hurry. Up.”

“Alright, I’m coming.”

“You know what? I’m leaving you. I want this time to myself. I didn’t come out of my room to talk to you.

It looked hurt.

“Wait, Jayla. Why are you acting like this?”

“Because my brother’s death is your fault. I was there. I know exactly what happened!” I snapped.

“I’m going to wait in the car,” and with that it was gone. 

I didn’t feel like shopping anymore, so I followed.


I barged in the house, and locked the door. I wasn’t going to let it interrupt me.

“Dad, I need to tell you something now. It’s important,” I stated matter-of-factly. 


“Bri is the reason for his death. It did it.”

My father gasped, “How dare you accuse her of that.”

The beast walked in the door and I could feel its rage. I was glad it was angry at me. 

She hurt him,” I pointed accusingly. 

His eyes welled up with tears, “How?”

“You were gone on a business trip and he was acting out. He was being too loud, in her opinion. Then, it hurt him. It slapped him. Hard. He passed out,” tears began falling. “I took him to his room. The next day, he cut himself. That’s why he had to go to the hospital. He cut too far.”

“Is this true, Bri?”

She took a step back. I could tell she wasn’t going to deny it. 

“Yes,” she said, shaking. Her voice was trembling.

I called the police. I wasn’t going to let her get away with it anymore. She couldn’t get away with it. Or anything ever again. They took her away.


The following day, I sluggily got up. I wasn’t in the mood today, but I didn’t want my dad to feel alone.

“Hey, honey,” he whispered.

I pulled a chair from the table, “Hey, Dad. I’m sorry.”

“You have no reason to be.”

“I’m sorry I told you like that. I just,” I paused.

“It’s okay. We have a long road ahead of us on the path of healing. That’s for sure.”

I nodded. He was right. 

“I love you, Dad.”

His gaze went from the floor to me. I could see in his eyes he needed that.

“I love you, too.”

It was time for both of us to heal. I grasped my father in a tight hug. We only had each other now.

June 01, 2020 22:03

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