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Drama Fiction Sad

He did it again. Showed up to another family affair loaded off pills and booze. My parents were mortified, my sister cried and I had all I could do not to knock him out right in front of everyone.

How much more of this am I suppose to take?

I have had it with my brother. He just cant seem to stay out of trouble. Its drawn to him like a magnet or is it the other way around? I just cant tell anymore. This was supposed to be a glorious day. After all a wedding is about two lives joining as one.

My sister Emma was head over heels in love with a man who was absolutely perfect for her. She was the most beautiful bride I had ever seen. The entire day had been perfect. Everything from the filet mignon, white orchids Emma's favorite flower right down to the crystal stemware on every table.

My father danced something I never thought I would live to see, my mother laughed and two very different families came together for two people who really were made for each other.

I had begged Emma not to invite him.

But her exact words to me were.

"How can I get married and not have my only brother there?"

To this I had no answer.

Yes he had been the thorn in our sides for more years than any of us can remember but wasn't Emma correct in wanting to include him in her special day?

She had ever right to invite him. I was just trying to avoid the inevitable.

And everything I feared would happen did and then some. My brother walked in and I knew. At first he was witty, cheerful, happy and almost charming. But in a few short moments he was crude and vulgar and utterly disgusting. He made me ashamed that he was part of our family.

We tried to get him to have a seat. My mom begged him to settle down, to stop insulting Emma's new family but this only poured gasoline on top a roaring inferno.

"Stop judging me! I like to have fun so what?" He slurred so badly.

My Uncle took him by the arm and removed him from the dance floor. My father and I caught up with them outside the men's room.

"Please Eric, just leave your not welcome here like this." I pleaded.

"Oh yeah, do you call all the shots? Do they want me to go? Do they? Does, does everyone say the same?"

He was angry when he spoke then suddenly burst into laughter.

I saw the shame written all over my fathers face. He loved his son but hated what he had become.

"Dad, come with me. Please. I'm sure everyone is looking for you by now. Uncle Tony can handle this."

He took my hand and let me lead him back to the reception of his youngest daughter. He was at a loss for words.

"Its not your fault. He is not a kid anymore. We have to stop making excuses for that kind of behavior. I tried to warn her. She knew he would do this!"

"Julie lower you voice. Its bad enough he came through here like that. I don't want them thinking your angry too."

"But I am. For every event he has stolen from us. Every birthday, every holiday, picnic, baptism and wedding that he has ruined I'm beyond angry. I don't even know the word for what I feel for him anymore. I hate him. I wish he wasn't my brother."

I take off before my father has a chance to respond. I storm through the crowd of well wishers and find my sister. She looks like she has just been crying. I pull her aside.

"Emma I'm sorry. I have to go. I just don't think I can witness this again. I better go before I say something that I know I'm going to regret."

She rolls her eyes at me.

"You mean like I told you so?" I say nothing.

"No please stay. They will calm him down. All he needs is strong coffee."

"Stop ok just stop saying things like that. Its not helping him. Eric is awful. But he needs help. You have to see that by now."

Fresh tears fall from her eyes. I hate to be the one to hurt her but at the same time I can no longer pretend. She holds out her hand and I take it in mine.

"So what do we do?" She asks me.

"I honestly don't know. But something has to change. What happens if he leaves, gets in his car and kills someone? Its only a matter of time!"

"I know ok. And that's not what I want for him. For any of us."

"So help me make Mom and Dad understand. Yes you love him but you can no longer allow him to steal from our lives. He doesn't need coffee. He needs a kick in the ass."

She smiles because she knows I am right.

I take her in my arms and squeeze her tight. When I let go I kiss her on the cheek.

"Go have an amazing honeymoon. You deserve it. Don't worry tonight." She smiles again. I leave before anyone else can stop me.

***

Several days after my sisters wedding, I have my laptop open and I'm trying to find a place where Eric can finally get some help. I stay up late reading until my eyes hurt. The next afternoon, I have lunch with my Mom and my sister.

"I found a place online that can help Eric. Its what they specialize in. We all know this has to stop. He has to grow up now."

My Mom is silent. I can only imagine what she will say.

"You know that I'm right. We aren't helping by keeping him sick."

"That's not what I do! I try to help him! He is my son, I love him."

"I know you do. Mom, please don't be angry. I just want this to end. I'm not sure how any of you can take it anymore."

"What are you saying?" My sister chimed in.

"I'm done. I am just done. He hurts everyone I love and care about so I am cutting him out of my life."

They look at me shell shocked.

"Julie you don't really mean that." Emma adds.

"Yes I do. I never meant anything more."

***

"Julie, its Mom. Did I wake you up?"

"No I was up. Is everything alright?"

I can hear panic in her voice.

"No its not. Eric got hurt. There was an accident. I'm not even sure how bad it is. Your father went to the hospital. And I just, I just …"

"Mom, it'll be ok. Take a deep breath. I can go over there and see him or if you need me I can will come stay by you."

She erupted into tears. I hated to hear her this way but it would never get better if Eric kept on drinking.

My family sat vigil together at the hospital and awaited word of my brothers condition. Minutes turned into hours and the waiting was killing us. My Dad took my Mom to get coffee. I saw my opportunity to talk with Emma.

"I found a treatment facility. They been doing this for over thirty years. They have high ratings and …"

"How can you think of that now? He might not even have a pulse! Why are you like this?"

"He made me like this! I want him to pull through but I just hate everything his illness has done to us. They can treat him. We just don't know how."

Emma is crying so hard that she is shaking all over. I try my best to console her. I reach for her and we embrace. We are like this when our parents return.

"Girls what is it? Tell us?" My Dad shouts.

Emma lets go of me. I walk to my parents and take my moms hand in mine. None of us has spoken a word.

"Julie please tell us what happened. Your scaring me."

" Good I mean to. The look on your faces, the fear in your eyes, that's how you need to feel for things to get better."

They both get it now. I can see it when their eyes meet mine.

I reach into my bag and pull out the package I have brought regarding the rehab facility and I hand it to my father. He nods without any words. My Mom has her arms around all us.

We are seated together and looking over the forms when I notice the doctor had entered the room. He began to speak and my ears started to ring. Everything slowed down.

It was too loud and too quiet all at the same time.

I was having trouble making out the words.

All I could remember was my mothers face.

***

It had rained all morning. Not a light mist but a steady downpour.

I had the wipers on full but I still had trouble seeing out my windshield. I made the left and preceded to drive until I could see the back of my parents truck. I park twenty feet behind their vehicle, exit my car and open my umbrella.

I begin to follow the same path my family has taken. I can make out their footprints in the mud. My Dads boots are the easiest to spot behind my Moms heels and Emma's flats. I clutch the handle of my umbrella hard. I continue to get closer. They spot me now.

Emma looks my way. My parents do not. My Fathers' hand rests on the small of my Mothers' back. I can see her chest rising and falling as I inch closer.

I raise the flowers up high in my left hand. They are beautiful.

He would have liked them. I move between them and take my place. We stand there and admire it. They did an amazing job.

I think its the nicest head stone I ever seen. I wait for them to say their goodbyes. Then I am alone. I step closer. I kneel down, secure the bouquet in the grass and run my fingers over the cool marble stone.

"I dreamed about you last night. You were young and it was just the three of us again. We were on our bikes. I miss those days. I don't hate you. I never could."

I wipe away my tears and begin to stand.

The sun is breaking through the clouds. I continue to read your name over and over again. I wish there was more time. I wish I had done more.

"Happy Birthday Eric." I whisper into the wind.

February 05, 2021 20:54

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