My legs were on the brown leather couch, but my mind was somewhere else. Your dad was standing in front of me, handed me a mug of tea, prompted me to take the drink with his eye.
And so I did. And as I reached out my hand, I could see the red colour left on my fingertips. Dried, yet clearly contrasted itself to the white mug in my palm.
And I was once again, reminded of you. And the gruesome scene I had just viewed a few hours ago. The red colour was wet and warm, yet clearly contrasted itself to your pale white skin and cold body.
Your dad had taken a cup of tea for himself and seated on the armchair across the couch. He was talking to Kenneth, the owner of the house, but I could barely make out their conversations. All I could recognize was my name and yours, getting repeatedly called. I assumed Pastor Gerald was just telling Kenneth about our accident, so my mind wandered back to you.
About your sweet smile, and how the corner of your lips moved whenever you chanted out my name. The same lips that kissed mine, the same lips that ended up covered in blood.
About your pretty eyes, and how they gleamed whenever you saw your favourite white-coloured fizzy drinks. The same eyes that looked at me lovingly, the same eyes that ended up losing their shine.
About your slim hands, and how cheerfully it clapped whenever I was playing on the basketball court for our high school team. The same hands that wrapped mine tightly, the same hands that ended up lifeless.
Maybe, just maybe, everything that happened this evening was just a really bad dream, and tomorrow, everything will be back as normal.
My bum was sticking on the brown leather couch as if it was tightly glued, but my ears could finally understand the discussion in front of me. Your dad was looking directly into my eyes, and said, “Stay here with your brother. I will calm down your parents and explains what happens to them.”
And so I did. And as I nodded my head to Pastor Gerald’s word, I could see Kenneth beside him, nodding back to me, mouthing, “It’s going to be okay.”
And I was reminded about Pa and Ma. And how ill-fated our family relationship was. The strict house rules and curfew, the pressure to study all the time and be the first ranked student in the school, the beatings that we received when we could not achieve the expectation; the behaviour that we understood as “normal” until Kenneth realized that he had enough.
Your dad put down his mug on the coffee table between us and was getting ready to leave. He stood up and walked to the door, along with Kenneth who held the door for him. And I could see Kenneth, the guy who was barely a decade older than me, pointing his fingers around the road. I assume my brother was just sending Pastor Gerald off, so my mind wandered back to the past.
About my birthday party five years ago, and how we celebrated it as a family of four. The same day that Kenneth decided to take his life in his own direction, the same day I became the only descendant in the family.
About my parents’ reasoning behind their decision to disown Kenneth, and how my twelve years old brain couldn’t comprehend it. The same brain that blamed Kenneth’s misfortune for throwing out his Law degree and jumping into his passion, the same brain that just thought, “Pa and Ma will do the same thing to me now, wouldn’t they?”
About Kenneth and his videos online, and how my long-lost brother seemed the happiest I’ve ever seen him be on those recordings. The same videos that allowed him to travel every corner of the world, the same videos that allowed him to this small townhouse in the middle of the city.
Maybe, just maybe, this will be for the best. Look at Kenneth, he seems happy without Pa and Ma. I should be able to do so too, right?
My head rested itself on the arms of the brown leather couch, but my heart was beating faster than I had expected. Few hours had passed by, and your dad called Kenneth, informing us that Pa and Ma will be coming tomorrow morning. “Get some rest, Kevin,” your dad advised me.
And so I did. And as I stretched the rest of my body across the couch, Kenneth put out a question, “Don’t you want to sleep in the bedroom upstairs? I have a guest room.”
And I shook my head. And at that time, it hit me how Kenneth was at the peak of his life, while mine was at rock bottom.
Kenneth was quiet for a moment until he went to the kitchen, bringing back a new mug of tea, placing it on the coffee table. And I could see him turned off the lights in the living room and went upstairs. I assume he had some stuff to do - videos editing and such - so my mind wandered off in the dark.
About tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after, and after. And how I should act in front of Pa and Ma who would be fuming mad, or Pastor Gerald who just lost a daughter, or our high school friends, or anyone in the street. Because I’m pretty sure our horrible accident would be covered by reporters, displayed on the news.
About the consequences of my action, and how it would affect my life moving forward. The same me who was the top student at the school, the same me who had just lost his chance to continue on higher education. Because what university would accept a murderer roaming around on their campus?
About white-coloured you, and how could you be here, freely floated at the ceiling above the couch. And as I turned to sleep on my side, I could feel your new ice-cold fingers touching me, your new transparent arms embracing me tightly. And I wondered whether I should turn around or shut my eyes tightly. Because I knew you were dead then, and no living human could float up in the thin air with freezing hands.
Maybe, just maybe, the pale-looking you will be gone in the morning, along with all my incessant worries of the future.
Eight years had passed by, and none of the wishes I made on the brown leather couch came true.
The accident was never just a dream, and it turned my life into hell. It turned me into a man in his late 20s, without qualification, without a job, without friends to play with. It turned me into a man with nothing but a parasite to my brother’s fame.
And as you could’ve guessed, I wasn’t able to live my life happily. Nothing in this world excites me anymore. The basketball game that I used to love, now seems like a children’s play. The food and drinks that used to be my favourite, now are just a means for survival. The horror movies that used to scare the shit out of me, now feels meaningless as I could see the real ghost in front of my eyes all the time.
Yes, I mean your ghost. The white-coloured you had never left me alone for even just one night. Your hug that used to send a chill to my spine, now becomes a nuisance. The new you that looked unreal, now become my new reality.
And I had enough of this. Enough of suffering alone. Enough of seeing you.
So this time, I stand up, walk away from the sleepless night on the brown leather couch.
And walk far, far away, until I reach the beige pillared bridge.
And throw my body away, plunging myself to the river beneath, basking myself into the orange-coloured sky.
And I can see the girl in a beige trench coat follows suit.