You don’t have to do this. Do you understand me? You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. This. Stop it. Just come back. We’ll figure out another way. We always do, don’t we? So, stop acting like a stubborn ass and just come back.
I know what you’re planning to do. You’ve blocked my calls, you’re ignoring all my messages, you’ve even blocked my emails. So, I’m writing this letter to you as one last attempt at talking you out of this insane plan.
I know what you’re going to say. That you have to do this. That we have no other option. But please if you care about us at all, please come home. This is life. It throws curveballs our way and we either learn to hit them out of the park or we get hit. Wow, I’m so philosophical. I even shock myself sometimes with how wise I am. Okay, Natalie is reminding me that this isn’t the time for jokes. But seriously, we can get through this.
I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately. The landlord hiked the rent. We’ve run out of food stamps. My tuition fees are due. We’ve already crossed the deadline for Luke and Nat’s tuition fees. The electricity being cut off was the last straw for you.
But believe me when I say that none of this is worth your life. I know that what happened wasn’t fair. You got handed a shitty deal. Colby Smith should be the one being punished, not you. He was the one who destroyed your career. He was the one who cheated, who put Plaster of Paris on his boxing tape. He was the one who knocked you out causing the Traumatic Brain Injury – the seizures. And yet, he gets away with a three-year suspension while you’re forced to retire from pro boxing? That is such crap. That rat bastard deserves a hell of a lot worse than suspension. He deserves to be in jail for the rest of his life.
But what happened, happened. You have to remember that there’s a reason that people who suffer from seizures are not allowed to compete in pro-boxing. If you get hit in the head then you could die. Please, Noah, we are not worth your life.
You have already done so much for us. Even though you were only nineteen when dad was thrown in prison, you still left college, abandoned your scholarship, packed up your bags and come home to take care of us without a single complaint. You were forced to take responsibility of three kids so early in life. No, not forced. You made the choice to. Nobody would have blamed you if you didn’t. And yet you did. Hell, you had been taking care of us for years before that. Luke and Nat were practically raised by you. The only time you put yourself first was the year that you spent on campus. And even then, you worked two jobs so you send money home to us, to keep us fed and clothed. When you heard dad got arrested, you dropped everything to come back. Just so we could all stay together, so we wouldn’t be thrown into the foster system.
You’re worried about what will happen if Child Services finds out about the rent being past due and about the electricity being cut off. But who’s going to tell them, Noah? Not me. Not Luke. Not Natalie. And even if they find out, we could always run away somewhere. Anywhere. Timbuktu, for all I care.
Or I’ll get another job. And so what if we have to give up our apartment? We’ll live in the car till we can make rent again. That shitty old mustang isn’t good for much else anyway. Electricity? Who cares? It’s summer anyway. We don’t need air conditioning. What the hell are windows for, if not for breeze?
I’ll put off college for another year. I’ll study harder. I’ll get a full scholarship instead of the 40% I got this year. Just, please Noah, please. Listen to me for once. Please don’t do this.
I mean, do you not understand what the doctor said? Are you daft? Did the TBI knock out your sense of self-preservation as well? Don’t act like a fool, Noah. What you’re about to do is suicide. Who the hell gave you this idiotic idea anyway? Tell me, so I can knock their bloody teeth out. I mean. An underground fight? You know how crazy that shit is. Anything goes there, Noah, anything. Last month, one of the fighters bit the other and he was not even given a warning! The referees, if you can call them that, just laughed.
Don’t even try and justify your decision by saying that you don’t plan to lose! Who the hell does, anyway? Plan to lose, I mean. No one, that’s who. Be rational. What’s going to happen to us if you do get knocked in the head, huh? We’ll be forced into the foster system anyway. You leaving will just draw unwanted attention to us. Right now, no one is checking up on us. We can disappear today without anybody caring. But if you’re gone, so are the chances of us disappearing. So don’t be stupid.
Noah, you’re my older brother, okay? Even though sometimes I find you annoying as shit, I still love you. And I don’t want you to do this. Not for me. Not for us. We’ll figure out another way to support ourselves. Nat wants me to tell you that she’ll start tutoring kids at school and Luke will start giving soccer lessons to second and third stringers. See? We have this all figured out. We've got this!
Just come back, Noah. And Pick. Up. Your. Damn. Phone. I’m worried about you. We all are.
I’m handing this letter to Jake because I think he’s the one behind this suicidal idea of yours and he’s probably the only one who’ll know how to find you. If not, then I’m going to try and hit every underground fight I hear about till I find you.
Your awesome brother who has the solution to all of our problems and doesn’t want you to risk your life.