29 comments

General

We started off as close as you could get. Sharing a house, a family, pets, and everything else. For years we lived like this; 11 to be exact. We annoyed each other nonstop, but it was fun. We got yelled at constantly at night to go to sleep by Mom or Dad when we stayed up to read. It's funny to think that instead of playing video games or watching TV when we were supposed to be sleeping, we read. Do you remember?

Our eleventh birthday is when it happened. Well, at least around our eleventh birthday. Possibly a couple of days after. We both were so, so, so, excited to be 11. We thought that was the big number. The number where we got to go riding our bikes all around the city without an adult. When we got phones! We were going into middle school, after all.

But nothing went as planned. It was our party, and we were having it at a bowling alley. You were way more excited for the actual bowling than I was. I was really excited for the other stuff. Like the arcade, laser tag, the escape room, putt-putt golf. I was in the laser tag room with my friends and you were in the escape room with yours when it happened.

Mom came in and told my friends to take all of the laser tag gear off and leave. Then she grabbed me by the wrist and took me out to the car. Then we drove away. The same thing probably happened with you and Dad, am I wrong?

Mom and I drove all the way to Florida in just one day. We never stopped, even if I needed a snack or needed to use the bathroom. We just kept on driving. I kept on looking back, but Mom never took her eyes of the road.

We went to an apartment complex and Mom seemed to know right where to go. When we stopped in front of an apartment door, I realized we were at Grandma and Grandpa's apartment. I tried to ask Mom why we were there, but she told me to-and I quote-"Shut your face or I'll shut it for you." It was so unlike Mom, so when she opened the door and went into the apartment, I just stood there for a minute. And then she grabbed me by the wrist again and pulled me in. She slammed the door behind me.

Living at Grandma and Grandpa's wasn't that bad. But Mom changed, so it was hard to be around her. What didn't help was we shared a room (Grandma and Grandpa's apartment was small) so we were always around each other. Mom went to alcohol. Some nights if she had a lot, she would swear at Grandma and Grandpa and try to hurt me.

Grandpa was always defending me. Grandma had cancer, so she really couldn't. If Mom even tried to hurt me or swear at me, Grandpa would stop that and take it himself. It's so upsetting that he's gone now, though. Mostly because at my new school, no one liked me, and he defended me, so he became my best friend.I was the one who was there for him when Grandma died. Mom didn't even react much. She just started drinking even more.

When I was 13, Grandma only had 6 months left and she wanted to give me as much as possible. I didn't understand at the time, though, why she would start giving me presents when she was the one who was dying. I understand now, of course. But let's not get into details.

So, she got me a phone, and the first thing I did was download Facebook and create an account. I started following everything Dad did. I was devastated, but happy for you, when I found out that he was creating a normal life for you and him. Just because Mom didn't try that. I was happy for you when I saw the wedding picture of Dad and his new wife. You looked so happy. And not just, "I'm being forced to be happy", you were really happy. I could tell.

I went on like this for a couple of years, just watching your life through Dad's Facebook page. I could picture it in my mind. I guess we still had that twin connection. I say it only went on for a couple of years because I stopped the second I saw the post.


To My Dearest Son

I hope you are happy up in

Heaven. I know that God will

treat you right. We will miss

you so much. Mom and I love

you. Rest in peace.


I do have a question about it, though. Did you call your step-mom Mom? Or was Dad possibly talking about our Mom? I wish I could know.

Have you ever heard the quote by Ally Condie,"Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that."? I think that I live by that when it comes to you now.

I have one last question for you. How did you die? I feel like I have a million questions without that answer. But now I'm an adult, and Dad and your step-mom have passed away, so I have no way of knowing. At least for now. Maybe I'll go hunting for answers.

But you wouldn't want me doing that, would you? I don't know. I could just simply go to the town that you grew up in and go around asking. Or put up a flyer asking if someone knew you and if they could talk to me. Or I could go on the Internet and just find the answers a lot faster. But I feel like going to your home town would let me know a lot more.

You know, Mom never reacted to your death. She didn't even start drinking more like when Grandma died. And I told her. And I yelled at her for not caring. But maybe she made up with you up in Heaven?

I miss you a lot and wish I could have known you even better than I already did. I miss you so, so, so, much. But the past is the past. Even if you can't get over the past. I love you, brother. Rest in peace.




May 05, 2020 00:16

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29 comments

Cam Croz
00:22 May 07, 2020

Great story! I love Ally Condie and this quote! Your story was very emotional and interpreted the quote well. Good Job! The only advice I have for you is to keep writing! Practice will always improve even the best writers! ;)

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Thank you so much! That means a lot to me.

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21:49 May 26, 2020

I really appreciate the "memory-feeling" you get from the story. I like the fact that some things are left unsaid. When you grow apart from someone, whether it is your will or not, things get fuzzy and you almost forget what really happened and who said what. I think that discovering what happened to the parents in the first place would be a great way to continue the story. Good job!

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Thank you so much! I do agree that if I were to extend/continue the story, I would add what happened between the parents. Again, thank you! I appreciate it! Stay safe! -Brooke

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Claire Taylor
02:54 May 11, 2020

Wow. This story was absolutely packed with emotion. It was wonderfully written, and it was a fantastic interpretation of the prompt. This is by far my favorite story I've read for this contest. It went a way I didn't expect: when I heard this prompt, I thought of something like "two best friends grow apart when someone else is introduced." This is a way better take on it, I think! I love that it was written to the brother instead of just *about* the brother and sister. I like that you didn't make her go back to the hometown and solve all of ...

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Claire Taylor
02:56 May 11, 2020

an aside: this just leaves me wondering too what happened between the parents that made her leave so abruptly. (that's good. haha)

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I don't mind long comments! I think that hearing what people have to say about my stories is the best! Thank you for all of the positive feedback. Of course I'll read your stories and give you feedback. About the parents...I didn't really think about that when I was writing the story, I just knew that the parents would be getting into a fight and they each would take a twin. I think I wanted them to have been fighting for months now about how to parent, and at the twin's birthday party, they both snapped. Again, thank you for the positiv...

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16:36 May 09, 2020

Hi Brooke, I hope you're doing well. This is a tragic, touching, and beautifully written story.

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Thank you so much, Daniella! That means a lot to me!

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Jane Susan
15:20 May 19, 2020

Wow! This is an amazing story!!! I loved how you didn't give to much away and just let the reader figure it out as they read. (:

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Thank you, Jane! :)

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Regina Toth
12:10 May 14, 2020

Such a good story. I like your take on the prompt and the personal tone in your writing. It really felt like I'm being privy to someone's real memories...You did gloss over a few things, but you know what, I didn't even care about it that much. Thanks for sharing :)

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Thank you for the compliment! Keep writing and stay safe! -Brooke

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Ndekwoh Ojen
05:34 May 14, 2020

Great, great story line; one of its kind for the prompt. My little observation is that the backstory of the parents that led to the separation was missing. Secondly, I was just thinking that since the children didn't have issues with their parents personally, the girl after opening the Facebook account, should have opened the communication line with the Dad, to make it more realistic. My take though. On the whole, your story is fantastic. Keep writing and stay safe.

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Thank you for the feedback! I actually didn't want to add the parents' backstory, because I just felt it would leave the readers wondering, which is how I like my stories. Your way is good, too. The reason why the girl didn't try to get in touch with her dad is because she was too scared that she would either 1) get beaten by her mom or 2) mess up her brother's life. Thank you again for the feedback! Keep writing and stay safe. -Brooke

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Ndekwoh Ojen
16:57 May 14, 2020

Okay. Awesome!

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Jeffrey Pope
00:02 May 13, 2020

Please, i need your take on my story, its titled "sick world" its my first submission and i'm nervous

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Jeffrey Pope
00:02 May 13, 2020

Please, i need your take on my story, its titled "sick world" its my first submission and i'm nervous

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Jeffrey Pope
00:02 May 13, 2020

Please, i need your take on my story, its titled "sick world" its my first submission and i'm nervous

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Jeffrey Pope
00:02 May 13, 2020

Please, i need your take on my story, its titled "sick world" its my first submission and i'm nervous

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Jeffrey Pope
00:01 May 13, 2020

Trust me, I enjoyed every bit of it.

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David Drew
19:02 May 09, 2020

I enjoyed this a lot. But I wasn't quite sure: was the sister's death the event that separated them at the party? I couldn't quite make the connection... But nicely written; it kept me interested right through! God job.

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So, it was twins, a boy and a girl. They got separated at the party and then a couple of years later the brother passes away. Thank you for reading!

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David Drew
19:18 May 09, 2020

Oh, right. Yes, it's obvious now!

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I'm glad I was able to help!

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Roma Writes
05:34 May 07, 2020

This story made me so emotional. Well done, Brooke! :)

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Thank you so much! I really haven't done many emotional stories in the past, but lately I've been trying to get some practice in.

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