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.