He's leaving. He really is leaving. After all that had happened, after everything that she did for him, for us, he really is turning his back onto us.
"I don't want to live in this place anymore..." he said as he grabbed his luggage and shuffled his duffel bag on his shoulder to make the strap rest on his shoulder more comfortably. "Don't worry, I'll come back from time to time to check on you."
"It's just, I really worked hard for this position and the pay is good too so, how could I say no!"
"I know that Mom is taking this a bit too hard but don't worry! It's not like I'm leaving you forever."
"She looks a bit down but you'll make her understand, right?"
Looks a bit down? Looks a bit down?! Do you even know what happened back there?!
"That's why... take care of Mom for the both of us, alright?"
That smile again... how could you do this to us? To her? If you weren't my brother I would have... I would have...
"Yeah, ok," I said calmly.
I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to say all these things that were swirling in my head. I guess I was scared but I don't even know what I could be scared of.
I wasn't scared of him. Maybe I wasn't even scared of him leaving. In the situation that we have been in for the past 10 years, who could blame him for taking this opportunity to leave this wretched place behind and actually have a decent life? That's right. I don't blame him one bit, but I still hate him.
He puts his hand on my shoulder and there wasn't much force in it but I swear the impact felt heavier than it actually was. He doesn't say anything but gives me a reassuring look. After taking his hand off my shoulder, he turns around and walks away... from me, from our mother, from this house, and this life.
His back, turning against me reminded me of our dad. On that day, the eleven-year-old me asked him where he was going, and Dad said "There's some work daddy has to do, but he'll be right back in the morning, ok champ?"
I think at that point I started crying because his response was "Hey it's ok. Oh, I know. How about I buy you that new Gameboy you always wanted. I'll bring it in the morning for you. It's your birthday tomorrow right?"
That's right...he had the same smile. The same smile as my brother has right now.
As I heard the door slam shut behind my dad, so did my brother disappear from view in front of me.
My father and my brother, both gone forever, never to be seen again.
I turn around and head back to the house. I close the front door behind me. It creaked as it moved. It was on its last legs and was like this for years. It was the same for all the doors in our house, but my mind was not on the doors right now, it was on the wailings of my mother from the living room.
The cries were horrifying to my ears.
After Dad died, she didn't once cry in front of me and my brother. She took care of us, in whatever way she could. She worked jobs with little pay and filled our bellies with food. We were never, in the extreme sense, hungry. Yet in these lonely years, some nights, I could hear soft sobs from the other room. These were the nights that I couldn't sleep in.
This time she didn't even care to hide her tears. After all, a son who is never going to come back might as well be dead. Maybe it reminded her of eleven years ago, as it did me.
I couldn't bear to hear them anymore as I retreated to the bedroom. As I closed the door behind me, I could still hear the muffled sound of my mother's sobs. I slid against the door, sat down on the ground, and put my hands to my ears, trying not to hear them, but I knew they wouldn't stop. They were going to stay for all eternity.
I just wanted to disappear forever.
I got up and walked weakly to the bathroom and splashed water on my face. I looked up at the mirror and...
Are my eyes red? When did I start crying? I don't remember tears welling up in my eyes. I couldn't really tell if I was crying. I had already splashed some water on my face so now I have a wet face with red eyes. I turned the tap off and looked at myself a little more closely.
My clothes, all torn up, old and crusty. We hadn't been able to afford new clothes in a while. My hair looks rough and messy. I don't remember the last time I combed. My jawline looks a little... sharper... I remember having bread this morning but didn't eat after that. I've always had dark brown skin but now I look a little pale.
I don't look too good.
I stepped out of the bathroom and lied down on my bed and placed my arm over my eyes. I could still hear her, crying away.
This is all your fault, Dad. If you hadn't left us... if you were still here...
This time, I could feel the tears well up.
I wish you were still alive, Dad.
At that moment, there was nothing. No sounds of crying from my mother, no sound of the ceiling fan lazily spinning, I couldn't even hear my own heartbeat anymore.
At that moment, everything ended.