"No matter what we will always be best friends"
Each year passed, one into the next. Slowly but surely we all stopped caring about each and every one of us. Sure we were there to help each other up when it was need but in reality all we cared about was being in our own little worlds. My promise to my brother will always be that a promise what happened to us changed our lives forever and I knew that I just broke the promise, this was somehow all my fault.
It started on that faithful day when Master Splinter was naming Leader of our clan. We all believed that it would be Raph leader and I was so proud of him as he was trying to sit next to me with his back stretched forwarded and a smile on his face. When Raph was finally pronounced leader we both promised I was going to be him second in command. I was going to stand shoulder to shoulder with my younger brother as we would start to take on the world; together.
Only that never happened. Master Splinter knelt in front of us, the candle next to him began to flicker as he began to speak about who was going to take up the leadership role. Then Master Splinter looked over to both me and Raph, I could see him start to squirm in as Master Splinter began talking to the both of us. Every quality I heard from Master Splinter was something I saw in Raph, everything from what he was to what he was going to be. Raph was not just my brother; he was my best friend in the whole world.
Then it came:
"Please rise when I call you my son." Splinter spoke. Raph was starting to get up when Splinter called out the name,
This shocked everyone in the room, Donnie and Mikey's eyes widen as far as they could. I looked over to Raph and though he was trying to hid it the best he could, his heart shattered into millions of pieces, his dreams of becoming leader where just that; dreams. I looked back to Splinter as he spoke again, "Leonardo rise."I rose to my feet and walked over to Splinter.
"My son, you are not only the eldest but now you are the leader of this clan. I hope that you will take this time to fully understand how proud I am of you. The responsibilities of becoming leader will be heavy but with the support of your brothers I know that you will honor this title and make this family very happy." Splinter said placing his left paw on my shoulder. "Now take your seat with your brothers and we will begin our lessons."
"Hai, sensei" I said bowing at Splinter.
I took my seat next to Raph, I looked over to Raph and just stared at him and blocked out everything that was happening. Raph for once in his life turned his head with tears starting to form in his eyes, looked at me and mouth,
"I hate you"
I was shocked that Raph would even think about me in that way. I looked down to see his hands tightly curled into a fist; visible shaking. Raph felt betrayed not just because I was his best friend but because I was his brother, I took the one thing that he wanted more in the entire world and replaced his dream of becoming leader to a never ending nightmare. Raph turned back and focused solely Master Splinter never once changing his gaze to me; I turned back to Splinter and knew.
Nothing would be the same ever again.
10 years later:
From the age of 6 my brothers and I all walked the same path but when I was named leader of the clan I started walking a different path than my brothers. They all stood together but when I came down to me and them, I was the outsider. Raph still believes to this day that I convinced Splinter to give me the title of leader and for him to let his guard down so I could steal it from him. Mikey and Don just stay out of ways now when we start to yell at each other about anything, from me being fearless or perfect to my plans not working out all the way. My best friend is gone; now all that's left is Raph a brother who has always told me that we are not brothers anymore.
I would look over to my two younger brothers when we get into fights, either they turn away just not to get into the middle of it, they start trying to explain the situation which leads to somehow siding against me, or when they look away when we come to them to decide who was right and who was wrong, they avoid our faces but I can see they are looking at Raph for some answers.
Master Splinter has been coming to me after I get into fights with Raph. He keeps telling me that I have no control over my younger brothers and that I am bringing shame down to the Hamato clan name. I know that this is my entire fault, because the day that I was named leader my brothers began to avoid me or tell me to just leave them alone.
I grew up to early when I was given the title of leader. My brothers still had their childhoods, but as we grew my brothers decided that since I was the leader and more mature for my age that I could never hang out with them anymore. I tried my best to be with them when I could but all I got were broken promises and harsh words thrown at me.
Why did Master Splinter have to place this heavy burden that I alone had to carry? When he said that we would all carry it together, I knew he was lying. I lost so much in the extra hours of training, mediation, or when I was locked in my room for hours and hours for either fun by my brothers or punishment by my father because I wasn't up to the level of leadership or being a brother to them like I should of. I need to think four moves ahead of everyone, I need to be stronger than everyone, I need…..
I need my family, I still need the family I love and care for with all my heart still love and want me.
But as the years went by I could tell, my brothers and father we all together in their own little bubble and I was the unwelcomed guest that continued to live.
Would they ever care if I just walked out one day and started to live my own life? If I tried to kill myself would they come and stop me just in time or watch as I took my final breathe?
When it came down to the finally moments until we were leaving to go on patrol I walked over to the bathroom mirror and looked at myself in the reflection.
I chuckled as I stared down at the reflection, my brothers and father didn't know who I was nor became. And what was sadder was, neither did I.
The reflection showed a 16 year old mutant turtle with a blue bandana around his eyes, adore in his traditional gear with his knee and elbow pads, wrist and ankle bands, and a belt and with a strap across his chest which was holding twin katanas with a blue handle.
Who am I? Who was this turtle? Was he nobody too? A.N: Emily Dickerson's poem "Who are you?"
We began the patrol just like any other patrol. I lead the way with my younger brothers trailing behind me. We made it to the top of the Manhattan Bridge when Raph started joking to my younger brothers about my leadership. I tried to block it out like I normally did but the chuckling and the sneer comments still made their way through to my already fragile hold on life itself.
I shook my head and just started to scale up to the top of the bridge, I looked out to the open sea and just took a deep sigh as New York started to light up into the city that never sleeps.
What broke my concentration was Raph yelling,
"Yo, Fearless yer gonna just stand there all night or ya gonna lead us or suthin'?"
I turned and just watch my younger brothers uncontrollably laughing and falling to the ground on their shells. Laughing once again at my own expense, looking down at the sea all I could think about was,
This bottomless abyss could kill me if I jump, no this would kill me.
I just looked down at the sea just hedging myself closer and closer to the edge, I looked over to my brothers to see if one of them notice me edging closer and closer to the sea.
I was right.
My brothers continued to laugh and joke about me, never looking up at looking up at me; focusing only on themselves.
I was about to speak up with Don looked behind and pointed, yelling "Guys, we got company here."
Mikey and Raph looked up as I turned around to see the Shredder standing across from us on another pillar with his Elite guard at his side. My brothers and I readied ourselves with our weapons.
"Great, thanks Fearless fer leading us inta trap." Raph said. "Yeah thanks a lot Leo." Mikey added.
"Guys just focus and stay together." I said.
I looked at the reflection of my brothers in my katana blades. Raph was mad at me for somehow not thinking about the Shredder and a chance he could ambush us. Don was disappointed at me for not thinking ahead of the Shredder and dragging everyone into a fight. Mikey, well Mikey looked bored and annoyed that he was going to have to just energy not on his video games or comics but on fighting for his life, thanks to me.
The blame game started and the heavy burden of the clan grew heavier and heavier with each and every comment about how unfit I was as a leader.
I had enough of my brothers always yelling at me and blaming me for things that are sometimes out of my control. I charged forwards with my arms and katanas behind me roaring as I began to clash with the Elite. My brothers soon joined and we began to fight one-on-one for our lives as the battle raged on with Elite continuingly grabbing the upper hand with my younger brothers, the Shredder continued to watch from across the battle field as one by one my brothers were brought down by one of the Elites.
My younger brothers gathered together, weapons at the readid, panting heavily as three Elite guards started to walk closer to them.
I knocked down my Elite guard when I heard the Shredder start clap from the other side. He began walking closer and closer until he was standing near my brothers.
Each of my brothers dropped their weapons and were on their knees, their heads were yanked back by their bandanas with knives press lightly against their necks.
"It has come to an end, hasn't it Leonardo." The Shredder said.
"Let them go Shredder this is between you and me." I yelled.
The Shredder chuckled, "Oh on the contrary they are the reason I will finally destroy you."I tighten my grip on my katana waiting to hear only God would know he was going to do to me.
"Let us beginning, drop your katana and get on your knees with your hands behind your head. Do it or lose a brother." The Shredder stated.
He looked at the Elite guard to apply more pressure to the knives at my brother's throats. A small trickily of blood started to fall from each of their throats.
I closed my eyes and obeyed the monster that didn't have the courage nor honor to fight me without bringing my younger brothers into the mess. I tossed my katana over to the Shredder and started to descend to the concrete cover roof top of the pillar with my arms and hands starting to form behind my head. I tried to block my brothers' cries to stop but I was finally kneeling on the ground with my arms behind my head.
The Shredder started walking over to my katana; raising them in the air, he began to stare at the way the moonlight would reflect off the blades and back at himself.
"Yes these will do." The Shredder said. He started walking over to me until he was finally looming over with my katanas still in his blood stain grasped.
The Shredder round kicked me over to edge of the pillar until both my arms, head and part of my chest leaned over the edge. I tried to steady myself but the Shredder placed his foot on my chest with the tip of my blade pressing lightly on my neck. I glared back at the Shredder, giving him no pride in seeing terror in my eyes.
"Choose Leonardo, how you will die tonight. I want to know how to kill you." The Shredder stated as he started to manically laugh.
I chuckled at the statement about my death. The Shredder looked back down at me and asked, "What seems to be so funny? You are about to die and your brothers are helpless to stop me as they watch their brother die right in front of their eyes."
I looked up at the Shredder and spoke loud enough that everyone could hear, "I'm laughing because you are asking me how I want to die, and you believe that I am still somehow alive."
The Shredder cocked his head to side and asked, "What do you mean by still somehow alive?"I looked back at the Shredder and said,
"You can't kill me. I'm already dead."
The Shredder pulled me back on the concrete floor and when I was finally all the way on the floor he raised my katana high in the air and slowly started to drill the blade into my chest; twisting and turning as the blade made its way into my plastron. I tried to hold in my tries of pain but as the blade continued to twist and turn in my body. The Shredder only stopped when the blade stopped moving. Blood was pooling under my shell and poured out of the wound on my chest.
"Ninjas disappear." The Shredder commanded. The Elite bowed at the Shredder and disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving my brothers still kneeling on the concrete floor clinging their throats.
"Just like the phoenix I have risen from the ashes and you will burn from the flames of my fire Leonardo." The Shredder said as he started walk away from my bloody body.
My brothers ran over to me and tried to remove the blade from my chest, Don stopped them saying it would do more damage than good. Tears started to form in my brother's eyes tell me to stay with them.
"L-leo you-you promised to….to….stay with us…no matter what." Mikey said hiccupping as he spoke.
I smirked; blood was starting to build up my throat. I started to cough with blood trickling out of the corner of my mouth.
"Well y-you promised to help car-rry the load of being leader with me and you didn't. You p-promised to we would be brothers no matter what."
I looked over to Raph as tears started to roll off his face; he placed my head on his lap. I looked at him dead in the eye and said my last words,
"Y-you promised t-to al-lways be m-my best friend." I used the last of my strength and raised my arm to tap his plastron where his heart was located, "L-looks like we all made pr-promises that weren't…thinking…..about….keeping."
With the last of my strength leaving my body, I let out my last breathe and relax my body, waiting return to a time where I was once loved.