Prologue 1: Brother
We all have someone we hate. Someone we couldn’t stand. For me, it was my twin brother Jordan.
As far as I could remember, it had always been like that.
My parents had always hated that, saying that twin brothers must be close, but we were so different that it was hard to believe.
Except for our brown eyes and hair, we couldn’t be any more different. Our faces don’t share any similarities. I had thick eyebrows on a plump pale face, while his face was slim and slightly tanned. In addition to that, Jordan was also quite tall and very thin. We could see his bones very clearly while mine were hidden behind a good portion of fat. It wasn't as if I ate more than him, but it seemed as if his body doesn’t build up any excess weight, no matter how much he ate.
I hated him for that, but what I hated the most was when our relatives would compare us.
For them, I was the fat, stupid brother, whilst he was the frail, but intelligent boy. No matter how hard I would try, I could never beat him in anything.
With his intellect, he bested me at everything. I felt nothing, but rage and envy for him, so I beat him physically. It was the only thing he couldn’t do, and the only advantage I had over him so I used it every single day.
My parents grew desperate over time, as they failed to understand the logic for my actions. This only gave me more reasons to beat him.
After my father had died in a car accident, my mother, destroyed by her grief, just gave up on me.
We went to the same high school for economic reasons, mainly because my mother couldn’t afford sending us to different places. Even if I had to go with him, I was happy being able to start over in a new place, where people will not judge me or compare me with him.
But I was wrong.
I made some friends at first, but I soon left them.
I couldn’t stand the way they always told me that my brother was amazing.
Insinuating that I was inferior to him.
Sure, he was amazing.
He was at the top of the class by a wide margin. He was also never arrogant. On the contrary, he was nice to everyone and was always willing to help others. Some girls even thought he was cute.
Every time I heard praises about him, I clenched my fists to hold back my anger. Nothing changed. It was as it had always been.
I began to work hard once again and my results could be classed as good, as I scored in the top 10 of my class, but no one paid any mind to my efforts.
As days passed and my hard work bore no fruit, I simply gave up. And one day, I finally stopped working.
I became irritable and was left alone.
I began hanging out with some people who held bad reputations in school. I didn’t like them very much and felt no attachment towards them, but they never tried to compare me with my brother.
That was all I could’ve ever asked for.
I was happy with them, but it only lasted for a short time.
I just couldn’t simply ignore him. Each time I saw him, I was reminded of my past failures and I became ashamed of never managing to beat him at anything.
I began to start becoming violent with him again. Fortunately, my ‘friends’ were useful in helping me make my brother’s life in school a misery without my involvement.
I felt better each time someone punched or made fun of him.
After the first year, my friends got tired of tormenting him, as he never fought back. It was as if he didn’t mind. I was ready to give up too.
Our relations improved little by little after that, until that day. Afterward, our relationship had never grown any more badly.
The reason for that was a girl named Trisha.
She was a transfer student. Beautiful, smart, nice, she was perfect. It was love at first sight. After 2 weeks, I had finally made up my mind and approached her to introduce myself. To my surprise, she showed some interest in me. Over time, we spoke more frequently, until I spent almost all my free time with her.
For the first time in my life, I was not feeling inferior to him. If a girl like her was interested in me, then I must not be so ugly or stupid after all. We soon quickly became friends. I even escorted her home. She even visited my house where she had met my mother.
After their meeting, I was so sure of myself that I decided to ask her out.
It was a Tuesday; the weather was bright, perfect for what I had planned.
I asked her to meet me on the roof of our college. She opened the door whilst smiling.
“-Hello Thomas, sorry I’m late.”
“-No, don’t worry about that”
“-In fact. There is something I’ve been wanting to ask you.”
**Something to ask me? Don’t tell me, she wants to ask me out? She is blushing, it must be that. No, I’m sure it’s that. YES!!!**
Before I could answer her, she continued.
“-In fact… I want…”
**Yes, go! Tell me!!!**
“-I want you to introduce me to your brother.”
**What is she saying? Wasn’t she going to confess to me?**
“-You wanted to tell me that?”
“-Yes, in fact I like your brother. Sorry for not telling you sooner. I was wondering if you could help me.”
I was speechless. It was as if a truck had hit me and I wasn’t able to move or make a single sound. I felt my stomach burn as if I was going to throw up. I gathered my strength to answer her inquisitive gaze.
“-S... Sure. I would be glad to.”
“-Really! Thank you so much, you’re a true friend!”
She quickly kissed me on the cheek with a bright smile. I would have been overjoyed if she had done that before, but now I didn’t care.
Only one thought kept revolving around my mind: him!
“-So, why did you call me here?”
She finally asked.
“-Nothing, don’t worry. Well excuse me but I have to go.”
I quickly left, giving her time to react.
I left the school premises early that day.
I ran outside the school, ran around the streets as fast as I could before entering the park. It was only when I couldn’t run anymore that I stopped. I laid down upon the grass breathing heavily.
I just couldn’t believe it. The first girl that I have ever loved was the same as the others. She didn’t care about me in the slightest. She only cared about him. Why him? What is so special about him?
Despair and sorrow was seizing my heart, before it was replaced by hate. Hate for him. I had never felt anything like this. My entire body felt like it was burning. Even my hands were shaking. After I finished cooling down I had already lost my track of time, as I lay motionless on the grass: thinking. It was already dark by the time I had gotten up.
I then returned home.
At 10pm, I finally arrived at the front door of my house and I noticed that a few lights were still on. However, I paid no mind to it and entered through the front door. As the door closed behind me, the noise of the door closing shut had alerted my mother who was now heading down the stairs to check who it was that came into the house.
“-Thomas! Where have you been? I received a phone call from the school earlier. Why didn’t you go to class this afternoon?”
I ignored the angry voice of my mom. I just stood motionless in front of the door.
As I thought, the noise made him come down.
As soon as I saw his face, my body suddenly moved on its own. I rushed him as fast as I could and punched him in the face. He didn’t react at all and fell down to the ground of the corridor.
Blood was gushing from his nose but it wasn’t enough. Like a wild beast, I attacked again. I heard the screams of my mother and felt her hands trying to pull me away from him, but as frail as she was, she couldn’t stop me. I continued to barrage him with heavy punches at every opening I could find. The fight was completely one-sided, because he never once tried to fight back. There was no telling when I would stop, until…
I was struck at the side of my head by something heavy and firm.
As I turned around, I saw that my mother had hit me with a small, decorative statue.
The blow had made me dizzy.
I finally stopped my rampage.
Blood poured from a wound on my head but my hands were far worse. The beast inside me had finally disappeared only to reveal what I had done.
I started punching him since we were young, but I never went as far as this. His entire face was swelled and covered with blood. That was the only thing I saw before my mother covered him with her body while crying.
I had gone too far.
After this, I understood that things would become even worse.
My brother spent a month in hospital to heal his horrible wounds. He was a brilliant student. Therefore, his absence didn’t go unnoticed and the truth was soon uncovered.
I quickly became the worst trash in school.
I tried to explain my motives to mom and Trisha. I swore to them, that I will never try to hurt him again, but it was too late. Their trust in me had already vanished. At home, my mother just ignored me, whilst Trisha only saw me as garbage and felt disgusted from the sight of me.
I guess I was lucky my mother didn’t call the police, after seeing me nearly kill my own brother. I was also lucky that she let me stay in the house.
I knew everything happening to me was my fault, but my hate for him still remained.
It had been a two years since that accident.
Some people say that all wounds heal with time.
It was nothing but a lie.
The wounds I inflicted on him would never heal. We just hide it behind smiles.
I was sure of that each time my mother looked at me.
She would never forget the sight of her son trying to kill his brother, but she tried her best to hide it.
And my life continued…
We entered our last year of high school.
This will be the last year we spend together. I still don’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I was sure I will not do the same things as him. Therefore, this meant I was probably going to spend my last moments with him. I will soon be free from his shadow.
I still hated him, but after this day, I never raised my hand against him again. I just ignored him as he did with me. After some time, the other students just avoided me, leaving me alone.
I also gave up on Trisha, as she never spoke to me after that accident.
Each time I saw her, I felt my heart sink to my stomach. It wasn’t because I couldn’t be her boyfriend, but because I wasn’t her friend anymore. I didn’t realize but the time I spent talking with her was the most precious moments I’ve had in my life. I wasted all of it.
Curiously, she didn’t go out with Jordan. I didn’t understand, as I knew she asked him out. Why would anyone refuse to go out with someone as beautiful as her?
I felt a little relieved.
I didn’t have any reason to hate him, as everything happening to me was my fault. He also never blamed me for what I did to him.
Our relation reached pit-bottom that day, so it could only try become a little better.
We were far from being the best of friends, but we could still talk with each other without bloodshed. We even started working together in a part time job to help our mother pay the bills.
We decided it together.
It was the first time we chose to do something together by our own will.
We weren’t even 18 so the salary wasn’t much.
It was a small construction company.
We didn’t have any formation but it didn’t matter as our only work was gathering the waste around the site. It was boring and tedious but we didn’t complain.
We spent several months working in the site of a future hospital.
Everything was monotonous. It was Friday in the afternoon, therefore nearly every single employee of others company had left. We were almost the last 2 people working.
“-We should stop. It’s almost time.” I said.
I told Jordan with some hope hidden in my voice.
“-You’re right, let’s go.”
I let out a sigh.
It was a hard day.
The only thing I wanted was to get some rest in my bed.
We finally started walking toward the stairs to go reach the first floor.
I was the first one going down the stairs still in manufacturing.
Until it happened…
Some people say that everything happens for a reason.
I sure hope they were wrong.
I don’t want any hidden meaning behind this. However, if they are right then what is the reason for this to happen? Bad luck? Punishment for what I did?
I don’t know, but what I’m sure is that it happened in a few seconds.
I didn’t notice where I was walking and I felt my right foot glide on something before sensing my entire body falling to the right.
It wouldn’t be a big deal if we were on the ground but we weren’t.
I didn’t roll down the stairs, as I would’ve preferred.
Instead, I fell into the void. It wouldn’t have been possible if the stairs were finished with a banister.
While I was falling, I felt my right arm being pulled.
It was Jordan.
He reflexively caught my arm. In the hopes of trying to stop me from falling, but he wasn’t strong enough so he fell with me.
My entire body was in pain while I tasted blood in my mouth. It took me several seconds to realize what had just happened.
**I fell down from the stairs.**
“-I’m lucky it was only the first floor.”
I sat down on the concrete floor while wiping the blood coming from my mouth.
The voice of Jordan suddenly came from my left. I forgot he fell with me.
I turned my head to look at him.
**I will have to thank him this time I guess. **
As I was thinking that, I felt my heart stop while looking at him.
He laid on his back. However, he didn’t fall on the flat surface of the floor like me.
I saw several steel tips protruding from his stomach.
“-JORDAN!!!” I yelled.
I quickly got up. I felt a little dizzy, but I didn’t care. I quickly covered the distance separating us in a few seconds and knelt down beside him.
I didn’t know what to do.
I couldn’t think straight anymore.
“-HELPPPPPP!!!” I screamed at the top of my voice. A hint of despair in my voice.
After some time, I finally heard voices coming our way.
Tears were flowing out of my eyes against my will. I had never felt anything like this. My entire body was shaking at the sight of him, but I still sat near his body. My hands were cold; while I felt my bowels burn inside of me.
“-Don’t worry, help is coming. Everything will be alright.” I said, trying to reassure him. However, the more I spoke, the more I understood that I was only trying to reassure myself.
“-Thomas… I’m scared.” His voice was weak, almost inaudible.
“-Don’t be scared, help is coming.”
His face grew paler and paler every second.
I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was totally lost. It was as if I was in a nightmare, ready to wake up at any moment.
However, I didn’t wake up.
My mind became clearer. Now that the surprise was gone, all that remained was terror and questions.
“-Why did you try to save me?”
I couldn’t understand why he tried to help me after all I did to him.
A little smile appeared on his face.
“Because you’re my brother.”
His voice was clear just like a flame, which burned stronger before dying.
I heard footsteps coming from me, but it was already too late.
His body went limp in a pool of blood.
I couldn't remember what happened after that.
In fact, I remembered but I didn’t care.
I didn’t pay any mind to the men asking me what happened. I just stood in Jordan’s blood before a police officer forced me to leave.
I wasn’t responding to anyone. I just kept staring in front of me remembering his last smile.
I was taken in this state to the hospital after that.
It took me a few hours, before I was able to explain what happened.
I told them everything I could remember as fast as I could, trying to chase this unwanted memory from my mind.
Apparently, there was a camera on the site confirming my version.
I suppose they would have thought I pushed him without the video.
After that, they left and I spent several hours alone before hearing a horrendous scream. It was the screams of my mother, which was heard coming from the corridor. It seems that my mother had finally found out what had happened.
I think this scream will haunt me for the rest of my life.
The news of my brother’s death quickly spread around the neighborhood.
Some people cried while others blamed me. Trisha came into the hospital room to hear what happened that day. She came up to me demanding that I explain what had happened.
She didn’t believe me; despite that I explained to her that it was an accident. She was sure that I was responsible for his death.
I knew that she was just trying to find who was responsible for Jordan’s death, but it still hurt.
I spent the next few days in hospital before returning home.
My mother didn’t try to speak to me about what happened. I think she couldn’t. She was probably afraid of what I had to say, as the memory of the day that I beat him half to death was still present in her mind.
The atmosphere in the house felt unbearable.
Even after the funerals, the situation was only getting worse.
Nearly my entire school was sure I killed him.
I tried going back to school but one day was enough to make me understand that I wasn’t welcome.
I couldn’t stand staying in the house with my mother, but I didn’t have anywhere else to go.
I was trapped.
The void that Jordan had left was just too great.
I spent my entire life hating him and wishing that he would soon disappear from my life, but the day it happened. I realized my true feelings.
No matter how much I tried hating him I couldn’t for one simple reason.
He was my brother.
From the beginning, my mother was right: a brother is sacred.
After some time, I overcame the sadness only to be assaulted by guilt.
No matter how much I tried persuading myself that it was an accident, I knew that I was responsible. Not responsible for the fall, but responsible for the years of suffering he endured.
In my mind, it was as if I killed him myself.
I might have been able to face my guilt, but I was weak.
After finally becoming 18, I escaped.
I didn’t commit suicide. I simply left.
I took a plane trying to escape the reality and my guilt.