My very first memory was waking to the face of an Angel...
I think I was normal once. I might have had friends, went to slumber parties, that stuff. But I don't remember. I don't miss it though. You can't miss something you don't remember having after all. I don't want to be normal, not anymore. That means I'd have to deal with those people. I'd have to make friends and go to their houses. The mere idea scares me. I don't like people, I just don't know how to deal with them. They just don't compare, no matter how hard I try to relate. There's only one person I understand, one person that understands me.
My big brother is normal. But he's still amazing. I wish I could be just like him. He's top of each class, going for Valedictorian, even though he skipped a grade. Everyone likes him, he just knows how to handle people. And he has lots of friends, from all sorts of groups. From populars to nerds. Everyone loves him, but I love him most. I used to be jealous, that so many people got to see how special he was, is. I wanted him all to myself. I was afraid he'd hate me when I told him, but he understood. He told me that they didn't get to see the real him. Only I did, that was why they got to call him his name, but only I got to call him brother. I get giddy whenever I remember that. It makes me happy that I am the only one that gets that part of him, the loving brother. After all, he's my special person, my angel, my first memory.
I was told it was a horrible accident that took my memories away. My parents always fought (so brother tells me). He says we spent long nights curled up together, listening to them scream and throw things. But one night it was worse than others. Brother said that both our parents came home late, drunk. It didn't take them long to start screaming at each other. It only got worse, and dad came storming into our room. Brother tried to stop him, but he dragged me out of the room. He left with me, taking the car. Brother hates telling this part of the story. I know he's afraid I'll remember something and get sad, but I never remember, and he's always relieved when I don't. He tells me that he begged mom to stop dad, but she was too busy "sobbing and feeling sorry for herself to get her sorry ass up and fix it". I think brother hates mom, but I don't blame him.
He said that the rest of the night was a blur. He kept yelling at mom, telling her to fix it. She never responded, never did anything. Brother was the one to answer the call the next morning. He said it was the worst call he ever got. It was the police. Dad had gotten into a wreck, drove us into the river. Dad died on impact. I don't know how I survived, but brother said that it was because "not even the powers that be would take something so wonderful from this world. Not when there are so few things that make this world worth the effort". I think he's best, but secretly it makes me happy that he thinks that I'm so special. That I'm the amazing one. It makes me feel worthy of him. And I can't help but believe it true, because brother never lies, not to me.
After the wreck, they took me home. Brother made mom get a private doctor, Doc. He wouldn't have me in that hospital. He said I was never the same, though. When I ask how so, he never answers. He gets this far away look in his eyes and gets really quiet. I think it's too painful to him, so I stopped asking. But he said there was one silver lining. The doc said that I would most likely forget. Brother said that he hoped I would. That way we could move on, that we could put it all behind us. Even if that means me forgetting him. He said it was for the best, that he could always make new and happier memories with me. I just had to get rid of all the other ones first. When I heard that, I wondered if it was my brother's desire that got me to do it. Because I did, I forgot everything.
I opened my eyes for the "first time" just last year. I didn't know where I was, or even who I was. But I did know that the eyes staring down at me belonged to an angel. They were so soft, so inviting. The rest of his face slowly came into focus, and yep, he was definitely an angel. No human can smile like that. I didn't want to offend him, but I had to know, who was he? It seemed that that was the perfect question to ask, because his smile grew warmer. I made the angel happy. He told me that his name was Trace, but to me, he was Brother. An angel for a brother, I couldn't believe it. He said that my name was Vladimir, but I liked being called Vladi. I giggled. It was a funny name. When I asked him where I was, he said that I was in our room, that it was safe there. I loved our room, especially because it was OURS. Even if it seemed a little creepy, what with the candles flickering the weird shadows on the walls. It was perfect. I remember just knowing everything else would be perfect to, it had to be. But it wasn't. Not when Brother was gone.
The next person I met was Doc. After Brother was sure I was okay, he brought Doc in to check on me. Doc freaked me out, but Brother trusted him, so I did too. Doc looked me over and wrote a bunch of stuff in a notebook, all the while he had this huge smile on his face. As if my mere existence amused him in some way. He was a person that took a while getting used to, but once you did, he was a funny guy. A little twisted in the head, and I can't help but wonder how he was allowed to become a doctor, but still funny. Somehow he fit right in, despite only having the occasional visit to "check up on his favorite patient". I think he likes to come over because we amuse him. But that's just speculation. The rest of the day, I spent it in the room, OUR room, just talking to my amazing Brother after Doc left. It was perfect.
The first time I "met" mom, was that night. But when she saw me, she started screaming and she wouldn't stop. Brother told me that I should go to bed, and I did without question. It didn't take long for the screaming to stop. Brother must have fixed whatever problem mom had, and I was giddy when Brother crawled into be with me. He snuggled me close and apologized, then asked if I said good night to the monster under the bed. When I asked him why, he said that monsters don't eat their friends, so if I'm nice, the monster wont eat me. I say good night to Frankie every night now. Though I'm pretty sure Brother only said that to distract me, no use risking it.
Mom never got better, despite whatever Brother said to her that night. She was fine if Brother was around, but when Brother was gone, she was mean. I dreaded when Brother went to school. He said I wasn't ready for people yet, so mom home schooled me. This only made mom bitter. She told me I should be dead, that I'm some sort of monster. I know it was no use convincing her otherwise, so I told her that monsters weren't so bad. After all, Frankie had more manners that her, and she was supposed to be my mom. She didn't like that. I should have kept my mouth shut.
She started turning on the lights, even though she knew it hurt my eyes. They've been sensitive since the accident, and I could only handle candle light. I couldn't do my work because of this, and she'd yell at me when I gave up. I started to hate her. I think Doc knew what was going on. He'd frown whenever he had to check my eyes. But he never said anything. It was how he did things. If we weren't brave enough to tell him what's wrong, he'll let us suffer until we do. He's twisted like that (How did he become a doctor again?), but I took it as a challenge. How long could I hold out? Not long apparently. It just started hurting too much.
I finally snapped and told Brother. I'd never seen him so scary before. His face- that must have been what the devil looked like. But he said he wasn't mad at me, would never be mad at me. Then he told me to go to bed. It was only seven, but I listened. I always listen.
There was yelling that night. I couldn't make out what they were saying but the male voice had to be my brother's, even if I hardly recognized it. How could such a demonic voice come out of an angel's mouth? But I wasn't scared, I was happy. All this, just to defend me? I could help but feel so loved. Mom's voice was pleading, like she was begging for something. Brother just laughed at her. Everything went quiet soon after. I tried to stay awake, waiting for Brother like I always did, but I had been feeling very weak those last few days. I haven't told Brother or Doc yet, I don't want to worry them. Especially after I complained about mom to Brother. He has enough on his plate. Still, I tried very hard to say awake by having a one sided conversation with Frankie. It only worked so long. I was just drifting off about an hour later, when Brother slipped into bed with me. I barely whispered a good night to him and Frankie before I was out.
After that, mom never even looked at me. She was very quiet, only saying the bare minimum and only when absolutely needed. She began to throw herself into her work and was hardly around. I liked her better that way, but I still wish that she just won't come home one day, that it'd be just my Brother and I. Even Doc, in all his creepy glory, was better than mom. He never tried to hurt me. And despite everything, I couldn't help but like him. Maybe Doc would take us in and we could all be a real family. A boy can dream. She had also enrolled me into public school. Doc said I was ready but, with a smile like that, I hardly believed him. Only an idiot would. Sadist. Really, why do I like him? Brother said that it'd be easy for me. He seemed much more honest than Doc, but he was wrong. It wasn't easy at all, and I learned something new about myself. People scared me. There were so many of them, all loud and annoying and filthy. I wanted to go home.
It didn't get better. It was like they could sense weakness, they KNEW I was afraid. They started to make fun of me about everything: my sun-glasses I had to wear, my below-average grades, my pale skin, and my lack of friends. But what hurt the most were the whispers from the teachers. How could my Brother, so perfect at everything, have such a disappointing sibling? It scared me the most. Was I not good enough for my Big Brother?
It didn't take long before Brother knew that something was wrong, and it took less time for him to get it out of me. I can't hide anything from him. That was the second time that I saw that demonic face. He said that I should never listen to them. That I was PERFECT, that I didn't need good grades. He'd always take care of me, so what's the point? I didn't need friends. I had him. We'd always be together, forever. I was his treasure, and none of them could change that. I was never happier than in that moment, when he said that. He told me it was okay to be scared of them, but I shouldn't let them know.
"Never let them know how you really feel, they'll only use it against you" he told me. I knew he was right, he always is. He slipped out that night when he thought I was sleeping. I don't know where he went or when he got back, but things changed afterwards. Everyone avoided me. They wouldn't utter my name, even in whispers. They left me alone, and I was happy. I don't know how he did it, but Brother fixed it again. He always does.
After that, my only problem was that I was becoming more and more weak. Soon, nothing looked good to eat, it all smelled wrong. My muscles started to lock up at random, and I was having troubles staying awake. I know that Doc knew. But I hadn't told him myself, so naturally he just sat back and watched me struggle. I'm pretty sure he thought it was funny. But then the rash came, and I knew I had to tell Brother and Doc. It wasn't like any rash I'd ever seen, and it REALLY hurt. I couldn't tough this one out. I had to tell. To my relief, they knew what was wrong with me. I knew they would. Though I think I should have been scared of the knowing smiles they exchanged. If it wasn't my Brother, I would have been.
Brother said he and Doc already had just the remedy, but it was secret, so he couldn't tell me. I didn't question why. Why would I? Brother knew best. And Doc's smile sorta told me that I didn't WANT to know. But Brother wouldn't do anything to harm me, so it had to be okay.
That night, I was called down to dinner in pitch darkness. Not a single candle was lit. Brother said that it was to keep the remedy secret, so I shrugged it off. The remedy turned out to be food. As soon as I tasted it, my appetite came back with vengeance. I dug into it, not bothering with eating utensils. I just ripped it apart with my teeth. It was amazing, so soft and chewy. Perfect. And the juices were moan-worthy. It was the best meal I ever had. If I wasn't so busy eating, I would have been surprised it was so good. Brother wasn't the best cook, after all.
The remedy worked almost instantly. When I woke up the next day, I felt brand new, just like what I first woke up. The rash was gone, I had more energy than I knew what to do with, and my appetite was back. Though nothing tasted as good as the remedy. Doc came by and confirmed that I was fine now. Brother said that it would be our new tradition. Once a month, we'd eat together in the dark. Well, I'd eat and he'd talk. It became the day I looked forward to most. But it was a bit odd, being the only one eating. I couldn't see him, but I still felt bad for eating in front of him. So once I even asked him to eat it with me. It took a little whining, but he caved. Not that he complained, he loved it as much as I did.
Now we eat together every time. It's my most special day with my most special person. I just don't see how life could get much better than it is right now.
Got to go, we're having my favorite...