The sound was muffled, but the screaming went on for a good ten minutes. It was quickly followed by the slamming of a door. It wasn’t the front door and it wasn’t a car door. I could tell it was his bedroom door, it echoed throughout the house. Just like every other night, I waited for a few minutes, crept out of my room and made my way into the living room and into the arms of my shaking mother. She held me tight and rocked me back and forth, back and forth.
My brother was twelve when I was born. He was the middle child, the rebellious one. It started off with him just sneaking out, but then it led to getting in fights, coming home drunk, and eventually he would disappear for a week at a time. My dad was away on business and my oldest brother was in college. You see, my mom was only five foot three and my brother was a massive six foot seven, she didn’t stand a chance.
By the time my brother was seventeen he had been arrested three times and had experimented with pot, cocaine, heroin, and prescription pills. I held his hand while the doctor stitched up his face, due to a drunken fight with a Jack Daniels bottle. I screamed and yelled at the cops as they threw him in their cop car right outside my bedroom window. After he would get angry at my mom and storm out of the house, I would chase his car down the driveway, until it was just a speck in the horizon.
I always dreamed of having a big brother to tell me which boys to date, which not to, drive me to TCBY when I wanted ice cream, and let me crawl into bed with him when I had a nightmare. But not my brother, he only cared about himself, he didn’t give a damn about anyone else. While his body was breaking down, he broke his promises and almost broke apart our family.
Me and my brother have a lot in common. We both are stubborn as they get, have brown eyes with grey dots, and are allergic to Christmas trees. But one thing that really sets me apart from my brother, other than sobriety, is my ability to forgive. My brother was never at my school plays or my dance recitals, he was too busy getting drunk, getting high, or shooting up. But I don’t blame my brother for anything. Everyone has their battles, and what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. Today, ten years later, my brother is one of my best friends. He picks me up when I fall down and holds me tight when I want to let go. He may not have been for me then, but he is here for me now.
I believe in the power to forgive and most importantly, the power to forget.