Brotherly Love (finale)

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Same day continued.

How many times can one hit a dog before it bites? Once too many is the answer. Although Christian had never struck is mother verbally or physically, he understood this saying very well. She was a constant stumbling block for him. Always carrying a negative air, she rarely shown appreciation. It was as though she hated the fact he was born and made it a point to show that hate everyday. Some days it was a storm of ridicule, breaking his soul until there was no will to live. Other days he was nothing more than a punching bag catching her closed fists. One would think after all of this abuse he would hate his mother. No, for Christian it was apathy. He had no hate nor did he have any love. In the end she was his mother and there was no changing that.

Tracy, the thin built, blonde wiry haired woman slowly rose and followed Christian into his apartment. Her eyes shifted around the room as to take note of its inventory.

A smirk gleamed across her face, “I see Luke came for a visit.”  She pause to see his reaction. “That restraining order you put on him was a little uncalled for.” She watched as Christian filled a cup with water. His silence was unnerving. “It’s not like he waltzed in here and tried to take YOUR son away from YOU.” She prodded.

“How have you been?” Christian asked as he handed her the cup of water.

Grabbing the cup, her postured changed. “I’ve been doing. I got fired from the store and I’m waiting to hear back from my last interview. Hey, that reminds me, you wouldn’t happen to have $50 I can borrow, would you?”

“No.” he calmly answered, knowing that even if he did have it, he would never see it again.

Returning to her former posture she belted, “See that’s what’s wrong with you. You think you can raise your brother better than I can, but your don’t even have fifty dollars to your name. You couldn’t possibly begin to afford to raise your brother. Do you realize how rich I’d be if I didn’t have to raise you two? I have labored and toiled and broke my back bending over taking on every job that I could to raise you two. And what thanks do I get? NONE. I get a son who wants to divide this family.” Pausing she gazed at Christian with disgust. “I should have killed you as an infant.”

Christian kept his voice calm. “You’re a junky mother. You’re an abusive, drug using, mother. You have resented me from the day you pushed my out of the womb. I have been that unpickable splinter, constantly digging at you. Now you have went and involved Luke. When things get too tough you throw others in the middle of it. You don’t deserve to be Benjamin’s mother.”

Popping up as though a reminder dinged in her head, Tracy retorted. “Oh that reminds me. The service is on Saturday. That’s the whole reason I came over.” Laughing at her simple mind she continued. “You’re brother got in a car wreck. Paramedics said that he died at the scene. Sad, he had such a bright future ahead of him. Well, I’m off. I have to get everything in order before Saturday.” She left as though her job was finished as she was off to her next agenda.

The room began to spin as Christian sat at his kitchen table. All of his efforts to save his brother was thrown to the wind. Words were lost as a wave of emotions crushed his soul. Tears began to fall as he fought to repress his hatred. She doesn’t deserve your emotion. Benjamin is in a better place far from her abuse.

Twenty years later.

Looking back I see clearly what was meant to be. I would have never went to college, landed the job of my dreams. married the love of my life, nor had two sons of my own. No, life has a way of saying ‘You’re about to make the wrong choice for the right reason.’  Soon after my brother’s death I moved to the west coast. It’s funny how, with all the miles in between us, I can still hear my mother’s hatred filled voice. My psychology professor once said the voice of encouragement that lies within us is the voice of our parents. How true this is.

I don’t regret trying to adopt my brother. In fact, had I not done anything, my pain would have been deeper.

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