How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chapter Nine: No One Gets Out of Here Alive



Chapter Ten
Brendan Royal
 I don’t know where the angels live, but it must be real pretty if Matthew wants to live there. Matthew is my big brother. Once I seen him in a picture that dad keeps in his drawer.  In the picture Matthew is squatted down on a beach that has lots of sand. He’s grinning at the camera and his eyes are squinted  like the sun is hurting. He has on green swim trunks and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt.
             
          Dad caught me looking at the picture and he cried. He wasn’t mad at me though. He told me all about Matthew, how he liked to draw, and how Matthew had hair like mine; thick, black and curly, He also had that gap between his front teeth like I do.  I wonder if Matthew hated that gap as much as I do? If he was here I’d ask him that. I’d also ask him what his Mom is like. Matthew and I have different Moms. My Mom is named Gretchen. I don’t  know what Matthew’s Mom is named. Dad didn’t tell me and I thought if I asked it might make him cry worse.
             
          I was just a little kid when I found the picture by accident. I was looking for some quarters so I could buy an ice cream from the ice cream man when he drove by. The ice cream man always comes by in the summer. Daddy was still at work and Mom was on the phone. I tried to ask her for some quarters, but she covered the phone with her hand, told me to “Ssshhh”, and pointed for me to go away. I had seen some quarters on dad’s dresser the day before, but when I went in Mom and Dad’s room and looked, they were gone. I thought they might be in his top drawer. I opened the drawer and pushed aside Dad’s socks. Under the socks was a small wooden box. I twisted the lid off and inside was a round silver medal with a baseball on it and the word “Cougars”, a small white baby tooth ( I knew that because I had lost two teeth by then), and a tiny little bracelet with the words “BABY ROYAL” written on it. The picture was under the bracelet. I looked and looked at it because at first I thought the kid in the picture was me, but he looked older than me, so it couldn’t be me. Plus I never had a Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt.  I was still looking at it when I heard Dad walk in. I didn’t get scared or nothing. Dad never spanks me, but when dad took the picture from me and started crying I was wishing he had spanked me.
             
          Dad told me about Matthew and how he was with the angels, and how he had been his first boy, but now I was dad’s boy. Dad put the picture back in the box and put the lid back on. He pushed the box back under the socks and closed the drawer. He leaned down, picked me up, even though I was getting too big to pick up, and hugged me so hard I thought he was going to break my ribs.  I didn’t say “Ow” or anything. I just let Dad hug me until he stopped crying.         
           
          When the ice cream man came later I didn’t have a quarter, so Johnny let me have a few licks of his ice cream. I didn’t tell Mom about the picture. I don’t know if Dad did or not. I sometimes sneak in their room and take the picture out of Dad's drawer when I know they won't catch me, like when they're watching the news after dinner.  I've looked at the picture so much that it's painted on my brain. Sometimes before I go to sleep I talk to Matthew. No one knows I talk to him, but it’s like I always got someone around and I’m never alone.  I sometimes get the feeling that he listens to me, but he’s with the angels and can’t answer back.
            
           When I grow up I’m going to find heaven and ask Matthew to come back.

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