The Dark Side:
Warning: This story contains suicide but it is not graphic.
It’s happening again…
My little brother is having one of his episodes. The stupidest things set him off. This time he’s failed to turn on the TV with the controller because the batteries are dead.
It upsets me to watch. He yells, hits his head against walls, even throws punches at me and he has become a pro at throwing objects with precision. This time the remote takes the brunt of his anger. He chucks it in my direction and I duck because if I don‘t, I’ll be out. The battery compartment crashes open but the remote stays intact.
He’s cursing and he’s so angry his face is red and I can see the veins on his forehead. Maybe taking him off his medicine wasn’t wise. But, he’ll have a clearer head soon.
“Aiden!” I say my brother’s name loud enough to get through his constant swearing.
He stops shouting but he’s breathing heavily.
“Aiden. Calm yourself down,” I pause. “Right now,”
I approach him, getting close enough to put my hands on his shoulders. “You need to breathe. Deep breaths,”
Aiden answers with deep breaths; breathing in through his nose and out from his mouth.
“Better?” I ask.
“Yeah, Lucas,” replies Aiden, irritated, “Better,”
I’m not surprised at his irritation. After an episode, some anger is always left. And he takes it out on the people he loves most.
I smile at him anyway and push him to sit on my bed “Sit here. Don’t move. Be quiet. And I’ll turn the TV on for you,”
Aiden huffs like a bull but listens to me and remains seated.
I walk across the reddish coloured floor and pick up the remote laying where it was left. Putting the batteries back in, I cast a glance at Aiden and watch him scoot back on the bed and lay down on his side. I can see he’s still fuming and couldn’t care less about the TV now. I drag a hand over my face before sitting on Aiden’s bed and rubbing soothing circles on his back. I remember this best calms my brother. “You’ll be alright” I whisper to him.
I’ll never forget when I found my brother 15 years ago. The memory is all too clear.
The sun was fading behind the clouds as the day ended. Ten-year-old Lucas held his father’s hand as they walked down the streets of London. Lucas shivered as he and his parents walked past a scary looking abandoned house. He stopped in his tracks when he heard yelling and whimpering coming from inside. His father heard this too and told Lucas to wait outside with his mother. Lucas paid no heed and followed his father, ignoring the calls of his mother, who had no choice but to follow.
It was dark inside but Lucas could make out a couple of teenagers standing around something that was whimpering.
“Hey!” Lucas’s father yelled “Get the hell out of here!”
The teenagers turned and saw the anger in the man’s eyes and ran out the building without looking back.
The whimpering pile was a child, a boy, and he appeared to be no older than four-years-old. As Lucas’ father approached, the boy lashed out violently. He looked to be having a panic attack, he was trembling violently and he was breathing fast, like he couldn’t get enough breath into his body. Lucas moved closer, his mother told him to get back but he wasn’t listening. The little boy seemed to be getting calmer as he approached and slowly stopped crying and striking out at his father. He put his hand on the boy’s back and rubbed. The boy became silent and was compliant as Lucas picked him up. Lucas’s parents looked stunned.
I stop rubbing Aiden’s back as he sits up. He looks at me with sadness in his eyes which make me wonder what’s going on in his head.
“What is it?” I ask
“I need to-” Aiden hesitates “I need to do something,”
I stare at him. I really don’t know what he’s saying “What?”
Aiden sniffles as he walks into the kitchen. He takes a knife from the silverware draw. I run over to him, staring at the meat knife I only just used yesterday.
“What are you doing?”
“Give me the knife!” I’m trying to be calm. But my adopted brother is about to kill himself. Calm doesn’t exist. I move closer “And we can talk,”
I watch as Aiden raises the knife to his throat, he’s trembling. “ There’s nothing to talk about. Except I’ll hurt you some day! I know I will! I’m sorry, Lucas,”
I rush forward, desperate to grab the knife but I’m too late. Aiden jumps away from me and slices deep. His body hits the floor with a thump, he’s making choking noises. I kneel next to his body helplessly and watch as the light in his eyes fades away.
“No, no, no, no, no,” I put my shaking hands over the wound and apply as much pressure as I can. I know it’s useless. He’s done it. He’s gone.
I pick up the bloody knife and think about following him into the darkness. He’ll need his light. I can feel a sob coming but I hold it back although the tears are finally unleashed. I can’t do it. I can’t kill myself too.
I stand up, stumbling over to the phone as the tears come full blast, blurring my vision. I manage to grab it and punch in the numbers to ring those that will take my brother away, my tears soaking the phone.
It’s time to leave this life behind…
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