I stared at the ceiling, a dozen scenarios going through my head. All lead to the same end. The US Marshals kicking open the apartment door and bellowing for him to show his hands. He pulls his hands out wrapped around an unloaded rifle, ready to run for the backdoor. In slow motion he was thrown back as a barrage of bullets met their target. Even as I slept a dreamless sleep, my mind was anxious, my teeth clenched, my jaw aching when I woke.
I had no choice. There were no pros or cons. There was no alternative. This was the only way. This, or to watch as they laid his shrouded body into the cold ground to be buried with all the others.
My brother was a year older than I, but I never felt like a little sister; always mistaken as his twin.
We fought. We played. We hid. We loved. Always together.
He left me for a new friend. A selfish friend that took but never gave.
I watched his life slip between his grasp, the tighter his fist coiled to grab hold, the more it oozed between his fingers. It wasn’t very long that I lost my brother. In his place, I had an addict. A criminal. Now we did everything separately.
He played. He smoked. He drank. He fought. He hid.
I worried. I followed. I plead. I lay awake. I hold my breath.
He was on the run from the US Marshals. He would try and hold onto his freedom until it cost him his life.
They wouldn’t hesitate. They wouldn’t consider that he was a brother, a son, an uncle. They wouldn’t know that he was just a lost child inside of his grown up body. A teddy bear. Sensitive, he would cry during the Lion King. OCD, he would check the door 3 times before agreeing that it was indeed locked. Stupid, making mistake after mistake and coping with more drugs.
I worried. I prayed. I cried. I lay awake.
I made the call.
In jail he sits. He prays. He reads. He learns. He writes me letters. He breathes.
I read them. I laugh. I breathe with him.