you died on March 30, 2000.
it snowed that day. i remember thinking how odd it was. the snow lying there several inches deep. the world was so still and quiet like it was waiting patiently for something big to happen. i remember feeling bad that it was snowing the day you had to leave the house. it was cold and you no longer had anywhere to stay.
we said our goodbyes on the door step. you going your way while mom took me to school. i soon forgot about your possible plight and the snow and went on about my day, excitedly telling everyone around me how glad I was that you were finally out of the house. out of my hair because you were making my life so difficult. you practically ruined the poster for my book report. yes it looked super cool but not at all what it was supposed to look like. nothing like the book. and you did it in pen. it was ruined. i was also finally had my alone time back which meant that I could watch tv and movies whenever i wanted to instead of feeling like i always had to entertain you. life was perfect now. life was back to normal, the way it should be.
school soon ended and i caught the school bus back home. all the snow from the early that morning had melted which made my walk from the bus stop to our apartment rather pleasant.
i remember coming up on our apartment and noticing that the trees weren't completely reflected in the glass door of our patio.
that's odd, i thought.
no matter, i was only a few moments away from home, ready to watch some tv and get ready for young women's later that night. i walked up the stairs to the front door, inserted my new house key since the locks had been changed. mom was worried that you'd break in since you "lost" the key lent to you. the door unlocked and i turned the handle. nothing.
weird, i thought to myself. mom's not here so the dead bolt cant be locked.
i banged on the door.
no one answered.
i banged on the door again.
now i was worried. i walked back down the stairs and outside so I could see the patio door. yep, it was broken. someone had gotten into our house. you had broken in.
i walked over to the apartment offices to get a maintenance guy to come over. i was fuming. i knew it had to be you. only you would be selfish enough to ruin my day, my life by doing something like this. while waiting in the office i called my friend Krystal to say that i probably wasn't coming to YW tonight because of you, my stupid brother, who was yet again ruining my life. after a few minutes one of the managers came with me to the apartment. he was able to jump up onto the second story balcony and get in through the broken door. he came around front and unlocked the deadbolt for me to get inside.
he was worried about letting me, a kid of 14, walk around the house, search the rooms since the culprit could still be in there. i said not to worry, that it was only you. i checked the living room, kitchen, my room, the bathroom. i checked for signs of you. signs of you stealing our things to buy who knows what.
i came up to mom's room and turned the knob to open the door.
it didn't budge.
ha, i caught you, i thought, i've caught you red handed.
I tried pushing the door open all while the manager behind me was saying it might not be such a good idea. what if it wasn't you? i pushed, and pushed and pushed but only got the door to budge a few inches. not enough for me to poke my head through but enough so that i could see the right side of the room.
nate! i yelled. nate are you in there?
i pushed again but the door would go no further. the manager decided to call the cops since there was obviously something in that back room. while he ran to the office i went behind the building to find your motorcycle. to make sure that it really was you. lo and behold there it was. staring me in the face.
i hated you. i hated you with every fiber of my being in that moment.
why? why were you doing this? i'm your baby sister dammit. i shouldn't have to go through this!
i walked back to the office with a huge ball of hatred burning in my chest. i called mom and told her what happened. she left work immediately saying that she'd call our brother adam. then i sat for a while. fuming.
when the police came i went outside to watch what was going on. they went into the apartment but couldn't get the door of the back room to open. they couldn't get any response from you.
the swat team was then called.
the day just got worse and worse. not only were you making me go through this but now i had to stand there and watch the whole swat team surround the apartment building with their rifles yelling for you to come out. with everyone in the complex around me.
watching. commenting. snickering.
could they not see me? sitting there on the ground balling my eyes out?
why couldn't you just come out?! this was getting way too out of control. don;t you know they might hurt you? why can;t you just stop all of this and come out of there?
after what felt like forever the swat team went into the apartment and broke into the back room. luckily a nice officer took pity on me during this and let me sit in his warm car. he got my mind off of things and told me that things would be fine. and i believed him. i knew that you wouldn't be hurt and that you'd be safe and that this horrid day would be behind us. and that's all that mattered right then.
while the officer was getting the low down on the events that had occurred thus far a detective came up to the car window and asked if you had tattoos.
yes, i said, he has several all over his body.
he asked if you had a sleeve. i said yes but i couldn't remember what arm it was on. was it the left or the right?
i wasn't sure. i was so tired and worn out from emotional ups and downs of the day that i couldn't think straight.
the detective left and then came back a few minutes later.
I'm sorry to tell you this, said he, but your brother has passed.
the officer looked at the detective, then at me.
oh, ok. well that's fine, he does that all the time.
they both looked at me for a moment, then at each other and then the detective walked away.
what does he do? asked the officer.
he passes out all the time. i found him passed out on the ground of our balcony not too long. he'll be fine soon. he always is.
after a few minutes the officer started asking me about school and my friends. we chatted for a while like this until mom arrived.
once mom was there the detective pulled us aside and told us you had passed.
this time i realized what he was saying.
mom started crying and i felt like i had had the air knocked out of me. i doubled over in pain and started crying too.
how could you be dead?
this wasn't happening.
it's not true. not you. you can;t be.
this can't be.
you can't be...
a note had been discovered. i believe it says how sorry you were about things that happened, things you did. at least, i think that's what most suicide notes say. honestly, i'm not sure what yours said. even to this day i have not been able to get enough courage to sit down and read it.
i prefer to think of the note you left that morning before the three of us walked out of the house. the note saying you loved us. i prefer to think of the hilarious dirty message you left for us on our voice mail several weeks before. doing one of your crazy women voices. a message that we left on our phone for several years.
it's been ten years since that day and even now, while i write this, i cannot even begin to tell you how much i miss you. my heart aches to have you back with us. i cringe at the thought of what my part in this may have been. yes, i know i was not at fault. i was 14. a stupid little 14 year old who could think of nothing but her own life. posters for her english class and watching tv. but sometimes i feel responsible. what if i hadn't told everyone at school that day that i was so glad to have you gone, out of my life? maybe if i hadn't done that you would still be here. was it my thinking, my own vanity that helped you make the choice to leave this earth? it wasn't. i know there wasn't anything i could do to stop you.
but sometimes it feels like i should have done more.
i wish you could have known at that time how much we all loved you. how much we all wanted you in our lives. i wish we had known the extent of what you were going through during that time. maybe we could have helped?
i just can't even begin to imagine the thoughts you had during that time, right before. and i wish so desperately that i could have told you how much i love you, my nanie.
luckily, i know that this is not the end. that there is life after this and that you are in a far better place. a place away from sorrow and heart ache. a place where i know we will be together again as a family. i cannot wait to see you, to hug you and hold you tight. and finally tell you how much you mean to me and that i love you.
to all those who may be reading this, i ask that you please take a moment to tell your friends and family and whoever else you want that you love them and do it as often as you can, no matter what may be going on in your life.