This second piece to my unsolved puzzle came to me unexpectedly, thanks to my older brother’s goodbye letter.
He left. He disappeared. He was the first one to gather his courage and leave. Leave without saying goodbye. Leave without saying one word. Leave without shedding a tear, without a goodbye hug, or even a last fake smile. He left, leaving a one page letter:
“Mami (mother), I’ve decided to get married to L. I love her and I will be okay. Don’t worry. Please tell everyone to take care and that I love them. I love you. I’m sorry.”
A simple, one page letter.
I was nine when I found his letter. It’s strange on why it appeared to me. I don’t know if he purposely left it at the corner of my bed or if he simply forgot to leave it with my mother.
I was sitting at the edge of my bed, both hands holding that white, copy paper. I read, reread, and continued to reread the words over and over again. I was confused as to why he would leave us:
“Why did he have to leave us?”
“Did he not love us anymore?”
I glanced to my right and stared at my window. The thick, creamy colored, curtains prohibited the morning sun from delivering its daily joy. My mind went dark and the air around me felt like it was trying to suffocate me instead of keeping me alive. Thus, began my first flashback.
My flashback made me feel like my mind was dislocated from my body and transferred back in time to my seven year old body. The time i was in was not my present. The images, why couldn’t I recall them.
I was in my old apartment that was located on Cranford Ln in Garland, TX. It was not so long since we moved from our old, rundown apartment in Long Island, New York. My head turned and i realized it was dark-midnight. I could see that my brothers were in the living room, but a haze covered their faces, “Why can’t i see their faces?”My body walked towards the small corridor and I turned left. My parents’ door was slightly open so I walked in. I was only able to capture a small picture before my mother approached from behind and covered my eyes, pulling me away; my father, on top of- who is that? The same haze that covered my brother’s expression covered that figure. “Who is that?” My present self kept asking, repeatedly. My mother ran and pulled him back. Afterwards, the scenes were projecting like a picture disc camera.
Disc 1: My father fighting with my mother.
Disc 2: My father screaming and yelling.
Disc 3: My father grabbing a rope and heading outside while my mother tried to stop him. As he passed by me the strong stench of alcohol made me gag.
Disc 4: Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Police cars. Ambulance.
Disc 5: For some odd reason, this picture disc was the longest. I walked outside and my father stood on top of a tree branch, a noose around his neck, he put one leg forward- “What is he doing?” My mother was able to grab his legs before the noose broke his neck, the police officers jolted towards the scene. A wicked, naked, tree; long dangly branches that reached towards every direction. If there was such a thing as the tree of death then that was it; a pleasant welcome to my father’s suicide attempt.
Disc 6: Police officers grabbed him and pushed him down. His face on the brown dirt.
Disc 7: My mother crying.
Disc 8: My brothers’s scared eyes.
Disc 9: My little sister…my little sister.
My conscious was immediately pulled back and forced into my present, nine year old self. I could barely breath again. My hands trembled. My head felt like a thousand needles penetrating simultaneously causing an intense pain. My tears fell down in an uncontrollable speed; the letter. I had to save the letter from the damn tears. I kept snatching the tears away. My hands were moving on their own, trying to stop the damn tears. “Stop. Stop. Stop It!” A quietly screamed to myself. Why was I crying, because of the letter or because of a memory I thought I had long forgotten?
My mother walked in, her sight averted towards my hand. The letter. I tried to hide it, but she knew. How? Mother’s instinct? Maybe. She took the letter from me and read it. She looked at me and all I could see was pain in her eyes. I think i was too focused on my flashback, because i don’t remember the words she spoke to me during that moment. Her lips were moving, but all I could hear was a ringing; a soft, high pitched ringing that kept me out. She left with the letter seconds, maybe, minutes later.
I stood up. My body felt numb. I couldn’t feel the sensation of the soft carpet caressing my feet, instead it felt like I was stepping on glass. My mind was unclear. I felt unsafe. I felt like a piece of me was taken, ripped out of me. Not only did I gain an unwanted memory, I lost the one person that made me feel safe.
I walked towards my window and opened my curtains. The sunlight bursted in, the heat gently burned my face… I felt nothing.
I looked up at the cloudless sky, “How annoying.” I quickly closed the curtains, crawled in to my bed sheets, throwing the thick cover over my head, and embraced the dark.