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An Eerie Revenge
I tell this story everyday of my life; each time it brings pain and regret to my heart. Maybe if I tell the story enough times, I will finally, truly live of the debt I owe to not just one dead brother, but two. My younger brother was adopted about nine years after I was, making me the superior, older sister who’s more mature.
So there I was fourteen years into my life, totally unsuspecting. I can’t remember the exact dates–I never can. I just refer to it as that day, and everyone knows what I mean, because just saying it sends a shudder through my body. It doesn’t have this effect on everyone–just me, because I’m the only one alive who witnessed it.
You could argue that I should’ve seen it coming, after all, now that I look back, all the signs were there–right in front of me. So in the days building up to that day, my life continued on exactly the same. Not in a boring way, just in a very structured routinely sort of way, a way I had grown deeply accustomed to, I like routines, and they help the day go smoothly. So you can imagine how badly I reacted when my parents dropped the bomb on me that they were leaving town for a week or so. Of course it wasn’t really this that had me so completely panicked–I was baby-sitting.
I must have protested for five days straight a week in advanced. I stopped about two days before they’d wanted to leave though, and not because I was tired of it, but because I had a sore throat. One more day of protesting and I’m sure they’d have stayed home–positive. As usual, that little sore throat completely altered me, and my entire life. I hate to think about the day at the airport. I sat there resentfully, waving in defeat. I hate even more thinking of all the things I could have done to stop them, like tackle them to the floor or leave one of their suitcases in the car like last time…
Eventually, they were on the plane, well on their way to New York City–they’d forgotten their phone. At the time I hadn’t really paid attention to this, I found it at the house, lying on the table, buzzing. I ignored it and laid the rules down for my little brother. “No talking or screaming or demanding or whining and definitely no crying in the middle of the night.” I told him, and he stormed off in a hurry to the nursery.
Shockingly, he actually followed my instructions. That was the first bad sign, I ignored it, mistaking it for a newly found respect towards me–as if. He never came out except for mealtimes, and occasionally to get snacks. “Why do you always take two snacks in? Just take one Sam.” I suggested one afternoon.
“But I need one for Jack.” He argued, furrowing his brow.
“Who in the world is Jack? Don’t bring people into the house, tell him he has to go home.” I ordered, staring incredulously at the sheet of geometry currently using up all of my brain cells, this Jack kid was not helping my headache. Sam shook his head adamantly, shaking all over. I rolled my eyes and shooed him away. Always thinking about me, so completely unobservant and useless. The next day, Sam didn’t come out of the nursery at all. I went in to check on him, and found him talking to himself. Walking in, I met his eyes, positively glaring up at me. I returned the look. “Who are you talking to I can here you downstairs and I’m working shut up.”
“I’m talking to Jack, he says he doesn’t like you.” Sam returned. Oh, so Jack was his imaginary friend, he was way too old for that. I left, only to return a few hours later to tell Sam to stop crying, that was the day before that day. I walked in to find him lying on the ground with large bruises covering every inch of his pale body. At first I stood still, should I yell at him for being careless or help? Obviously I decided to help, dashing to his side.
“What happened?” I asked, rubbing his forehead.
“I asked Jack to leave and he-he hit me.” Sam moaned, tears spilling down his face. Jack. I’m not sure how you’d have reacted, but it seemed pretty strange that Jack, an imaginary friend would hit him so hard that the bruises became so real.
“Where’s Jack now?” I asked. Sam flicked his head towards his closet.
“I don’t like Jack anymore so I locked him in the closet, but he’s not there anymore.” I frowned and told Sam to follow me down the stairs. He held my hand the whole way down, insisting adamantly that Jack was following us. Admittedly, I was a little freaked out by it all, but I wasn’t going to let my little, five-year-old brother or his imaginary friend get into my head.
It was the next day that I got really scared. I woke up early that morning at about six o’clock to take Sam and myself to the bus stop. I’d cooked breakfast for both of us, and with an hours worth of rushing him, we were finally ready. I ushered him hurriedly into the kitchen, trying to get through to the front door. He stood stubbornly in his place. “Jack is standing at the front door.” He pointed to the door with his stubby little finger.
“F-fine we’ll go through the backdoor.” I stuttered starting to think there was more to Jack than I’d originally anticipated.
“He’s at the back door too, he says he’s going to get angry again if you keep trying to leave.” Sam pointed out, keeping an oddly fixed expression on the door. “Shh…” He whispered. I picked him up by the waist, ignoring his slaps against my side. I was so not going to be phased by him. With my hand on the door knob and Sam tucked harshly under my arm, I watched as the door locked–there was no one but me on either side. I thought this might be an important thing to note at the time, but there were so many other things going on at that moment that should have caught my attention.
Sam was already standing on the kitchen table when I turned around. “Sam? Sam! Get down now! Now! Sam! Sam!” I yelled. I wasn’t angry or anything like that, but having no control over my life at that moment was devastating, no plan and no clue as to what would happen next.
“Stop calling me Sam.” Sam pouted, glaring at me as he’d done only once before.
“What exactly do you want me to call you Sam?” I asked angrily, I had no time for this. Between him and Jack, I was entirely preoccupied.
“Call me Jack–that is my name.” Panic. If you’d never seen someone panic before, you’d have thought I was having a heart attack. Incoherent thoughts raced through my head: Jack, no Sam, no phone, alone…very, very bad.
I felt like asking him what he wanted, but really, how typical would that sound? I could see it all in my head, I ask him, and then he tells me and pelts me with magic ghost stones or something. I skipped past the questions, heading straight for the locked door, hoping desperately that all those hours in the gym had been good for something–like knocking down wooden doors with my fists.
In a flash, Sam or Jack stood in front of it, anticipating my every move. “I want my revenge.” He bellowed.
I never saw Sam ever again, but the next year, after Sam’s tragic inexplicable disappearance, we adopted a new orphan much to my dissatisfaction and disapproval, named Jack. I never did treat him like another human being, and in the end some would argue it was me who ended his life. I refused to drive him home one night, and he was shot in the head in the middle of a gunfight. His last words were the first words he’d said to me.
“I want my revenge.”