I know that there are some things that you don’t want to talk to me about and that’s fine; I can understand that. But, there are some things that need to be said, there are some things I need you to hear.
For the longest time she pretended not to hear the rumors, she refused to listen to the bitter remarks of her parents, piercing the barrier of closed doors. Even the screaming she drowned out in more noise, in music to match her fitting rage. For the longest time, she chose ignorance.
I refuse to pretend like these problems don’t exist and I refuse to ignore them any longer. They need to be addressed because the gap between us is growing and I fear the day we will no longer speak. I fear the day things get so bad we will not be able to.
Yes, there are some things that she knows now that she should not have, could not have known even two years ago. There are some things that she never should have had to find out. But, these types of things are to be inevitably discovered. It was inevitable that she found out and that she was to be devastated by it. He knew everyone, including the people she assumed strangers. But to him they were all commonly known druggies, dealers, and drunks and it seemed that some of her “friends” knew him better than she ever would.
“Your brother’s one of the nicer ones. He’s not usually too strung out.”
Well, there you have it. He was a drug dealer, but at least he was the nice one. Unfortunately, she does know her brother well enough to understand that he wasn’t being nice because that’s his usual personality, he just got better business that way. So, yes, for a time, she chose ignorance and wisely so because had she not, it would have broken her.
I am not writing this letter to judge you or to yell at you. I am old enough now it understand it all better. Granted, if I had known everything two years ago i would not have been able to handle it or comprehend your actions. I probably still don’t. And although in these ways I am not like you, I am now more accustomed to dealing with it. You are not the brother I used to look up to and to be honest, I’m not sure that person ever really existed, but I know there is a part of you that I admire and it is that part of you that I hope, with all my heart, is listening to what I have to say.
Sometimes she thought his actions did break her; they must have if she spent high school in tears. She heard more about him that she wanted to and although he was a hero among the pot heads and the thieves, he was no hero to her. She always used to admire him, imagining him something like Superman, flying to her rescue. Instead, he lay grounded, passed out on the floor, face down in his own vomit.
“You can always call me. I won’t tell mom and dad unless I absolutely have to. I’ll just be there to pick you up.”
If she was in trouble, he said he would be there, no questions asked. But the one night she needed him and she called for him, there was a question: “who is this?” He answered the phone in a distant, drawn out voice, high, drunk, and he didn’t know her.
Her parents worried about her all night, but she didn’t want to talk to them. She couldn’t talk to the people that raised him, the man who was supposed to be her brother. Now, he was only a stranger. What did it matter? She was a stranger to him, alone, calling to him in the dark of the night.
So, let me begin, let me tell you what I have to say: I love you.
She did love him, more than she wanted to. She wanted to hate him. She wanted to write him off as a stranger. Instead, she wrote him a letter. After much time and built-up courage, she gave him the letter and after much time and built-up courage, he wrote back.
She had a segment of his letter tattooed to the side of her right arm. The words read:
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love” and pray that I may do the same. I love you, Brother.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14