Short Story: In Loving Memory

Dear Brother,
Joy and pain, I feel like crying now as I hear your name. In Kladovo old city is the first time I saw that face, what a pity, a loaf of bread, a mini me with a bold head, and through all the streets narrow and cold, everyone was told and everyone could see that I was happy as one could be.

From the first day, I loved you and from the first day I never wanted to go away, from the first day you didn’t show me, you never told me how you felt about me, as you never needed to, I always knew. And we both held our swords proud up high against the enemies that we wanted to deny the privileged of being near us, and we felt like they should fear us…but remember, remember what I would always do?

You hated it, but I still did it to you. I always pretended to save you, and with it my life would go to you. You hated when I would do that, never knew why, but I wish I could’ve done it this time too. I would tell you the stupidest stories, consisting of a sentence or two, but when I saw that smile on you, what else could I do but tell you one new and another new, even though most of them went to be an animal X lived long and prospered for a X years and died. You laughed so hard I couldn’t help it but laugh myself.

Then the times we played soccer together in our own small front yard, we broke so many windows…well I did mostly, you just blamed me for it as well. Oh those joyful memories, I shall never forget.

Hence I am writing this, as I feel that my brain is going dead, I feel that my body is letting go and I don’t want to miss anything out like before. So this is your story, my beloved brother, you idiotic genius you, I hate to go on without you, I really do, as nothing will be as interesting as it was with you, and hence here is what you did for me, here is what we did and here is your story, the story of Aleksandar Sasa (toxicsale59) :

Born in 1995 on the 30th of March, in a very sunny morning, and brought home to me, where I first could see the loaf of bread that would grow to be as tall as he could be. My first memory of you and me is a bit hazy so I hope you forgive me, but I will tell it how I can see and when we meet or whatever happens in the afterlife(You very well know I am not hopeful about me getting into heaven and besides I am an none-believer so…yeah) you will tell me your story, but for now the first memory is of us going to eat some french fries.

Remember when I still ate ketchup, after it it was not as tasty anymore. I remember us wanting to eat it both with ketchup, and since I was young and green and didn’t know you will misuse my kindness in the future, I ran for it upstairs. In the process, I tripped and made a hole in my skull…yeah went to the emergency room and was patched together without any pain killers or anesthesia, one cannot give those to kids I assume. Don’t really care, had a bit of a trauma but my memory is starting to black out so it’s all good.

After it I remember us getting to know Stevan, our first common friend and neighbor whom I see from time to time. We went on random adventures, like in the winter we were pulled on a sledge by the huge Dobermans our granddad had, remember Rocky? Dude that dog was strong. We had so much fun and we kinda fought about the control over the steering wheel. And that’s where we started to fight I think.

Since we were kids we were like our two cats that we got later on and that I will mention without a doubt. But the curious thing is, same as the cats, we would at the end of the day remain close, be friends and have fun together. We would watch our dad come home from work and play games on the PC, we were amazed of how good he was. And then you passed him, then I passed him. We played with mom, heard the amazing stories she made up, and we were red the Big Friendly Giant. I don’t know if you managed to see it, the movie is amazing…you should see it. It is really like the book. I kinda watched it a few days before you went away, I wanted to tell you about it… Oh well and the Baron Münchhausen was a hit with us. Remember our other granddad telling us those crazy stories, always putting us in the stories as characters, and we would cry tears of joy, we couldn’t stop ourselves from laughing.

We played with swords and imagined all those beasts and fearsome soldiers surrounding us, but we were still strong enough to defeat them. We slept on those funny looking sheets, with bears doing all kind of random stuff on them, with me having a teddy bear and you the same.

So many toys were there, yet we mostly chose to play with the green plastic soldiers. Remember when the game came out and we just spent the whole day playing it?

Oh well it was really fun as we grew up in a happy home. Mom and Dad worked hard indeed, but I never felt alone with my brother at home. I never actually felt that I was alone until I grew up a bit more, but that’s a story that maybe only you know about me. Well we went to pre school, I made some more friend, you were struggling a bit but I introduced you to mine so we would all just go around and have fun together, play soccer and games, steal fruits from neighbors when they were ripe and stuff that kids do. I remember the countless times we played FIFA98, you’d get the keyboard and I the mouse.

Of course there was no chance of me beating you, but it was still fun. And we kept that up till the end, just the game changed. We had a lot of fun, a lot of imagination and a lot of courage. I don’t really regret anything from my childhood and I hope you did not regret anything too. Yes there were things that were strange, like yogurt and bread being the tastiest meal in the morning or us eating a ton of green apricots and our grandparents hating on us for that. Than you shoot grandma with a fake pistol with those tiny plastic balls in her golden tooth and we got a bit in trouble for that. Broken windows, chairs and balls were the usual. Like really a normal thing for us. Always finding a way to play something.

There were times we went to Romania to our grandparents and had our own way of fun in the club house, doing things we wanted. And now it’s just empty, a store room again. In all those years, well a lot of things happened. Like the day you came home feeling unwell, and they rushed you to Belgrade to see what’s up with you. Mom was with you, dad to. I was alone. The first time I felt lonely, it was the first time I meet the black cat. I hope you never seen it, but I am afraid you did. Most call it the black dog, but for me it was a cat. Anyway, I cried my eyes out. I sat on the PC and I would play, I would pray, I would talk “please bring my brother safe home…please don’t let anything happen to him, take me instead of him.” I can clearly see, it was in now that is your room, against the table of the pc, looking through the windows, only darkness I could see.

There was no one near me, there was no one to tell me it will be okay. And as I can see it wasn’t meant to be okay. It just wasn’t. But that time you came back. Changed. You hated me, but I never let it get to me, as I knew, I knew the hate wasn’t from you, the hate was from the things you couldn’t do. People don’t understand, people really don’t that when I play basketball it feels great and it hurts so much at the same time.

Because when I play, I always have this break in my head, and this break was you, because I love you, I love you so much I want to have you near me when I do something fun. Yet you couldn’t be, and I felt bad, and I knew you hated me, but I couldn’t stop…and it’s good I didn’t, because today our mother and father would be childless if I did. I remember our fights getting bigger and bigger, you intentionally provoking me, and doing anything to get me mad. You had me close to a nervous break down so many times, so many times you killed my nerves I just couldn’t handle it. But it wasn’t only you, it was grandma, it was grandad, it was dad, it was mom.

But we still functioned in a dysfunctional way, as I took it all. I had my ways of getting it out, through basketball and writing and gaming. And we did a lot of gaming, like we would spend so much money on games it was crazy. I disregarded school for games. I didn’t care, I just wanted to play, same as you. We played a lot of Heroes of Might and Magic III after Zarko introduced us to that game, and we would regularly play soccer with Ivan and Stevan. It was a great time. We grew up, we drifted again a bit a part, you were really pushing your luck, and by the time I moved to a new city for high school, we kinda broke off our contact.

This doesn’t mean we didn’t have the connection, doesn’t mean we didn’t love each other, we just didn’t talk, we just didn’t. But I still remember that we played soccer together and that we gamed together, still had some fun playing Remi at our grandparents house, and we were still the same, you provoking and me reacting. Oh brother, for me to wish those times back, you can tell you were special to me. But oh well, things happened, I had to stop playing basketball, started drinking heavily for two years, was more and more disconnected from family, you were to golden child, loved by my grandparents more than ever.

I stopped even going to them, I would just not go, I didn’t ant to hear that I am a burden anymore or that I am never going to be a good chef, just a waiter, a worthless one at best. But let’s be honest, I did care about you, because I am the older brother, I have to care and love you, because I just wanted to. I just wanted to be close to you, but you never let me do that to you. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe I told you something bad, but I just know you wouldn’t let me go easy to bed.

Years passed and I got back into basketball, and I got back into your life. We started talking more and more, we started doing stuff together. Going out and having fun, doing stupid things. Oh about stupid things, remember when you, Stevan and me went to the building site and I just slipped and fell down. You were so scared, I had a bit of a concussion but it was okay, no one knew.

Anyway we got closer and closer, and I went on to become a somewhat pro player, had a contract, I had everything. And even though you teased me, you came to me for help and that felt great. That felt like I finally am of some use. It is sad to say, and I don’t want to drag anyone down, but until you asked me, I felt like nothing, like everything is just against me. I don’t know how to say it, but that’s how much you meant to me. It was all that worth it. I then invited you to come and check out the city and you stayed with me in my hotel room, and we went out, and meet a lot of wonderful people and had that twin experience.

We sat down with twins, and I sat near one twin on the right side of the room, and you sat with the other on the left side of the room, and a drunk guy walked in said hi to Nenad and me while he didn’t see you and Bojan, and then turned around towards you two and panicked a bit looking nervously at us than at you and back at us until he said “there are two of you?” and we all laughed like crazy. Finally it was going great, it was going really great as I was having a good contract and just waiting for you to come to the city so we could finally be together. I would show you the ropes as a big brother proudly does and I could tell you about things to be careful about, help you out with money and do anything you wanted. But I fucked it up, I got injured, I had to go for a surgery, hence I saw you graduating with me. But I spent a year with you. We lived in the same room, but I was damaged goods. I was in a dark place with my black cat that I just couldn’t stop, it grew bigger than the room were in and it was suffocating me, hence you didn’t even talk that much with me. Hate overgrew on me, and I was only the shell of the person I used to be, and I am not sure I regret it but it was not nice of me.

Kindness doesn’t depend on the past, it depends on me and I know that now, I needed it back then tho too. It wasn’t too bad tho, we drank, we had jokes and we had fun. You learned a lot, I did not. I was ready to be a failure, because that’s what I heard my whole life, and it’s not like I didn’t hear I am good from my mom and my dad…it’s just that a hundred positives get destroyed by one negative. If you don’t believe me, just think, remember your one negative thing, pretty fast huh?

Now try positive that’s not involving something material….it took you more than the negative. Anyway it was fun. I loved seeing you be more mature and more ready then me, having fun with your colleagues and joining an association. You grew up to be a great person. We even played basketball together. It was the best thing ever. I would always want to play with you, even if we would fight on court we would still be good. And I am happy that I was able to join a professional competition with you in Craiova 2015 on the 3×3 Fiba tournament.

I kinda shortened the story as it is I don’t know how much am, I can’t see, the tears got the best of me and I am just writing with most of my eyes foggy, well to be precise I bleed, I bleed those words. Too short, too short my brother. I can’t even tell how I feel about you passing away. I wrote down how I felt when we were going in the car for you, when I called your girlfriend to tell her, when I called grandma, when I called everyone I had to, I was in such a shock, I couldn’t….14 years of not crying, 14 years of tears rolled down in two days. I cried so much I couldn’t cry no more. The cat grew again, but remember we went to the beach with that girl and got an actual cat. It’s black and white and named Reiji…it attacked me, it scared the black cat for me. For you will always be in my memory, as I walk this earth without you there is nothing much I want to do, as you are not here and whatever I did it was mostly for you.

I think this work may suite the situation the best, as there are not enough words in this word to describe the pain I feel, we all feel from your departure. To be frank, I can tell how I feel exactly, it is too bad I can’t draw it…. I feel like there are swords in my back, and hands are still holding on to those swords and knifes while I walk on a dirt road towards a shadowy town, with an brown bag, and the black cat smiling near me. Anyway this is how it might be explained in a poem:

And the King of Pain and Kindness raised his head
“When people die are they really dead?”
As the court looked at him, baffled, not knowing how to answer him, the king continued
“I asked, and I will ask once more, when people die are they dead for sure?”
A deadly silence blew through the crowd
Like a knife it sliced the air, but no one seemed to care
They were all just looking, a blank stare at their faces
No one knew, no one knew what the king was on or what he’ll do
“I see the blank stares, the minds that don’t care.
For you, I know the answer, it’s not a secret that all of you are dead.
And it pains me, it makes me sad, to see living beings that are already dead.
In my heart and in my head, I don’t feel dead.
My body is weak, I can’t hear and I can barely see, but I am alive, that’s what’s inside of me.
The eyes of mine that can’t see and the ears of mine that can’t hear are nothing to be afraid,
I feel, I can see with my heart, I can tell with my mind, and as I look around I feel like I can’t leave it be.
When you look into your heart are you free?
Listen to the music of your heart, dance and sing, feel the love and come back to me.
Children of the regretful prophecy, I am sure there is no need to be afraid of me, I didn’t kill you, but you will kill me.
I see, there are a few of you that can look down your heart, but there are many more that can’t see anything but the floor.
Don’t worry children, as a king of kindness and pain I won’t die in vain.
Give me your pain and I shall open your eyes, give me your pain and I’ll let you hear, give me your pain and I will take away your fear and once again give me your pain and I shall share with you my love, my kindness.
From now on I will keep silent, I have no choice.
Be patient I am getting to the point.
I can’t stop the story, the world is still spinning, but I can determine it’s end.
If only I could find the right words, but your ears won’t hear.
If only I could find the right deeds, but your eyes won’t see.
Slowly I will disappear, you won’t hear me, you won’t see me, but you shall feel me.
Because I found a way, the way to revive your hearts and minds.
Your souls shall thank me one day, but for now I hope you’ll enjoy the end of my play.”
So said the King and so it was
His appearance, it only was
Useless and lazy went away
Darkness vanished from the hearts
And where once hatred was love ruled
As the pain went away
The King went with it
And with the pain the dead were gone
Only the living remained
Except for the one living
He was gone.


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