Short story by Jayswright
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Three and a half. I was three and a half years old. I shouldn't even remember this and yet I do. I remember what we said, what we were wearing, and even where we were. I remember the sound of his breathing. I remember everything.
We had just got the news from our mom; at the time I didn't even know what it really meant.
"He's dead. Your dad's dead." She told us.
She didn't put much filter on it, she didn't know how to because no one had ever done it for her. I didn't know what it meant honestly, no one had ever told me of such a thing called death. Nor had they taught me about such a thing called murder, and that is what it was. He had not died of a disease or illness, someone had killed him. Two shots into the front of his head killing him instantly. I didn't know that he wouldn't come back, I thought he would come back to us; that he wasn't gone, that's what I thought.
So when I heard my brother in his room crying over such a silly thing as our father going away for awhile I showed no sympathy; even as a child. I walked into his room with a smile on my face because well there weren't many times when I didn't have one. He was curled in a ball on his mattress. He had been obsessed with SpongeBob then and everything in his room had something to do with the show. His comforter was a blown up image of SpongeBob catching a jellyfish, it was wet from the tears that were falling of his face and the clear snot from his nose.
As a child and I admit to this day I was one for taking on someone else's character; someone else's personality. That's what I did then; I took up a face my sister would have and I put my heart into the line I was about to say. She wasn't here to say it so I would.
"Why are you crying? He's just dead." I said rather calmly, cocking my head to the side.
Time seemed to slow down, in one moment my brother's face when from a crying, weeping mess into a face of pure rage. Then it just stopped. Everything in his body just stopped and he got up and stared at me with nothing in his eyes; pure calculation. Then he did something he never had done before; something that I would have never expected from him. He lied to me.
"Yeah you're right. He's just dead." He said with a hint of a smile.
A fake smile. A mask. In that moment I knew. Daddy's gone.
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I wish I could go back in time; change all of it. Honestly, I really didn't mean to hurt him. We never got a chance to know our dad in the first place and I think me not caring is what got to him.