'Grace' .... the beginning of my dark modern novella

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“There is a reason we come into this world crying and screaming….” “Wow….you really are the most positive man I ever met, it’s like a fucking Disney movie every time I have a drink with you. What happened today ...

“There is a reason we come into this world crying and screaming….”

“Wow….you really are the most positive man I ever met, it’s like a fucking Disney movie every time I have a drink with you. What happened today to get you so hyper fucking happy?”

“You live in a different world to me; all I see in my world inequality, violence and depravity.”

“Well you do live in Reading; I suppose that is similar to Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine…..although Syria has much more culture…”

This was always how the conversation developed with my younger brother, being honest, it was the main reason I tried hard to not see him, except at the normal family occasions one cannot possibly get out of, no matter how we try; Christmas, Birthdays, Weddings, Funerals. I sidestepped most other familial events and I think people thought me heartless for doing so. Adam was spiralling into depression and for some unknown reason, the rest of my family looked to me to rectify this, as if I had some super power or expert knowledge on the subject matter. I was the middle brother; I was moderately successful as a script and screen writer, I was moderately wealthy; I was moderately interesting, moderately good looking, moderately intelligent. I was, well….moderate. The only really successful thing I have ever achieved is marrying the most beautiful woman in the world; and I mean this internally as well as externally; there are plenty of beautiful women out there who are complete bitches; Anna was not one of them; she was my soul mate, my best friend, my lover, my confidante and in many, many ways my better half. I have had books published, plays performed, won awards but all of this was part of my job, it does not make me a supremo on family matters or depression and this was somehow expected of me. My elder brother; John was a more confident man than I, more intelligent in many ways but and this was a big but, he had absolutely no empathy at all. He was one of those typical Tories who just have no compassion about anything in life. He married who he was expected to marry, he acts as he feels he should act; he is entirely different to me in so many ways that I have often contemplated that my mother must have picked up the wrong child in the hospital after my birth. Adam is also more like John than myself; they both look down on my quirky sense of humour, my gregarious manner, my rather eclectic circle of friends, my positive mental attitude. They were, no, they are, both deadly serious in everything they say and do. I am, almost entirely the opposite of this – I am rarely even remotely serious and today, as I sat in the expensive wine bar in Covent Garden, I heard  Anna’s last words which she whispered to me as she softly kissed my mouth, as I left the house earlier in the evening;

“Try and be patient, he is your little brother.”

I repeated this in my head as I sat in the taxi, repeating it over and over as a mantra for this evening’s annual brotherly reunion. As anticipated, I received a concise text from John stating that he could not make the evening as he had to take young Josephine to ballet class. It was a blatant lie which I treated with the contempt it deserved and childishly replied with the classic; ‘it’s ok, understand’ which almost always actually means ‘you complete arse, you couldn’t even be bothered to have a pint with your two living brothers on the anniversary of our sister’s disappearance.’

 

Oh yes, I was actually the third youngest; I class myself as the middle brother but I had a twin, a sister called Grace; she was much more like me, funny, sarcastic, immature and loving. We were really close until one day she never came back from college; we usually caught the same bus but I was heading to my friend’s house to listen to the new Guns N Roses album; Appetite for Destruction; still a brilliant album as it goes but I digress, perhaps intentionally as the next part of my story really does hurt my heart. I got back at about 9pm, the police were there; it was a time before cell phones and Grace had been due back at around 4.30pm as normal but had not shown up. That was thirteen years ago and we are all still waiting for my twin sister to show up.

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