She was panting by the time she finished her 12 mile jog on the treadmill. And as always, she could feel the release, the contentment wash over her. Her tired muscles seemed to sigh in pleasure. Things had been so tense lately, she had forgotten this happy feeling. Her release she knew was short lived, only a short respite from the real world worries that seem to plague her constantly. Ryan was still depressed. He was still the innocent younger brother to her and she was still as protective of him now as she was when he was eight. 'Big Sis Instinct', was what he called it.
She knew he blamed himself for their parents crash. He was the one driving, was what he kept repeating over and over again. The therapist had given him sleeping pills, among others. Nothing seemed to work. Their parents death had taken its toll on him. He lived his life now mechanically, almost like he was doing someone a favor. A constant aura of decay and decrepitude enveloped him. Vulnerability had silently crept into his eyes, and put up a permanent home there. Those eyes reminded her of a deer's eyes in the headlights of an oncoming car. Her heart broke and ached for him. He was her little brother!
The phone rang. She wiped the sweat off of her face and reached out."Hello", "Hey Bree, it's me." "Ryan...How are you? You could have called before you know", she tried to sound humorous and carefree but her voice broke on the last note." Yeah, I am fine Bree. Just wanted to hear your voice", said that stranger's voice she had come to recognize as her brother's over the past few weeks."How're ya holding up Ry?! Are you really okay?", she said. "Yeah.....yeah...i am! I think i will be", continued the voice devoid of all emotions."Alright Bree, goodbye...you know i love you, right Bree?" Something was wrong, she could sense it. "Ry, whats going on Ry? Whats wrong?" Desperation started to seep into her voice. "I love you Bree", said the voice. "Ry...Ry...talk to me...please! Ry...I am coming over okay...I'll be there in five minutes okay, I am coming!", she managed to say before the line went dead. She grabbed her car keys and ran to the garage. Storm clouds were brewing...a premonition perhaps! She shoved the thought out of her mind and increased the speed. The seconds ticked away, the air growing palpably heavy with apprehension. She jerked on the brakes as she reached her destination and jumped out of the car. Reaching for the spare keys, she jammed it into the lock, turned it and entered.
She was too late. His body lay draped across the white cushions of the sofa, one hand clutching the gun and the other hand reaching out towards a smashed frame of the four of them of them standing together grinning at the camera."Happy Times", it said at the corner of the frame. But not today, she thought. She was...too late!
The above post was written for the Wednesday Prompt from the Write Tribe. Click on the link below to visit...Enjoy!
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