Chapter 1 : It's April Again
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The leaves that had begun to grow that April had fallen again in September, and soon enough the snow lay on the ground, crunching under the feet of the passers-by. Christmas had passed like a trudging giant, shattering barely healed hearts.
Firewhisky had dulled his pain, but it was still there like a throbbing heart that had been infected with fat, hardly able to push the blood out to the world’s veins. Of course, the rest of the world still went on. The girl in the village still smiled, still asked to see some card tricks. Children still trickled into the shops, though the trade had dulled since he’d stopped inventing.
Everything had been dulled. February had no colour; it was simply a passing shadow, something that must be gotten over with.
He never cried, not anymore. They tried to make him cry, they tried to get something out of him. But since half his heart had stopped, he was simply a marble statue dragging itself through moon after moon, trying not to shatter underneath the weight of its existence.
He hadn’t touched any of the things. They still lay there, scattered as though someone was searching for something. He hadn’t even unpacked the suitcase. He couldn’t bear to open it, with the initials of his loss embossed upon its handles.
It was when the first owl came that it hit him, really. He’d known it deep down since he saw the first Daffodil growing feral by the shop’s doorstep. March, he’d thought to himself. March again, already. He could see the face in his mind. It never went away, but that day it
Everything was a reminder, every document with his brother’s name on it, every place they’d been together. Even his younger brother was a reminder. They’d laughed at him, together, and without the other half of his heart, it wasn’t nearly so fun. Nothing was nearly so fun, it was as though the sun had dulled to grey.
They’d tried to make him better. They’d talked to him, they’d held his hand, but the whole world couldn’t fill the hole in his heart. And everything just seemed to make it wider. When people saw him, they saw his visible scars, but he didn’t, he saw a constant reminder of what he’d lost.
Every time he saw his reflection, he thought he’d returned. Every time he passed his window on a dark night, he thought he saw him standing there waiting. What was the world without one’s brother? One’s best friend? It was a constant dull day, filled with drizzle and unkind stares.
The world is so unkind, when there is no friendly face to heal you.
When he got the owl, he read it in silence, the tears streaming down his face. They’d shared so much, and this day was the reason for it. It was the day he’d first seen the light of the world, and the day that he thought he’d share forever.
He had walked to the graveyard, it hadn’t been far, and it was so full; full with the corpses, most unblemished, of those that they called heroes. But though it seemed that in preparation for the anniversary, some had come to see those they’d lost, his destination was empty. The cherry tree stood there, covered in blossoms. The ground was sodden with the rain that was an undying accompaniment to March, and as he walked slowly along the lonely place, the wet began to seep through to his socks. He didn’t care. There it was; the grave. Beloved Brother and Son. It was set in a neat script, but he couldn’t stand those simple words. His Brother had been so much more. He could fill a book on what his brother had been, and yet to those who visited the tomb in years to come that was all he would be, a brother and a son. Anyone could be a son, anyone could be a brother.
He lay down by the grave, and for the first time in nearing a year, tears dripped down his freckled face. And for the first time in nearly a year, he spoke to his brother.
“Fred, wake up now, we must get older, oh please wake up” And he couldn’t stop the flow of the tears, they fell down his face like a release of the loneliness that had infected his bones. And the rain stopped, the rain that had been falling that day stopped like a sign from the heavens.
The italicised first line of this is from the song Jessica by Regina Spektor, as is the only line that George speaks. For some reason it really inspired me to write George. Also, I know it's short and all, but it's meant to represent a sort of quick and fleeting moment that sort of began the healing process, so I made it quick and fleeting. I don't know, I'm weird. Anyway, I hope you all like this, and I would adore you forever and a day if you reviewed.