Spencer and I spent most of our time together ever since we were little children, he always having five years over me. There was nothing that we couldn’t tell each other, no secrets to keep. Now, it seemed as though there was something worrying him. Thinking it was just the drowsiness I felt from that day, I climbed the stairs up to my bedroom and fell asleep.

I woke the next morning much rather in the same mood that I had the day before. The feeling that there was something off balance and that Spencer was hiding some unknown secret from me had not gone away. These strange feelings, which sometimes had the awkward effect of wearing shoes that were two sizes too small and that I had never experienced before seemed to occupy my thoughts for the next few days. With each passing day Spencer seemed to be drifting farther away from me. I watched him closely and his movements seemed to belong to that of a stranger, and he spoke always in a whisper as though he did not want anyone to know he was there. I could not bear it any longer. The house was not roaring with the customary laughter that used to come whenever Spencer told one of his corny jokes. No longer did we take part in the long conversations that we had while lying on the front lawn, where we would reveal our inner most thoughts and emotions to one another. Spencer had always said I was lucky because I did not need a diary like all the other teenage girls. I had him to confide in and keep my thoughts safe. This, for some odd reason was not a part of my life anymore and it was as though we had experienced the painful loss of our parents once again, but I knew in reality that I had lost a part of my brother.

That evening I went to the studio down the hall from my bedroom to look for Spencer. I opened the door to find an empty room and an open window with the breeze from outside blowing the curtains in disarray. For an instant I stood in shock but then figured he might have gone down to the market.

I made my way down College Street and turned the familiar corner into Kensington Market. I searched all our usual hangouts and with no luck found him anywhere. I suddenly remembered “the spot.” Whenever Spencer was upset at mum or dad, whether it was the party he couldn’t go to, or they took away his paints, he would go to his spot. As I grew older I often joined him there, but I usually decided to let him have this one spot to be alone with his thoughts.


Sitting on a bridge overlooking a small pond infested with lily pads and willow trees sat Spencer with his hood pulled over his face. I approached him slowly listening to his soft sobs. I had never seen him look so small.

“Spence?” I reached out and touched his right shoulder which startled him. “Spencer, I was looking everywhere for you and I thought you ran away or something, but then I remembered your spot and,” I stopped to look him in the face. He was different. The colour he once had in his cheeks had gone away and below his eyes where grey circles which gave the impression that he hadn’t slept for days. “Spencer, you never kept things from me before, what’s the matter?”

“Mum, dad,” was all Spencer replied.

“I know, I miss them to but you can’t just sit around. What do you think our parents would say if they saw you like this? You’re not yourself,” and this was true. Even after mum and dad had died Spencer had never looked or acted in this manner, and it seemed as though he had just heard of their passing and was cruelly grieving for them.

“No,” Spencer started. “You don’t understand.”

“We never kept things from each other before no matter how outrageous they seemed. Why should now be any different? You don’t need a diary remember? I am here now,” I said.

It was never hard to get through to him no matter how upset he was about anything and I knew he would give in at any moment because his eyes formed that familiar confusing shape.

“Until recently it had not seemed like such a big deal and it didn’t seem like it was my fault. I told myself over and over it was just a freak accident,” said Spencer. I was utterly confused but glad that we were making process.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The car accident, mum and dad. It was me.”

“What? No,” I answered quickly. “Don’t say that. It was nobody’s fault, your just starting to grieve properly so you need someone to blame and you think…” Spencer cut me off.

“No!” I had never heard him yell before because he had such a quiet soul. “That day, when the accident took place, I was working on their car. Their anniversary was three days away and I thought I would give dad’s car a tune up and surprise him you know, maybe even give it a nice paint job. I wasn’t quite finished assembling the engine properly and the phone rang. I got distracted because it was about our gig down at Kensington Market, so forgetting about the car I called you and we left for the show.”


“And mum and dad took the car and went for a drive,” I added in. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard and I wouldn’t. He was simply trying to make an excuse in order to make sense of their death.

“I shouldn’t have answered the phone. I was supposed to finish the car and it was supposed to be a surprise. After we got home that night I knew what I had done but never fully understood. It was just an accident I told myself. You fixed the car perfectly, and it was just an accident like every other one that happened to poor souls in the city. It was fine until the anniversary of their death and I couldn’t hold this secret in any longer. The guilt was destroying my mind and I couldn’t escape no matter where I went. It was as though it was night all the time, and now I know the sun will never rise again. I killed mum and dad,” admitted Spencer with a strong and firm voice.

“No,” I did not want to believe this. He was delirious and tired from grief. “You’re talking crazy Spencer. The sun rises with each new day and you have that. Don’t let God’s plan tear you up inside, because it was their time to go and you had no blame in that.”

“You don’t understand,” said Spencer calmly. “It was my fault because I didn’t fix the car properly and I didn’t warn them. If it wasn’t for my stupid mistake they would still be here and you would be happier. I can’t keep this in anymore, its tearing me apart.”

“I am happy. I mean, sure I wish I had my parents but we have each other and that still means something. You’re everything to me,” I said reassuringly. It seemed as though we had both changed. That I was the cool headed one and Spencer turned into this dark stranger.

“No Sonny. I was the cause for their destroyed lives and now I am the cause for your unhappy life. I love you with all my heart, but it’s time for me to go. If I don’t, my thoughts will surely suffocate me,” said Spencer, and it was not until now that I say the grey bricks that were strung to each of his feet.

Without another word and with one lasting smile he sent my way, Spencer, my confidence, my support, my friend and my brother, cast himself forward from the eleven foot iron bridge and plunged into the cool water. Bubbles floated to the surface within seconds, and somehow I felt to blame. Everything was my fault, and I could have done something to save my brother from his own annihilating guilt. Nothing would ever be the same I thought to myself as I stood upon that same bridge and surged my life into the waters of remorse.

The End

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