Michael Cadby was sixteen when he took his own life. The bullying over his speech patterns turned into slurs, scrawled over his locker, in his notebooks, and his name became a synonym for stupid. His 12-year-old sister couldn't do anything about it, given her young state, but as a little sister, her natural instinct was to try and comfort him when he would cry himself to sleep at night in the room that they shared.
The cool breeze drifted into her room again as the door creaked open, bringing the morbid stature of her deceased brother in with it.
She was used to him visiting her, although it was always impossible to tell if it was just her mind playing tricks on her, trying to find a way to deal with the grief.
“Hi, S-s-s-sammy,” he said, his voice slipping and stuttering, much as it had in life.
“Hiya, Mikey,” she said with a smile. The noose was still tied around his neck, a long rope trailing from it behind him, but Sammy had to pretend not to notice. She forced the grin as she got out of her bed, and then threw her arms around her brother. “Baseball season has started up again,” she said, pulling him to sit down. “I know how much you love baseball.”
Michael sighed, the sound coming out as more of a wheeze, and ran his fingers along the rope. “I do, I do,” he said with a smile.
“Mom misses you something awful,” Sammy continued, looking into his eyes, her own all teary. “And…dad…” Her voice caught in her throat, the horrible image of her father in the hospital bed, bleeding madly…screaming…knowing there was nothing she could do to help…and then…nothing…and now the white sheet that they had pulled over him…the funeral…it all happened so suddenly…
She cleared her throat, trying to keep herself together to explain, but before she could, her brother pressed his finger to her lips. “I kn-n-know.”
Sammy nodded, dropping her gaze. “There are no accidents,” her father’s voice repeated in her head, his favourite saying taking on a bitter taste across her tongue as she stated it aloud.
“Do you r-r-really believe th-that?” Michael asked, wrinkling his nose.
“I don’t know what to believe,” Sammy sniffled, getting up. “I’m thirsty,” she uttered, standing up and marching solemnly to the bathroom. After a cup of water, she took a shaky breath and stalked back to her room.
It was no surprise to her that when she returned, her brother was gone. She sighed shallowly and crept back into bed, turning onto her side and falling asleep.