Mum got ill after that. She started losing her hair; she was tired all the time. My dad took her to the doctors when he found her on the bathroom floor, sobbing, surrounded by pills.
Depression they said.
Mitch stopped calling, texting or e-mailing then. I lost my big brother. Rosa , Dad and I tried to keep Mum happy and looked after her, not letting her out of our site. She began smiling again and laughing. Rosa and Dad believed it, but I could still see the pain in her eyes. The pain of losing her eldest and only son. Mum became worse after Mitch, got a big job offer in Australia. She didn’t smile anymore. She didn’t even get out of bed. She just laid there, still, like a ghost.
Mum died shortly after.
I can only blame myself. I tried to take her to the park, to help clear her mind, to help her feel the breeze in her hair once more. I left her by the staircase for two minutes. When I returned, I looked out the window and saw on the ground, a lifeless, almost beautiful looking figure of my Mum. Dad told me she was finally at rest and at peace. We never told, Rosa how she died, we said that somehow, God had chosen her to be his wife, in heaven. I believed it for a while.
Mitch didn’t even turn up at the funeral. Just me, Dad and Rosa and our relatives. The village has never treated us the same. It’s like if they don’t protect us, we’ll shatter into a million pieces. I liked it at first, it was comfort when I needed it most, but now, it’s like they have forgotten me. Everyone gets on with their lives now, and I only get a few sympathetic looks now and then. It’s like they gave up on making me happy.
I fell asleep in the snow and I awoke with numb toes and fingers. I decide to head back to the house when I’m greeted by something weird. The whole village are stood there, weary eyed, like they have missed me for a thousand years. It’s not me of course, it’s someone behind me. They look quite peculiar. I can barely see them through the snow but manage to make out a silhouette. They have a torn out blazer with a trilby hat to match. His vivid red hair peeps out from underneath his hat and his shirt looks too big for him. Its only when I see his blue eyes I know how it is. Mitch. I run to him, screaming his name and almost knock him off his feet when I give him the biggest hug I could possibly do. He looks old now. A little bit too old. He has gained weight and got ruff ginger stubble. He looks like a body without a soul.
I take him back to the house, where dad is sipping coffee and Rosa, being Rosa, is prancing around in a feather bower. ‘Dad!’ I shout ‘I have someone I want you to meet’. Dad shuffles through to the kitchen and when he catches a glance of Mitch, his coffee mug slips out of his hand. I forgot how much Dad was disappointed in his son when he didn’t turn up the funeral. Mitch, stands there and his eyes, swollen, from tears look like he is hoping for forgiveness, otherwise, he’ll be lost in a world of regret.