A Fire In The Dark

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

And in the end,
We lie awake and dream of making our escape

Death and All His Friends – Coldplay


On the 4th of April 2000, when I was 10 years old, my oldest brother and the only hero I had left in the world, lost his fight to cancer. He was 25 years old. So many things happened around this time that I am having a very hard time putting them into proper paragraphs but I shall try my very best.

I’ll start this a year earlier, when I was 9. So I had been playing the guitar for around a year now, I was getting better than I ever thought I possibly could, just doing chords and learning my scales. I was happy but there was a lot wrong at the same time. It was around this time that I noticed that my father really wasnt a father at all. He was just a huge child stuck in a mans body, he did whatever he wanted, got drunk all the time, had promiscuous sex with anyone he wanted, and due to my Mother being so worried about my Brothers illness, the normally strong fiery woman I had grown up with was now a shell of what she had used to be. My school life was in shambles due to 1 person. A horrible teacher who made me work on the floor because she wanted to use my desk as hers was constantly covered in paperwork. This went on for months and months. My mother finally stood up to her and the backlash was horrible. I was made to clean desks and whiteboards most lunchtimes, and even redo assignments. Her reason was simply this “You can do much better” I remember one assignment I did on the Aztecs. I was so into this assignment that I went all out. I put together one of those huge multipart boards, painted it a colour known as Aztec Gold,  filled it with information and pictures and made a model of an Aztec temple out of Paper Machet which was completely painted and wasnt too bad for a 9-year-old to do. I was totally and utterly proud of this assignment and my mother saw how hard I had worked. I got a C+ for my efforts. I was so angry at the teacher that I kicked her. I got into so much trouble for this, but you know. I truly didn’t care.

I managed to get through the year without being stabbed to death by the Twenty-something year old teacher from hell and that meant one thing. Christmas was coming. We were house sitting for a family that we knew quite well at this time, they lived just down the road from us and had a huge Mandarin Orchard with around 20,000 tree’s. I used to love  running through the rows and rows of tree’s in the early morning and going for a dip in the pool in the late afternoon which became my ritual. Christmas arrived and my brother, sister and brothers girlfriend came to have Christmas lunch with us. My mother made an amazing meal as she always did. Roast Chicken and Vegetables, her famous Bacon and Kumara (sweet potato) salad, fresh bread, Ham, Lettuce salads and Mushroom salads. We ate all day, and it was well past dark when my brother and his girlfriend left, my sister stayed with us that night which was always an event as she was quite a wild child back in those days. Little did I know, this was the last time that I would see my brother well enough to walk.

The next year of school I got the best teacher ever. An amazing man who was 1 of 2 male teachers in the school. He was a 30-year-old ex rock musician who was addicted to Grunge music and got us all into it aswell. I remember how easy it was for me to play, I could play it all day long even though it sounded like crap on an acoustic guitar. I was sad though, my brother was wasting away before my very eyes getting thinner and thinner everyday untill he was just bones. We went to visit him every week in the city which was quite an adventure as we lived on the outskirts of a town, so going into the city was a big thing for me. I missed one week though, I went to a birthday party one morning for a friend of mine instead, and when I came back, my younger brother and I were dropped off at our neighbours place and Mum left without saying a word to me. We spent the night there and when she picked us up the next morning, he had died.

The next things that happened shocked me to the core, the first one was that my Mother didn’t let me go to the funeral. Her reason “It will be sad” I still think to myself “No fucking shit it will be sad, my brother was the most loved out of all of us” I sat at home with a babysitter and never got to say goodbye. The second thing that happened next was that my Dad said “Hey guys, I will be back in an hour, going to get some smokes” he didnt come back for 5 years. These last two things messed me up for years after, But that’s for the next entry.

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  2. Jo Bryant says:

    It seems odd in a way to press the ‘like’ button for this. This is one of the most amazingly honest, sad, and yet hopeful pieces of writing I have ever been lucky enough to come across. I thank you for writing it, for placing it out there for me to find. 🙂

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