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The International Writers Magazine:Dreamscapes Life Moments

A Brother's Regrets
Patrick Wilson

"Right here!" David said.
 It was a few minutes after midnight when they pulled into the gas station parking lot.  The station was closed for the night, but David's thoughts were still open. 

They sat with the engine off and listened.  Listening to the drizzling rain dancing on top of an oil puddle, or the occasional car driving by -- rubber speeding across moist pavement -- and, of course, the silence between them.
Suddenly, David yelled, "It happened here!"  Pointing his finger at the end of the parking lot.
"What happened?" Todd said.
 A second or two passed and neither one spoke until David said, "Five-years ago this place looked like a war zone.  Blood! Man, the blood was everywhere.  Hell! For me, the blood is still here."

Todd watched as his friend's finger dropped from the murky windshield; he said nothing, just waited.  Yet David muttered, "he was my friend. . . I failed," as he reached for the door handle.
David continued to talk subtly as they steadily walked to where he had pointed.
"A man, high on PCP, was standing where you are; he was waving a sawed-off shotgun.  Mark pulled up to fill his tank."
David paused to take a deep breathe and puff on his newly lit cigarette.
"Now, the people who were here that day claimed some choice words were exchanged between Mark and the gunman.  Mark then rushed the man and ate two bullets: one in the chest, the other in the mouth."
 "What about the gunman?"
"The bastard turned the gun on himself."
"Damn! Your friend was brave, "Todd asserted.
"Brave isn't the word; it was suicide.  Of course, that's not how the police wrote it up," David said, as he turned to walk back to the car.
"You see -- there was a time when me and Mark used to cause some serious hell in this town.  He knew everything about me as I thought I knew about him: I was wrong."
  "So you guys were more like brothers than best friends," Todd claimed.
  "We were both; he was my baby brother and one of my closest friends," David stated.
  "Oh, then what was it you didn't know about him?"
  "Well, during that day, a bunch of us got together and talked about what we should do for the night.  And someone thought it would be cool to go to Captain Bens, which used to be a gay bar downtown, and pretend to be gay and all.  You know -- just young, fun stuff -- nothing serious.  Well, Mark didn't like the idea.  No big deal.  But one of our friend's began to question Mark's sexuality.  Calling him an undercover brother or claiming that someone might recognize him if we went.  That shit went on for five minutes or so, when Mark finally broke down and came out.  Someone would recognize him; he was gay."
  "What happened?"
  "Everyone freaked out.  It was faggot this, faggot that."
  "What did you do?"
  "That's the thing. . . I didn't do anything; I didn't know how to take it."
  "What did your brother do?"
  "Hell, what could he do?  He got pissed off and drove here.  I should've stuck up for him.  I didn't.  He was my brother.  And I failed."
© Patrick Wilson October

Patrick Wilson currently lives in Brunswick, GA where he teaches and tutors English. He has a BA in English from Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah, GA).

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