A young boy copes with the complicated feelings involved in the loss of a sibling.
|Contest entry : 527 words
“Ronnie and Johnny”
By Christian Powers
“Talk to him. He can hear you.”
Johnny didn’t know what to say.
“Come on, John. Tell him what you told me about gym class.”
“Okay,” Johnny said, but he didn’t want to talk to Ronnie. It was only the second time he had seen him since the accident, and all he could do was stare at the big dent in his brother’s forehead. It was like a hole that sunk in, but covered in skin. Ronnie’s hair was all shaved on one side too, making him look even worse, like a monster.
“Hey, Ronnie,” said his father, using the loud voice he used when he spoke to Ronnie. “You’re little brother is here.” He nudged Johnny forward. “Go ahead, John. Tell him about gym class.”
Johnny opened his mouth.
Would he have to speak loud too?
He opened his mouth wider.
Nothing came out.
He spun around and looked up at his dad. “I can’t,” he said. “I can’t talk to him.”
Johnny’s dad looked upset. Then he just looked sad. “It’s okay, son. I’ll tell him all about gym class. Go wait outside. I’ll be down soon.”
“Okay.” Johnny walked straight out of the room, took the stairs down three flights to the ground floor, and walked outside.
He ran to the car and tried to get in, but it was locked.
Johnny looked back at the hospital. He didn’t want to go back there.
Instead, he walked out onto the grass and leaned back against a chain-link fence. He looked back at the hospital, hoping his father would hurry up.
It was a nice day and he wasn’t hungry or anything, but he wanted to go.
Why couldn’t he say anything to Ronnie? He wondered. Why was he scared?
He wished he said something, even just a word or two to make his father happy.
When his brother got in the accident they were all taking turns, Ronnie, Johnny, and their two cousins, David and Michelle.
Nobody used the helmet except Michelle, because she was the girl. Ronnie always went the fastest on the mini-bike, faster than everyone, so when he hit the tree it was bad, really bad.
His dad said that Ronnie had died twice during brain surgery, and that he might never wake up again.
That was over a month ago now.
Johnnie wished his father would hurry up. He liked driving places with his dad and he wanted to leave.
He didn’t know why he was so scared to talk to Ronnie. His father would have really liked it if he had said something, but it was like he had to talk to him, so he just couldn’t do it, at least not in front of his dad.
But why did he feel so guilty when he was about to talk?
And where was his dad? He wanted to get out of this boring place and go have some fun.
Then he thought of how Ronnie could never leave, and never have fun.
Embarrassed, his face got red hot. He suddenly knew why he couldn’t talk to Ronnie.
He slid down the fence, and hid his face.