|His brother sat with his mouth hanging open, strings of saliva hanging from his loose lips, eyes lackadaisically twitching from one object to the next. There was nothing in those empty eyes now, there hadn’t been for years. They were pits of senselessness. He hated visiting his brother. He hated listening to the respirator. He hated seeing him like this, remembering that night.
It was his brother’s twenty-first birthday. He wanted to take him out for the night, show him a good time. He loaded him up with a few strong shots, and managed to let a few too many slide down his own throat. At first they laughed and joked, then they turned to the senseless stupor that only the drunk find entertaining. When it was time to leave, they went out to the car. They drove. They crashed. He escaped practically unscathed, while his brother was ruined forever.
Now, he stood over him, watching him, less than a shell of his old self, listening to the loud and wispy pumping of the respirator. His brother wanted to take a cab, but he told him he could drive. It was his fault he was like this. He always thought that he was trapped. He couldn’t bear to watch it any longer, to hear that damn respirator. It was mocking him, a wheezing laugh.
Then, all went silent but for the footsteps of him leaving his brother’s body behind.