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Swollen Red Eyes
“Collin! I totally think that I aced my history test!” I said as I routinely slammed my backpack on the kitchen island and headed back to the living room of my older brother’s house, “By the way, thanks for the help with studying, there is no way I could’ve aced that without you,” I hadn’t even gotten to the living room yet, “Ms. Merlin is probably gonna think that I cheated or something. I always fail history because I don’t see the point and I never will, but oh well it will be a stinking subject for the next 4 years of my high school career! Anyway do you kn–”
Where is he, I thought as I was standing on the threshold of the living room door. My heart started pounding like a coward. Why was the fact that Collin was not in the living room watching Fox 5 news at five on a Tuesday evening when I get home later because I have film club scaring me? I told my fast beating heart that it needed to put a sock in it.
“Samantha, I’m in my room,” he said with a croaking voice.
My pounding heart was now beating all of the way to China and back repeatedly. Something was wrong, I could sense it in his voice, in the way that he longingly called me by my full name and not by Sam. The only time that this happened before is when he told me that he had to go away for a month for his stupid job all of the way to Columbia. This was bad news bears and I knew it. But I could take it. Right?
I slowly and cowardly walked into the next room where he was sitting on the edge of his bed with his shoes on, fully dressed (he is usually just is a tee-shirt and boxers). He was anxiously tapping his foot on the ground.
“Collin what’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong Sam, what makes you think something is wrong?” He said, staring at the ground. He didn’t even blink, and he was still tapping his foot.
“I know you. Something is up. Tell me.” I was getting really scared now, everything is not going normally, and he just lied to me, oh God. His foot finally stopped tapping. He knew he had to tell me. His eyes slowly made his way up to mine. He looked terrible, as if he had pulled 10 all nighters in a row and had fifty exams to study for.
I moved to the wall opposite of his bed so that I was about 10 feet away from him. I tried to stand up, but my legs couldn’t cooperate. I slowly slid down the wall.
“Collin tell me know.” I was feeling really dizzy. I had a burning pain in the back of throat and the waterworks were making their way through my stubborn sensation of anti-crying.
“Why is this so hard,” he whispered under his breath. I pretended like I wasn’t supposed to hear it.
“I can’t do this,” he said as he got to his feet and started to walk out of the room. I quickly jumped up (out of pure instinct) and grabbed his shoulder. He was on the verge of tears, I could tell. I have never seen him cry. His pain was causing me to ache all over. We were standing in the doorway, my hand was on his shoulder, shaking as violently as an earthquake. We were both in tears now.
He was leaning on his doorframe, he suddenly gave in. He was on the ground crying as I tried to comfort him. Finally, when he got himself together, he gazed at me with his swollen red eyes and managed to say, “Sam, I joined the Navy.”
And suddenly, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe.
(Possibly to be continued…)