I remember when we named him. We went into town to get groceries, and saw this adorable puppy, and he was free. Mother said, "Okay," and we came home with him. Father took one look at him and said, "That dog looks like a potato!" Thus, he became Spud.
Since you seemed to play with him the most, now he just sits around all day and mopes. Sometimes he waits by the front door, waiting for you to come back home and play with him. We just tell him that he's a silly dog, and try to get him to play with us instead. He does miss you, we all do. He only plays with us in a half-assed way, now.
I saw this movie the other day, and it reminded me of you. It was about these people who lived in a small town, and they managed to have fun, and even be content without having to leave to go to the big city. Of both children, you seemed to be more like that. Me? I want to get out of here as soon as I'm done with High School. Mother and Father don't quite like that idea, but they want what's best for me.
Speaking of Mother, she made your favorite dish last night: Teriyaki Chicken with Basmati Rice. And Father, he finally fixed that car of his. We were pleasantly amazed when we heard that beast roar to life. He was so excited that he took Mother into town, and left me at home to do the dishes. I admit, I let Spud help.
Remember, each time we had to do dishes, we'd let Spud lick the plates? Then mother would see us do it, and reprimand us. Of course, she too would be laughing just as hysterically as we were, only doing it on the inside. Mothers seem to be able to do that: laugh on the inside, and not let the true emotion come out. I admit, though, you not being here to help hold the plates up to Spud's piggy-snout while he greedily scarfed the contents of the plate definitely made it less entertaining.
We both got into it, though, since it reminded us both of you. When I was done, he actually played with me, all excitedly. When Mother and Father came home, Spud and I both were lying on the floor, exhausted. They both had a good laugh at the sight of Spud and I there on the floor.
After that, it was bed time. I walked past your room. It's still set up like you lived there. I'm not surprised. Mother is quite the sentimental woman. I'm sure that even if I leave for school for good, my room will be in the same condition that I left it in, or cleaner, for that matter. Then, maybe I'll get married, have a bunch of kids, and there my room will be, set up for a teenage boy. Parents are funny like that.
School is going well. We're reading this one book in English. It's one of those dark comedy books you always liked to read. It's about this guy, and things happen to him--bad things. But he always managed to laugh it off, even to the end of the world (yes, the world even blows up in the end, while he's laughing, after having lost everything). I told Mother about it, but she just shook her head and said, "The crazy books you kids are reading these days." It's called Job Complex by Jedediah Franklin, III. At first, everyone thought it was job complex, like a work-job, and not Job, like the guy from the Bible. I figured it out soon enough, seeing how this guy suffered, similarly to that of Job, even. Of course, he didn't get a happy ending.
I would like to thank my parents, for taking me to church every single possible time they could. I know so much about things that other people don't understand. It's crazy. There was the Job thing, and I explained it to the class. Then there's the stuff that I learn in the Theology class after regular service. I originally did it because I didn't like the kids in the youth group, and this was the only other group I could join, since I wasn't married, a parent, engaged, seeking church membership, a college student, or a single adult. They were hesitant at first, since I wasn't really that old, but the finally let me join, and were glad too, since my "child-like" insight brought forth a whole mess of more topics for the class to study as a whole.
Speaking of church, I always envied you. You had cool friends in the youth group, but I couldn't really do things with them, since I was your little brother. Now, they're all at college, and the next class is stepping up to take their place. It seems that every graduating class gets less and less enthusiastic about everything year after year. I hope I can change that for me, at least.
I remember your graduation, actually. I mean, it wasn't too far back, but at the same time, it wasn't only yesterday.
I remember how you loved the hyacinth flower, and wanted it to be the graduation flower--the one you wore on your robe. But, when put to a vote, the rose won out over everything else.
It was funny how you managed to sneak in a bit of hyacinth in with your rose. If Mother and Father had found out before the ceremony, they would have made you remove it.
Actually, today, while walking home from school, I came across a patch of hyacinth. You were the first person that I thought about. I knocked on the front door, and an elderly woman came to the front door. I asked her if I might have some of her hyacinth. She kindly said yes, and that I may help myself to as much of it as I would like. So, I searched for a decent stalk, and plucked it delicately from the ground.
She asked me why I was so careful with the stalk. I told her that I was going to take it to my sister. She asked me about you. I told her all I could remember, which was a lot, since you've been there all my life, pretty much.
I almost started crying when I started to talk about that day you got into your car to go on a date with your boyfriend, Brad. But, I managed to finish the story without crying too much. I told of how a drunk driver hit your car, and how when Mother and Father and I heard about it, we rushed down to the hospital to see if you were all right. They had you in the intensive care unit. Though you were not in the best of conditions, you managed to look so peaceful while you were surrounded by a world of chaos. We were there for you during your last few moments here on earth. Brad came by just in time to kiss you goodbye. He did so on the forehead, since you had a respirator on your mouth. We all waited there until you left, and waited around a little while longer. Mother and Father invited Brad over, because he was really sad about it all too. He came over, and we sat around the kitchen and sipped hot cocoa. Though it was the sweet kind Mother always made, and you perfected by adding chocolate chips, it tasted bitter that night.
Brad finally got himself another girlfriend, though he does miss you much. She's understanding, and realizes that she cannot replace you, but at the same time, she, of all the girls I know, holds the brightest candle to you.
I told this kindly old woman about how the drunk driver managed to survive to accident, and when he found out what he had done, he killed himself.
At this, the woman was taken aback. She too had a sad story to share, one about her son who had a problem with alcohol.
It turns out that her son was the same guy who hit you while driving under the influence. She was hoping that he would give up his vile addiction, and I guess you could say that he did, though not in the way that she had hoped.
She told me that we should both go to the cemetery together, so that we could visit our loved ones. I told her that I had to rush home, and would return shortly. I came home and started writing this letter. I'll place it on your tombstone, along with the flower I picked. I hope you like them.
I miss you a lot, you know.
See you soon,