Always There

Follow the main characters as they go on their own paths through life while struggling with their own inner battles.
Alisha Reynolds: A spunky keep-to-herself kind of gal. She likes having someone who at least acknowledges her existence. Moonlit walks and dark chocolate are romantic but too much can sufficate her.
Brandon: A proud bi-sexual, he constantly puts up face with the other kids. Meanwhile at home his family is falling apart. Still he attempts to prevail.

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4. Brandon

He hadn’t heard from her in a few days. Five to be exact. He figured it was due to her summer school. Poor girl, Alisha always did want to get ahead in her classes. But sometimes he believed that she overworked herself. Taking two math courses in one summer just to get that much ahead the next year could be considered mental suicide in any world.

Still five days was a long time for no contact. Especially since they were best friends since he could remember. Brandon stood pacing his bedroom, torn between texting her and waiting for her to talk to him. Maybe he should call her.

It was around five in the morning. Lately he hadn’t been getting any sleep. His entire life had been turned around that one night. Those two kisses. Drake and Alisha. He still had no clue as to what he was going to do. Brandon had called Drake, but had gotten no reply from him at all. None. He left multiple voicemails and still Drake didn’t even leave a text for his efforts.

Sighing, Brandon finally crept out of his bedroom into the kitchen. If anything could solve his mind it would best be to take some warmed milk and honey and then try to go to bed. Maybe then he’d actually get some decent sleep.

Walking past his sister’s room, he heard her whimper and move in her sleep. Trying his best, Brandon avoided most of the normal creeks in the wooden floors. He wasn’t the only one not sleeping well lately. His younger sister, Sara, who was only three and a half years old, hadn’t been getting much sleep as well. He didn’t know why, but he knew something was off. Ever since his mother had given birth to Sara, Brandon had noticed that she didn’t really complete her role as a mother any more.

Pouring the milk into the glass he thought of how his mother became less concerned with her children each moment that passed. A fact that was scarily turning into his life. Truth be told, he felt that he was closer to Sara than their mother would ever be. Sighing, Brandon put the milk back into the fridge and took out the honey. Mixing the concoction, he put his cup in the microwave.

As the timer slowly clicked down he also noticed the house’s condition. It wasn’t normal that everything was cluttered. Pressing ‘Stop/Reset’ he opened the microwave as softly as possible. His parents may be too absorbed into their own lives to hear the small disturbance, but he didn’t want to take any chances with his sister. If he had too, he would even leave the microwave open the rest of the morning till she woke.

Luckily, this time it shut without much fuss. From across the room, a squeak came from the bed of Sara. She was moving in her sleep. A small grin came across his bi-sexual face as thoughts of her possible dreams came to focus. Butterflies, tulips, a magical forest full of Barbie fairies. The possibilities were completely endless, and Brandon wanted her imagination to stay that way. Untainted by the world’s harsh realities.

Slowly sipping his soothing drink, he started to pick up his house. He couldn’t stand taking one step and landing on some kind of trash. It was absolutely disgusting. There were of course Sara’s toys which were the only exception to this rule. She could make as many messes as she wanted and he wouldn’t care. She was his everything and without her, Brandon didn’t know what he would do.

It was well past eight in the morning by the time he felt the house was spotless. Just clean enough to get through one more day of Sara’s messy habits. He chuckled slightly at himself. Speaking of which Sara should have woken half an hour ago. Still there came no noise from her room. Odd. It was unlike her to not even make a sound even when she was sleeping.

Brandon’s parents weren’t awake and probably would expect nothing out of the ordinary anyways. Just their little angel sleeping in. Finally Sara may have learned the way of her parents, but Brandon knew something was off.

“Sara?” He called her name softly as he slowly made his way toward her room down the hall. No reply, no creak, nothing to suggest any life at all.

“Sara?” He called slightly louder as he creaked open the door to her room.Darkness was penetrated by the light of dawn.

Flicking a switch, Brandon screamed in horror. Sara lay blue faced, her hands reaching out for nothing and everything. As soon as he walked into the room, her bright blue eyes surrounded by suffocated flesh turned and cried out for him. Tears flowed like a rapid river down his face as he frantically took out his cell and called nine-one-one. Placing it on speaker he set the phone down.

“This is the nine-one-one operator. What is your emergency?” A female voice came on over the phone.

“My sister! She’s choking! I can’t get her to breathe! Her face is blue. Please help me!” He nearly cried out in pure raw fear.

“Ok please calm down sir, can you tell me your exact location? An emergency medical crew is already on its way.”

The tears wouldn’t stop falling and he was sure that the address he was spilling out sounded anything but real. Picking up Sara he put her flat on her back on her changing station.

“Please help me!” He cried once more.

“Sir please remain calm. An EMC is already en route to your cellular location.”

He heard the sirens from the street, heard the door slam open from both his parents’ room and the front of the house. He didn’t care. Brandon slaved over his sister, blurred panic blocking any sense of reality. Strong hands gripped him from behind.

“NO!” He screamed, overwhelmed by the utter terror of the possibility of losing his sister, “Let me go! I have to help her! LET! ME! GO!”

Frustration got the best of him and he slammed his head back, breaking the nose of a medical assistant behind him. Hands let him loose and he grabbed the shoulder of the EMT holding his life. He would make sure that she didn't drop but he was going to be positive that she lived.

Somebody reached from behind him and pulled him into an arm and head lock. Breathing became hard from the position but he didn't stop. Jolting in the person's arm's he slowly lost momentum.

“Sir, it’s all right. We’re here to help. Sir!” Men stepped in front of him, blocking his view of his life. Her life.

“Sara!” He screamed.

Four men blockaded the door after they took his sister through them and into the ambulance. He was ushered into a chair. Pain, both physical and emotional, caused him to double over. Brandon sobbed into his hands. He didn’t know where his parents were. Did they even go with her in the ambulance? Did they care? Shaking, Brandon rocked back and forth in his chair.

“Sir?” A gentler voice met his ears as well a gentle caress on his knee.

Hyperventilation, the easiest path. Brandon couldn’t control his breathing. The pain was subsiding into blackness and soon Brandon would lay clumped over. He would meet his sister in the hospital. Still the tears wouldn’t end. Even when he had no breath to continue them with.

“Sir, look at me.”

Brandon breathed. Looking up he stared without meaning. The woman just placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. As if that would work. As if that would even Sara’s chances of survival. Haunting images of that precious face turned blue made his breath hitch in the back of the throat.

“Your sister is fine. The medics have taken her to the hospital to get her checked out. Ok? Calm down.” Her voice presented the same message as her hand- trust me it will be ok.

Brandon didn’t want to trust the word of some random medic. The only thing he would settle for is his own eyes seeing that wonderful smile of hers. Not her hooked up to some… some random life support machine. It just didn’t match up. The images didn’t bode well.

“She is going to survive. You will see her again.” She wiped a tear away from his cheek and stayed there till he was in better control of himself.

When he finally felt like he could talk his first words were, “Can I go see her now?”

A sigh of almost relief came from the nurse. Almost as if she was afraid he would lose it and become in need of medical attention. After all she was only a nurse. There was only so much she could do.

“I can take you to the hospital now if you want.” She replied.

“But can I see her?” Brandon had turned to stone. He blocked out any other feeling. Whatever had happened to his sister, he was sure that someone would pay. Whether that be his ignorant parents or himself. Someone would pay and pay dearly for risking his sister’s life.

“I, uh, I don’t know. Would you still like to go?”

“Yes, yes please.” He felt awful. She didn’t deserve this attitude from him. But here he was angry as all get out. Finally, he just gave up. Sadness and anger were past. He felt like giving up. If his sister wasn’t there at the hospital alive and waiting, Brandon didn’t know if he could live anymore.

Without her, his sister, the one and only thing that kept him alive in this house of invisibility, Brandon had nothing to stop him from committing suicide. Sighing, he allowed the nurse to help him into the ambulance. He sat on the side where he would normally have seen a close friend or dear one to the hospital. But Sara wasn’t here. She sat in an EMT already on its way to the hospital.

The sirens weren’t turned on as she took them onto the highway. Maybe his parents really did care and were in the one with Sara. Or maybe they pushed the idea that their only daughter could die right here and now at this exact moment. The very thought filled him with instant anger.

The ride was too long. There was never too close to his sister. Even as Brandon walked through the emergency room doors with his escort, he was too far away. All he wanted to do was be with her. Alisha could wait, the entire world could combust into a big ball of fire and he would not give a two sense about it. All he wanted to do was to be there with her. His only rock in a world full of crushing water.

People around him waited in seats while he passed. He could only imagine what he must look like as they all stopped talking and watched him pass by. Crazy brown hair everywhere, eyes with huge blue bags underneath them. All in all he must have been a mess. The nurse told him to pick a seat and she would be right with him.

He gently grabbed her arm and spoke only the smallest of whispers, “Please let her be ok.”

She nodded in perfect understanding and made extra care to remove his hand without seeming offensive, “I will.”

Then she left him. Alone and cold, depressed and full of sorrow. Standing in a room full of silent people wasn’t exactly what he had preferred to be doing. He looked for a seat and found one in an isolated corner. The perfect place for someone with no meaning in life.

Doors opened and closed, but still the nurse hadn’t returned. His parents were nowhere to be found and eventually the room had cleared. It was so quiet. Almost as quiet as when he had found his sister close to death. He searched his pocket for his phone and found none. Great. Just great. Stuck at a hospital with no way of calling a cab. He would have to walk home.

More time passed and it seemed like he was forgotten. A ghost in a room filled with new chatter and families. He looked at his watch, an hour had passed and still there was no end to the wait. A tear came to his eye as he finally allowed stress-induced exhaustion take over. No dreams would come to him. Brandon knew this. As long as his sister wasn’t safely in his arms, he wouldn’t get an ounce of sleep.

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