It was Tuesday morning when I got woken by the sound of the dust carts. I slowly got out of bed, pulled my robe around me and headed off to the bathroom. The picture of my brother and I was on the bedside stand and as always that smile of his greeted me every morning. I washed and dressed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. I needed to get to work early today because my mother wanted me to go see her before she left for yearly break away. At the anniversary of my brothers disappearance my mother would always book herself onto a flight for a week or so. It was too much for her to bear time, although what people say, had not been a healer for her.
"Terry, Where the hell was you last night?" Dave my supervisor patted me on the back with a smile. I had meant to go out for a drink with them all but my thoughts had been with my mother. I had gone home and just gone to bed.
"I don't get paid enough to go out midweek!" I joked as Dave entered his office.
"How are things?" Julie Westgate was my co worker who always took the time this time of year to check in with me. She was a short and big girl. She hated her weight but I always told her she needed it to hold all that love she had to give people. She would always smile and that made you smile.
"You know, same as usual. Mum is going away and Dad don't give a shit."
"You could always crash at mine if you don't want to be on your own."
There it was again that loving and caring personality. "Thanks but I think I am going to go searching this year."
"Are you sure?" Julie asked with that concerned look on her face.
"I know what your thinking. It is going to be a waste of time but at least I will feel like I have done something."
All day long as I tried to made phone calls and take calls from customers. My mind was wondering back in time to the last day that I had spent with my brother. I had meant to go with him to the club that night. All my life I have suffered with spouts of migraine and this night one hit me out of the blue and sent me to my bed. The guilt had stayed with me all these three years. I may have my brother now if I had just sucked it up and gone out with him. My mother and father might still be together and we might be a family. I had gone through a stage of being angry at him for doing this to us. The thought had crossed my mind that if he was alive out there then I would hit him so hard if I found him for the hell that he has put us through these last three years.
That last Christmas my brother had given me a silver watch with the word "BLOOD" engraved on the back. It might seem a bit strange to some but this was his way of saying family was everything to him. This is why I know that he would not just simply walk away from us all, not without a very good reason. I had placed that watch next to his picture in my room. My mother wore the ring that he had given her, she never even took it off when she washed.
"It's going to be a blinder!" my brother had said to me. "You can't miss it!"
"I'm sorry, bro! This one isn't going to go. I need to go to my bed."
"Well if it goes make your way to the club."
"Will do." That was the last thing I said to my brother. Two simple words. It was strange that in my head they had now turned into the words that meant I would find out what happened one day, even if it was when I was grey and old.
When someone you love goes missing you look for them in every face. You see them on every street until you realise, no it wasn't them! I had done this so many times. I had been walking down Turner street one day when I saw a guy dressed just like my brother and I had rushed over to him only to see that this poor guy was someone else. My mother had told that she had done the same in the shopping mall, having to leave the shopping where she had been so devastated. Life carried on buy you were always stuck in that year and that time. I was sure that my mother was going to have a total collapse at one point but with help from the doctor, some medication for a short time, she had found her way through but just like me I know she felt like it was still that day when our loved one did not return home.
The police had found no enemies. They had looked in his finances and found everything was fine, in fact he had even had a little bit of savings. He had told me that he was saving up to have a good deposit ready for when he found the right girl and wanted to settle down. That was my brother! He would always think ahead and be sensible, he wasn't like me, I was much more impulsive in life. I didn't tend to always think ahead with things and lived more for today. My brother had his head screwed on and if he had found himself in trouble he would have found a way out.
For a short while my mother had convinced herself that I had known something that had happened. She knew how close we were and she had begged me in tears to tell her what I knew. It broke my heart that I had to tell her that I knew just as much as she. My tears didn't stop for days thinking that she thought I could have something to do with my own brothers disappearance. I know now that this was all just part of the grieving process, at the time it ripped my heart apart. So many hours had been spent just crying and hugging each other. The grief had taken a different process with my dad and one that eventually tore my parents relationship apart.
My mother and father had been so much in love. When we were children it was so obvious to everyone how much of a family unit we were. So many people had said that they were going to be together forever. Mum's friend had always said that if one of them was to pass then she was sure that the other wouldn't be far behind because they loved each other so much. No one would have thought that anything could pull them apart, especially this. As time went on I saw my mum and dad become more and more distant from each other, argument frequented the household. My father accused my mother one time of being too soft on us as kids and that is why my brother had run away. My brother and I had never given my mother or father any need to be strict with us. We followed their house rules without question and showed them respect. I told my father that he was being out of order with my mother for suggesting that. I was told that I must know something that I am not telling them because of how close we were. I nearly got into a altercation with him over this and my mother had to intervene. I think this was the final straw for my mother who told my father that he should leave, she didn't care where he went but she wanted him out of the house.
The shock of my parents separation sent waves across the people around us. It was such a shock that many people had called my mother, just to be sure that they had heard the right information, not some vicious rumour. I found it hard myself and I had begged them both to try and sort out what was wrong. They tried for a second time but nothing seemed to be working whatever they had before was now gone. My dad went to live with his mother for a while and when she passed away he took over ownership of the house. I still see him and mother is fine with that. Would my brother still being here have made a difference? I believe that it would have. This was one of the times that I got angry with him for walking away from us without so much as a note or anything to tell us where he was or just to say not to worry and that he needed time away, we would have been concerned but we would have understood.