|Sep 24 2011|
My brother is a genius. He always has been. While I struggled in school, he studied long enough to pass the test. It was so easy for him. He received the PresidentialAcademics award, He was on Beta club. He could have done anything with his life. I have always blamed myself for his demise. I think this is the most difficult excerpt of my life to write because throughout everything that had ever taken place, My worries were of my brother. I chose to love him above everyone.
When he was a senior in high school he was nominated for valedictorian and won the nomination. He played baseball and received a scholarship to West Virginia Tech. One night that fall, him and a buddy of his were drinking. His friend had actually been drinking all day. It was one of the coldest nights in winter. Tommy, his friend, had been terminated from his job at a chicken farm earlier that day and he told my brother he wanted to get back at his boss. They went to each chicken house and turned off each thermostat. More than 80,000 chickens died due to the extreme cold except one. One they took with them and put in Tommy's girlfriend's mother's dryer and turned it on "to keep it warm" killing it too.
The Police were at the school to get my brother and Tommy within a few weeks. They went before a judge who determined that they were lying and Tommy was put in jail. The judge looked at my brother and said " I know your trying to protect your friend, but is it worth losing everything over". He told my brother that if he confessed that it would not be nearly as bad as if he continued to take up for Tommy. He confessed that they both had been out there and that they did indeed turn off the thermostats. He was sentenced to 10 months community service and told that he would have to work on the farm helping the owner rebuild and cleanup everything. He and was fined which I can't recall how much. I know that the judge told my mother that she was not to put forth one dime. His descent began that day.
Stephen loved being with the friends that he had chosen. He was your typical Mr. Popular with drinking and trying everything his peers had to offer. He began sneaking out of the house and stole our mother's car and totaled it one night. He was injured some but because he had been drinking the cops told my mom it probably saved his life. He lost his driver license which was pretty much useless at that point since the vehicle was gone.
He quit playing baseball and two weeks prior to his graduation he dropped out of school and lost it all.
I have one memory of when we were children that I have to add to this because It reflects also on the guilt that I have for my brother. We were outside playing (fighting like cats and dogs actually) he was chasing me around the house with an old broomstick that he had found. I went and jumped behind some bushes and I heard him laughing, then realized it wasn't laughter that he was screaming to the top of his lungs. There was an old well out beside our home which had cement blocks covering it. He landed on his knee on one of them and blood was everywhere. My mom and dad both came running out of the house and dad picked him up. My mom ran inside and got as many towels as she could carry. He was rushed to the hospital and the doctor had to deaden the knee so that they could xray and see how badly it was broken. His scream echoed throughout the halls of the hospital as they stuck a huge needle into his knee. The doctors said that the knee was cracked and that he would wear a soft cast after his surgery.
I blamed myself because we would not have been fighting if I had not told him what was going on with my dad. I tried to let my brother know to seek out some sort of secrecy in him which only angered him. He got hurt that day because of me. I never forgave myself for it.
I spent years trying to make up to my brother for all that had been taken away from him. My father was terrible to him. He may not have been sexually abused (that we know of, if he was he would never talk about it) but the physical and mental abuse that he endured was to me far worse than what I had to go through.
Chapter 4: Asleep or not asleep, That is the quest...
Chapter 3: Judicial Stupidity
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