The first time
Even as I hear the ambulance’s siren rushing through the city, I can’t believe it. Someone asks me something, but I can only stare at the heir that lays in the ground, struggling for his life. I resign myself to stare from a distance, fearing he will attack me with his last breath.
The cops cover me with a blanket and the ambulance takes him away. “Hey kid, you ok?” asks the cop. He’s the same man I had seen at the station, which up to now I wasn’t sure had been real or a drug-caused hallucination. “Kid?” he insists. “Can you tell me what happened?”
“He… came with the knife and I, we… ran away. I…” then I stop talking. “Did you see where the attacker ran to?” he asks, and I scream “No… no!” trying to say there was no “attacker,” but the cop thinks I’m in shock. “I guess I’ll get better answers from you tomorrow,” he says. The paramedics check me for injuries then drive me to the hospital.
The heir spends a few hours in surgery. Mother, the twins and my little sister join us soon after I get there. She interrogates nurses and doctors about her son. They tell her he’s in surgery and she sits down, still shaking. Eventually she calms down and begins to cry. Father joins us a few hours after the incident. He took a flight as soon as he received the news.
“Who was it? Did you see his face?” mother snaps at me. “No, it’s not—” but she interrupts me. “Was he old? Young? Was he one of our neighbours? Which one? Which one!?” She’s out of her mind, shaking me violently, and the presence of father only makes her angrier. “You pathetic scum-f-worder!” she screams at him before pounding on his chest with her closed fist. “Get out! Get out of my life!” She practically pushes him out of the waiting room before collapsing on the ground in tears.
The twins are finally scared. For the first time in their lives, their ringleader is in mortal danger and mother is truly losing it. Then, eight hours into the operation, a doctor comes out and says the words. “We did everything we could.”
He doesn’t need to finish. We all understand what he means. Mother throws herself to the floor and enters full meltdown. She blames god, blasphemes and tells father never to come home again. She quickly becomes a force eight hurricane, throwing chairs through windows, breaking tables and knocking down hospital staff. Several thousand dollars in damages later, she’s pinned down and sedated. We all spend the night at the hospital.
Father has finally had enough and leaves for good. I beg him to take us with him and leave mother. But no, he could never stand up to her, and now we all pay the price. I don’t think I will ever forgive him for this. In the middle of my sleep, mother wakes me up. She’s in my face, leaving me no room to breathe. “Who did it? Tell me,” but I look away. “Who!?” she yells. “No… no one. He tripped and fell.” I see her eyes twitching fast. “Who did it? Tell me! Who did it!?” she begins screaming as she shakes me violently. My sister wakes up and starts crying. The twins stare in shock.
The hospital staff again have to restrain her and give her stronger meds. However, they only reduce after she punches two orderlies and kick a doctor. This time they restraint her properly. As I carry my little sister in my arms to an empty room where we can finally sleep, we come across a window. It’s dawn already, and the sun begins to emerge from the horizon. We both stare in silence for a minute. “Where’s my brother now?” she asks.
I caress her hair and look into her eyes. A tear falls down my eye. “He’s gone, and will never be with us again.”