Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: I'm Supposed to be Sad?
By Allison Egley
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I'm writing to explain why I didn't see you off when you headed to Iraq. I know Mom and Dad are mad I wasn't there, and you probably are too, but I couldn't be there. And I think you know why. I could never get up the nerve to say this to your face, but I'm hoping I can explain myself in writing. I've always been able to articulate better through the written word. Maybe it's because I can think things over, delete them, and rewrite them.
James, I've tried to gloss over the things you've done to me, but I just can't forget them. You're my older brother. You're supposed to protect me. Not take advantage of me, abuse me, and humiliate me. I've played your game for too long. I'm glad you won't be back for awhile. It will give me time to heal physically and emotionally. James, I need to admit that the reason I wasn't there is because I am angry with you. I'm angry at the way you've treated me, despite the kindness I've tried to show to you. I'm angry because you told me to lie to Mom and Dad about why I always had bruises on my arms and legs. I'm angry because while everyone was weeping over you leaving for Iraq and talking about how wonderful you were, I was left in the dust feeling like a second class citizen. Yes, I'm angry. Angry to the point were it would be fine with me if I never saw you again. But I don't want you to die. I'm not that vindictive. I hope you make it back to the States safely, but please don't expect me to be on the welcoming committee. The wounds you've given me are going to take a lifetime to heal.
I wish that our recent years together had been like our childhood. Remember the fun we used to have? Sledding down the hill in the backyard and nearly killing ourselves, with me being the test dummy for all of your snow ramps, all while trying to avoid the seizure-prone dog and the large tree at the bottom of the hill. I remember when you and your friends toilet papered the house for my birthday. Do you have any idea how special that made me feel? I remember when you and Ben would take me on "blankie transport" rides. And may we never forget what I now refer to simply as "The Incident." You know, the one that provided me with my first visit to the ER. I wish I knew what changed. What made you snap? Did it begin when you started hanging out with Greg and Jason? Was it stress? Jealousy? Do you even know?
I hope you can understand why I wasn't at your going away party. I knew if I was there I'd ruin the atmosphere. I also hope you understand why I may not be there for your homecoming and why this may be the last time I contact you. I will read letters you send me, if you choose to respond, but don't expect me to respond; at least not right away. I hope this time away will do both of us some good, and that we can start to rebuild the relationship we once had. I wish I could sign this letter "love," but to be honest, I don't feel that for you after what you've done to me. But I hope one day I can once again use that word when I'm talking about you.
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