|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven
10 - Two Tears - Michelle
I looked around uneasily. What was happening? I studied the solemn faces of those above me. The tear stained faces, their eyes tinted red. They were whispering, words I couldn’t make out. They moved on, wiping their tears from their eyes. A new set of faces positioned themselves above me. I recognized them this time. It was my family. I tried speaking, but I couldn’t move. A felt a rise of panic in my throat as I fought with all my strength to move an inch. Nothing. My eyes felt as if they were glued in this position on the outside, as was the rest of my body. I suddenly felt something wet slide down my face. I focused on my sister who had started tapping on my mothers arm. “Mom, he’s crying! We have to let him out of there so he came go home with us, we can help him get better” she shouted. My mother opened her arms to the child. She held her tight, and gently sweeped her hair out of her face. “No, sweetie. God is taking care of him now...” she said as she let out another sob. I felt another tear make it’s way across my face. Nobody seemed to notice this time. Just then, I heard my family saying good-bye in unison. They slowly walked away with tears streaming down their faces. Then without warning, the top of the casket was being lowered, closing me inside.
I abruptly sat up in bed, feeling sweat all over my body. I raised my hand to my face, and wiped my eyes. I could tell by my wet face and eyes that I had been crying. I pulled the covers back and swung my legs to the side of the bed. I rested my feet on the cold wood floor. I sighed and sat there for a few moments, reliving the dream in my head. “What a creepy dream...” I thought to myself as I stood up. I made my way down the dark hallway to the bathroom. I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall which read 3:15. When I finally reached the bathroom, I groped the wall to find the light switch. As my hand grazed a familiar feeling shape, I flipped it on and walked over to the mirror. My reflection stared back at me, “Man, I look like hell...” I said out loud. I reached over and pulled open one of the drawers underneath the sink. My eyes scanned the contents. When I found something that would work to tie my hair back with, I picked it up. I ran my fingers through my shiny blond hair, and then proceeded to put my hair up. I tied the band around it, and turned on the water. I leaned over the sink, splashing water across my face. It felt so refreshing. I did this a couple more minutes before reaching for a towel. I dried my face off, now feeling much better. I turned to leave, but something stopped me. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a little bottle resting on top of Isaac's clothing. I stepped over towards it, and set my hand on it to pick it up.
“What are you doing?!?”
I jumped and turned around.
“Isaac, what do you think you’re doing? You nearly gave me a heart attack!” I whispered as I playfully punched him in the stomach.
His stern face told me I shouldn’t have done that.
“What?” I asked.
“Don’t EVER touch my stuff again...” he said a little too loudly for the time of night. I eyed him suspiciously, as I nodded my head. He turned to leave, but came back to pick up his clothes, along with the tiny bottle.
I sighed and turned to leave the room. I made my way back to my room, and layed down on the bed. I covered myself back up, and tried to get back to sleep.
“Zac, it’s time to get up! It’s almost 8 ‘o clock, your dentist appointment is at 8:30,” I heard my mom yell loudly up the stairs as I slightly opened my eyes. The sunlight shone in, and covered my entire body in it’s warmthness. I layed there for a few moments, recalling my dream from that night. It was the same one, but with an exception. This time, it was Isaac who had noticed the tear. I slowly sat up and groaned. I wanted to go back to sleep, it was way too early. I uncovered myself and stood up. I made my way over to my closet and grabbed a shirt that was sticking out, and some random pants. I quickly put them on, and then left to go downstairs. I noticed Isaac's door slightly ajar. Being careful not to disturb him, I tiptoed in to try and find the bottle. I noticed the pile of clothes it had been resting upon beside his bed. I creeped over towards them, and lifted up the shirt which was lying on top of the pile. The small bottle lay there, empty. I picked it up in my hands and read the label. Jack Daniels. Isaac shifted in his sleep. I quickly set the bottle back down where I found it, replacing the shirt that was covering it. I slowly tiptoed out of the room, keeping my eyes on Isaac for any sign of movement. Seeing nothing but a sleeping body, I slowly closed the door back to the position it was in. I ran down the stairs.
“Hey mom, what’s for breakfast?” I asked, smiling.
She smiled back and came over to give me a hug.
“Just don’t do that when my friends are around, kay?” I sat down, still smiling.
“Well, I guess that leaves me no other choice.” She walked over to where I was standing and started tickling me. “Should I do this when they are around, then?” I couldn’t stop laughing. I had been always been very ticklish. My family seemed to think of it as a very useful weakness. She suddenly stopped and stared out in the distance. I turned my head to see what she was looking at. It was Isaac. His eyes were bloodshot, and he had a distinguishing mark below his right eye.
“Isaac, sweetie, what happened to you?” she cried, as she rushed over to him.
“Nothing, it was just a...a...” he trailed off.
“It was just a what?” she asked, her voice still filled with concern.
“What happened?” I butted in.
He shot an annoyed look over towards me.
I slumped back in my chair, and focused on the tablecloth. Taking the cloth between my fingers, I twirled it around, pretending not to be interested.
“Well, I don’t know, I just fell...” he looked up with a gleam of hope in his eyes.
I rolled my eyes, and stood up from my chair. My mother glanced at me while I was exiting the room. I went in the living room, dragging my feet across the pale carpeting. I sat down on the couch, grabbing the remote in the process. I pressed the ON button. The TV screen lit up showing a man and a lady having a heated argument. I could tell just by the lame acting it was a soap opera. Boring. I turned the channel quite a few more times before I stopped on a talk show. I laughed to myself, and raised an eyebrow as I read the subject of the show. Drag Queens and the Women Who Love Them. I don’t think so. I pressed the red OFF button, and set the remote on top of the coffee table. Just then my mom came in the room.
“We have to get going, you’re going to be late,” she said, her face deeply annoyed.
I grunted as I got up off the couch. I followed her as she walked out to the car. “Mom, what happened with Ike?” I asked, lowering my head.
“We’ll talk about it later...” she said. She opened my car door, and I hopped in. The way there was spent in silence.
I shot up in bed. The same dream had occurred again. This time, Taylor noticing the tear. I didn’t know what to do. The dream felt so realistic, and to have it three nights in a row really creeped me out. I decided to tell someone, just having the comfort of someone else knowing, might make me feel better. As I walked down the hallway, I saw a light on in Isaac’s room. I opened the door cautiously. Peering around the side of it, I felt my breath catch in my throat. It was Isaac with a needle in his arm. I started walking back the way I came. I heard a loud, “Hold it right there.” It was Isaac. Shoot. I didn’t think that he saw me. I knew I should have done this more often so I could have gotten better at it. I turned back around and faced him.
“What the-- why didn’t you knock?” he asked, his face filled with anger.
“I don’t know,” I said shakily. “I just thought you...”
“Come here a sec,” he ordered me.
I slowly walked closer towards him, being careful not to get too close.
“Don’t tell anyone,” he said seriously. “Not even those stuffed animals you seem to talk to all the time...”
“Promise me, Zac.”
“I promise,” I said, tears starting to form in the corners of my eyes.
I quickly ran out of the room, to the safety of my bedroom. I sat on the floor and cried for my brother.
About a half an hour later, I got up from my position on the floor. I decided to go back into Isaac’s room to tell him that I loved him, and would always be there for him, no matter what. I started out, but when I saw the light in his room off, I decided to wait until the following morning. I climbed in bed, soon drifting into a restless sleep.
I woke up feeling no sun, no warmthness. Just the cold stare of darkness. I immediately heard the sounds of people sobbing. I listened closely to see where the sounds were coming from. I knew then, it was Isaac’s room. I quickly pulled the covers off, and ran in his room. I saw my mother and father, above his bed, sobbing. As soon as they saw me, they quickly came to my side and escorted me out of the room.
“I’m sorry son, you don’t want to go in there,” my dad said, his words barely choked out.
“What happened? What’s wrong?” I was terrified.
“Isaac...is not with us anymore,” my mother said, burying her face in my fathers shoulder.
I ran down the stairs, and flung myself on the couch. I cried until there were no more tears left. I heard someone coming down the stairs, and lifted my head to see who it was. It was Taylor, his eyes all puffy and red. He came over to where I was sitting, and gave me a hug. We sat there for a while, too sad to speak. He got up, and went back up the stairs.
The funeral was a dark day. I couldn’t believe that he was gone. He brought everyone so much happiness, and life would never be the same without him. I would miss him so much. I would talk to him about everything, and he would always give me advice, and say just the right things to make me feel better no matter how bad the situation. A part of me died along with him.
“I’ll miss you, Isaac...” I whispered to nobody in particular. My mother glanced at me, and came over to my side. I suddenly felt her caring arms around me.
“Me too, sweetie...me too,” she whispered back.
“Mom, I need to tell you something.”
“What is it?” she asked, still whispering. Her eyes were starting to tear up again. “The night before he died, I went in his room to talk to him...” I trailed off.
“What did you talk about,” she asked, trying to comfort me.
“Well, he had a needle in his arm and he made me promise not to tell anyone,” I said, the tears now freely flowing down my face.
I continued, “And the day before, I saw a bottle of alcohol in his clothes pile,” I looked up at her.
She looked back down at me. “Honey, it’s not your fault he died,” she said, gently stroking my hair.
Then it was our turn to go up to say one last good-bye. As I approached the casket, I felt myself walking in slow motion. When I finally got there, I studied him for a moment, wishing he would just laugh and get up. I would hug him and never let go. As I was studying him, I almost swear I saw a tear slide down his cheek.
“Isaac!” I said loudly.
No response. I looked over at my family, who were now looking at me questionably.
I gasped, “Didn’t you see that?”
All I saw were blank faces.
“A tear just slid down his face...” I said, looking back at the motionless Isaac.
My mother came over by me, and led me away from the casket.
A whole new set of tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably. I looked behind my shoulder and saw the lid of the casket being lowered, closing my beloved brother inside.