I had a phone call from my brother yesterday.
No hellos, no what’s going ons, just this:
“Guess who died?”
Now, for those of you who know my brother, this could very easily have been the introduction to one of his grossly off-color jokes. My nerves bunched in anticipation. It kind of seemed like a game. Okay, I can guess who died with just two clues, Chris. But he wasn’t joking. Someone we both knew really had died.
Here’s the kicker. I hated him.
I’ve hated him since I was eight years old. He was nothing but an absolute bastard towards me. My fondest memory of this person is finding out that he sat on a toilet seat covered with toothpaste. He made my life miserable for a while.
Until I had my brother beat the crap out of him.
It was the only time I ever asked, and the only time it was ever offered, that I know of. One day, he was bullying me and my friends. The next, he was skulking around with a fat, nasty black eye.
Not only did it bring my brother and I closer together, but it made me happy.
Now, hearing that he is dead, and that he leaves behind a daughter, I still can’t bring myself to feel overly bad. And after 25 years of life, my memories have solidified him into an essentially rotten human being. I am sorry for his family and his child. No one deserves to lose someone they love. It’s redeeming to know that someone actually did love him.
But I sure as hell didn’t.