Super cliched story about ‘loss’ for creative writing class.
The warm gun is clutched in my hand tightly as I stand by my apartment window, opening onto the smog-filled street below. It’s done, now. That man will never hurt anyone else, no more families will be torn apart. A shaky sigh escapes me. I think about what lead me here, as I look out at the grim cityscape.
I remember the day my brother, Jimmy, ran away more clearly than anything else from my childhood. Years later, I would find out that he had been killed, but before I knew this, I felt the betrayal of his leaving keenly. I was only seven and he, seventeen, was my idol. I was the annoying kid sister who followed him around everywhere, wanting to be just like him. Looking back, I can see that he secretly loved my adoration despite all of his grousing.
Then, one day, he was gone. Another teenage runaway, the cop who came to our house told us. My mother wouldn’t believe it. She waited by the window every night until her heart couldn’t take it any longer. An ambulance took her to the hospital, and she never came home again. It was just my father and me, after that.
As I got older, I started to think there was something wrong about Jimmy’s disappearance, something that didn’t sit right. Fancying myself a Tennessee Nancy Drew, I set out to find out what had truly happened. I tracked down Jimmy’s old friends, and started piecing things together.
I stumbled across a truth I could never have imagined in my fourteen year old mind: Jimmy had become entangled with some local small-time criminals, running moonshine. A bigger crime syndicate didn’t like these small-town guys muscling in on their racket, so they sent someone to ‘deal with it’. I was told that Jimmy wasn’t meant to be there that night but he was, and he got caught in the crossfire, trying to protect a friend. Jimmy was loyal to a fault and it cost him his life.
My world was shattered all over again, but at least I knew that Jimmy hadn’t left us. He was taken from us. I told my father, but not long after he died, too, leaving me alone in the world with only the thought of vengeance to keep me warm at night. I spent the next few years tracking down information about the gang but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied until I found the man who was at the top of it all. Without him, the trigger would never have been pulled and my brother would still be alive.
That is how I come to be, at the tender age of seventeen, standing in a rundown apartment in the city, holding a gun that just half an hour ago had been used to shoot the man responsible for my brother’s death. I set the gun down. With shaking hands I light a cigarette. I blow the smoke out of the window, to join the polluted city air. I don’t know what will come next for me, but it is done.