The Day I Almost Killed My Brother

This is the story of the terrifying tempest inside me. I hope you can appreciate it for what it is.

The wind slaps my face but I barely notice it. A cloud of fog escapes my mouth but my eyes cut through it and I have never been more focused. The teddy bear dangles from his casual grip and he leisurely moves his arm over the edge of the treehouse. My thoughts are a whirlwind of rage and my glare could cause frostbite but he still does not surrender the teddy. 

I try to relax my hands but they are bound like rusted locks. “Give it back”, I growl. The words are like a hurricane from my tongue but he does not even flinch. He meets my thunder with pure indifference and smugly says: “no.” I desperately try to contain the tempest inside me but I feel my control slipping like water through a sieve. And just like that – it’s gone.

I lunge for the teddy but he is too quick. He expertly sidesteps me and flings it over the edge. It disappears from sight but I hear the dull thud as it hits the ground. All reasoning is gone. I dig my feet into the wrinkled wood and sprint straight at him. I bulldoze into his torso and push with all my strength.

I expect his back to hit the barrier but I have misjudged the height. The back of his legs slam into the horizontal pole and his feet are swiped from underneath him. He yells and plummets head-first towards the unforgiving ground. 

My rage evaporates in a second and the blood drains from my face. I tentatively peer over the edge to find my brother’s unmoving body sprawled on the ground. My whole body goes numb.

I climb down the treehouse in a daze and try my best to suppress nausea. I kneel next to my brother and pray that the grass will be kind enough to part and swallow me whole. No such luck. I reach out a shaking hand and gently touch his shoulder.

His eyes slowly flutter open like shy butterflies. I am so overwhelmed with relief that I collapse in a sobbing heap next to him. As I lie beside my winded and wounded, but very alive brother, my young mind finally grasps the concept of death. 

Pain and death are a reality and so is my ability to inflict them. If I almost took a life by mistake, I don’t want to know what I’m capable of doing on purpose. 

Lest I forget a human’s potential for evil.


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