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[Siblings, 638 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mental Health]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

His brother was older than he was. Hal’s brother Kane. Kane was psychotic, though nobody treated him that way. To friends and family Kane was the organized one. Kane was the one who had his life together. That had something to do with the fact that Kane was the oldest of the siblings and as the elder sibling, he didn’t have to suffer or endure the problems of having an older sibling.

Hal’s life was a mess now. In part due to the fact of the daily beatings that Kane would inflict upon Hal as he was growing up. The problems that occurred in the relationship between the two siblings slowly ceased as Kane grew into a man and left the home. Kane left the family home to become a man of an independent nature. But Hal, Hal was left with the scars of his childhood; both psychological and actual. The family didn’t know what to make of the problems that Hal experienced. The increased levels of anxiety and dysphoria. Hal would often find himself clutching the hems of his T-shirt that he wore to bed. Trying to gasp for air in an effort to regain some control over his life.

Hal went to the bathroom and stood in front of the toilet bowl, slowly pissing into it with a steady stream of translucent yellow. He was like this now. He would keep odd hours of the day in an effort to avoid people. Other people who had shunned him and treated him like a cripple, but without the added effect of pity simply because he bore the intelligence to see through such actions. Which made things all the worse in Hal’s life. As he was readmitted in a never ending cycle of being institutionalized within the mental health system.

And his brother, his brother Kane. What possible problems did he suffer from the beatings that he had presented to his younger sibling? His symptoms were that of increased confidence, a high sense of self worth and an entitlement to the pleasures of the world. Kane was extremely privileged. He had a well paying job in which all of his co-workers looked to and respected him. He would be friendly enough to them… These strangers. And whenever he was given the opportunity to reconnect with his brother, he would shudder with a great hatred. He would think to himself, ‘How can I be related to this person? This person of great weakness? How could I be related to them?’

And Hal, when and if he had the money to drink. Would attempt to drink all of the alcohol in the world. He would drink so that he didn’t have to think anymore. So that he didn’t have to feel the pain of realizing that it was not how smart you were, or what you did with your life that counted. It was in fact the place that you were born within the world. He was born the younger sibling and for that he was presented with beating after beating from his malicious older brother. And because of that he was born into a cycle of becoming the victim for no-one ever stood up for him or intervened on his behalf. Poor Hal… Poor, poor Hal. He would sit there and twist his own mind to thoughts of revenge. But really, in the end, when constrained under law to act a certain way, what could one do?

And Kane lived his life. Free of worries. Free of any substance abuse issues. And because he never was able to wear his younger brother’s shoes, he never appreciated him or helped him out. All that existed between Kane and Hal was a despisal of weakness from Kane to Hal. And from Hal to Kane a great bitterness of envy and contempt.

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