By: Alex Richter
Under the summer sun, one afternoon I was sitting on the beach. My brother had been entirely buried in sand, as I stood on top of him in victory. Even though he had let me do it, I liked the feeling of winning something, even though I wasn’t really. His brown hair was dropped toward the center of his face, and he looked up, smiling.
“This is actually way better than sitting in the sun, thanks Tom,” my brother, Will said.
“Wait what? That’s not fair, you weren’t supposed to enjoy it,” I spat.
“Eh, don’t worry about it. I’m going to unbury myself anyway,”
“The water looks rough, I kinda want to go out… Will you come with me?”
“Yeah, just give me a moment,” he strained.
I watched as he pulled his torso slowly out of the sand, struggling to get out. Of course, I didn’t help, yeah sure I buried him, that doesn’t make me responsible for unburying him. Placing his hands on either side of him, he lifted one leg after the other out of the sand, panting slightly. I was beginning to question if it was really as hard as he was making it seem.
“Oh, please. It’s not that hard coming out of the sand ‘innit?”
“And you’re actually watching me struggle, not doing anything about it, don’t tell me anything like that. Tom, you’re a spoiled brat,” he breaths, lifting himself fully out. “You know, if you weren’t my brother I’d probably hate you, but unfortunately you are.”
“Uh-huh, yeah sure.” I spoke, thinking. I have an idea… “Race me, one lap around that big rock over there.”
“That’s too far, Tom. You know that.”
“You’re pretty scared even though you’re… What? How old are you? Thirty?”
“I am 21, Tom. Old is not a way to describe me just yet.”
“Please, just come on,” I had said, laughing.
As we lined up at the same distance from the water, I yelled and swiftly took a deep breath, diving into the warm ocean. Swimming was not a hobby that I often did, but I was feeling confident. Clear waters were in every direction, I had already made it out pretty far. Veering upward, I spotted Will, swimming as fast as his legs could take him.
Morning would’ve been a more suitable time for swimming in the ocean, because it would’ve been cooler. Questioning my distance, I stared in wonder, in the distance.
Wait, where is Will?
Ten seconds prior, I had not noticed Will hitting the rock on accident; he was then slipping further into the depths of the sea. I wish I would have noticed him sooner, I might’ve been able to save him. I watched him perish in the summer of 2018, not knowing what to do. Of course, I was only 14, naive and stupid.
Please come back, please.
As if I was a god with the ability of resurrection, I had wished with all my heart that we would see each other again. During that time, I was just watching, he was probably looking right at me. Just as I was starting to grow up, I had been hit with a wave of sadness and depression that no words would be capable of describing. Knowing Will, he would not wish grief upon me, he would say: “Listen to me, Tom; because of you I am dead, yet I felt so alive when it happened. Mourning me is unnecessary if you were the best brother anyone could ask for, and I’ll always thank you for that.” He’d say something poetic like that.
Nevertheless, I am successful in my life, and I wouldn’t let the death of a loved one change that. We all experience loss at some point, but it’s a part of life. Rolling with it can be necessary at some point when that happens. The point is, not to forever mourn them, but to move on and continue to be happy.