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It’s September 3 a day after George’s mom’s birthday and a day before he has to go back to the place which now haunts his future, prison. He wakes up early as usual, but lies in bed, for his now familiar feeling of depression is once again tormenting him. His mind is in complete chaos. A hundred questions with no answers and many thoughts with no apparent meaning. He closes his eyes and shakes his head as if this was going to make them go away. They don’t. They maliciously drive him to his past.
“When I grow up I won’t let Dad hurt Mom no more!” a distressed voice inside a younger George’s head says as he tries to shut off his mother’s sobs and his father’s drunken voice.
George once again shakes his head, vigorously attempting to fight back tears. He remembers how Abel, his father, used to hit his mother for little things, and how this in the end lead to the separation of their family.
He sits on his bed for a second or two contemplating his gangster-decorated bedroom. Then he goes about with his daily morning routine. While eating a non-nutritious breakfast consisting of eggs and his usual drink, Bud Light beer, he reminisces about his past love life with Alice. Alice was his wife for a few months, but according to him, as everything else in his life it didn’t work out. She was not the right girl for him because they were too different. His gentle heart was no match for her heart of stone. He lived his life worrying and helping others while she only saw what affected her. In spite all this George was blindly in love with Alice and his heart was throbbing for her. More so around this time for yesterday, September 2, they should have been celebrating their X month anniversary.
His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the phone.
“ Hey man what are you doin’?”
“ Nothin’. I was just finishing a couple of beers that were in the frige.”
“ This early? Is something wrong?”
“ Are you still tripping about that hyna? Man, forget her. Hey let’s go to the shooting range. I’ll call the other guys. We’ll meet in your house. Later!”
All the guys met at George’s house. They brought beer and some food for most of the time they ended up getting hungry. They were outside kicking it and talking about anything.
“ Hey man I got fired from work again. I don’t know what I’m going to do…this hyna keeps tripping about child support…” one of them commented.
“ Well I barely started my third new job this week, but maybe I can still hook you up.” Another replied.
“ At least you guys have a normal job…I don’t have any choices. I have to do what ever work they put me to do.” George said in a almost shameful manner.
“ Yeah I know were your coming from. Being in prison is hard…” one allied.
“ You going back tomorrow?” he then asked.
“ Yeah….” George replied.
There was a moment of silence from their part just the sounds of the radio were heard. They deliberately changed the subject then and the sound of George’s unique laughter and theirs was heard.
It was getting close to the time of their departure to the shooting range, so George decided to take a quick shower before leaving. He went into his room with a beer in his hand and locked the door behind him. He placed the half empty beer bottle on the drawer and got his gun out. While cleaning the gun, his mind again drifted to sour memories. His heart pounded at the memory of his past activities that got him into prison. The same activities that many of his friends are still doing and will keep doing until the day they die. He began to ask himself what kind of future he and his friends had. Was this it for them? Will they have to wonder each morning if they were going to make it through another day? Will their life ever get better?
George finished cleaning his gun and walked over to his bed. He slowly lay down; his body feeling like it had no life left in it. All his emotions that for so long had been bugled up inside began to cry out for him to release them. Thoughts of his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters suddenly appeared. He hadn’t seen or heard of his younger brothers and sisters for a while and he missed them. They lived far enough away from each other that their relationship was not as close as it used to be. Their father, Jose his mother’s new husband, had taken them to live to Mexico and since then their communication has been off.
George felt ill unexpectedly and placed his gun on his chest in a comforting manner. He stayed in this position for a while trying to relax. Then out of the blue an ironically comforting malicious thought came to him. A thought that had been in his head for a while now, but had never been so concrete as it was in that moment. In an automatic reflex of this thought George raised the gun to his head. A few tears dropped from George’s big brown eyes as he fiddled with the gun’s trigger. A loud pounding came from his aching heart. Chaos again in his mind. Why shouldn’t I do it? I have nothin’ to live for; an upset mind wondered. At this time he put more pressure on the trigger. As he thought about it more the idea seemed more and more peaceful. A way out. The end to all this pain and worry. Then after a life-taking bang, the room became heartbreakingly quiet. If there were to have been a witness to this horrifying act he or she would have seen that George’s body now laid peacefully in a blood-filled bed with the assassin gun by his side.
Outside, laughter and the occasional passing of beers was still going on, but they began to wonder why George was taking so long.
“ I’ll be back I’m going to get George.” One announced.
He walked to George’s room and knocked while telling out his name. After a couple of minutes of no response or sound from inside the room, he decided to ask George’s dad.
“ Abel where’s George?” he asked. Abel was sitting in the seats outside in the garage watching TV with his usual beer in his hand.
“ I don’t know he should be in his room.”
“ Naw I been knocking. Nobody answers…” worryingly he now replied.
They both decided to look through George’s back window.
“ I’ll take a look inside.” The friend volunteered what he saw paralyzed him. He only yelled GEORGE!!! As his beer bottle dropped and shattered on the concrete floor.
In what seemed only a few seconds, the place was crowded with people crying and comforting each other, and with the unfamiliar faces of cops and paramedics. In this crowd of grieving people there was one face who had more pain in his heart than any of them, Abel Jr., George’s older brother. For this man apart from dealing with the lost of his younger brother to which he had been strongly close to, had the unbearable task of taking this bad news to their loving mother.
Early next morning Abel Jr. got in his car and began the three-hour drive to Mexico. His four younger brothers and sisters who were momentarily home alone lovingly received him. Abel took the eldest of these out to buy pizza for them all. When they returned Abel still had that same sad tired look on his face he had when he first got there. This time, though, the older sister shared this same look with him. They gathered around to eat pizza. While in the process the other sister asked what was wrong with them. Her heart sank and many tears began to fall as she heard the unbelievable news. A few hours passed before their parents arrived. The mother instantly noticed the grieve in their faces. They sat her down. In a trembling voice, Abel being the oldest shared their sorrow with her. For some unapparent reason all was quiet outside that night, but in this quietness a Mother’s shrilled cry of pain was heard.
* * *
A message for those who have thought of committing suicide:
Before you pull the trigger or cut another vein, be sure to think about your family and friends. When they call out your name, silence will reign and as they cry; their tears will be their witness of the enduring pain.
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© 2003 Janeth Garza
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