The Brother Without
A solitary figure concealed his presence from the others. Everyone was smiling, laughing, and talking. He just watched, almost obsessively. His father presented his little brother to the crowd with a prodigious grin. His mother stood by his father’s side, radiant, emitting the same inordinate happiness. The party-goers fervour seemed to mock him maliciously as everyone clapped their hands over and over
It was maddening and unremitting.
The room was large and slightly pretentious, a chandelier hung over the dining table that sat at least twenty five. The room was decorated in birthday style, somehow remaining classy and redolent of the family’s wealth. Pastel colours, chalky dilutes of their previous impressions hung in the form of bunting and transparent crystal balloons. From where he sat on cold stone clinging to the wrought-iron staircase, the room felt like another world.
Distant and unreachable.
Their laughter was nauseating and their smiles were taunting. They were cheering at the sight of the Boy-Who-Lived. At least, that was what they were so fond of calling him. Silent tears glistened on the older brother’s cheeks, whose face contrasted that of his younger brother. It could have been said their paths were set out from the beginning.
Distinct and linear.
Perhaps their ending would have always been the same. How ironic that he had once thought sharing the same birthday would be a good thing. But as of this day, he began to see it as an unfortunate twist of fate. It seemed not a single person at the party recalled his birthday was the same day as their precious saviour’s, only 4 years previous.
Not even their parents.
The eldest brother often wished that his parents were different from them all. He had been looking forward to his 11th birthday, and his excitement was practically palpable when he had woken up that morning. But that hope had soon collapsed to the ground.
How naive of him.
All he had wanted was for his parents to remember him, especially his mother. He craved her warmth, like every child does, wanting desperately for her to show some small acknowledgement of his existence. His thoughts came crashing back to reality as the party-goers sang his brother the birthday song, it’s echo held no melody but that of a cold reminder.
You are not loved.
He stood from where he had sat and walked along the cool hard Italian Terrazzo marble that lay on the second floor hallway. The walls seemed to creep in on him, getting closer, suffocating him. Despite this, Hadrian remained unaffected and incogitant of what everything meant. He was still and emotionless as he walked into his room which was situated on the other side of the mansion.
He conceded that having an entire wing to himself was more to do with his parents priorities than any else. Entering it, he shut the door silently. The voices outside still echoed in his eardrums, they were relentless. He climbed to his bed, unafraid of the darkness because of the moonlight shining through his window. It appeared to him, the stars were shining just a little darker tonight, no longer winking with hope but smirking with brutal revelation.
He thought about wishing himself a Happy Birthday, but thought against it. Instead, his jaw hardened and his lip pulled into a fractured sneer. It wasn’t long before sleep captured him, but the young innocent boy who had awoken that day for his 11th birthday was no longer and was never the same again.
He was there,
Yet he was not there.
He was rage.
He was a child.