BOBBY

Hey Loony.

Stop it, Bobby. You’re such a pain in the butt.

     I choke on sobs as I run my fingers over the photograph in Mom’s old album.  My brother and I were arguing as we hiked that day, barely even noticing the views that mom captured with her camera. We were twins, fighting was what we did. This image is burned into my mind.  I can’t believe mom saved it all these years. I wish I could forget that day, or better yet redo it. Even after twenty years, the pain is still fresh.

     Make me, Loony. Loony Louise.

     I said stop calling me that.

     A little shove was all I gave, just to make him stop teasing.  Bobby fell back into the railing, laughing the way ten year old boys laugh. I remember his eyes widen with surprise and then terror as he teetered farther back over the rail.

     Bobby!

     I reached, but his fingers barely brushed across mine, like two feathers in the wind. Then he was gone, tumbling down into the water and rocks. He didn’t even cry out as he fell. There was a pause, then a splash and a crack. I stood there numb, watching a red streak taint the water below and my brother float slowly down stream. Mom screamed, but it sounded far away. All I could do was gape.

Tears splash onto the plastic of the album. If only I hadn’t pushed so hard. If only…

     I’m sorry Bobby.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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