As the undertakers put my brother’s corpse into the dug ground, my heart was heavy and overwhelmed by regret. I could have stopped this. I began to cry profusely. No one could fathom the reason for my sudden wail. As I laid on the ground lamenting so bitterly, I began to think about how it all started. . .
My brother’s attitude changed after he changed his friends. His former friends were gentle, relatable and somewhat like family. The ones he spent time with at this time were wild, noisy and criminal-looking.
On a certain day, I came home about two hours earlier from school because I had a running stomach. To my surprise, my house had a repugnant smell similar to the one I avoid under the bridge, close to church: smell of Indian hemp or weed, I am not even sure.
My pace increased as my stomach pain seized at that moment. I took curious steps, opened the door gently and traced the smell to my brother’s room. I opened the door and received the shock of my life. . .my 16 year old brother was smoking something definitely more harmful than the normal cigarette these gatemen smoked around, along with his friends. They were all shocked to see me. I left to my room and cried very seriously. There went the one I used to look up to.
He begged me not to play the ‘amebo squad’ by reporting to my parents and that it was his first time and he was not going to do it again, stressing that he only did this just to prove to his friend that he was man enough to do what they did. Oh, how I wish I didn’t listen to him!
Things grew from bad to worse. My parents would leave the house by 6:00am in the morning and return to meet a well-arranged house, choking with smell of air freshener. My brother’s new found friends will come by very early, even before I leave for school and go some minutes after I have returned. My brother even became more confident, he started smoking more often, I knew this because I usually see shards of burnt papers on the floor of his toilet before he carries out his post-smoking sanitations. I still kept my mouth shut, thinking I was protecting him from my parent’s wrath.
I came back from school one sunny afternoon, very hungry, hoping to immediately cook some packs of noodles. I entered the house with the usual speed that becomes me whenever I am pressed. When I checked to greet my brother in his room, I met him lying on the ground of the choking room helplessly, alone, without his friends. He was breathing really fast as if gasping for air after an arduous race. I called my parents with his phone and in no time they were around. My parent were utterly dismayed with what they saw.
We rushed him to the family hospital. After sitting at the reception for a long time, the doctor came and spoke to my father. He said my brother vomited a while ago and apparently had eaten a lot of food with so much feed. My brother had cooked beans with a lot of weed and eaten it alone. He broke the news my parents were never ready to hear, ‘’We are sorry, we lost him.’’
I could not control the guilt that ran through me, I could have stopped this. My parents could not forgive themselves for not taking a closer look at him before it came to that. Whoever could or could not take the blame did not change anything – the consumption of weed killed my brother.