Peer Review by AminahMcBina (United States)

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#contestfor69 | Never Again

By: Doktor Habit


tw; death, implied s*ic*de, a lot of vulgar language, grief, loss of family members, [AARON PAUL SCREAMING]

    Things are not how they used to be, and they never will be again.
Every day, at least once, something reminds me of him--whether I'm home, out and about, and work. It doesn't matter when, as it seems grief is a cruel son of a bitch.
    Almost EVERY DAY, it's another insensitive shitbag strolling up to me in the restaurant. "What happened to your brother, Jack?" "Can you say hello to Phoney for me?" "I'm so sorry for your loss, Jack." "Where's Peter, Jack?"
It makes me SICK.
    Yesterday, I...lost control, a little. One of those damn teenagers walked up to me, poking and prodding me about my brother. The little bastard didn't lay off. He kept mocking meHe got his kicks out of watching me stumble for an answer. Watching me avoid question after question after question. He had that smug grin on his face. My body suddenly felt light. I remember...taking a swing at the kid. The swing struck him directly in the jaw, prompting a loud  CRACK  that echoed slightly in the room. Now, this kid's parents flipped shit and I had to fork out good money just because I gave a little brat what he deserved. If he didn't want to get hurt, he should've kept his goddamn mouth shut. "He didn't know any better! He's just a kid!" Well, maybe you should teach your kid that if he talks shit, he gets hit. That's how this world works these days.
    Today's reminder was caused by listening to old company logs and newsletters with one of my employees, 14_01; though, I just like to call him Fourti. The logs were fairly amusing at first. Some poor soul got assigned to a place full of dogs. You could hear the barking in the background. A while back, one of the tacky animatronic performers got thrown over the Grand Canyon. We were still having a fairly good time until we reached the newsletters. At one point, I...heard his voice. He was reading over a report, I think... I didn't fully listen to it. I only shut the tape off mid-way. The stashed memories I tried not to think about began bubbling to the surface. 
    Suddenly, I was there again. I was outside of Peter's house--my house, now, I guess--in the rain. It was colder than death, and the only warmth I had was a drenched sweater. I stood out there for a good thirty minutes, contemplating whether I should go through with this or just leave. After what seemed like hours of arguing with myself, I knocked. Five minutes passed, but I could've sworn a day flew by. I was snapped back into reality when the door opened.
    Then, I was back in the office. I was on the floor, on my knees, heaving sobs shooting through my body. Fourti was knelt next to me, yelling my name, trying to snap me out of the trance. I moved on as if nothing happened. I learned how to stuff my emotions away from Peter. Not a good skill to learn, but a skill nonetheless. I've lost so much. I've lost my parents, my sister, my husband, and now my brother. I am the only Kennedy alive. But, who cares? As long as I can throw on a happy face and move on.
    "Move on." What a load of shit. There's no moving on. There's just stuffing it all down and throwing on a brave face. Moving on doesn't do anything. It's just telling someone to bottle it up, served with a massive-ass platter of sugar. It sounds like such a nice concept! You're not hurt anymore. You're not mourning anymore. You 'move on' and you 'learn' and you 'become stronger.' News flash; I'm never going to 'move on' from this. I've lost everything. 
 People always tell me 'Jack, you should get help!' or 'Jack! You should go to therapy!' Get help, help, HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP! HELP ISN'T GOING TO DO SHIT! HELP IS A THOUSAND DAGGERS CUTTING MY BODY TO PIECES! HELP IS BEING GUTTED WITH A RUSTY MACHETE! HELP IS AGONY. They think they know better than you do. They think they know me more than I know me. They all say the same things. I...
    No matter what they say or do. No matter what happens, no matter who I meet or how much they try to help..their FEEBLE "emotional support.." No matter how much I want it to be so, no matter how much I want to wake up in a hospital bed and be told 'you were in a coma, it was all a dream.' No matter how much I want to run up to Peter and throw my arms around him and never let go again. No matter how close I want to hold my husband again. No matter...
    No matter what, things will never be the same, and I...
    I can't survive like this.

Message to Readers

like zoinks scoob this piece is really dark man

Peer Review

Every part of this writing had me on edge, thinking Jack was going to wake up from a bad dream.

I wish I knew in detail what happened to Peter.

Reviewer Comments

Well done, you're a Goddamn awe-inspiring writer!