I notice things more now than I ever have. As I approach the 5 month marker since Zachary’s passing my eyes are getting wider and my thoughts wilder. My brain is comprised of little electric wires that connect to one another, every so often a fuse is sparked or a miniature fire starts and my thinking turns to ash. When the wires start to glow, my eyes burn and I pay close attention to the world circling around me, moving on whilst I stand still. I see the boys in the town, with perfect hair, skinny jeans and grey t-shirts, looking relaxed, composed and stylish. I see son’s and fathers side by side, rushing, chit chatting about everyday life. I see mothers and daughters, sipping coffees whilst discussing the next family event or what’s for dinner. And I see siblings, laughing with each other due to a personal year old joke that only they would understand.

I am intelligent enough to realise that what they are feeling today may be subject to disbelief, or a cover of their true self as you can never know what another person is thinking or masking at any moment in time, as the old saying goes, you can never judge a book by its cover. My family is an example of this; I remember, without their knowledge, seeing Zachary and my dad walking up Railway Road towards my dad’s van around this time last year, they had just finished a day’s work and smiles beamed across both their faces, both wearing matching grey hoodies, Zachary’s long strides over taking my dad’s quick steps as they carry their subway to the van as a reward. Any outsider would look on them as I did and interpret a different future that lay ahead.

Now, one year later from seeing them both, smiles across their faces, swaying up Railway Road I look at all the people walking past me smiling, laughing and joking. I remember that when I spotted my dad and Zachary a year ago in this moment I smiled along with them in the hidden privacy of my car. Today, when being engulfed in the sunshine happy smiles of those around me, I catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of Boots window, not only am frowning, I look absolutely furious.

How could they be happy when my beautiful brother is no longer here, how could they be happy but I am so lost, how could they be happy but my mum and dad are fighting each and every day becoming victims to their own memories. I don’t blame the public, or feel hardness towards them their subconscious reactions is through no fault of their own, I will state again that they know nothing of my pain and I am sure each person has their own problems and this is just my perception and my feelings.

All in all I am constantly feeling as though I have been robbed, my brother has been taken from me in the midst of the night. No ransom note, no phone call, no evidence of where they have taken him. I have been robbed of my own future, as each happy thought and inch of excitement is clouded with the event of this robbery, it’s haunting and unpredictable.

How does a burglar choose their victims? – Just a case of wrong place, wrong time? Fate? Karma?

Who is the victim?

The one stolen or the ones left behind?