He said he would kill her and she believed him. He was on another drug tear and pissed at the world. They lost their father and their mother was on the tail end of her second marriage. Not that any of this is an excuse but his prison tats started telling his story. One of the favorite tattoo’s among criminals in those days was “Mama Tried” and he had it tattooed across his chest. That along with a playboy bunny on his front tooth. He scared the shit out of her and rightfully so. Eventually he found his way to putting a machete through the back of his younger brother and very nearly killing him.

What he wanted was the 150.00 insurance check from their dead father. She refused to sign anything over to him. He was trying to commit fraud and she was not going to be a part of it. At just 18 years old she was staying with a cousin while she got back on her feet. The only transportation she had was a bicycle and her two feet. She rode everywhere. She worked part time at Sears folding towels until a full time position opened up at a convenience store. Bicycling at night  in the city traffic was no easy task.

With so many odds against her why should she help a brother that held so little value for her life. After all it was his friend that tried to rape her when she was nine and his other friend that did rape her when she was fifteen. Where was he? Good question and one she asked herself from time to time. She had more than just a few reasons to keep him out of her life.

When they were young she loved her brother very much. To get close to him she would shop lift candy then share it and tell lies to the parents and then hide him when he needed to. It was what she had to do if she wanted to be around him. It was like earning cool points. She finally learned it wasn’t worth it and cut ties with not only her brother but the immediate family. It was the only way to focus on survival.

He went on to commit many more crimes, most of them violent. She often wondered what happened that flipped the switch in his head and made it Ok for him to do the things he had. What made it Ok to beat someone to within inches of their life. Or to steal from someone who was hard working and just barely making it. Maybe it was his way of pushing people away so he could control something in his life.

While he was in prison someone else had control. He didn’t have to make any decisions, no paying bills no struggling or guessing where he was gonna eat next. He got free medical and free dental. He never had to suffer with abscess after abscess  like she did and wondering how to get well. As they say,”3 hots and a cot”. He became a part of the prison system and once he got in he never really changed from that. Even to this day that is his go to, his plan B.

So much for brotherly love. There was no big brother protection for her so there was no need to try any more. She lost him for good a long time ago. Having been already on her own at 14 she knew there would be no helping hand of brotherly love from him. He was the oldest of six and all she wanted was someone to look up to and someone to look out for her. That clearly would never happen. Some say that criminals become what they are due to their environment. Others say it may be caused by a trauma or intense experience.

In her short years she learned about choices and consequences. You make a bad choice and you will suffer the consequences. It always catches up with you. The farther she got away from her brother the better and more confident she was about  making good choices in her life. Better choices led to better experiences and that may be the only good thing that came out of that brother sister relationship.

further words for him……..

Brother from another father

Running from what you had

Out of all the choices, you chose the bad

There are other things in life besides pain

Hesitate next time, try to refrain

Ever feel what you’ve done to those around you?

Reflect on your past then maybe you’ll have to

Let go of the anger that has driven your path

You can find your way out, through the aftermath

Less anger toward others will make you feel lighter

Of course its not everyone’s fault you’re such a fighter

Vengeance has no place, its no good

Even you had a chance for brotherhood