Sunlight slowly crept into the kitchen as the
morning came quietly. I could hear birds singing happily but my heart was
crying out. However, no tears fell from my eyes. I was feeling the pain of
rejection, the hurt of abandonment, the distress of causing hurt to the ones I
loved, and the despair of loneliness so deep that I could not even shed a
tear. The pain cut me deep inside and that's where I felt tears were being
I looked up when I heard the front door
opening. A few seconds later, Roy walked into the kitchen. When he saw me
sitting on the floor, he ran toward me.
"What happened, brother?" he asked. I could
hear the concern in his voice.
"Nothing," I answered.
"Has that jerk..."
I used my right hand to cover his mouth and
insisted, "Really, I am fine."
I smiled at him. Suddenly, I didn't know why
but Roy was crying. He hugged me tight and sobbed while I tried to comfort
Roy, why are you crying?
Roy's point of view
When I woke up the next morning, I felt someone
hugging me from the back. I looked down to the strong arm was wrapped around
my body. Then I turned around and saw Ed's lovely face. He was still asleep as
I kissed his lips lightly. They tasted just like honey. I smiled as I
remembered last night. After Ed has calmed me down, I reluctantly agreed to
stay the night when he had somehow managed to convince me that Tin would be
fine. I'm glad I stayed.
I had sex with lots of girls before but it had
never felt so good. Somehow, I felt complete while making love with Ed, as if
a missing part of me had returned and made me whole. I didn't know if I was
really in love with Ed but I knew that I needed him in my life. And I also
knew that he felt the same of me. I felt so close to this man and everything
seemed right with the world.
So I was singing happily all the way driving
back home. I didn't want to leave Ed but my worries for Tin returned and I had
to put them to rest or I would be on the edge the whole day. So I left for
After parking my car, I walked toward the front
door. And it wasn't locked. My heart was beating very fast as I turned the
door knob. I knew that something had happened. I opened the door and walked
into the living room but no one was there. Then I walked into the kitchen and
saw Tin sitting on the floor. His eyes were red and his face was so pale. He
looked at me lifelessly.
I ran toward him and asked him what had
happened but he refused to say. I started to get angry because I was so sure
that the jerk had done something to my brother again. Just as I was about to
yell out in anger, Tin covered my mouth to silence me.
Although he insisted that he was fine, I could
see that he really was not. When he smiled at me, I could see that the smile
did not reach his eyes and I knew that he was hurting inside. It was the
saddest smile I had ever seen. I just couldn't control myself anymore and
broke down crying. Tears flowed out from my eyes and I hugged brother tightly
as I sobbed.
Why has life treated him so badly? God, it's so
unfair! I wanted to yell, to expel all the anger and pain from inside me.
Anyone who saw that smile would also feel the same.
For the next few days, Tin could only sit
beside the window looking at the swing. Every time when I walked toward him,
he would look at me and smile. And every time, I would need to control myself
or I would cry. I told everything to Ed. I was so glad that Ed was beside me
because I knew I couldn't handle this by myself.
Tin tried to act like nothing had happened but
Ed and I knew that he was deeply hurt. We didn't know what he was thinking but
he ate very little, and I was very worried about his health. Ed stayed with us
these few days. He wanted to look after Tin and he said he needed to look
after me too. I felt so warm inside when he said that.
One night, I told Tin that I was worried about
his health and wanted him to eat more. He smiled and put in an effort to eat
more that night. I thought that was a good sign. However, later that night
when I was walking past the washroom, I heard someone puking. I knew it was
Tin. I wanted to knock at the door but Ed stopped me. I never wanted this to
happen to Tin and I felt bad for forcing him to eat more.
Then Ed pulled me back to my room. When we were
in the room, I sank down and hugged him tight. For a while, that was all I
could do. Ed seemed to understand as nothing was spoken between us for a few
minutes. We savored the comfort of each other's arms, drawing from each other
the strength to move forward.
"Why did you stop me from knocking at the door,
Ed?" I asked him finally, after we broke from our embrace.
"He doesn't want us to know that he is in pain,
Roy. He doesn't want us to worry and he certainly doesn't want you to know
that he is puking."
"I am so worried about him, Ed. I am very
"I know, I know..."
I sighed and hugged him tightly. I needed this
man, and I needed his comfort. I don't think I could live without him. He
became the most important man in my life at that moment.
Tin's point of view
I knew Roy and Ed were very worried about me.
Everyday I could only sit beside the window and look at the snow-covered
garden. After that night, I didn't see Andy anymore. But I told my company
that I wanted to quit the job. So everyday I would stay at home, waiting for
Scott to come back.
The night before Joe and Amy's wedding, there
was a snowstorm. I was sitting beside the window, looked out into the the
garden as usual. I could see my own reflection on the window. It was so real
that I put my hand on the window to touch it. Then I thought I saw a person
standing in the middle of the garden. My heart was beating very fast at that
moment. I opened the glass door leading from the kitchen, ready to run out to
the garden. I had only a pair of woolen socks on my feet but I didn't care. My
feet felt the numbing cold when I stepped on the snow outside but my heart was
on fire at that moment. Then I heart his voice yelling, "Stop! Don't come
I froze in my track. I couldn't see his face
clearly his face but we stood there staring at each other. He was only about 3
feet away but it felt more like a mile between us. So I decided to narrow the
distance between us. When I walked toward him, he stepped back. I started to
run toward him but he ran away. I faltered and fell into the knee-deep snow.
When I stood up again, he was already gone. Was
that a dream? The only evidence was the footprints left in the snow. At that
moment, Roy and Ed ran out from the house, asking me what had happened. I've
been putting on a brave front these days but I could not hold back my tears
anymore. I broke down and cried as Roy and Ed ran to me and carried me back to
I woke up early the next day. Actually I didn't
sleep much last night, if at all. Instead, I sat in the kitchen drinking a cup
of hot tea, waiting the sun to rise. I was Joe's best man so I needed to
arrive at Joe's early. The whole day seemed like a blur to me. I was happy for
Joe and Amy. When I saw that Amy was crying, I felt weird and didn't know what
to make of it. But when I saw them happy, a part of me felt painful and
lonely. All I ever wanted was to have a happy life like them.
As we stood in front of the church taking
pictures, I looked up at the clear blue sky and sighed heavily. Joe was
standing beside me and heard. He patted my shoulder so I turned looked at him.
He returned my look so I smiled and said, "Thank you for your concern."
He didn't say anything, just smiled back. We
didn't need to tell each other, we knew how each other felt.
There was a wedding party that night at the
Macdonald Hotel. The room was full of people. There were Joe's relatives,
Amy's relatives, our high school friends. As the evening wore on, I felt more
and more weirded out. On the outside, I seemed very happy, laughing and
talking happily with my friends but was I really happy deep down? I felt that
I was putting on a front. It's not the real me anymore. I hated this feeling,
and I was tired of it.
30 minutes later, I decided that enough was
enough so I excused myself and walked out to get some fresh air. When I was in
the hallway walking toward the washroom to wash my face and calm myself down,
I saw someone standing in front of me. I looked up and saw Andy. We had been
avoiding each other the whole day, and now I just wanted to walk past him and
act like nothing had happened.
However, when I passed him, I heard him
I stopped in my track, despite my wanting to
run away from him as fast as I could. But my legs wouldn't listen to me and I
could only stand there frozen in place. I stayed there not moving forward but
didn't have courage to look at him in his face, so I looked down at the floor
as my shoes suddenly became very interesting to me.
At that moment, I heard someone running toward
us. I turned back and saw that it was Roy. When he saw Andy and I standing in
the hallway, the first thing he did was to push Andy's shoulder and yell,
"Leave my brother alone! Don't go anywhere near him, I warn you!"
I tried to pull Roy back, but he was deaf to my
words. He never seemed to hear what I said nor respond to what I did. I kept
telling him to control himself but he ignored me every time. He just stood
there in an aggressive stance, blocking Andy's path. Andy started to get angry
and was ready to fight back.
"Roy, let's go, please," I pleaded for the
Still, Roy didn't listen to me. Instead, he
swang a punch at Andy but it was blocked as Andy hit back. I just wanted this
confrontation to end so I reacted instinctively, I didn't stop to think, and
used my body to shield Roy and took the brunt of Andy's retaliatory strike and
got the wind knocked out of me as I took a hit to my gut. Suddenly, I couldn't
stand anymore and I dropped to the floor. Roy and Andy stopped fighting as
both of them kneeled down beside me, concern etched on their faces.
"Are you ok, bro?"
I could only throw my guts out on the floor in
reply, heaving the evening's dinner out of my stomach.
Andy tried to help me but Roy slapped away his
hand and yelled, "Don't touch my brother!"
"Roy, I beg you, please carry me to the
Roy turned to look at me. His nose had turned
red and his whole face was still flushed from his confrontation with Andy. He
gently picked me up from the floor and gave Andy a piercing stare before
carrying me to the washroom.
On the way to the washroom, he apologized for
"It's all right. I know you care about me," I
told him. He gave me a weak smile in return.
Roy helped to clean up my clothes in the
washroom. As he was washing off my tie, I said, "Roy, I'd like to spend a
quiet evening at home. Can you help me apologize to Joe? I'd like to leave
"I'll send you back..."
I used my hand to cover his mouth. "It's ok,
Roy, I'll be fine. I just want to spend some time alone. Don't worry about
"No buts, ok? I will be fine."
"Ok..." he sighed, "..if you're sure," he tried
one last time as he gave in reluctantly.
He insisted on walking me to the lift. I said
goodbye as I stepped into the lift. Roy was still looking at me with concern
as the door closed and the lift descended. It seemed to take forever to reach
the ground. When the lift door opened again, Joe was standing there waiting
"Joe? Why are you here? You are the
"You're not gonna say goodbye to me before
"Why you are here?"
"I am worried about you."
"Sorry, Joe. I didn't mean for you to worry."
Then Amy showed up too. She looked at me and
smiled, "No need to say sorry, Tin. We understand."
Then she hugged me tight. It felt so good. It
made me glad that I had such caring and understanding people as my friends. I
whispered thank you in Amy's ear. When she released me and I said goodbye to
them as Joe nodded to me. Then I headed for the hotel door and walked straight
The blast of cold air made me look up at the
sky. It was starting to snow again. At that moment, I heard someone yelling my
name. I couldn't believe my eyes as I looked and saw Scott standing there. He
ran toward me and hugged me tight. I didn't say anything, I buried my face in
his strong chest.
Suddenly I felt Scott shaking. I looked up at
his face and saw that he was staring at something. I followed his line of
sight and realized that he was looking at Andy who was standing at the hotel
entrance. His face told me he was in pain and shocked at the sight of the both
to be concluded...