He stood there in the door way looking down on the battered body that lay on the bed before him. He thought how peaceful it must be to sleep all day. Sleep was something George was getting too little of these days. He hated the smell of rotting flesh that and medicines that filled the room he was standing in. He thought back to his childhood, at how much he had loved his brother, and his baby sister, and how long ago it was that life made any sense. The eyes opened gradually on the battered body that was the center of his gaze. The look in those eyes brought a smile to his face.
“How you doing brother,” he said as Drake began to wake up. “George! I am so glad see you finally came!”
The look in Drake’s eyes was pure joy, something George had not seen in a long time. He walked over to the side of his bed, sat down next to him and the two embraced.
“Daryl told me you weren’t coming to see me,” Drake said. “He said you were becoming a drunkard, George what the hell man, you don’t drink, you never drank?”
George looked down at the floor in shame.
“I know man, I just…” he took a deep sigh and Drake placed his hand on his lap,
“That’s okay man, I understand.” Drake said. “Hey you’re hear now. Tell me what’s going on in your life?”
George didn’t know where to start so he just said everything that was on his mind.
“Molly and I got a divorce.” George said. “I lost custody of my kid. I been living in a studio apartment over by the tracks. My life is falling apart. I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. To top it all off, I lost my job.”
Drake felt a swelling of pitty for his brother. Here he was half-alive in the hospital having pitty for his brothers life.
“Wow, man, that’s too bad.” Drake said. “I know I had it rough losing my wife in that accident and all…they say I am recovering, but I don’t think I will ever recover. I loved her man. I know you didn’t have those feelings for Molly. Linda and I were in love. Sh… she was the best thing that ever happened to me…”
Drake was starting to trail off when Daryl popped into the door with a great big smile and an armful of balloons.
“Oh now what is this, are my eyes playing tricks on me, the three Thompson boys together again!”
Daryl walked over to where George was sitting and the three all moved into a close hug.
Daryl sat down on the other side of the bed.
“You know we are all here for you man, all of us boys we have to stick together, right?” Daryl said.
It was the first time in weeks that anyone had seen a smile on Drake’s face. He had been waiting for his younger brother to come and visit.
“George, you have no idea how much it means to me you came.” Drake said. “I mean it I been holding off getting well until you got here. Now that I know you still care and you’re still kicking around, I think it’s high time I started getting better so I could get out of here and fix your broken ass life, right bro?”
George shook his head in amazement. It wasn’t easy for him to come down here. Suddenly all those fears, doubts he had about his brother not pulling through were all gone. It actually made him regret not coming down sooner.
A nurse entered the room.
“Time for some meds and then rest. You two have to leave now.” she said.
Once in the hallway Daryl grabbed George by the arm.
“You know he has been asking about you every day since he got here.” Daryl said.
“I know.” George said.
That was all George had to say.
“Hey where the hell do you think you’re going” Daryl said.
“You listen here and you listen well, don’t you ever put a hand on me again,” George said. “I came, I said hello. We hugged. We cried. Now that I see he is going to be fine he doesn’t need me.”
Daryl snapped back, “You truly are a selfish ass.”
George turned his back to his brother. He walked over to the elevator then left. It was the last time he would ever see Daryl.