How to Bury Your Brother by Lindsey Rogers Cook

How to Bury Your Brother

How to Bury Your Brother by Lindsey Rogers Cook
English | 2020 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 2.0 MB

Her brother’s letters reveal everything-if only he’d written one to her.

Alice always thought she’d see her brother again. Rob ran away when he was fifteen, with so many years left to find his way home. But his funeral happened first.

Now that she has to clear out her childhood home in Georgia, the memories come flooding in, bringing with them an autopsy report showing her family’s lies-and sealed, addressed letters from Rob.

In a search for answers to questions she’s always been afraid to ask, Alice delivers the letters. Each dares her to open her eyes to her family’s dark past-and her own role in it. But it’s the last letter, addressed to her brother’s final home in New Orleans, that will force her to choose if she’ll let the secrets break her or finally bring her home.

Everything I Never Told You meets The Night Olivia Fell set against a vivid Southern backdrop, How to Bury Your Brother follows a sister coming to terms with the mystery behind her brother’s disappearance and death.

Tuesday really would be the perfect day to die.

I tick through the other days as warmth spreads toward my knees and elbows, out to my fingers and toes like sunlight dancing on the river where I played as a child. It’s the feeling I used to get listening to “Here Comes the Sun.”

Saturday and Sunday, I never considered—why ruin anyone’s weekend? Mondays are bad enough already. On Thursdays, my mother plays bridge, always has, a respite she’ll need, especially this week, so that’s out. Wednesdays—blah—something about the middle of the week, and that’s when the band practices.

My life’s most significant events seem, by default, to occur on Tuesdays. My own birth. My sister’s. Several other happenings, less positive.

The record scratches and silences its melody. Bad timing—a problem I’m doomed to repeat in death as I have since birth, when I knocked on the world’s door during an epic hailstorm that flooded Atlanta, only to draw out the labor, as my mother always liked to remind me, more than twenty-four hours. Maybe I was waiting for the Tuesday. Today, too, the Tuesdayness made me linger, gave this cosmic game of chicken more weight, and I stared too long at the pill bottle.

When I woke up from “the game” these past few times, I wasn’t sure if I’d won or lost, but now God has handed me this answer, this sign. I reach into my shirt pocket, retrieve another pill, and swallow it with what is now gin-flavored, half-melted ice.

I flick my eyes to the record player spinning silently, and it makes me want to cry, just thinking of how, even with YouTube and the internet where anyone can make a record like this one, we still haven’t found another Queen or Nirvana or David Bowie.

My hand grips the glass where it rests on the chair’s arm. The condensation will leave a stain on the leather. Sorry, Lila. I smile, in case this Tuesday really is as significant as it feels. I don’t need another thing to apologize for. If today she finds this worn-down body, I want her to see me smiling, without a tear streak on my face.

Pulsing starts in my chest, edging out the warmth. The tempo enters slowly, like “Hotel California,” then progresses to “Beat It.” When the banging in my chest hits Metallica range, I know. This is it.

A wave of anxiety rises in my throat—or is that something else? Is this what winning feels like? I swallow it down, along with the fear.

I look back to where I know the letters are and sing Nirvana’s “All Apologies” in my head, the song that would be playing were it not for my shitty timing. The shitty timing that will no longer scar anyone I love. Not anymore.

I picture my letters, floating into the universe, down the streets I’ve walked so many times, into the nooks and crannies of my childhood. I picture the black ink of my words finding them, all the people I’ve let down, all the apologies I need to make, all the wrongs I need to make right.

But most of all, her.

Alice.

My life doesn’t qualify me for a last wish or request, I know. But if it did, I would ask that those letters surround her like a shield, that she’d feel that protection, like I can feel her presence now.

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