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My Brother’s Keeper Pt. 2

It had already been a month since the last time I had met my brother for lunch. It seemed like not too much had changed in the last few weeks. Shavonne and I were still having the same disagreements, though we hadn’t broken up. However, there was some movement in my ongoing Adroit investigation.

I looked around the crowded subway car. It was amazing how every person in that tiny space had a story that could fill volumes of books. Each and every person there had experienced life changing events, and the memories were all held within their hearts and minds. My heart and mind couldn’t help but feel heavy if I thought about my own story for too long.

It was far easier to focus on everyone else’s problems.

My patience was wearing thin with main stream reporting. I was just getting so tired of the bosses trying to hide the fact that Adroits were real! I knew they were real. The good news was that more and more people were beginning to see the truth. It was hard not to. With all of the reported sightings of super power humans, anyone should be able to see what was really going on.

But with hard nosed, money hungry publishers like that gruff, old George Wilson running things, the truth would never get out. There was no way he would risk upsetting anyone important, or influential, especially not with so many big budget advertisers lining his pockets.

I had experienced the pitfalls of Wilson’s pugnacious profit driven publishing time and time again. I’d felt the sting of fury as my hard-hitting editorial submissions were rejected and ultimately ended up in the rubbish bin. It had happened more times than I cared to count.

The subway car rumbled as we sped through the tunnels. Of course, there were maybe a hundred diners between my apartment and Ronny’s Diner, but this one had been my favorite for years now. When I first moved to Capital City, it seemed like I ate every meal there. Even when my cash was low, the owners always made sure I had something to eat.

Now, it was tradition. And, to be honest, it was the only place in the city where I truly felt at home. Ronny and his wife Rhonda had always made me feel welcome, and Dexter too, no matter how rough he may have looked. Though I looked forward to seeing my brother, our last meeting had been so strange. I had never seen Dex act like that before.

Truth be told, I’d been uneasy since our last lunch. My mind had been pondering over what could have caused such a transformation. He mentioned something about a new program, and a job, but he didn’t say too much else. That weird staring thing wasn’t sitting well with me either.

As the subway came to a halt, I prepared to make my way out of the car. As the people around me did the the same, I couldn’t help but remember how I’d found Dexter on this very subway line years ago. He had been missing for a year or two, when suddenly, he just appeared on the train.

At first glance, I knew it was him. How could I not know the face of my older brother? But for a moment, I second guessed myself. “It can’t be him,” I thought to myself. It didn’t matter, I knew the truth, and I had to say something to the man.

It was hard, but he was happy to see me, and I felt the same way. That’s when I found out that he’d been drifting around the city from shelter to shelter, just trying to find his way in life. That day we had lunch at Ronny’s, and it’s been our tradition ever since.

Walking up from the underground station, my eyes had to adjust to the light. People hustled and bustled by me, tending to their ever so important business. I had business to to tend to as well, but first, lunch.

I still couldn’t shake that uneasy feeling that had been following me for the past month. Hopefully things were going well for my brother, and all of this angst would have been for nothing. My steps brought me closer to the doorway of Ronny’s Diner. My eyes scanned the street in front of the building for his familiar smiling face.

Dexter wasn’t there.

No matter how crazy his life may have been, he always arrived before me. Even the time that he ended up in the emergency room with a broken arm, he was still there before me, cast and all. This was definitely a change. An unwelcome change.

Maybe he was already inside waiting at our table. I didn’t see him through the window. The table was empty, waiting for us to arrive as always. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door and walked into the busy restaurant.

“Hey Curtis honey!” Shouted Rhonda from behind the breakfast bar. “Where’s Dex?” She asked.

“Hey Rhonda, how’s it going? I wish I knew. This is his first time being late for our lunch.”

“I’m sure everything is ok. He’ll probably show up any minute. Your table’s waiting for you honey. I’ll be right over.”

I just nodded at her and headed to the table.

In my heart, I really hoped that Rhonda was right.

To be continued . . .

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Written by Aziza Eil'Yudah

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