Even though it has been several years since I lost my brother to a self inflicted gunshot, it still feels like yesterday. We were extremely close. After my father passed, he took the role of father figure but he was also my mentor, and best friend. He was a jokester and liked to play pranks on me. I could talk to him about anything. He moved to Florida and soon after I joined him and I moved there with my best girlfriend. He had a business where he did auto body and I ended up taking a job there with him. I noticed that he was changing a bit. I found out he had started using drugs and drinking heavily. He was so good at his job and several large car dealerships used his services. Even though he was extremely busy, he seemed to never have money or able to pay his bills. One day we were hanging out and he didn’t work that day. He was drinking a lot. He told me that he had a gun to sell but he had it hidden at my mother’s house in a safe. He asked me to go get it for him and he waited in the car. I went in, got the gun and all the ammunition for him. He said he wanted to go to the pawn shop to sell it but needed to stop at his house first. One of his friends was driving, he was in the passenger seat, and I was in the backseat. He turned around and looked at me with a sadness I have never seen, a tear was rolling down his cheek. He turned back around and I said nothing. I didn’t know what to say and had no idea that this day was going to be the last time I ever got to talk to him or try to comfort him. We went to his house, his friend was going to the store and coming back. My brother walked into his house and 5 minutes later came back out. I had my back to him when he came out but heard the screen door slam behind him and then I turned around. In that moment I turned toward him, I saw the gun go up to his temple and he pulled the trigger. I just started screaming for help. I went to him trying to give him CPR and saw the tears rolling down his face. I was just screaming for help when 6 cruisers pulled up with guns drawn on me. They pushed me down into the grown and handcuffed me and told me not to move. I was paralyzed at that moment from the fear and shock and lifted my head to scream again but nothing came out. I watched my brother take his last breaths alone – they wouldn’t let me go to him. The next time I saw him was on a gurney in the hospital with a plastic tube in his mouth. I broke down and all I remember is the hospital staff yelling at me to be quiet because of the other patients could hear me.
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