He woke up shivering, the cold hard floor having been his bed for the night. His brain throbbed as he pushed himself up, making it hard to remember what last happened. He held his head in his hands as he thought it over until an eerie sob bounced off the walls. Alex ignored his headache to go down the stairs from his lone room upstairs. Across the hall was a little boy with wet eyes and messy hair.
“Henry? Why are you crying?” Alex knelt down to his little brother’s height, but Henry wouldn’t look at him. “Come on, you thin hen.” He spoke to him, trying to get a smile from using his nickname, yet none appeared. He tried a more assertive method. “Henry, you are a Taylor boy, so you better act like a Taylor boy. Wipe those eyes and get back to bed.” Again, no reaction at all. Henry just stood there whimpering. Alex couldn’t resist those big blue eyes.
He leaned in for a hug, but Henry must have backed away for Alex just ended up tripping onto the floor. He rolled to his side and looked up at the unmoved Henry. What? He slowly reached his hand out to his brother’s, but they never made contact. Alex’s just passed right through like he was…like he was a ghost!
He scrambled up on his feet and raced to the nearest mirror. He hoped with every bit of his body to see his reflection staring back at him, but all that the mirror showed was the room behind him. He felt all the blood flush out of his body and become numb.
He snapped his head over towards the door when he saw a flash of movement. His mother stood there, looking very fragile. She picked Henry up and settled him into the crook of her arm. A soft lullaby flowed from her lips like sweet honey. As Henry was relaxing into a sleep she whispered to him, “It is always tough to lose someone, especially someone so nice, smart, and young. He was going to be a great adult some day, I’m sure of it.” Henry was already asleep, but she continued. “Getting through this will be incredibly hard. Alex never deserved to die.” She kept talking, but Alex couldn’t hear anymore. I’m a, he stuttered in his mind, ghost??