***Spoiler Alert!!!*** This character interview contains information about my story Mother’s Day. If you haven’t read this story already, click here before reading on.
I sit across from Ronni in the visitor’s area of the mental facility.
“Feels weird to be interviewing me, doesn’t it? I know you’ve interviewed Angela a couple of times, but her version of me is wrong, from what I’ve read. And from what she’s spit at me herself.” He leans back in his chair. “That makes sense since she based her image of me off her anger.” His shoulders slump.
“Do you know that Angela blames you for her mother’s death?”
He nods, his lips pulling into a thin line.
“Why does she blame you?”
“Because it’s his fault!” Angela flings herself at him, trying to claw his eyes.
“Angela, please!” He grabs her wrists as two male nurses rush over. “It was an accident.”
“Please, I’m so sorry about what happened, Angela.” Tears well in his eyes as she yanks at his beard. “You don’t remember what happened. You’ve built a whole lie—” His voice fades as she’s sedated, the color draining from his face as she is carried away.
“Ma’am,” a female nurse comes up to us. “You’re interview will have to happen another time you’re upsetting the—”
“If you want to see upset,” Ronnie says, “then make her leave. I’ll show you what upset really looks like.”
Swallowing, the nurse gives a curt nod and backs away.
“What really happened the day Angela’s mother died?”
Ronnie shrugs. “She swerved to avoid hitting Donnie, and her van was hit.” His lip quivers. He sniffs, wiping his nose.
“Why was your brother in the road?”
Ronnie begins rocking. “Mom’s flowers. Donnie was so mean.”
“What do you mean?”
“I didn’t want to pick flowers, but Donnie made me. He smacked me around until I agreed to go.”
“Was he always mean like that?”
Ronni shakes his head. “No. It started when our dad left on his last tour of duty. He told Donnie he was in charge.” Ronnie snorts. “Big mistake.”
“What happened to your brother that day?”
He looks down, clutching his knees. “He decided to be a bully, and he died. He broke his back in three places. I don’t think he felt any pain. He was gone before he hit the pavement.” His eyes water. “I’m so sorry, Donnie.” His voice is just above a whisper.
“What are you sorry for?”
He shakes his head, wiping his nose. “For not listening to mom. For being a brat when all he wanted was my help. For running from him.” He stops fighting the tears.
“Why were you running from him?”
“He kept saying I was a baby. Saying I needed to man up, and he was going to teach me how. He knew I hated snakes, so he found one. A stupid little tree snake, completely harmless.” He laughs. “But all I saw was a snake, so I ran. I didn’t pay attention to where I was going.” He shakes his head. “I should have listened to Mom. If I had, he wouldn’t be dead.”
“Why do you blame yourself for his death? If sounds like he was bullying you, and you ran. Anyone would understand that.”
“I blame myself because not only did I run,” he drags his sleeve across his nose, “but I dropped mom’s flowers.” He hangs his head. “I turned back to get them, as Donnie bent over to pick them up in the middle of the road.”
Thank you so much for reading! I sincerely hope you enjoyed this character interview. Be sure to check back next week for another short story.