The Ugly Duckling

My brother John is dead. This was my first thought in my head when I woke at 5 am from a nightmare that made me sweat so much. I felt it in my gut because I know john and he is not as strong as people think he is. I got up to drink some water because felt so dehydrated. My mouth was so dry it was like I was running a marathon all night.

The phone rang. I never get random phone calls like that especially not from England. I knew something was wrong I felt it in my stomach as soon as I heard my phone ring. I didn’t want to answer the phone, I was going to let it ring and call back in the morning. I just wanted to have a peaceful sleep, and close my eyes with no worries. Unfortunately I answered.


“Good morning Mrs. Hillary sorry to wake you up so early but we have been trying to contact a few of your family member but we could not get through to anyone.” Said a young man.

“May I ask who is calling?”

“This is Dr. David calling from Spire Norwich Hospital. I am calling because I have bad news.” Said the doctor.

“Is everything okay doctor, please tell me my family is fine.” I said with the heavy voice.

“Everyone is fine I am just calling to inform you that Linda, your brother’s wife did not commit suicide. We ran an autopsy on her body to see what the case was. Linda actually died because of a natural cause, which was a heart attack. So it was an accident she did not mean to end her life.” The doctor explained.

“Oh no… did you try calling john and let him know what happened to her?” I asked.

“Yes we have tried contacting him, but unfortunately we have not received any answer from him. He replied.

I was breathing very heavily in and out, my heart starts racing fast. I did not know if it was the anger or sadness kicking in. Mixed emotions where running through my blood. I was so upset because I moved to Bahrain and married my husband to a have a life of my own. My family and I moved to Bahrain when I was fifteen years old and I never moved out of Bahrain I stayed there without my family. My father worked for Babco Oil Company in Saudi. God bless his soul he passed away a couple of moths ago. Now I have to deal with all this chaos in Bahrain while it is all happening in England.

Yet here I was worried for John, I had tried calling him many times but no luck. Maybe he was asleep or maybe he was grieving over Linda’s death. Yet, I know John and I know how week he is, my gut was telling me that there is something wrong with John. That’s when I went back to bed and I said to myself “everything’s going to be all okay tomorrow in the morning”.

The next day before I sat in the living room with my three beautiful girls expressing to them about how I felt about Linda’s death and what will happen to John now. John loved Linda but their love was toxic, he never understood that Linda’s past eats her alive everyday and that she needs help. John felt like he could help her and protect her but her life ate him alive to. He could not help her or himself. My girls sat with my and comforted my as we watched the Jeremy Kyle show. That is where I said to my self that so many people having problems and this is how people should take action. They have to go and talk to someone that will knock sense into your heard. It has been a day after Linda’s death and I haven’t heard from John that is when I had to take action but I was too afraid too.

“Mom, I think it is better if we call Uncle Michael now and ask him to see if John is okay” said my eldest daughter Zaman.

“No no no, I will not call and hear bad news. I refuse too. this is too much for my first I lose my father then Linda. Why do I feel like I lost John.” I said with a chock in my throat

“Mom you need to call now or you will regret it for the rest of your” Said Layla

Before I picked the phone up to call my brother Michael. I remembered the days where john and Linda was so happy. John called me one afternoon when I was in Bahrain taking to me about how he met the love of his life and her name was Linda. He said he loved her so much that he took her to the court to sign the papers for marriage. I never saw her until I visited them in the summer. I was shocked because john usually goes for girls that are thin, tall , and beautiful. Linda was a bit over weight and barley put makeup on. Her heart though was as white as snow . when I started talking to her that summer she was happy and very positive. My husband snapped at John and Linda a couple of time because he did not like how they would always ask me for money. I remember john would always call and ask me to send him money because he cant afford to pay for the food and house he was living in. that is when I felt something was fishy about the situation. When I asked around I found out that they were both doing heavy drugs together. Heroine.

John always felt like he was an ugly duckling in the family, and he always complained about how no one loves him. Everyone loved him and love was given to everyone in my family equally. We were a family of four children, and I was the only girl out of them. John was delusional he always believed in things that were not true or didn’t make sense. After Clyde’s my brother died my parents were never the same. It took them many years to recover and feel alive again. I loved john he was the youngest in the family and I always took good care of him. I took care of him until he grew up and got married. He was just a weak person and his relation with Linda made him even weaker.

As the summer got closer again in 2012 I visited England with my girls, and when I went to the family house, Linda did not look the same as the year before.

I remember when I would watch her play with her hand and fidget with her fingers tightly as she talks to my girls. She never looked comfortable in her own body to me. Her soul was taken away from her by the devil himself, her real father. He snatched her life out of her hands by rapping her. After that she was never the same a lifeless person, and a body with no soul. It was this summer, which just passed where I last saw her.

Months after I returned from my summer vacation from England, I heard some bad news that Linda tried committing suicide, it broke my brother, she was in the hospital fighting for her life that she no longer wanted. The doctors said she lost her eyesight and damaged her lungs and that she would never recover, but she did once again. She tried ending her life many times but it just never worked. I guess that’s where destiny took its action, and you know no one can fight destiny.

Living in a home that’s toxic with two lost souls must have been hard for them both. Drugs started taking over there lives, I tried my best to help till the very end.

My daughters wanted to help her, to show her that she was loved but noting helped. One Sunday afternoon Linda broke her silence to my girls and I. She looked so sad my daughter Layla asked her why are was she so unhappy in her life. She explained that when she was a young beautiful girl her mother got remarried to a horrible man who molested her until she was able to leave. Linda ran away and tried finding herself a better life until one day she gets a call from her younger sister who was in tears, she said “dad is raping me “, Linda and this point lost her mind and reposted her but not after she stabbed him. He was jailed for life. Layla then replied to Linda saying that she should turn all her worries and fears to god but her only reply was “ if god loved me and if there is a god why would he make me suffer the way I did”.

“Mom are you listen to me, you have to call Uncle Michael now” said Zaman

“Oh sorry I was reminiscing on a few things, ill call him now” I said as my eyes woke up to reality.

I called Michael and the phone rang for a long good two minutes. I though he was not going to answer me , but he did.

“Hi Michael how are you? “I said

“I am fine Hilary, just worried for John. By the way did you speak to him because I haven’t heard from him in 48 hours” said Michael with a low and cold voice.

“no I haven’t heard from him that is why I am calling you. Michael I think you need to go to his place and check on him. You know how Michael can be sometimes. I am worried for him. “ I said with a worried voice

“Okay Hilary give me twenty minutes and Ill call you back” he said.

I shut the phone and told my girls what he said . All we could do now was wait and pray that John is okay.

Hours passed and I heard nothing from John so I made Sophia my youngest daughter call Ella, Michael’s only child and see what was going on. Ella answers the phone sobbing and told Sophia what happened. The look on Sophia’s says that John was not okay. Sophia was shocked and couldn’t hold her breath. I just wanted her to shut the phone and tell me what was going on, but the looks of it did not look it was good news.

As soon as she shut the phone she looks at me and tell me “Mom don’t freak out but there is something I need to tell him”.

I just did not want to here it I got up to leave the room but Zaman insists I sit back down.

“Mom Uncle John passed away. When you asked Uncle Michael to go and check on Uncle john he felt that there was something wrong. He rang Uncle John’s doorbell but he didn’t get any answer. He was going to leave but then he smell this smell like something was decaying. So he broke the door down and that’s where he found Uncle John dead on his bed. He overdosed himself with heavy drugs, and left a letter” Sophia slowly said to me.

I could not breath I felt like my head was spinning like the wings of a helicopter. I did not want o believe what I just heard, and I just could not accept it for myself. I just broke down in tears and grieved all night on Johns death with my girls. John called me a week before they had their fight and I advised him that maybe he should leave Linda because her problems are draining him. He left her that night they fought and he though she ended her life because he left her. Linda left the house and slept in a hotel that night where she passed away because of a heart attack. I felt like I was the one to blame.

I remember watching John huge Linda in the living room showing her love and affection in front of the whole family. Looking back at my past I remember watching John play with our dog Trixie a Golden Retriever. He was always giving her love and walking her twice a day. Until one day Trixie died. John was so hurt by her death, which made him grieve every day. Trixie passed away after having her for eleven years. She was with us ever since Clyde was born. She was the only thing that made him feel close to Clyde. Every day John would collect flowers from our garden and place them on top of her grieve while he sobs all over her grave. As I stopped reminiscing on this memory that plays in my head almost everyday cried silently in my room to the noise of the wind blow through my window. We never get wind blowing trees on a hot day in Bahrain, until that night I lay in my room mourn to my past.

John probably woke up to the bad news of his wife, the love of his life passed away, and he felt that it was all his fault. He felt that Linda was the only person who loved him, and everyone else hated him. Sometimes I felt it was the drugs making him paranoid and weak. Yet I remember john being weak since he was a child. I know he couldn’t take it and he started blaming himself. He felt the reason she died was that she committed suicide. If he only waited one day for the autopsy he would of found out that Linda died from a heart attack and not suicide. Now my brother John is dead, and I will never know if I could have saved him.

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