I sat in my brother’s stiff office chair—the one that didn't even swivel—and heard a man’s mechanical voice clip out, “End of messages.”
He didn’t even have any tissues. Why didn’t he have tissues? Everyone else in this building boxes and boxes of Kleenexes. The woman in the lobby had her desk stacked with tissues like she had some kind of tear duct infection. My darling brother had nothing but a couple of pens and a pad of post-its.
That’s when my inner self smashed the answering machine into the carpet. I saw the black shards fly across the room time and time again, heard the mechanical voice screaming for mercy. What really happened was that my very physical self sat in stunned silence while annoying voices in the offices around me droned on and on about loans, mortgages, and satisfied customers.
What had he said? Was I unreasonable for being offended, nay, enraged? My brother and I had always had a pretty good relationship. Maybe touch and go at times, but we had quick reconciliations and easy laughs after tiffs. Sure, he had called me a shrew before—to my face. But somehow this was worse…much worse. He had spoken with Justin in a moment of anger. He had said things he should have kept to himself. He had spoken behind my back to someone I loved.
What was I to do?