My wrist watch beeped with a monotonous tone for a few seconds and I
was relieved at last. My private tuition class duration was over and the
day’s lesson was meant to stop. I held my books in my arms and stepped
out of the class towards the big oak tree by the main highway, where my
big brother used to wait to walk me home along with his bike. But, he
wasn’t there. I sped my way towards the tree to have a clear glimpse,
but he was out of sight. He couldn’t have forgotten me. I was still, with
my thoughts skiing their way for an answer. Oh, that’s what it was. I
was giggling to myself. But, could he be that angry or furious with me?
It’s true I was making him steam with my silly jokes which I never meant
to be stern. So he has not come on purpose, to teach me a fine lesson
for turning him angry with my jokes. The next minute I was up to my feet
all my way home thinking of ways to bring a friendly nature between me
and my brother. Being so fond with my brother I could never remain angry
with him, so I had to be friendly with him somehow or other. As I stepped
in to the veranda leading to my home, I kept the books on my study desk
and slowly tip toed to my brother’s room and peeped in to it. No way!
He wasn’t there. He always used to be in his room most of the time of
the day. Then I looked for him in the entire house, but he was missing.
My father pays his visit to home once in a week while my mother reaches home late evening or almost night. Therefore grandmother was the only other person occupied in the household chores during day time, apart from us. So I paced myself to the pantry and asked her about brother. He had left with some of his friends whom grandma failed to recognize. I felt so solemn and hollow for making him annoyed. So I waited till his presence. Hours rushed but he wasn’t home. It even turned late evening and a guilty feeling ran along my nerves. How could I know where he has gone? Who were the friends? I took one of his diaries and dialed the telephone numbers of some of his friends. They have known nothing about him for several weeks and not that friendlier either. They were even anxious to know who was so interested or caring to him afterall. What was wrong with my brother? I dialed some more telephone numbers and there was the same answer. My brother seemed to have found some new friends. It’s none of my business to deal with his friends, but why isn’t he home by now? When I was about to dial my mother’s mobile number, I heard someone at the verandah.
I leapt to my feet and ran to the entrance door and I was so glad to find my brother making his way inside. He looked so exhausted and he was sweating so badly. His face was yellowish with red rings under his eyes. He seemed way too depressed and very sick. But he was feeling quite well that morning. I asked him why he was late but he shouted at me most irritably. He was downright rude and I held my tongue shut without a single other word. He was heading straight to his room and I brought him water which he took no notice of. Then I had his dinner ready and gave it to him which he refused, yelling that he had no appetite to eat, but leave him alone. I turned so upset and apologized him for what I said in the morning. But he was not listening and I was in tears to find him fast asleep on his bed. He has never treated me nor behaved like this before.
Days passed and the atmosphere round my brother was turning worse than ever. His outgoings were unusually weird. Once he reach home he gets to sleep for twenty continuous hours straight and leaves again as he wakes up. He was no longer my good old brother. And I soon realized that the joke I did that morning to turn him angry was nothing that mattered and it was no way close to his abnormal behaviour. Soon enough my mother was aware of his sudden behaviour, so was my father. But they found lack of time to attend to him and I was helpless. There was one of my cousin sisters who used to be a medical student in university. Now she must be a doctor already giving treatments to medically unstable people. I phoned her and ‘yes,’ she was a doctor. I was cheerful to have found the correct person at last. I explained the situation clear enough and according to the symptoms she said what the kind of disease it was. I was shocked and the receiver slipped my hands.
What? That’s impossible! My brother is addicted to “Heroin?” I couldn’t believe what I heard and I rushed to my brother’s room. He was once again gone. I made way to his table and stared at the desk-top contents. There was my brother; smiling and his arms around me in the photo which was taken a few months ago. How was he, just before a couple of days ago and how is he now? I sighed and then I saw a silvery like thing at the side of his table. I drew myself further towards it and was curious to find something more or less alike a needle. As I drew closer there were more such needles. If that happened to be a real needle, why should he use one? He never used needles and no one in the house used needles, other than mending them from somewhere outside. And just beside the needles there was a rough paper scribbled ‘Morphine’ everywhere. What’s all these needles and ‘morphine’s? Certainly, they have to be related with his unusual behaviour. I didn’t know much about heroin or its effects, but knew that it was something dangerous. I have to save my brother somehow and for that, I have to learn about heroin and its relationship to these needles and morphine if they do have something to deal with morphine.
In the coming days I was busy learning myself about heroin and keeping regular contacts with my cousin sister who was a doctor. We verified that my brother is suffering from ‘heroin addiction’ and that ‘morphine’ was one such heroin in use, while the needles were used to inject such a drug. With each detail I was troubled and frightened. My parents were terrified to hear that their own son is addicted to heroin. They were contacting all kinds of physicians and psychiatrists for heroin treatments. Both my parents were at leave from work and my cousin sister too came to board in our home till the situation is turning calm. Then and there we were up to action. And in the next few days we all were trying to get closer to my brother, to talk over with him. My father avoided brother’s outings by force. It was unbearable to see my brother crying for morphine for every three or four hours. He was having high fever and lying blue on bed being almost paralyzed and unconscious. Days and weeks passed and my brother had to go through many treatments for most of which I could hardly understand or which were unbearable to stare at.
Now there’s my brother brought back to life, fully recovered. It’s been almost three months from his recovery. I’m relieved that I finally had my dear old brother and I surely did learn a lot about heroin after all. It’s the addicting part which worsens the person’s behaviour. The new set of friends of my brother made him addict to heroin. The friends, whom you associate, play a major role in your life when bringing up changes whether good or bad. You have to have self confidence not to lose your already built-up personality and discipline as well as the mature understanding of good and bad. It’s said that, prevention is always better than cure. After you’ve done the mistake it’s rather impossible to recover back or correct it, and you’ll end up in disappointment. There may be many brothers, uncles and fathers of you; who are going through my story, who are addicted for drugs in a similar manner. But if you have a close relationship within the family, nurtured by love, affection, care and protection, you’ll hardly be misled or undergo that fierce ‘addiction.’
- The End -
Date written: 29/ 05/ 06
Word count: 1473