How you ask?
Well, I would hurt myself and then blame it on him, making my mother punish him. He learned quickly how to deal with me. You see, he was older than I was by seven years. I would never tell him to his face, but I looked up to him. Whatever he did, I wanted to do too. He was a source of strength, on which I had become dependent.
“Listen! You little shit, go to sleep! The reason why you can’t write is because all you do is stare at that stupid computer screen,” he shouted.
He worked as the head personal trainer for the New York Giants. So he was well paid, fit and good looking, meaning he was a man whore. No woman was ever really able to rein him in, but boy did they fuckin’ try.
“You can leave now, Darios.” I shooed him away.
“I’ll leave after I eat. I'm starving. Training those guys took all day.” He walked out of my bedroom and headed down my hallway to my large spiral iron staircase, which led to my spacious kitchen, which was two floors down.
When I first started writing, it was a healing tool my therapist had suggested I do, to help me cope with what had happened. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. When I finished my first book, I sent it out trying to find a publisher, but no one wanted me. I then tried to find myself an agent, thinking I could easily get one since I thought my story was great. That failed too. After countless rejections, I decided to venture out on my own. Self-publishing wasn’t easy. I had close friends who helped me edit my work, but still mistakes would happen. Paying a freelance editor wasn’t in my budget. I did the best I could, gaining more experience, as each book was published.
At first, my book didn’t sell well, even though I got rave reviews from those who bought it. By my third book, sales began to snowball. It felt nice. My work had finally received the attention it deserved. It was hard to be proud of myself, since I felt like I had no real talent. In my eyes, all I did was string words together and nothing else.
I had three different series and a few independent books. My three series had gained a lot of popularity and now were in the works to becoming movies and cable TV shows. All the money from my writing allowed me to buy a nice brownstone in Harlem. I loved my home. It was nestled on a tree-lined street with local bakeries and upcoming restaurants. The area was now growing with affluent families and business people trying to make it in New York. Most were transplants, unlike me who was a born New Yorker. New York was like no other place in the world. That’s why I loved it so much.
I stood up from my bed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. As I walked down each floor, I could see my floor to ceiling library. I had them built into each floor. Yeah, that’s exactly how much I read. It was a form of escapism. It was George R.R. Martin who said, ‘a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.’
I finally reached the last step and saw my brother hunched over my stainless steel refrigerator, looking for food to eat.
“I know you cooked. I can still smell the food,” he said with his body nearly inside my fridge.
“It’s at the bottom of the fridge. I made chili,” I said, as I took a bottle of water I had on my counter.
“Why don’t you just kill me?” he grumbled, as he took out the Tupperware and placed it on the counter next to the microwave.
“Forgive me. My psychic powers were out of whack. Had I known you were coming, I wouldn’t have cooked at all.”
He took out a plate from the cabinet and began to scoop out the food onto the plate.
“Bite me!” he retorted.
“I have. Remember?” He glared at me and I smiled and winked. He had a scar on his arm because of me. What? Don’t judge me. The man wouldn’t play with me.
The microwave dinged and Darios took out the plate and placed it in front of him.
“So?” he said, forking his food.
“So?” I said back.
“What’s going on?” he asked, placing his fork full of food in his mouth.
“Nothing much.” I stayed tight-lipped.
“Nothing much?” He rolled his eyes. “I'm your Brother, you know this, right?” I shrugged. “Is your latest book giving you a hard time?”
I sighed heavily and an eruption of words came out.
“Yes! My stupid editor is pushing me too damn hard and the words don’t seem to want to come out. The screenplay is killing me. Thankfully, my agent is helping me. I’m scared and nervous that it will flop and not live up to the readers’ standards. My deadline is looming close and I'm going to miss it and the fucker is being too much!” By the last word, I was ready to stand up, call my editor and wring his neck. My old editor had retired and they gave me this new douchebag, who didn’t understand me at all.