Rock Revenge:Alex's Story

By: Candy J Starr


I’m not a vengeful person but there are some things in this world you can’t forgive.

Alex Dressner deserved to have his life shattered. To have everything he’d built crumble into dust at his feet. When I was through with him, he’d be broken and alone, and even then, it’d not be even a small part of the misery he’d caused my family.

The morning I’d found out my brother had died, I’d been half-awake, lost in blissful daydreams about my future together with Alex. All I needed to do was to stop him seeing me as Jake’s little sister. Once I’d proved I’d grown up and wasn’t that dumb kid any more, the path to true love would be clear and rose-strewn. He’d gaze into my eyes and tell me I was the only one for him, he’d just been too blind to see it, then he’d cup my face in his hand and gently brush his lips against mine…

Then Mum burst into my room. I pulled the covers over my head. I didn’t want that dream interrupted by real life. I’d not even gotten to the good bit.

“Dee,” she said, her voice quivering. “You have to listen to me.”

The words she’d said had changed me forever.

At first, I was stunned. I could hear the sounds she made but the actual words didn’t penetrate my brain. Slowly, they started to make sense but I didn’t want them to. I wanted them to buzz around outside me, never making it inside. They were part a nightmare. They couldn’t be reality. Jake would jump into my room, saying it was a stupid prank — and I’d beat the living crap out of him because that really wasn’t funny.

A spider dangled on a thread from a web in the corner and I focused on that spider, watching his progress. That spider made sense to me. It was real. If I concentrated on that spider, my mind could stay blocked off, the words would never sink in.

But that didn’t work.

Moments later, I screamed. I cried.

The truth sank in, despite my efforts. My brother was dead. When he’d kissed me goodbye the night before, when I’d wished him luck with the gig and nagged him to take me along with him, that had been the last time I’d ever see him.

“Is Alex okay?” I asked. I couldn’t bear if both of them were dead. Their band, The Jackals, had been playing at a town about an hour’s drive down the coast.

“Yes, he’s fine,” she said with a voice so brittle, I thought it’d snap in two. “That kind always are.”

She didn’t tell me straight away but slowly the truth came out.

Alex disappeared after the accident.

He’d been the one driving the van. Word was, he’d been far too drunk to drive. The other guys from the band — Pete and Steve — had shown up to give their condolences and they’d not said anything outright but Mum had jumped on every word, wanting to know, trying to piece things together.

When they talked, I tried to put the pillow over my head. I wanted to drown them out. But, every time the doorbell rang, I strained my ears. It’d be Alex. He’d come. He’d explain. He’d tell us that they were wrong. He hadn’t been driving and he hadn’t been drunk. It was all lies. I could barely get out of bed but I always had that one glimmer of hope — that the crash hadn’t been Alex’s fault, and that he’d come rushing to make me believe that.

He couldn’t bring Jake back to life but he could prove it was an accident, a genuine mistake, and that all those rumours were untrue.

But he was the only one who didn’t come to the house.

Dad just paced the floor, frustration wearing a path in the carpet. At one point, he wanted to go somewhere. I didn’t hear where, but Mum got upset.

“No, Bill,” she said. “Don’t do anything rash. Leave it to the police.”

I looked for Alex on the day of the funeral. Thousands of people had turned up. Everyone in town loved Jake. What wasn’t to love? He’d been the sweetest guy. I’d say that even if he hadn’t been my brother. Most of the girls from high school turned up, crying on each other’s shoulders. Most of them had a crush on him. If they hadn’t, then they had some story of his kindness.

I stood apart from them. Their sadness would soon pass but mine went right to the bone. They all seemed so young.

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