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AUGUST 2005

> WITH BROTHERLY LOVE | robin patrick

July 17, 1998. My best friend Stephanie and I were at the movies to see Titanic for about the eleventh time. We were in line ordering our popcorn when her father came in and got us. Her father told us that I had to call home. I called and talked to my mother and she said that my brother Charlie had died. I really did not feel anything at the time because I just wanted to walk back into the theater and watch the movie.

My mother told me that my sister was on her way to pick me up. Both of my sisters arrived so Stephanie and I got into the car with them. We were in the back seat laughing. My sister had turned and looked at me and asked, "Do you know what's going on?"

I told her, "Of course I know, I've talked to mom." When we got back to Stephanie's house, my mom was there and she was crying, but I couldn't understand why.

My mother and sisters got in the car to go to the funeral home, which was about 45 minutes away in Shepherdsville, Ky. When we got there, we walked in the door and my dad and step mom Theresa were already inside. They all walked back into a small room where they had him set up at; I did not go. When they came back up front, we were all talking about what we were going to do with him.

My dad said that he was going to take care of everything and he told us that he did not want us there. My mom was not going to leave, so Theresa got in her face and started running her mouth. My older sister Kathy jumped up and said something smart to Theresa. Neither my sisters nor I were going to let her do anything to our mother. After that, I had to walk outside to cool off. I was outside calling my father a bastard. I couldn't understand how you could let your wife get into your kid's face like that.

***

July 19, 1998. It was the day of the funeral. I got out of the bed and got dressed. I walked down the steps to tell my mother that I was ready. We got into the car and took the 45 minute drive again. We arrived at the funeral home and walked in. There were many people in there crying, laughing, and talking. When I walked over to the casket, Charlie was lying there, wearing a U of L t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. I was just standing there looking at him, thinking, if you weren't already dead, I would kill you myself.

Everybody visited with him and then we took him to the site to be buried. Seven police cars had escorted us to the site. We were standing there listening to the Pastor, but all I could think of was how hot it was, so I jumped into my mom's car and changed my clothes. I then got out and watched everyone crying when they started to put him into the ground. They were all hugging and comforting each other. After everyone left, we went home.

***

1986. My mom and dad got a divorce and my mom moved to Louisville with my two sisters and I. My dad stayed in Shepherdsville with my brother. Then my mom met a man and we moved to Mississippi. We stayed in Mississippi for about two years, so for two years we didn't get to see our dad. When we moved back to Louisville, we got a two bedroom apartment with five people living there. My dad then found out that we were back in Louisville and he came and picked us up, after which we would go out to his house every weekend. My dad lived so far out in the country that if you screamed, nobody would hear you.

***

1988. My dad had this old bus in his backyard about a mile from the house. My brother would always take my older sister Kathy and I to this bus to play house. He would always be dad, sometimes I would be the mom and other times Kathy would be mom. Whomever wasn't mom at the time had to stay outside. I was so happy the first time it was my turn to play house, until I got in there and I found out what playing house was about. Charlie took me into this small corner of the bus and told me to take my clothes off.

Charlie told me that this is what you have to do when you play house. He told me that if I told mom or dad then they would send me off to a bad place. He would then get on top of me, telling me to put my arms around him or he would push harder. While he was shoving his penis into my vagina, he would keep telling me that he was my only brother and that he loved me very much, and wouldn't do anything to hurt me. This was the first time that he did this to me and it lasted about two minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. The only thing that I can really remember is screaming and crying, wanting my mommy. He then would take his hand and cover my mouth and then start pushing harder and harder. It felt like he was in my stomach. When he got finished, I could feel something running down my legs. I thought I had peed on myself. Charlie then cleaned me up and told me to put my clothes back on, telling me over and over again that if I told then I would be sent to a bad place, or I would never be able to see dad again.

After we went home, I can remember wanting to tell my mom, but I didn't want her to send me off some place. I was in the bed that first night asking myself, what did I do wrong? I thought for about an hour, but couldn't come up with any answers. I couldn't go to sleep that night because I was in so much pain with all of the throbbing and bleeding. My stomach was cramping so badly that I was crying. Blood was getting all over me, my bed and even on my teddy bear. The next morning I got out of bed and my mom saw all of the blood and asked what happened. I was scared to tell her, thinking that she was going to take me somewhere and drop me off, so I told her I didn't know what happened, that I just woke up with blood on me. So, of course, my mom thought that I had started my period.

The next weekend, we went back to my dad's house and Charlie asked me if I wanted to play house. I told him that I didn't and he went in the house and told dad something. I'm not sure what he went in and told him, but it got me into big trouble and I was forced to play house with him again.

The next day came around and Charlie had one of his friends over at the house, so I figured that he wouldn't want to play house with his baby sister. I was so wrong. He told me that they had something to show me, so I followed them. He then grabbed me and took me into the bus and put his penis in my mouth. I remember him taking me by the hair and pushing and pulling my head back and forth. Charlie then took my pants and my underwear off and then started to shove his penis into my vagina. I started screaming and biting him, then his friend grabbed my arms and covered my mouth. Charlie was telling me that he loves me and this is how people show their love; if people didn't do this to you then they don't love you. I was only 6 years old when he did this to me and this went on for about 7 years.

***

1996. When I was 14 years old, I was at my grandmother's house and Charlie was sitting on the porch. I walked outside to smoke a cigarette. He told me how big my breasts were, that they were bigger than his girlfriend's and if I let him see them then he would buy me a carton of cigarettes. My sister Kathy was next door, so I went to get her. I told her everything that he had said to me that day. I really didn't care at that point if my mom would send me off because I was tired of getting hurt by someone who said he loved me. Kathy walked into the house and started beating the shit out of Charlie, but the only thing that I could do was cry and tell her to stop.

Charlie then ran out of the house and my grandfather asked what in the hell was going on, so I explained to him what had happened over the years, but he said I was a lying little bitch who was just jealous of Charlie. My dad called and I was screaming on the phone, so he asked me what was wrong, to tell him, but he didn't believe me. About an hour after that, we recieved a phone call informing us that Charlie had been in a car accident. My dad and grandfather yelled at me, telling me that his accident was my fault. If I weren't lying on him then he would have never left the house. I then called my mom and told her to come and pick me up. Charlie was sent to the hospital with a broken arm. As we were walking out the door, my grandfather told me that I wasn't allowed back into his home.

I went home and sat my mom down and told her everything that had gone on. I really don't think that she believed me, but at least she listened to what I had to say. A couple of years later, my sisters told my mom that it had happened to them, too. We started going back out to my dad's house after about two years, but Charlie didn't say anything to us. I was so happy that it was out in the open; I felt like a boulder had been lifted off my chest.

***

Charlie eventually started working for my dad, delivering dirt. One day he was working on the tractor and it was full. The bucket came down on him and he was killed instantly. 1-800-656-HOPE.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Robin Patrick is a Criminal Justice major at Daymar College in Louisville, KY.