A Storyby Alice Lichtenstein
For the first three weeks of the semester all the stories they read in English 213 featured dying brothers. In the first, a hip older brother, a teenager, tripping on acid, crashed through a glass patio door; in the second, a young boy ran over his brother with a tractor and never spoke again; in the third, a twin OD’d, somehow his brother’s fault.
“Sisters are dying too,” Lucy had wanted to shout, but she kept her mouth shut. The assignment, the professor had announced, was to write something that scared them. Not bullshit. Not toilet paper, he said. Write a story that matters, the professor said. Lucy knew a trap when she saw one. She wasn’t dumb. She wasn’t going to write about her sister who was dying, yes, strange coincidence, floating in a coma, in a sleep that the doctors said would end in death, in a hospital room on the other side of the country. Lucy was sure as fuck not going to write about that.