His voice was as creepy as ever, my entire back shivering as soon as he greeted me through the glass. "Evening, brother", he said, just like every other time we met. No matter what time of the day it was, he would say it was evening, even when the sun was shining in his face. I asked him why, once, but he never gave a straight answer.
I sat down, and looked at him for a few seconds, before I remembered why I don't visit him often. His pale skin had cracks all over it, and his eyes were as bloodshot as usual. Almost no hair on the top of his head, and lips so small he could kiss an ant with them. To claim that we both came from the same mother was like saying an apple and a banana came from the same tree.
Yet, he is. He's my brother, all right. My twin brother, no less. The DNA tests proved this.
Ever since I became aware of his existence I've been visiting him every other day, asking him questions and giving him answers. The poor man's been in and out of jail countless times, and thought he was an orphan all his life while I lived comfortably with our parents. I explained to him early on that when he was kidnapped as a baby our parents thought he was killed. Thankfully he's not holding a grudge.
His name is Tom, though that wasn't the name our parents gave him (Sid). Tom is friendly and polite, but despite his best efforts he still sounds and looks like some kind of vampire ambassador from another universe. The words "don't judge a book by its cover", though arguably overused these days, rings true with Tom. Unfortunately, he keeps losing in the court of law because most of the time people in the jury just hate looking at him so much they just declare him guilty.
This is Tom's last day in prison. I went today just to reassure him I'll be there when he returns to the outside world. He kept asking me if mom and dad would be there too, but I honestly didn't know.
The next day, I greeted Tom at the gates and gave him a ride to my house. We didn't talk much on the way there, but he did ask me if anything's changed during the five months he spent in prison. I answered 'not much', and he made this weird look in his face which was impossible for any normal human being to interpret correctly. Did he think it was a bad answer? I'll never know.
When we arrived at my house, Tom performed an odd ritual which involved him running around the building in circles a couple of times, then stopping at the front door to rub the doorknob with his face. I thought about stopping him, but I didn't see any harm in letting him do it, unless his face's covered with diseases.
As soon as we entered the living room, he just dropped his bag and jumped onto the nearest couch and fell asleep. I tried waking him up, but I gave up and decided to take a look through some of his possessions. I only found four items: A toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a journal of some sort, and a photo of a little girl with a woman.
I decided to open the journal, while making sure he was unconscious. What I found inside was an unsettling mix of happy drawings, pleasant poetry, and disturbing images drawn in red ink (at least I hope it's ink). One drawing I still can't forget is the one that resembled runic writings mixed with Cyrillic, arranged to form the shape of some kind of monster. I closed the book when I saw a drawing of a dog's head split open. It was so well-drawn I could almost smell the imaginary carcass.
I wondered if I should ask Tom about his journal, but I suppose he wouldn't have liked the idea of someone looking through his journal. I put the worn journal back in the bag, and I took another look at the photo. I turned it over and saw a few words written on the otherwise blank back: "Remember - L=3 Aug. S=17 Jan". At that point I realized I never asked Tom if he had a family of his own.
If this guy's got a wife and kid, shouldn't he have gone off to meet them now? Or am I totally wrong about this and the people in the photo aren't his family?
Well, I had no choice but to wait for him to wake up. After an hour, I decided I might as well work on making a meal for both of us.
I wonder if he likes tuna casserole.