I remember walking into the house on the verge of hysterically crying. Thoughts flooded my mind, leaving me to drown. I could only imagine the worst of things happening to my brother. I could only picture him injured and dying in the war. Letting him go was not an option for me. He couldn't leave me.
"Dear God, Benjamin! You cannot have possibly given this enough thought. You need to think this over!" my mother sat down in a huff, running her hands through her hair.
"I have to go, mum. I have to," Ben pleaded.
I looked to Will and he gave me a quick glance. I tried to read his facial expression, but it was impossible. I had no clue what was going on inside of his head.
"What about your education? We've already paid," my mum argued.
"They'll make an exception. They're gonna lose plenty of students due to this. You'll get your money back," he said.
"Ben, is this what you really want?" my father had been quiet for the majority of the conversation.
"Yes, I want to help," Ben replied.
I glanced over to see Will walking out of the room. A sickening thought ran through my mind. Will is gonna leave too. He's going to fight in the war with Ben, and I'll never see them again. Im going to lose the only two boys I'll ever love.
The arguing in my home made me feel nauseous. My mum continued to argue with my brother, and my brother continued to be stubborn. He never looked at me. Perhaps that was because he couldn't. I decided it would be better if I left the room.
Walking out, I felt a heavy weight in my chest. I have to talk to someone, I thought. I have to talk to Will. I couldn't escape the chaos and yelling, because it echoed through our entire home.
I slowly walked about my house searching for Will. I peered into the dusty library and saw him sitting in one of our floral chairs. He didn't look up at me as I walked towards him. But he did speak to me.
"He doesn't understand," he said, still not looking at me. I swallowed hard and took a seat on the floor next to him.
"Will," my voice cracked.
"He doesn't understand," he repeated.
"He never really cared about an education," I explained. "He never cared for the idea of going to college, but mum wanted him to go. Of course he doesn't know for sure that the school will refund my parents money, but I'm sure he'll find a way to get it back to them."
"Alice, that's not what he doesn't understand." Will's green eyes finally met my blue eyes. "He doesn't understand that he's gonna damage things. Alice, he doesn't understand that you need him. He doesn't understand that he can't leave you."
"Will, I'll manage to survive without him. I mean, he was going off to school anyways. I wasn't always gonna have him around."
"But it's different. If he went to school, he'd always come back. You'd always see him again. But if he goes to fight in this war, there's no guarantee that he'll ever come back."
I suddenly felt very light headed. The thought of my brother never coming back made me sick. I stood up and walked towards Will. He stood up too. Putting his hands on either side of my face, he pulled me in and planted a kiss on my forehead. He hugged me tightly as I began to cry.
"I don't want him to go," I finally whimpered.
"I don't want him to go either," he said softly. I felt his tears hit the back of my neck. I could still hear the arguing from the other room, but in this moment I felt safe. Will's embrace made me feel taken care of.
"I'm making you a promise right now," Will said as we slowly let go of each other. "I will never leave you."
"Thank you," I whispered. He's staying, I thought. I'm not losing both of them. Will kissed my cheek and began to cry. We embraced again. Suddenly, silence fell upon the house. My family had stopped arguing. I looked to the doorway and saw Ben standing there. He looked small, pale and weak. His eyes were sad as he watched his best friend comfort his sister. And in that moment I saw something. I saw the two boys I loved more than anything, and I knew one of them was staying, and the other one was leaving.