24: Jayson

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"I didn't know you had a brother," Adrian says, rubbing her back as her body trembles silently. 

"I never knew him," she says, trying to keep her voice steady. "He died six years before I was born. I've heard stories, though,"

And she tells them.

Autumn takes a few breaths and they sit in the grass in front of Jayson's memorial. She picks at the blades of grass in front of her as she speaks. 

"My mom says that he had always been fascinated by the human body. He took health all throughout high school and doubled up on  AP sciences. She was very proud of him when he got accepted into the University of Oklahoma. He worked his way through it, until the year he was to graduate." She takes a shaky breath. "Mom always said he was looking forward to graduation so he could finally become a doctor and... and..." 

She looks up, suddenly remembering. "He... he wanted to cure cancer. That's what he wanted to do."

She covers her face with her hands and sobs. Adrian is speechless. "It's... coincidental," he mentions to no one in particular. 

"And - and he - he only had two - two more months..." she explains between sobs. "And - he - never got... to..."

Her sobs are breathy and quiet, enough to make people walking by think she was laughing instead of crying. They would be dreadfully mistaken. 

"I wish I had known him," she says after a few moments, her face still in her hands. Adrian only nods. 

He stands and offers her his hand. She takes it and he helps her up. She wipes her face with her hands. "I'm sorry," she says. "This is so embarrassing. For both of us." He chuckles nervously, not wanting to laugh. 

They get back into the car, silently, and Adrian drives slowly down the highway as it begins to rain. They have a staggered conversation about Jayson, interrupted by long pauses. They head back to the hotel and talk about death, how mysterious it is and wondering what it's like beyond the world. They fall asleep imagining their own versions of the afterlife. 

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