Your Cologne


It’s funny how I’ll be doing something in my everyday life, I won’t necessarily be thinking of you and then out of nowhere, you will appear. I was cleaning my bathroom cabinet tonight when I came across your cologne. I lied on the bathroom floor and the flashback of how I ended up with your cologne came back to me.

No one could muster up the courage or strength to go clean out your apartment once you were gone. My last promise to you was to see your brand-new apartment in Mankato. A promise I was never able to do.

I drove down with my uncle. The ride seemed to drown out everything. We got to your apartment and I hesitated to go in. This was the last place you were alive. Am I able to do this? I asked myself. You promised him, the other half of me said.

I walked into your apartment. It resembled you in every possible way. I started to break down. I saw your fish Aquarium, with all the fish you loved and took care of so well.

I saw the Nintendo 64 we used to play Super Smash brothers on. I’d always be Kirby and you would be Yoshi. I hesitated again once I got to your room. I stood in the door frame for what seemed like forever. This is the last place you were.

I took a deep breath and went in. The rawness and pain of your death hit me like a brick wall. I couldn’t breathe. There were pictures of us on your desk, another fish aquarium, dinosaur figurines on your dresser. All the things that you loved and made you, you.

It was my job as your big sister to clean out your room. Something a big sister should never have to do. I decided I didn’t want to throw away anything of yours. I wanted it all, down to every single dinosaur figurine. I wanted as much as you as I could have.

I remember going to your closet and putting your clothes in a bag. Brad walked in and started to take things.

“Don’t touch anything!” I screamed at him. He didn’t deserve any piece of you. He stopped and stood in the door way, watching me.

“You can throw away his cologne Aubrey, you don’t ever need that it’s garbage.” He said.

“I want everything. Don’t tell me what I can’t have of my brother.” I told him. He then turned and walked out of the room leaving me alone.

Once I was got everything I wanted of yours, I went back into the room once it was all loaded in the car.

“I need to be alone for a while.” I told the others who were there. I went into your bedroom, closed the door and say on the old, wooden floor.  I closed my eyes. I pictured you. I tried to process this all. I tried to process the fact that you were gone, and that I’d never see you ever again.

I tried to process the fact that all I had left of you were boxes full of your clothes and your favorite things. I wept. I wept for the love I had for you. I wept for the pain and loneliness you had felt. I wept for the fact that I let you down as your big sister.  I wept that I couldn’t have helped you, that I couldn’t have saved you.

I asked you why. I asked you a thousand times as I sat on the floor of your bedroom. You didn’t answer.  I tried so hard to feel you, to feel your presence in the room.  But I felt nothing but this hollow, deep hole in my heart that ached so bad.

I don’t know how long I spent in your room alone, time seemed to standstill but when it was time to leave, I left and closed the door.

As I lie here on my bathroom floor, I sprayed your cologne. The familiar smell of you hit my nose, and your presence came back to me for a split second.

I started to cry.  I had forgotten what you smelled like. It’s been 4 years and I feel like I’ve forgotten so much of you. The pain of that is indescribable. I never want to forget any of our time together, any of our moments we had here on earth.

My biggest fear is to forget, and I try to hold on to you still so dearly even though you aren’t here.

So tonight, I pulled out your favorite shirt – an anchorman shirt you always wore. I sprayed your cologne on it, crawled into bed and held on to it so tight against my body. As tightly as I could, as if I was hugging you.

I miss my little brother, I miss my dinoman.

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