Photo: ‘Crack’ by sealrocker

A brief snippet from my story, Brotherly Love. Sometimes, our habits go unnoticed. We may not always be aware of who’s watching, who is paying attention to our every move.

And what secrets they may reveal.


I couldn’t sleep that night.

I laid on the couch, staring at the door.

The small crack on the door frame was the only thing that looked like it belonged, the only thing that made sense.

The wood was already old when we moved in, but the crack didn’t show up until Mando dropped out of school.

Three knocks, each one harder than the last.

That was his thing, every time we left for the day. Some days there was even a large pause between each knock. He didn’t think I ever noticed, but I did. And I wandered what he thought on those milliseconds between each time his knuckles hit the door frame.

But he never talked about that kind of stuff. He only looked away with that look in his eyes. I think we all suspected what he was thinking.

The crack had gotten more narrow and longer recently. Mami started complaining about it. She’d ask when he was going to call the landlord to fix it but it was more out of obligation. We knew why he knocked.

But after the fight, he didn’t knock.

Not three times, not twice. He just left, slammed the door.

He didn’t knock.

It’s 2:45. Still can’t sleep.

I know that I’m never going to hear those three knocks again. But, I wish I could, just for tonight.

“I wish I stopped you from leaving.”


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