Spoilers: Moderate Graduation 2 ones.
Explanation: Conjecture written during Trig. A wandering mind and a purple pen can be held accountable for this entire fic.
I was the third of four children, but now I'm an only child.
My brothers are dead.
I had two older brothers, Aaron and Andrew. Anthony was born three years after me. My mother always thought that the letter 'A' was lucky. But she was wrong.
Because my brothers are dead.
My mother eloped with my father when they were both very young, and her parents never forgave her. They had much bigger plans for their baby girl than to see her married to a dock worker, and the money that they had planned to leave to her went to my uncle, instead. My father was a hard worker, and while we weren't rich, we were comfortable. More than that, we were happy.
Then Aaron died.
Was killed, is a better way to say it. With what I know now, I know that it was a vampire attack. But then, I was told that he was attacked by a rabid dog. He was fifteen.
I guess that that's when my mother started drinking. Aaron was always her favorite, even though she never said it, and that just added to the pain of losing a child. My father changed, also. He never smiled, and he walked as though a huge weight had been added to his shoulders.
A year later, Anthony was dead.
Of course, 'was killed' might be a better way to put that, too. At the time, we thought that the fever that killed twenty-eight small children in a month was just a natural horror, but much later I realized that it was an *unnatural* horror. Der Kinderstod took my baby brother away from me when he was just seven.
After Aaron, my mother just couldn't accept Anthony's death. She would get drunk, then she would become convinced that Anthony was lost, that we had hidden him from her. She would wander around town looking for him, sometimes. Andrew and I had to take care of her, because we rarely saw our father anymore. He would put in double-overtime down at the docks. I guess that was his way of dealing with the pain. It might've worked, too.
If Andrew hadn't died.
He was found by a man out walking one morning. All we ever knew was that whatever did it had claws. The only reason we knew it was Andrew was because I recognized his coat. He was seventeen.
That's when my father started drinking, too. At that point, my mother didn't even understand that Andrew was gone. Then my father showed up at the docks one morning, drunk. He lost his job. That's when the fights started.
Right now, I'm standing in a cemetary and looking at the three tombstones. The Mayor Ascends in a few hours. The odds are that the Harris family plot will now have a complete set. Aaron Harris...Anthony Harris...Andrew Harris...
You never knew this, did you? Yeah, you knew that my mom wasn't all there, and that both she and my dad drank a lot. You knew that I slept outside every Christmas to avoid their arguments, but you didn't know that the drinking started early in the morning to forget the days when there were four stockings hung on the walls - because now there's only one.
So why am I telling you this? Because I'm scared right now. I'm eighteen, and I've already lived longer than any of my brothers. And because I've never really told anyone how much I miss my brothers. How it feels like part of myself is buried there. Because I'm terrified that I'm going to die tomorrow, that I won't make it out of high school, just like Aaron and Andrew.
And maybe because I love you.
If I die tomorrow, I just wanted to let you know that. I know that we've had our problems, and that we decided not to be a couple-couple, but I do. I guess I never stopped.
Gotta go. The ceremony is soon, and I want to look nice.
If you're wondering who the letter was addressed to, the answer is that I just don't know. Xander wouldn't let me that far into his head. It might've been to Cordelia, to Buffy, to Willow, or even to Anya. I just don't know.
Final note: The letter was unmailed.