Emily Haindl - hhssummerschool

Emily Haindl
Chicken Soup Entry
He Should Have Been Dead
It’s funny how everything seems to fit together when you finally look back at it.
How maybe if you just kept your eyes open you would have seen this coming. Too bad
when she realized this as she was sitting in a rigid, blue chair, staring at her pigeon-toed
feet under the florescent lights of the Philadelphia Police Department on 56th and Broad.
The first thing that they should have noticed is when her and her sister, Mary
Kate, went to drop off their brother, Sean, at his house. As he was getting out of the car
they all noticed an average looking kid of about 20 walking out of the house. She knew
she had no idea who he was, but maybe Sean did.
“Dude, who is that guy?” Mary Kate asked.
“I dunno,” Sean mumbled back, “Probably one of Jon’s customers.”
Jon was one of the four boys living in that house, along with Josh, Brian, and her
brother. However, not only was Jon living there he was also selling weed from his room.
The problem was, where everyone thought he was just nickel and diming around, he
wasn’t. But if everyone just took one second to realize that a complete stranger had walk
in and out of the house without warning to who else was living there they would have
seen this coming.
The next thing was a little more subtle, and dealt a lot more with fate.
Sean and her were as close as a brother and sister could be when he was four
years older then her. He looked out for her and they picked on each other all the time.
However, within the past couple months they started to actually learn about each other’s
lives. It started with something as a cigarette break.
Sean would always want someone to talk to when he was outside of work
enjoying the one thing that might kill him. So, he would call people like his mom, a
friend, and every once in a while his little sister. The phone calls were also a little
awkward and she never had anything to say to him. But, every once in a while one of
them had something good to mention.
Then, one day while smoking outside of the café where she worked she realized
she does the same thing. She would always call her friends, but they never had anything
to say, and then she asked herself, “Why don’t I call Sean?”
So, that where it started. They started calling each other for no good reason just to
check up. On the night it happened, she was at her friend, Maddie’s, house bored and
called Sean just to see how his night was going.
“What are you up to?” she started.
“Not much, not much, just hanging at my neighbor’s house, getting yelled at for
trying to cook something.”
She had grown to know his sobriety levels well and he might have had two or
three drinks. Just enough to relax him, but was he by no means drunk.
“Well, tell whoever is yelling at you to yell more. You always were a terrible
“Ha, thanks Em. What are you up to .”
“Just sitting at Maddies, probably going home soon.”
It was hardly ten o’clock, but tomorrow was her second day of summer school
and she really was trying hard to not mess up her last chance of graduating.
“Alright, well, have fun and don’t be stupid.”
“Ha, thanks Sean, you too. Don’t burn the house down.”
That’s how their conversations always went. Simple and to the point. However,
she had no idea that her next conversation with him would be to the point and stern.
She got home around eleven thirty and went to bed. The next thing she
remembers she will never forget.
“Emily, wake up, Sean’s in jail, I have to go to Kate’s to watch the baby while she
goes to get him. Give me your cell phone and wait by the house phone. When he calls
again get the address of the station and call me.”
It was her other older brother, Kevin. Their parents were away until the next
afternoon so it looked like Kevin and Mary Kate were going to have to act as mom and
dad on this one.
She went downstairs and held the phone in her hand just waiting. This is when the
obsessive smoking started for them all. While Mary Kate was sitting on the deck of her
apartment, she was smoking. While Kevin was driving to West Chester to watch is niece,
he was smoking. And while Emily was waiting for the phone to ring, she was smoking.
Those thirty minutes of waiting felt like an eternity.
Although she was convinced all that had happened was something small, like a
bar fight perhaps, she was still concerned. She knew Sean was at his neighbor’s house not
too long ago, so what could have possibly happened?
Finally, she heard a ring.
“Hello? Sean? What happened? Where are you?”
“Em? Where’s Kev?”
“West Chester. What happened? Where are you?”
“I’m at 56th and Broad. We were robbed at gun point. I need someone to come get
“So you’re not in trouble?” She immediately felt bad for asking this question.
“Are you alright?”
“OK, Kate is on her way to come get you. I’ll talk to you soon.”
She called Kevin and Mary Kate. Everything that happened after that was a blur
of words you only hear on TV, cigarette smoke, and anger. The best description of that
night is of a short one.
Sean came home around eleven. Jon, Brian, and his girlfriend were all there.
There were four who came in, but only three of them were armed. They knew that there
were a lot of drugs and money in the house and that is why they were there. Everyone
was told to lie down and pretend to be dead. Sean had to silence the dog. While three
were searching through the house, one was outside on watch. Then Josh came home. A
gun was immediately placed at his back before he got to the door. He was told that all his
friends and his dog were dead and to open the safe. Before being taken to the safe he was
taken around the house to all the rooms to be shown the “dead bodies”. He was then
taken to the safe. Next, he made the smartest lie of his life. While he was trying to open
the safe there were two standing behind him. Only one had a gun. He then looked up and
asked if they had gotten the coke money that was supposedly upstairs yet. The armed one
got really excited and ran to go get this fictional money. Josh then leaned towards the
safe again with the other one right over his shoulder. With one swift move Josh sent an
elbow into the man’s face and ran through the window into his neighbor’s house where
he then called the cops.
When the cops got there they found all the drugs that Jon had and eventually
arrested all of them while they were at the station being treated as victims.
Next, through much interrogation, many hours, and many cigarettes, he was sent
free at three o’clock in the morning two days later.
The scariest part was these men were not wearing masks, and they were using
each other’s names. Everyone who was in that house was supposed to be dead by the
When Sean got home, everyone was still up waiting. Emily, Kevin, Mary Kate,
and their mother all had a sigh of relief when he walked through the door. I do not think
any of them were willing to admit it, but they were all scared that they would lose a part
of Sean that day, but they didn’t. Although shaken, he was still there. All of him. And
that is what I am most thankful for.
Finally everyone went to bed, and Sean moved back in with Kevin. There must
have been something in the air of that room because Kevin knew exactly what Sean
needed to hear.
“Don’t worry man, you’re safe here.”
Sean said nothing back.
There are no words to describe what it is like to see your brother after he was
supposed to die. You never miss a moment after that.
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