Brothers for Life

Forget me not.....


By RedKage

Two months after the accident, Mr and Mrs. Kenning was in the kitchen. Mrs. Kenning was washing the dishes from lunch, and Mr. Kenning was reading the newspaper. Johnny was upstairs, cleaning Ben's room yet again, making it almost perfect. After reading Ben's diary, Johnny had changed. He had become polite to everyone again, and became more courtious. He even used his savings to replace all the things he had wrecked that was Ben's. When he ran out of his savings, he went around the neighborhood, doing odd jobs that he could do easily with his size and strength. Eventually, he earned enough money to buy a brand new car, equiped with some of the best safety installments, just for Ben. Johnny was determine to make up for everything he had done to Ben, and then some.

Johnny himself didn't change as much as he used to. His height only grew about 2 1/2 inches, and he added only 20 pounds. Johnny's parents believed that his growth spurt was finally slowing down, at least until puberty starts. Truthfully, however, Johnny had refused to even look at his weight set. Something in the pit of his stomach blamed them for turning him into the heartless jock. Was he just being paranoid, or was he actually afraid, Johnny didn't know.

The quiet afternoon was interupted when the phone rang. Before Mr. or Mrs. Kenning could even step towards it, Johnny rushed out of Ben's room, jumped down the entire stairs and picked it up.

"Hello? Uh-huh, uh-huh, no, we're not interested. Goodbye." Johnny sighed as he hung up. According to the doctors, Ben was starting to show signs of regaining conciousness any day. Although Johnny wanted to be at Ben's side when it happened, his parents convinced him i was better if he just wait for it and proceed with life like normal.

"Johnny, you've got to take it easy." Mr. Kenning said from behind the newspaper. "He'll still be at the hospital when he wakes up, so for now avoid running through solid walls."

"I haven't done that for a while Dad." Johnny frowned.

"I don't think three days counts as 'awhile.'" Mrs. Kenning laughed as she washed the dishes. "And you're father is right. You need to relax and calm down."

"I'm just anxious to have my brother back." johnny sighed. Mr. and Mrs. Kennings exchanged looks and a smile. They were both happy to have their youngest son acting like the old Johnny again. The only thing that could make this any happier was for Ben to return.

Just when the thought crossed their minds, the phone rang again. Of course, Johnny was the first one to pick it up again.

"Hello? HE IS!? We'll be right over there!" Johnny slammed the phone so hard that it actually broke apart. "He's awake! Ben's awake!"

* * *

"Come on Dad, can't we hurry?" Johnny whined from the back seat. They had reached the hospital, but Mr. Kenning was having a difficult time finding a good parking space. Johnny bit his lip while he was drumming his fingers impatiently on his knees.

"Just be patient." Johnny's father said. "Ben's been lying in that bed for two months already. A few more seconds won't hurt.

Johnny gave a small whine, and sat quietly for 10 long seconds before he snapped. Without any warning, Johnny opened the car door and jumped out. He forgot to let go of the door, however, and it actually broke off! He didn't waste any time saying sorry however, as he turned it sideways, threw it into the car, and then turned heel and ran towards the hospital doors.

Inside, Ben rushed through hallways and doors (some literally) until he reached the elevator. He jabbed the button...only to have it break from his brute force. He gave a grunt of frustration and opened the door left of the elevator, revealing the stairway. He ran up the stairs with determination. He climbed and he climbed, he climbed so much so fast that he went two floors higher then he had intended. Johnny gave another grunt of frustration as ran down those steps, making sure to stop at the right floor this time.

The moment his foot stepped onto the hospital floor, he rushed down the halls, counting doors as he went by, and skidding to a stop at Ben's door, leaving black skid marks three foot long on the white floor.

Johnny stood there, in front of the door, breathing heavily. His hand shakingly reached for the handle, going ever so slowly. What would he say to Ben? What would Ben say to him? Would Ben ever forgive Johnny for what he did? All these things raced through his head as Johnny finally touched the handle, griped it in his hands, then opened the door, stepping in.

Inside, resting quietly in the white linen sheets one. Instead, a nurse was quietly cleaning up.

"Where's Ben?" Johnny yelled. The nurse jumped up in surprise, dropping the sheet she was holding.

"Mr. Kenning!"

Johnny turned around to see the his doctor walking up to him. "Doctor! Where's Ben?"

"Ben has been moved to another room on the other side of the hospital." The doctor said. "As I tried to inform you before you slammed the phone on me.

"Oh...." Johnny said, his face turned beet red.

"Follow me." The doctor said as he turned around and began walking. "Your parents should reach Ben the same time we do." Embaressed, Johnny followed.

* * *

"Ben!" Mrs. Kenning yelled the moment she opened the door to Ben's hospital room. Instantly, she was on top of him, hugging and kissing him. The men stayed back and smiled at the display of motherly love, though Johnny was tempted to do the same, minus the kissing of course.

"M-mom, stop it, you're embaressing me!" Ben laughed, his face blushing deeply. "I'm alright now, so you can stop."

"You just came out of a two month coma! How can I stop when we've been so worried?" She sobbed as she continued to kiss and hug Ben, but this time crying as well. "Don't you EVER do that again!"

"S-sorry Mom." Ben said, hugging her back. "I promise I won't do it again.....what did I do again?"

"That must've been a pretty hard hit you got if you can't remember that." Mr. Kenning said. "You ran a red light and crashed into a truck, remember?"

Ben frowned and shook his head. "No, I don't really remember. It's all a blur to the way, who's this?" Ben pointed at Johnny.

There was a stunned silence from everyone in the room. "What do you mean, who is that?" Mr. Kenning asked. "That's your brother!"

Ben frowned. "No, that can't be. Johnny's way younger and smaller then him. Where is he anyways?" Johnny tried to say something, but somehow Ben's words paralyzed him. It had to be a joke, right? Ben was just getting back at him, right?

The Kennings exchanged startled and confused glances. The doctor then cleared his throat and motioned them to follow him outside, Mr. Kenning gently leading the shocked Johnny out as well. As soon as the door was closed, the doctor turned around, a serious look on his face.

"What's wrong with Ben?" Mrs. Kenning asked in a frightened voice. "Why can't he remember Johnny?"

"You son still remembers Johnny, Mrs. Kenning." The doctor replied. "But not the Johnny of today. In fact, his past few years seems to have been wiped out from his memory. Since Johnny has changed significantly within the last few years, it is logical that Ben will be unable to recognize him."

"Are you telling me my son has amnesia?" Mr Kenning said frantically.

"Partially, yes." The doctor answered. "He still remembers everything from about.....7 or 8 years before, but the rest is sketchy at the most. I had several specialists examine him, and we've determined that Ben's memory has indeed been erased."

Johnny just stood there, looking through the glass at Ben, not believing what he was hearing. He felt like his whole world was crashing down around him. His own brother didn't even recognize him! And yet...

"Will he ever remember?" Mrs. Kenning continued, her hands moving and rubbing each other, a sign for deep worry.

"In time, I believe he will." The doctor looked at Johnny. "The head trauma he suffered wasn't that extreme, But for the time being, I suggest that he be taken good care of. He's still recovering after all."

"Yes doctor. And thank you." Johnny's parents went back into the room. After taking some time to absorb it all, Johnny followed also.

"Where is Johnny?" Ben asked again. "And who's this man that you said was my brother?"

"Ben, honey..." Mrs. Kenning said gently, running her hand through Ben's hair. "You see, this is J-"

"Jerry!" Johnny said quickly. Both of the Kennings looked at Johnny in surprise. "I'm you're older brother Jerry. Mom and Dad adopted me some years back."

"But you're too old!" Ben said, his eyes widening in surprise. "You must be, what, 25, maybe 30?"

"Actually I'm 17 and a half." Johnny lied. The Kennings gave Johnny a confused and puzzled look, but Johnny gave a 'play along it' look in return.

"Only 17?" Ben choked, looking at Johnny from head to toe, taking notice of the broad shoulders, ripped v shaped torso, and the tree trunk quads that strained his jeans. "But you're HUGE!"

"I work out a lot." Johnny shrugged, causing Ben's eyes to bulge as he actually saw a rip form in the collar or Johnny's shirt.

"Wow...." Ben said in awe. "But...where is Johnny?" He looked at Mr. and Mrs. Kenning, who stood silently by themselves.

" at a special hosptial." Mr. Kenning said quickly. His eyes glanced at Johnny, who gave a very small sigh of relief. "He started to develop problems again, so we sent him there so they could help him get better."

"Johnny's.....gone?" Ben said in disbelief. "But......but he needs me! I'm going to him right away!" Ben started to get out of bed when Johnny placed his hand on Ben's shoulder, stopping him from moving further.

"I know you two are close, but it was the only way." Johnny said as sincerely as possible. "He misses you like crazy too, but how do you think he's going to feel when he sees you like this?" Johnny points to Ben's pale skin, his sickly face and even patted his stomach where his once ripped torso was now hidden under a soft layer of fat formed from the lack of exercise.

Ben looks up at Johnny and frowns. He stares deeply into his eyes, feeling something familiar. "I....guess you're right Jerry." He said, relaxing back into the bed again. "It's just....I love him so much. I can't stand not able to be there for him."

It took everything Johnny had to choke back his tears as he heard this. "I'm sure he feels the same way." He said, "But he understands that you need to rest up. Now get some sleep. We'll have you home in no time." Johnny quickly turned and exited the room. After exchanging another glance, Mr. Kenning followed, leaving Mrs. Kenning with Ben.

Outside, Johnny sat down on a bench and buried his face in his hands. Quietly, Mr. Kenning sat down next to him and patted him on the back. "Are you sure lying to Ben like this is a good idea?" Mr. Kenning asked.

"It's better this way." Johnny said softly. "Now he can keep his perfect image of me in his memory, and I can start all over with him as Jerry."

Mr Kenning sighed and patted Johnny again. "I understand how you feel .But you can't hide who you really are. You may look like some sort of 25 year old bodybuilder, but you're just 10 years old! Sooner or later he'll find out the truth."

"Please....just help me try at least." Johnny said, looking down at him. He was now so big and tall that even hunched down he towered over his father.

"Mr. Kenning sighed again. "Alright, you're mom and I will help you the best we can. Yet what are you going to do when his memory returns?"

"I don't know dad....I seriously don't know." •

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