A week after the match, the doctors took Rudy off life support. It was hopeless, they said. A few days after that, we buried him. It was my parents, my sister, the priest, and me. My father sat on the grass, drinking from his Johnnie Walker Black Label, while my mom hurled curses. I could not hear a single word the priest said.
Pointing her finger at my dad, Mom kept yelling, “He is dead because of you, because of your casino.” Tears poured from her eyes with every word, snot ran from her nose, and spit flew from her mouth. “You brought misfortune to others, and God took my firstborn—my beautiful Rudy.” Pointing at my dad, my mom looked up at the sky. “Why couldn’t you take him?” Then, she pointed at Dina and me. “Or these two? I never wanted them.”
Frightened, I wrapped my arms around my five-minute-younger sister, sweet Dina. She was shivering in her black dress with puffed sleeves and a white collar.
Hearing Mom’s last sentence, Dad yelled, “Shut up, whore!”
We turned to him. He was staring at Mom with swollen, red eyes, clenched jaws, and every vein bulging out. Then, he hurled the half-empty bottle at my mother. She didn’t even flinch. The bottle narrowly missed her and shattered against the gravestone, spilling whiskey on the engraved name: Rudolph Von Stein—1982-1999.
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