When a significant other breaks your heart, it's painful. You'll cry for a while, you'll move on to the better and realize you never needed them in the first place. When a sibling breaks your heart, that's a pain you'll never overcome.If you told me at 19 I would lose two more brothers in 2 days, I would everything in my power to stop it. The reality is you can't.

* * *

At 19 years old, the last thing I expected during my finals week of college was to receive a group facetime from my mom and stepdad to my sister, brother and myself. All in different states, all finishing up our years at college. It wasn't a normal call, I could hear my mother sobbing in the background, and my stepdad had a blank but grim look on his face. My younger brothers were nowhere to be seen.

Within 5 minutes that call would take a turn for the worst.

It was the call I expected but hoped would never come.

See, my younger brothers were troublesome. They got MIP's at 17 years old, and got caught with weed and got drug tested often. They had one rule from my parents. Pass their drug tests, and they could go anywhere they wanted for college, fully paid for the entire time. Something the rest of us didn't get.

When that call came through, I knew exactly what had happened. My brothers, who had only come into my life 3 to 4 years ago VIA adoption, would no longer be the brothers I had known and had.

This is my letter to them:

Boys,

I wrote this in 7 places before here. I sat on the bathroom floor hyperventilating. I declined calls from friends who were concerned, I texted you both. Wrote it down and screamed it across my apartment. I'm so sorry it came to this.

To be clear, I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing this because it's my only way to compile my own thoughts. I choose to blame myself for your stupidity because me covering up for you was never enough.

I look back on everything the 3 of us have been through. Me dating 2 of your friends, you two being my shoulders to cry on after the rape, the drunk facetimes from me 2,000 miles away...your girlfriends, my bad decisions. It all seems like an act.

You boys told me you would be at my college graduation, y'alls plan was to move into my house in Arizona after you graduated, what the fuck now? You had ONE job. Don't lie, and don't fail a drug test. You did both.

I can't be angry with you. I'm heartbroken, I'm disgusted by your actions, and I am confused. In the end, you can lie and do whatever you want. You can choose to let me stay in your lives, or you can cut me and let yourselves drown. In the end, you both know that no matter how bad you fuck up, I'll still be here.

Regardless of the decisions you made and brought into our family, you both taught me what love is. Love is not what we give, it's what we get. The first text you both sent me after you knew I found out, was "I love you." You made me realize that I know what love is. However, I also know what loss is.

Boys, you're my heartbreak and my happiness.

For now, all I can do is try to forget. I want to forget so I don't break down into tears when someone asks about the boys on my wallpaper or that picture in the kitchen.

I hope you don't betray anyone else as you did me.

Above all, I wish for you two to somehow, find the decency to figure out your shit. Come to me then, and I'll be the one to help you.

I'm sorry nothing I did was enough for you two. I hope someone else can be.

Forever,

Elle