It’s been a year since Eze disappeared. Today he would be turning 30. Mica had the baby, his name is Kevin. He’s so precious, with a big head of dark hair and a tiny little alien face. It was hard to name him though. In Jewish tradition, we typically name babies after deceased relatives. In the back of all of our minds, we wondered if we should name the baby after Eze. But we don’t know if he’s still alive. It’s torturous not knowing. Not knowing the fate of my brother I think is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life. I think about him everyday. I still have nightmares occasionally. The same one as before, and also new ones. One where his body is found in a dark alley, mutilated. One where he comes home, but he’s not the same person–he’s gone crazy and as soon as he sees me he tries to strangle me. I don’t know what they’re doing to him. I don’t know what they’ve done to him. I don’t know where he is. If he’s alive in a prison, if he’s dead in a mass grave somewhere. I constantly wonder, it’s agonizing.
Today’s been such a hard day. My parents and brothers came to our apartment (Mica still lives with me and Marcello). We ate birthday cake for Eze and lit candles, but my mother had to leave crying. It’s so hard to see everyone in pain. We can’t carry on with our lives–we’re stuck in the past, still trying to figure out how he was taken from us so suddenly. I sometimes wonder if it would be best to assume he’s dead, to celebrate his memory and move on. But as soon as those thoughts come over me, I hate myself. I feel as if I am betraying him. I would never voice those thoughts aloud, but I wonder if others are thinking them too. No, I can’t ever betray him. Because he might be alive out there, and maybe our thoughts and prayers are the only thing getting him through these hard times.
When they took him, for months I was sure that he was still alive. I never questioned it. But if I’m being honest now, I don’t think he is.