I’m Michael. I’m just a young chap from Killinarden, who enjoys playing football on the weekends with my mates. That’s what I wouldn’t said to you when you met me two years ago. Back then I was happy enough, life was good, my parents were getting along, my brothers therapy sessions were finally helping him with his depression, and I had just found out that my sister Sinead was pregnant. Overall things were eventually starting to sort themselves out and I hadn’t got a bother on me, or that’s what I initially thought.

One Monday morning I was getting dressed for school. I had woken up late enough so I was rushing around the house like a mad yoke! My biggest concern that morning was that I didn’t have the time to make myself a bowl of rice-crispies, but that issue was soon resolved when my Ma handed me two slices of toast walking out the door. I soon arrived in school, a bit late but my teacher didn’t’ even notice. While I was sitting at the back of my reg room I could hear a load of the lads out of my class talking about some “zombie” drug that was going around.

Apparently it’s meant to give you a never-ending high and long-lasting happiness. To me that sounded unrealistic and too promising. Surely that drug would have some consequence on you after taking it.

The school day went on as usual. Boring but bearable. I couldn’t wait to finally go home and play on my xbox. That sounds pathetic, but when you are sixteen, tired and have nothing to do, playing Fifa online with your mates is the absolute highlight of your day.

When I got home from school, I realised that my brother wasn’t home yet. I didn’t ask my Ma, just in case he would get in trouble. So, I carried on with my day. It came to seven o’clock and Sean still wasn’t home. So I rang him. No answer. So I rang his mate, Craig. Craig answered, but he sounded more serious than usual. He told me that he wasn’t sure if it was any of his business, but that he had been talking to Sean the day before. He said that Sean’s depression was at it again. He said the therapy wasn’t working and that the only way he wanted to get rid of it was to get his hands on one of those zombie drugs. I didn’t know how to feel to be honest. I thought things with Sean were grand but clearly I was wrong. I said thanks to Craig and hung up the phone. I knew the only place Sean would be was the park, so I went there.

I found Sean eventually. The chap was sitting on a swing. His eyes were as red as the top of a cigarette, and he was shaking more than me after two espressos. I tried giving him a hug, he pushed me away. So I just stood there awkwardly. After five minute he decided to go home with me. God, he was a mess.

A few days had passed. Sean wasn’t acting like himself. He didn’t look like his usual depressed self. Instead he had a slightly sinister look in his eye paired with a mischievous grin, which you can imagine, was weird and disturbing.

On Friday night my little sister Louise flew into my room bawling her eyes out. She brought me into her room, I was horrified. I stared.There was her little hamster decapitated on her desk. Sean was sitting at the desk observing the lifeless corpse. I was speechless.

I told him to bury the hamster out in the back garden. I would lie to Ma and Da about the hamster and say that it ran away. I blackmailed Louise into not telling my parents either. That night I couldn’t sleep, thoughts filled my mind. What was Sean going to do next?

Soon strange things started to happen in our estate. Dogs and other pets were going missing, I knew it was Sean. It had to be. I remember telling myself that there was a possibility that it wasn’t him. I just kept on telling myself this for days, weeks a month until the day my sister gave birth to my niece. My family had visited the hospital to show some moral support, as most families do. At some stage of the visit my family and my Auntie left the room. The baby was sleeping so Sean and I were left to mind her. I remember scrolling through my Instagram when I looked up and saw Sean lifting a thick blanket over the baby’s head. He was going to kill her.

I fell abruptly. I didn’t realise my own strength and before I knew it he was lying on the floor, drenched in blood. His head was bleeding, he wasn’t breathing. I had killed him. I was a murderer.

Then my parents came into the room. I told them the truth. It was one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to do. To this day I still reenact what happened. If only I had caught him before he took those drugs. I’ve learned that you can’t save a person, but you can get them help.