I knew leaving would affect my brothers. I knew that staying longer than I was supposed to; dropping all contact with my family would have consequences. I knew that I was cutting ties, which those ties would be very hard to repair. I did it anyway. I was a failure, or so I believed at the time. I could not come back to them a failure. I honestly believed that I was doing them a favor if I only came back successful. And I believed that staying where I was and helping the poor there was the only way I could be successful. Maybe if I did enough, maybe if I saved enough lived, disrupted enough evil, kept enough people from starving, from dying of illness simply because of lack of medicine, I would finally stop feeling like a failure. I now know I was wrong.
I ran into April, or more to the truth, April came looking for me. She told me how bad it gotten. A couple of days later, I decided that I was needed more at home. I was hiding, not training. It was a coward's way out. This is something I will have to live with. When I got home, Things were different. I expected this, but I didn't expect just by how much. Raph, at first seemed normal, for Raph. He never was very social even at his best. When he started challenging me, I accepted it, because he always was like that. But then it got worse. It got worse and worse, way more than he ever was before, until something snapped. We had a major fight, and it led to my capture. I am not proud of what I did, but I am, on some level grateful. Raph and I are closer now than we had been in years.
Michelangelo was not angry at all. He seemed to have that part missing somehow. What he was was clingy. Since I came back, he would inevitably hover around me. Even when he was acting normal, well normal for Mikey, he would find a way to keep me in his line of vision. He would come and hug me for no good reason, then slip away as though ashamed. He made my favorite foods, and joked about how jungle life didn't suit me. He would get a scared, pensive expression on his face every time I had a bag on my shoulder. Slowly, this faded, and he began to accept that I was going nowhere, but those months were very painful.
The reactions of these two brothers were, on the whole, kind of expected. Raph always dealt with his problems with force and aggression. If he could not fight it, intimidate it, or otherwise force it to bend to his will, well, I don't think he can do much with it. I know that might be over-simplifying him, but only recently did I even see that he could be subtle. Maybe he will mature. I don't know. Mikey is the baby of the family, he doesn't do well with the more serious side of life, and I really don't want him to learn how. I rely on his optimism, his happy-go-lucky nature. If he ever changed, if we ever lost that, I don't know what would become of our family. I only hope that my actions didn't hasten that evil day for us. No, I was able to somewhat assess how they would act. But one brother, he is not acting as I expect at all.
Donatello. He seems to be the one that changed the least in the years I been away. Quiet as ever, he stands back, and watched us the way he always does. But sometimes there is something in his eye I don't like. He does not contradict me, nor does he fight me on my decisions like Raph does. He does not follow me; as though he was afraid that I will vanish again, still…I can't shake the feeling that there is something very wrong with him. Something that I did to him. With Raph and Mike, I at least have an idea how to make things right. But how am I supposed to fix something, if I have no idea what the problem is, or if there is even one?