I knew it would be a long time until our fists would come together again. After his knuckles departed mine, he turned his back to me and walked to the car. He opened the car door and slid into the passengers seat. My mother twisted the keys in the ignition, and the engine began to hum. The car pulled out of the driveway and turned onto xxxx, and just like that he was gone.
Our secret handshake was a representation of the unbreakable bond that existed between my brother Will and I. But just like that, college snapped that bond in two. College was tearing us apart. He was making himself a new life filled with bigger and better things. At that point in time, I could not possibly fathom that anything nor anyone could possibly be better than me, but there it was, “Savannah College of Art and Design, the future you know you want….”
The slogan was catchy and irresistible. I suppose my brother saw it as a way into the future he knew he wanted, that future just didn’t include me. Moments after he parted, I pealed one of his plaid flannel button ups off the hanger and wrapped it around my shoulders. I felt rather silly being so emotional about someone who had forced my head onto a loose piece of sheet metal when we were playing in the leaves. His mark had been left on me and mine on him.
We were in the car when I was two and I clawed his face leaving two distinct marks on his forehead. The two of us did not just leave each other with an uncountable number of scars but life lessons that would guide us. Every day provided constant reminders of how he taught me to be better than I ever thought I could be. My brother Will is the voice in my head telling me to be more.
He is the best of people, and I am sure he is not aware of the fact. Not many would go to Publix at six in the morning, spend there time sampling every type of ham and making Kool-Aid. in the parking lot just because that is what there little sister wanted to do.
He has never given me any direct words of wisdom, nor a single piece of advice, but his life force that drives him to be exactly who he wants to be no matter what others think of him is all I need. The social persecution that he survives every day for just trying to be an individual has shown me that I can be who ever I want to be. He gives me hope that the socially obscure can and will make it in this world. I will follow his example and learn to be just as brave as him.
Sure he had abandoned me, turned off his cell and found it unnecessary to call but the memories will not fade. In the end, he will find his way home. I have discovered over my short 15 years on this earth that ones siblings become a part of them and no matter what happens, you will nay must carry them with you wherever you go, this I believe.
Just as my brother opened the letter that changed our lives. The letter that started a four year journey that would teach a boy to become a man. The letter that taught a girl to stand on her own two feat. This letter of change, a letter for a future artist of word and paint. This boy, this “future man” said to me, “They’ve got planes and aqua cars I’d swim to you if I had no other way.”-The Brother Laureate William McDonald Rankeillor
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