The Art of Understanding

By
Adrian walked into his apartment with Will and Alexi following him. They were all sophmore's at Eastfield Community College in Dallas, Texas. Adrian hit the play button on his answering machine as he walked into the kitchen.

"You guys want something to drink?" He asked them Will and Alexi as they settled down at his dining room table.

"Yeah, sprite for me." Alexi told him. She had wavy dirty blonde hair to her shoulders and warm brown eyes. Her form was slender, she was a dancer so it was expected, and graceful. Her face was pale, and her nose small and dainty. Her lips were thinner than they should have been on her face, but it gave her the imperfection needed to be able to tell she was actually human. She was beautiful, no doubt about that, but more involved in her dancing than with guys at the moment.

"Pepsi over here dude." Will said louder than neccessary. He was a burly youth, standing about 6 foot even. He had short curly brown hair that surrounded a boyishly round face. His hazel eyes always glittered with mistchief and a friendly grin was permenantaly etched onto his tanned face. He was on the football team and took art as his major.

Adrian threw them both a can of thier respective drinks as the first meassage on the machine played.

"You have three new messages. First new message. 12:26 pm."

"Hello Adrian, honey. It's Mom. I just wanted to know if you're going to be at our house on Christmas Day, or just Christmas Eve. Fell free to bring you're little friends over for dinner. Well, Dad says love you. I love you too. Call me back soon. Bye honey."

"End first message."

"Yeah honey, are you going to invite us over for dinner?" Alexi teased him. He just stuck his tongue out at her and walked into the living room to take off his coat as the second message played.

"Second message. 2:50 pm."

"This is not a sales call. We-" Click. Adrian deleted it before it even got past the seventh word. It was obvioulsy a sales call.

"I hate those calls." He complained to his friends.

"Me too. All they do is take up space on my message machine." Will agreed.

"Thrid message. 4:00 pm."

"That was just a few minuted ago." Alexi commented when she looked at the clock. It read 4:15.

Adrian was grabbing the milk out of the fridge whn the voice that flowed through the machine stopped him in his tracks. He dropped the almost empty jug, spilling the little bit of milk onto the tile floor. Will and Alexi looked at their usually calm faced friend in worry.

"Um...hey Adrian." The voice on the machine started out. Adrian leaned heavily against the wall, listening intently to the voice he had not heard in over a year. "Well...this is Kedic, if you hadn't figured that out all ready. Okay, this is harder than I thought it would be." He had to chuckle at that, it sounded exactly like his baby brother. "The first thing I should tell you I guess is that I'm sorry, but I'd rather do that to your face. If you'll even talk to me that is. I know that I was a jerk, and a big one at that. I said some stuff I shouldn't have said. Stuff that had to hurt you bad. You were just trying to help me, I see it now. I do miss you big brother. Lots. I wanted to call you before, but was scared to. If you want to talk to me I'll be at the park, you know the one we used to hang out at. Where we met Billy. How is he anyway? No, never mind with that now. If you don't want to see me it's fine, I understand completely. I'll be at the park 'till late tonight, with my guitar of course. I've got some news for you Adri! Well, I guess bye. And...I love you if I don't see you tonight." The machine clicked off and Adrian slid down the wall.

His face was an aray of emotions, relief topmost visible. Under it though was uncertainty, past pain, and undeniable excitment. Will and Alexi exchanged wary glances at Adrian's unusual behavior. Will broke the silence first.

"Adrian, who was that?" He ventured cautiously, not wanting to upset his friend. Adrian looked up at him with a sad little grin on his face.

"That Will, was my baby brother. I haven't had contact with him in, what? A year and a half, maybe two?"

"What happened?" Alexi was confused. It sounded like the boy on the machine, Kedic?, really missed Adrian. Adrian too seemed to miss the other boy.

"We had a big fight. He was in an abusive relationship, and my mom and dad didn't like who he was and what he wanted to be. A musician. That was always his dream. He was so good at the guitar. He could also play the violin extremely well. He was going to give up going to a good musical school to go to Harvard like mom and dad wanted." Will inhaled sharply.

"Your brother must have been really smart." Alexi remarked.

"Oh, he was. Could have gotten into any school he wanted, done anything. I was trying to convince him to get out of the relationship, that it was only hurting him. He didn't want to listen to me. I also told him that he shouldn't let what mom and dad want him to do get in the way of what he wanted to do. He said he didn't have a choice. We traded nasty insults and hurtful words.

"We both knew the others weaknesses. We close, we knew what would hurt most. 4 days after that fight all his clothes and musical instruments were gone and nobody had any idea where he was. I didn't think I'd ever hear from him again...." Adrian trailed off, wishing he could see his little brother again. Will noticed the longing in his gaze and nudged his foot with his. When Adrian looked at him questioningly he stated what both Alexi and himself were thinking.

"Go and talk to him. He's at the park, remember. Waiting to see if you want to talk to him..." He hinted, trying not to sound too exasperated.

"Oh! I gotta go then! But, what am I going to say? I haven't seen him in so long." Adrian cried, running his hand through his hair in an agitated manner. Alexi smacked him on the back of the head when he continued to pace back and forth.

"Adrian! Just go and see him. You'll think of something. He's your brother, he'll understand." Will tried to calm him.

"Yeah, you're right. He's my baby brother. I'll come up with something. I have to go." He mumbled all of this quickly, grabbing his jacket and quickly shoving his arms through the sleeves. As he bound out the door he yeeled over his shoulder. "Thanks guys, you're both really good friends." And then he was gone, in a flurry of blue jeans and red flannel shirt tails.

"What did we do exactly?" Will looked at Alexi in confusion. Alexi gave him a soft smile and winked.

"I think we just helped get two brothers, who happened to be extremely close and then abruptly lost contact, reconnect again." She explained to him.

"And that's good, right?" He sounded a little dubious. "I mean, if they didn't want talk to each other in the first place is it really good to 'reconnect' them?" He put little air quotes around 'reconnect' as he said it.

"Of course, they love each and missed each other. I could tell. It was in Adrian's gaze and Kedic's voice. Their brothers and family." She sent up a little prayer that it work out okay.
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In a park about two blocks from Adrians apartment 2 men could be seen talking animatedly. One was shorter and had a duffel bag at his feet and a guitar strapped to his back, the other was in blue jeans and a red flannel shirt.

"I missed you Kedic." Adrian said and pulled his younger brother into a bear hug. Kedic hugged back with just as much force, never noticing before how much he really missed his brother until this moment.

"Me too Adrian, and I'm only just realizing how much." They pulled apart at sat on a nearby park bench, surrounded by the swirling summer leaves. Kedic leaned his head on his older brothers shoulder and Adrian wrapped his arm around his little brother's shoulders, giving them a gentle squeeze.

They talked long into the night. About what Kedic had been doing, about what they had really meant during that last fight, what had been going on at home, and everything else they could think of.

At about 2 in the morning you could see a man in blue jeans and flannel shirt dancing around in circles, periodically hugging the other laughing man.

"I can't believe you got a record deal!" Adrian hugged his brother again.

"I may have been stupid to run away, but I kno good advice when I hear it. Also, who am I to ignore my big brother's words, especially when they're true?" Kedic told him. Adrian just laughed and hugged him again. Yes, things were definetly looking up.
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Somtimes we don't want to admit we're wrong. We want to pretend everything is all right. We don't want to have to deal with the things we don't, or don't want to, understand. With this trait, families can get torn apart. Arguments with words never meant to be said. And sometimes the families don't ever apologize, whether it is pride or still a certain lack of understanding. But, then again, we learn. We learn to understand, to apologize. And families can be reconnected through this new undrstanding. This new acceptence of all that was said wrong, of all that should not have come between them. This is just one scene from 2 brothers lives, who in a world of billions seem very insignificant but are more powerful than many others. They learned the art of understanding.





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