- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
"Emma, honey, wake up." Levi had her pulled into a tight hug and then said, "I'm leaving."
She wrapped her older brother tighter to her and cried into his shoulder. "Okay." That's the only thing she could really say.
She couldn't help but to think about earlier that night. She'd heard her parents arguing with him. That's all they ever seemed to do... Argue... But to be completely honest, she couldn't blame them. He often left with no explanation, then he acted strangely when he was asked questions about where he was and what he was doing, and it was like he was only truly happy gone.
A few times their dad told him to leave. To just pack his things and to jump into the world he so desperately wanted to be a part of, but they always worked it out. He would stay, and Emma wouldn't worry anymore. She thought he would change.
"I'm so sorry, Emma." He held her tighter, and then said, "I love you, you know that- right?"
"Yeah, Lee. I know. I love you too." Her mouth was moving on its own accord; this she was thankful for because she knew if it weren't for that, she wouldn't be able to utter one word. She loved him more than most anyone. He was the one she used to tell her deepest darkest secrets to. She could look to him in any situation, and automatically know what to do. He was her everything. And she was losing him.
"Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite." He recited the little poem her mother had taught the two of them when he was only five, and she was just one. "Sweet dreams. I love you."
"You too." She still hadn't let go of him, so he gently pulled her arms off him and tucked her back into bed. He then wiped away her tears and kissed her cheek.
After she closed her eyes again, he got out of her bed and walked to the door. Before he walked out, he looked back at his little sister one last time. She was no longer his innocent little angel. She no longer ran from boys in fear of cooties, she didn't hide behind him when a person talked to her anymore, and she never ran to his room during a thunderstorm.
She had grown up, and he wasn't even there to see it.
Sure, he had escorted her to her first date. He had driven her to her boyfriend's house- more than once. He even 'listened' as she told the story of her fist kiss... yeah, he did all that, but his mind was always some place else.
He missed everything, but he realized it too late and there was nothing he could do to change that, so he turned around. Then he walked out of her room.
Emma climbed out of her bed and went to stand by her mother, Melanie. They both cried, that's the only thing they could do. Levi walked over and kissed his mother's forehead one time, then he smiled through his tears at Emmy.
He picked up his bags, looked at his home once more, then loaded everything into his car, and then... he left. Leaving behind everything he used to be and what he stood for. He left behind the person he used to be... the person he never truly was.