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He just kinda left

He was seven years old when we took that picture. The one with his brother and Ralphie, that was the name of our dog. That was when he looked up to his big brother, even though he was only two years older than him. He looked up to him like all the other little boys looked up to superman and batman, he didn't need a superhero, he would say, his brother was one. And I guess to his seven year old mind, he was.
Looking back at pictures of him when he was little always makes me cry. Because sometimes, I just feel like we took his childhood away too quickly, he didn't need to start working on the farm til he was at least 14, but dad insisted and after a while, he did too. "I could learn some real life values out on this field," he would repeat after my father. But once you got him out of all the parental influences and he was laying in his bed at night, listening to the crickets sing, he would say he wasn't ready. Not yet. There was so much he had to finish before he could actually start something else. Where he got his wisdom at 10 years old, I don't know. But listening to him say that every night, while he stared at the ceiling, made me miss his childhood even more. I'm his older sister, I should know what's right for him too, and I knew bringing him out into the tough world so early wouldn't do him good. It wouldn't do any of us good. But he got out there anyways, because during the day he wanted to work, but at night he just wanted to be a kid. After he went into middle school things changed almost immediately. His brother wasn't his superhero anymore because there was no such things. Voices were always raised and so was the music. He got a lot of leniency with my parents though, because he was the youngest and he worked the most. Things shouldn't have been like that though, because right as he got into high school things got even worse. He wasn't the little footsie pajamad boy that liked to stare at the ceiling and talk about his childhood anymore, he was the angry teenage boy that deserved more privacy god danggit. I knew he was still the little seven year old boy somewhere in there, I just couldn't see it underneath all his anger. Actually, I never got to see much of him anyway, toward the end he wanted so much privacy that he was like a ghost coming into the house, taking what he needed and then leaving.
I never did know what made him angry. Maybe it was things at school,or maybe he never got to end the things he needed as a 10 year old boy. Whatever it was his anger drove him out of the house, he ran away on his 16th birthday. The sad part is that nobody noticed until his chores weren't finished in the barn. His sandwich was left cold on the kitchen counter, and his things were swiped right out of his room. I don't know where he went, or what his motives were for leaving. He always got the best of everything in our family. I guess the best wasn't enough for him. Maybe one day he woke up and realized that if his brother wasn't his superhero, and there were no such things, maybe that would also mean there wasn't any bad in the world. And maybe he got curious and spinned his globe everyday thinking of all the places he could be instead of getting eggs from the chickens and feeding the cows. The worst part about him leaving, was that we were all so used to him not being in our presence, that we were already prepared for him to leave. Everybody just got a little more work to do outside, and the house was finally quiet, I heard my dad say that one night to my mom. It was disappointing to find that the youngest, most loved brother, was the one to see that he could leave this place without making a scar. I always knew he was smart, even if he was hiding it under the angry.





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