Going away

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It was Saturday morning. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and it would have been the perfect day to do my favorite things in the world: stay at home with the curtains drawn playing video games all day. But I couldn’t do that, all for one reason: my brother was leaving for boarding school.

I honestly had no idea what it was going to feel like when this day came. I was all inside out. My brother was sometimes a nuisance, but he was the biggest inspiration to me in my life. I’d always have to be strong around him. Somehow, he had more influence on me than even my parents. Without him, I’d feel empty.

So there I stood, waiting with my brother for the train that would take him away. I knew this was the last chance I would get to say goodbye.

“Hey Justin,” I said. He turned to face me, and suddenly my tongue went dry.

Just as the train came, I managed to sputter, “Do well in school.”

Great. I just gave what could have been the worst goodbye in the history of time.

My brother replied, “Do well in school too. Make sure you work very hard.”

I didn’t know whether to feel happy or sad or annoyed at his reply.

The seconds as the train doors opened were the longest seconds of my life. And as my brother stepped towards the train, I lunged forward and gave him a hug that nearly knocked him over.

He pushed me away and smiled. “You’d better miss me,” he threatened jokingly. Then he punched me hard in the arm and said, “Never hug me like that again.”

And suddenly it was as if all the weight and confusion was lifted off of my shoulders.

The train will be departing shortly.

“Better go now,” Justin said. He slowly dragged his bags and suitcases to the train.

“Hurry up,” I said. “I want to go home and play Call of Duty.” I hammered him in the arm as hard as I could. “Bye.”

I stared into the train doors one last time as they closed. I didn’t move one bit as I watched the train leave, slowly, until out of my sight.





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