My Brother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   He is eighteen, he has just graduated, and it is time for him to move on...to attend college, to live in his own apartment fifty miles from home. Charles has made the sacrifices, completed his obligations in Weston, and now he is going to study what he wants at Springfield College. But as his younger brother who remains at home, I don't want him to go.

It may sound soft or corny for a seventeen-year-old guy to say he is going to miss his brother when he leaves for college. It is not the macho, cool thing to say. Maybe I should be sucking it up, keeping my chin high, and forgetting that he is leaving... Yeah, play it like I don't care. But I do, and nothing is going to change this.

My parents were divorced when we were very young. My stepparents took getting used to. We moved around a lot when I was growing up. It was all very taxing. It made me "numb," some people said. To some extent, I may be, but all that happened in my family created a unique relationship between my brother and me, and I have more feeling for my brother than for myself. He is my brother. He is my friend. He is my best friend. He is my idol. And he is leaving, and I'm not afraid to say I'm sad and will miss him. An integral part of my life is moving away.

Two months ago, maybe even before, the seniors talked big about how soon they were gone, but in all honesty, I never thought the day would come so fast. And, though I knew it was coming, I never stopped to think of the ramifications of Graduation Day 1990. Now I have a full appreciation. Now I see my brother packing his bags. Now I hear talk of off-campus housing. Now I see what graduation did to me... and I do not like it.

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Since September, Charles has been at Springfield, and I've been here in little old Weston. I've gone to school daily as I have for the past eleven years, I've come home for dinner with the family, nightly, as always, and I've played the same sports that have filled my high school years... but something is gone. It's Charles... He's gone. There is no longer anyone to chat with on the early morning ride to school. There is no one to come home to at midnight Saturday night to compare evenings and dates with. The phone is no longer a highly contested item in my house. The house is quiet as there is no opposition for a loud stereo contest. Nor do I have anyone to kick out of the bathroom. Soccer games are not the same without Charles in the net. I no longer get to, or is it have to, do his Spanish homework. His wardrobe is no longer susceptible to my pilfering. His car is never here for me to take without permission either. And more important, Charles isn't here. There is no honest, loving, laughing, caring, crazy, stubborn, rude, obnoxious, and boisterous Charles. I love him for all of these traits, not a single facet but the combination that, as a whole, is Charles.

I don't know what I am going to do. I do know that I am missing him and all that he did. I realize that our relationship is not over just because he is at college. I am proud he is there, happy he is now doing what he wants to do, but I do not want our friendship to die. He is my brother and, more important - my friend, and I will never let him get away. He may have left, but he still has his bedroom, a setting at the table, and a place in my heart. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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