Black and Blue/Time by Backstreet Boys This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Kuyas. They are the ones that are always by your side. They are the ones that keep you out of trouble, defend you, and even get you into trouble. They are another ear when you need to express yourself, another voice when you need advice, or another body to hug when you need to cry. They are your second parents- correcting your mistakes and leading you through Robert Frost’s Road Not Taken. They are the ones that love you through thick and thin when nobody else will. Friends come and go; however, your brothers will always be by your side.

Early on, my brothers and I shared a passion for music. We loved the way it sounded, the way it rhymed, and the way it was sung. The group that matched those categories was the Backstreet Boys. All of their pop songs were so simple and still had so much meaning in them, as if it was trying to tell a story (not like those rap songs nowadays that just talk about money and the sexism of girls). Some of them talked about one’s dedication to win a girl’s heart or how much another loved a girl more than anything else. Although those tunes were enjoyed and appreciated by a lot of other people, the one that especially captured our attention was this particular song called “Time.” Comparing to the guy’s situation with a woman, this song mentions how these people in the band went through their personal journeys together, and how much they’ve grown; yet, there still are many unanswered obstacles that can “come what may.” I think no one may really understand how much we’ve endured with another. I think no one may understand why we obtain a bond which is so unbreakable. What I do think they’ll understand is that we do love each other, and they saw that “love” through time.

“I know we changed, but change can be so good. So let’s not forget why it’s understood.” As time poured down in my hour glass, my brothers and I acquired more personal time, friends, and social lives for ourselves; however, we contained that strong connection like protons and neutrons in a nucleus. Compared to other siblings in another family, we didn’t grow tired of each other; we appreciated each others company. If my friends weren’t present, then I could always turn to my brother knowing that I have another friend living with me. Maturity struck us like lightening at different times in our age, so yes, we’ve changed. And yes it was difficult at one point to keep our interests similar when we wanted to expend more time with each other. The changes we all went through weren’t too noticeable (unless you think voice counted); though, you could tell that we were more independent and thought cartoons were getting childish. I’m pretty sure that’s normal for any kid to go through. My oldest brother, Jerrick, changed for the better- hoping that his younger brothers could see why and how he adapted. And we did. He became my role model by his efforts, dedication, and passion for the family. I guess we don’t change just because it’s part of growing up or it’s mandatory; however, we change because we want to and know it will benefit us, and if not us, then others. That’s what they taught me.

“I know that we have had sometimes that we can’t forget the struggle, ‘cause we have so far to go.” Growing up, my brothers and I fought and argued like it was either a chore or homework. Knowing that you’re the youngest of four older brothers wasn’t the business sometimes. Don’t you just hate when you’re brother or anyone makes an abominable situation out of the plainest thing you can possibly imagine? Last Friday, for example, I asked Jeremiah (the second youngest in my family) if I could borrow a spare backpack for my clothes because I had a retreat camp I had to attend. He tossed me his beat, green Jansport bag; yet, it contained some school supplies like pencils, pens, and a couple notebooks. Knowing that he might need them, I neatly placed them on his desk. About a good two minutes later, as I’m midway through downstairs, I hear my name being called like I was dog. “Josh!” Jeremiah yelled. “Yea what’s up?” I asked. “I’m letting you borrow my bag and you’re just gonna dump it here?!” he projected. He had this angered smirk imprinted on all over his face and clinched his fist as if he was ready to throw a grenade. “Are you serious? You’re gonna trip about that when I straightly set them on your desk! Where do you want me to put it! All over the floor!” By now, we were disputing a case like two madmen at a court, until Judge Jeff had to call order. Although steam was exploding out the top of our heads, we knew it was a little thing that we could brush off our shoulders. I know it might sound weird, but the moments we did disagree improved our relationship. It made us laugh at each other, asking ourselves, “Wow. Why did we fight again?”

“I remember when Mom used to say… and you’ll soon be on your way.” Sure it wasn’t my mom, but my dad always mentioned how much he misses his sister and his brothers. Like me, he was the bunso (youngest) in his family. He told me that when he was young, he loved being spoiled and treated different than the rest of his siblings. Then my dad also told me the worst part of having the title of the bunso, which is seeing your brothers leave one by one until you’re all alone. “Cherish as much time as you can with your Kuyas because you won’t be living with them all your life.” My dad was right. I experienced it on September 19, 2010- the day Jerrick moved out for college. On the way there, we listened to the Backstreet Boys once again, and Time followed up after Shape of My Heart. The moment felt really dramatic and emotional for those three minutes and fifty-five seconds for not just me, but to everyone in my family. It felt like I relived each, single memory with him, as each word gave me flashbacks of just our ups and none of our downs. I remember when we made a bet when I was going onto sixth grade. “Hey I’ll bet you five bucks that you’ll start liking girls once you go to King,” he negotiated. “Yea right. They have cooties,” I obnoxiously answered. And guess what? I never told him I liked anyone. Like I said, he changed for the better and he was on his “way” for this new life. “I’ll see ya later Kuya,” as tears started forming around my thin eyelids. “For sure, I’ll miss you too. Don’t worry! I’ll be back next weekend,” he said, as he gave me a secure hug to hold onto. Pretty soon my older brother, Jeff, will leave as well, next up Jeremiah, and finally me. Time does tick every second of our lives, though it seems each moment gradually gets faster and faster, like a Ferrari accelerating in a race. They have their own future, and I have mine. We’re all in this together; it’s just one phone call away.

Throughout my life, I’ve never met anyone with only brothers in their family, nor siblings that are one year apart from each other. That probably explains why we stand out from everyone else. Having four, one year-spaced brothers in my family was special because not only they could help me with my homework, but I can spend as much fun with them as if I were with my friends. The people that end up becoming your friends, are ones that share a common trait each other has, enjoy the activities you both like to do, or just have a connection that just clicks. My brothers somehow fall into those categories in their own way and also go infinity and beyond words that attempt to describe them. My Kuyas are everything to me, and I wish that I had more Time to appreciate them more. We’ve endured waves and storms together, and we always conquer them. Even though Jeffericson is at Japan and Jerrick is at Irvine, it seems as if they’re not missing (yes we skype once in a while). The bond we’ve formed is like a brick house, it cannot be puffed away; no matter how many wolves there are. Our love will carry out, and hopefully one day our children will inherit that love we’ve exemplified. Time is beautiful, it’s ticking, and it’s the essence to my life.





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