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I remember one of my siblings asking my mom, which one was her favorite child. “Abe,” she replied quickly. She said she was joking, but everyone knew that she wasn’t.
I remember the story that is always told about Abe describing his 4th birthday party. My parents had hired someone to dress up as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, one of his favorite cartoons at the time. When he saw the man in the costume, he was so scared that he stayed in his room for the whole party.
I remember Abe and my other brother Zeke playing keep away from me with a baseball. They both towered over me, so they would constantly throw it back and forth above my head. After a couple minutes, Abe would always let me have the ball and Zeke would yell at him for giving it to me.
I remember how my mom made me sit on his lap when there were to many people to fit in the car. She said I had to, all the while I was thinking that I got to.
I remember how he never smiled in pictures. When I asked him why, he said that he just couldn’t put on a fake smile. So I made him try to smile for me and I thought that he could smile just fine.
I remember how he was always the first to do everything; first to drive, first to go to high school, to college.
I remember the baseball game where Abe tore a ligament in his shoulder, his stretch forward, his cleat scraping against the dirt of the mound. It all happened so fast, in an instant he was hunched over gripping his shoulder, his face contorted in pain.
I remember watching his dream, which was already so unattainable, slip away.
I remember his sling, black and covered in Velcro with a red stress ball permanently attached to the side.
I remember how he still winces every time he has to lift his right hand above his head.
I remember the day he got his college acceptance letter. No one was surprised at the result; we all knew he would get in.
I remember when he took me out to lunch, only Abe and me. I felt so special just to be in his presence, to have him all to myself.
I remember the times he gave me a silver necklace, a ride to school, a soccer ball, a piece of sea glass, a dollar out of his wallet, and a purple plastic dinosaur.
I remember all the hugs that Abe gave me. If anyone could give a good hug, it was Abe.
I remember how much I missed him when he was away. It always felt like something was off, like someone might have moved all the furniture in my room two inches to the left.
I remember our unspoken deal. Whenever he came home, I would go with my parents to pick him up from the airport and whenever I came home, he would come to pick me up.
I remember the day he didn’t come.
I remember his smell. I think it was old spice deodorant and maybe a hint of cologne, and something else that was unique to Abe.
I remember his eyes, and how everyone says that our eyes look the same.
I remember hating him so much for being perfect. He never bragged about his 3.92 grade point average, his countless number of friends, or his title of first team all league as a freshman.
I remember hating myself for hating him because he never did anything wrong; he was never anything but nice to me.
I remember how he always corrected my grammar. “Its whom, not who,” or “Mom and me, not Mom and I.”
I remember how he had to choose between three of the best law schools in the country. My dad was so disappointed when he decided against his alma mater.
I remember being disappointed also. He could have gone to Berkley, 20 minutes away from our house, but he decided to go across the country instead.
I remember Abe picking me up from school one day. It was a half-day, and I didn’t want to wait for the bus. When I got in the car he turned to me, eyes glassy and bloodshot, and said, “Remember this, you always have to be careful if you drive when you’re high. But don’t worry,” he said, “I’m careful.”