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The Kid

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He's fourteen and all teen all the time. He's got headphones glued to his ears and a sour, uncaring look plastered to his face. He grows a foot a month at eats us out of house and home. He inhales food, sleeps all hours of the day, and doesn't bathe in anything but Axe cologne. I often come home and wonder who this person is, with my dad's voice and a giant's height. And where on earth is my little brother?

He thumps down into his chair at dinnertime, the music blaring out of his ear extensions with an "I couldn't care less" expression on the face that is losing its baby fat more and more each day. I try to get him to talk to me...but no. It would be easier to converse with a brick wall. He shovels the mounds of food into his braces-filled mouth and then leaves, saying as much as he does when I don't see him...nothing. I don't even know who he is anymore, and I'm not sure I would like it even if I knew.

I'm buried beneath a mountain of books, working into the night studying for finals. It's 12:30 AM and the hope of going to bed is diminishing by the second. I don't even hear him as he plods over to my desk, and it startles me as he sits down on the floor. I'm a bit shocked at first, and I gruffly demand,

"What are you doing up? You went to bed two hours ago!"

He leans onto the desk and shrugs, half taking, half mumbling, "Can't sleep, bad dream."

I scoff and return to scribbling notes onto flashcards when I look down at my brother. He looks up and says with a voice that pulls at the little girl inside me, "Sorry to bother you. I was scared."

He stands up and half hugs me, a monumental and near extinct behavior.

I look into his blue eyes and see my little brother looking back at me. Through all he has become, I know he hides that little boy buried beneath the Lil'Wayne music and the baggy sweatshirts. But sometimes he lets him loose. When it's late and night and he can't sleep, my little brother comes and asks me with his big blue eyes to help make it all better. I know he will always be that boy deep down, and through the layers of teenager that encase us both, I'll always be his big sister and I'll always help chase away the nightmares.

He spent another hour sitting next to me as I studied. It was quiet and nice, the teenager stepping back and letting the little sibling be.




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