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How I Met My Brother
The earliest memory I have of my older brother, Shawn, is probably from when I was about six, which would have made him close to nine. The memory is of him and his close friend, our neighbor, stealing one of my prized possessions: a pink, heart-shaped bar of Barbie soap. I don’t remember where we were when they took it from me, but I do remember ending up downstairs in the foyer. The two of them tortured me by throwing the bar of soap back and forth over my head screaming “Monkey in the middle!”. I tried so hard to reach it, but I was a small child and there was no way I was going to get that bar of soap back. To this day, I still don’t remember what happened to it.
Most people would think my brother was mean to me or picked on me a lot growing up, and they’d be completely right. Growing up, Shawn picked on me constantly. He was spoiled, and I was younger then him, it was just easy for him to get the better of me…most of the time. Thinking back, I have so many memories of me and my brother when we were little, and not many of them were pleasant on my part, however, looking through the old photo albums we have and all of the home videos, it’s clear how close we really are and how much he loves me even though we fought like rabid animals most of the time.
Now that we are older, my brother and I still relentlessly pick on each other; it’s not something we grew out of, however, Shawn has basically became my best friend. The beginning of us ending the constant fighting between us was three winters ago.
We were temporarily living in a house that was a 45 minute drive to school and a thirty minute drive to my mom’s work; Needless to say, we were in quite a bind. My brother, to his dismay, had the job of driving us to school early in the morning and picking us up in the afternoons. Also, on the days I had dance class, he had to take me there and back too (a 30 minute drive). Usually in the car, Shawn had some sort of loud bass music blaring, so there was no room for talking…we really just did not like to communicate.
One day, however, when Shawn came to pick my brother and I up from school (30 minutes late, I might add) he didn’t have the music on. When he pulled into the school parking lot, he’d had it as loud as ever, but when I began walking toward the car he turned it off. When I got in he didn’t drive away, he just stared at me and finally asked what was wrong. I guess my face gave it away.
At that time, I was new to the school and had been the victim of relentless bullying by a girl named Danielle, who hated me for no apparent reason. I’d tried to just let it slide, but that day had been my breaking point and only five minutes before my brother had pulled up I had threatened her. I told her if she ever picked on me again, I‘d beat her face in (in much less kind words). At the time, I meant it with every fiber of my being.
After I told Shawn what had been going on I expected him to just roll his eyes and drive away, but surprisingly he didn’t. Instead he looked at me with the widest grin on his face. He asked, and I quote, “Can you fight?”. As many times as I’d punched him in a fit of rage, he asked me if I could fight. At first I just looked at him, not really processing his question. I realized this had probably been the first thing he’d said to me in months that wasn’t mean or insulting. I smiled back and replied, “Well I’m related to you, aren’t I?”. I don’t remember the conversation that grew out of that, but I do know we talked the whole way home.
It was a Friday night, so I didn’t have a dance class. Later that night I was sitting in my room, drawing, when I got a knock on my door. I didn’t get the chance to open it before Shawn did himself. He asked me what I was doing. When I told him I was drawing he rolled his eyes and said “Lame” but when I held up the drawing to show him he walked over closer to get a better look, praised me for it, then asked if I could draw him something. I was delighted and agreed to instantly.
Somehow or another, talking about what he wanted me to draw him escalated into us going downstairs to play video games in his room all night. I’d never spent that much time with him without arguing before. Just like that, we didn’t hate each other. We didn’t fight anymore, we stopped yelling at each other, he even started going out of his way to hang out with me and teach me how to do all kinds of awesome things, like hip hop dance for one. Oh, and he taught me how to fight.
Things now aren’t as close between us. Don’t get me wrong, Shawn is without a doubt my best friend still, but he works two jobs and I’m really trying to focus on high school and dance. Even though we aren’t as close as we were that winter, we’ve never went back to hating each other. We’ve had arguments like brothers and sisters sometimes do, but they’re not common anymore. We fist fight each other on a regular basis, however, it’s for fun and if one of us gets too hurt by the other we can tap out, but shamefully.
Needless to say, although we’re brother and sister, we’ve became more like friends. If one of us is upset, we both know who the first person to call is. If one of us has an issue with a boy/girlfriend the other is instantly involved. If you mess with me, you mess with Shawn. If you mess with Shawn, you mess with me…If you mess with both of us, then you’re crazy: that’s how it’s been for the past three years and I have a feeling that that’s how it’s going to stay.