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Uncle

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I’ve always wanted a close relationship with an adult figure in my life , aside from my parents. Not to say that my parents have been unworthy or anything of that nature. I want to be close to an aunt, uncle or older cousin. I want something special and unique. Someone who understands me and how I work. I want this person, I want these things, but I’ve never had it. There wasn’t a family member whom I was close to that left, or died. I’ve always wanted a role mode, friend, some wise person to be there, but I don’t think that I’m ever going to have that. There’s been a few moments, when I’ve received some life advice, when we connected, but it’s always just a moment, and it always ends.


My extended family and I took a trip to Jamaica about a year ago. My cousin and brother laid out by the beach, unwilling to move, despite my increasingly angry pleads to go to the pool. So, I went by myself only to find my uncle relaxing in the pool alone. “Hey kid.” He said, with his predictive greeting. I didn’t think of my self as a kid although, I knew I was. I was only 14 at the time, but I figured that I’ve been through enough crap to be considered an adult, or at least something older than a kid. Kids run around, laugh at dumb, senseless jokes and think that their parents are superheroes, that they're invincible. Kids are happy because they have no reason not to be. Kids are supposed to be happy and if they’re not, I bet you the rest of their life is going to show it.


Even though, I disagree with my being a kid, I smile at his greeting. It’s always the same one. With my big, dumb smile I wade into the water and hang onto a ledge nearby. I wish I could tell you what we talked about. I wish I remembered every moment, every word that was said, but I don’t. I remember me and him, talking in that pool, laughing, truly enjoying each others company for hours. Then, it was over and that was the last time that we’ve really talked since. Truthfully, I lied. I remember one thing that was said. As my cousin called out of the pool to see something Insignificant, I turned around and faced my uncle. “I haven’t really talked to you in a few years. It was nice.” I smiled, turned around, and went to see what my cousin wanted. I think a part of me knew that I wouldn’t really talk to my uncle again for a long time. I see every Monday. He’s around. Our paths just don’t cross, which is largely my fault. If I really want this relationship with him, I should work for it, make an effort. But I don’t, so we just stay on our own paths and thats probably the saddest way for a relationship to end, or in this case, never start.


“You just keep going everyday and you survive.”  This is the one emotional conversation I had with my uncle. He’s not a very emotional person, so I knew deep conversations are something to remember with him. My brother, mom and I walked into my aunt and uncle’s house. We were drained and needed to get a break from the lifelessness in our empty house. As I walked through the door, I could see the sadness in my aunts eyes for me and my incomplete family. I immediately collapsed in her arms and started crying hysterically. She told me everything was going to be okay and even though I didn’t believe her, it was soothing. I walked through the house and into the living room. My cousin wrapped her arms around me. I hugged her back. We both stayed there, crying on each others shoulder’s. “I love you.” She whispered to me. “I love you too.” I choked out. She started to lead me to the trampoline in the backyard, but I hesitated. “I’ll be out there in a second.” She nodded her head and walked outside.


For some reason that I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand, I sat down on the couch across from my uncle. “Hey kid.” He said sadly, but he still said it. I couldn’t say anything back for a few minutes in fear of breaking down. “What am I going to do?” I uttered. He sighed. “You just keep going everyday and you survive.”  I nodded my head. “Yeah.”




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