Ethan, the younger older brother. Despite having a steady three months ahead on him, he always seemed to have older brother qualities. Through growing up, he always had the deeper voice, the height, the facial hair, everything the immature me wanted. I was merely just a child trying to hang onto the coattails of my older brother.
I grew up looking up to my brother both physically and mentally. At home, our family was pretty good with keeping up on our grades but when they did go too low, discipline was kept private between our parents and whoever was doing poorly. Ethan always seemed to do okay in class because he was always quiet in the front and did his work for the most part, while I was somewhere in the back joking around with all of our friends, being really loud and wiry often arguing with the teachers and other kids –he never got sent out, while I got sent out almost every day-. We had the same friends, but he just always seemed to have a closer vibe with them and he chose the better times to hang out.
Despite these differences, we were very alike and my younger brother was also my best friend. We often took bike rides at 3 am all through Chicopee just blasting music on a beats pill and in deep conversation about the troubles in life, even when we weren’t reminiscing on the things we sought change in, we felt as though we could know exactly what was on the others mind. While listening to music or trying to make plans, we both already knew exactly what to do because we both did everything the same, we liked the same music, the same places, the same sports, the same clothes and, and often times we even liked the same girls. We got so inseparable, everyone referred to us as the bang bros.
Around the time of 7th grade, everything started to change. Ethan started failing some classes while I often did well in most classes despite not studying for most. My parents began to expect me to help him study and help understand since he was my brother after all. Finally finding something I was better at than my brother, it made me ecstatic. Not because he was doing bad, but because I found something he had to look up to me for. Along with all the studying we were doing, I began to play ball so much more. We’d always play basketball together in the back to practice that one move we really wanted to get better at, but I began doing it more often and it showed. When we played our 1v1’s, usually it’d come pretty even in terms of who won, but I began to be able to dribble around Ethan flawlessly and I had a threat of being able to pull up and shoot over the top of him whenever I pleased. Around half way through the year, I got a bit taller, my hair grew in nicer and I had newfound athleticism, I began to find who Nick was and I also found people laughed more around me more. I developed more friends, but as any brother does, they soon became his friends too since wherever I went, he went. We were a not so good 2 for 1 special. This didn’t bother me, because I was used to it but I noticed they liked being around me slightly more.
With all these changes in my life and being a bit more distant from my brother, I started noticing things in Ethan’s life I’d never noticed. I noticed the ways he stared blankly in class, I noticed the mistakes he often made when we played football, soccer or basketball, I noticed the frequent times he would stay after for “credit” with teachers and how mom would drill him on it as soon as he got in the car. I started to gain superiority over my brother and I was proud of it for a bit.
Though it felt nice, I still loved the kid. Within another year or so, we started being together less and my height just kept on going. With my height, I started getting way better than Ethan and I noticed I could also jump higher and play way better defense in basketball, and I could kick way harder further and more consistent in soccer. The coaches also must’ve noticed because even though we played together on every team and we were brothers, I started getting all the attention from the coaches and was invited to several tryouts and workout sessions he wasn’t even thought of being invited to. His grades also must’ve dropped real low, because now he wasn’t being forced to come to me, he started just coming to me on his own for help academically. All my hard work was finally paying off.
Despite finally having everything improve for me and my brother feeling how I felt, I never let it take me over. At the end of the day we were still siblings and we were still the Bang Bros. Yeah, here and there we had our huge arguments but it felt so awkward not being able to run to my brother within a seconds notice and just talk or go out anywhere, they never lasted long.