Mom was reluctant to let go of Will. Dad was jabbering on about how to hook up his computer. I was sitting on Will’s bed, looking out the window, wondering when I would see my big brother again.
Mom and Dad hugged Will one last time. I held out my fist to Will, and he pressed his knuckles to mine. Then we waved goodbye.
Everything felt cold. Despite the scalding August weather, I was cold. I looked over at my mom; the tears were silently streaming down her face and rolling onto the models living in her magazines. My dad reached over and gave her a comforting touch on the shoulder. I looked out the window and watched as we left BGSU. As we left Will. I gazed over at his seat and remembered everything we shared in that backseat. The time the Christmas tree fell off the roof, the bulky little TV we watched Peter Pan on hundreds of times, and the countless screaming feuds on who got to choose the restaurant. I gave a sorrowful smile to the empty seat.
About halfway home my dad told me to switch with my mom. He wanted to talk to someone whose throat wasn’t clogged with tears. Once I heard my mother’s atrocious snoring, I looked over to my dad and asked him the question that had been on my mind since Will got accepted to Bowling Green, “Is he going to be okay?” Dad ran his fingers through his thick hair; he always did this when he was feeling hesitant. He looked at me and told me, “I don’t know.”
The words “I don’t know” fill me with so much uncertainty. Those words gnaw at me like a dog with a bone; I couldn’t stop wondering if Will will be able to survive six hours away from home. Will he able to get out of bed in order to go to class? Will he have friends or be a loner? Will he eat? Will he be okay?
We got home about an hour later. I wandered upstairs and looked in Will’s room; it was cold. All the other memories flowed back; playing board games on rainy days, ruthless light saber battles, staying up till 2 A.M. watching Futurama and drinking Mountain Dew. I was overwhelmed with loneliness. I sauntered across the hall to my room and curled up in my covers to warm up, I still felt cold.
A few months have passed since Will left for college. Now my prominent issue is that my parents no longer see my brother’s royal screw-ups, but look for my minor ones. We’ve seen Will a few times since, but it’s not the same as when he inhabited the room ten feet away from mine. It won’t ever be the same as it was when we were kids. We’re growing up.