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Jamie had always wanted a brother. He could remember sitting on the swings at Fable Park, watching all the other boys play together with their built-in best friends. But when his parents told him he was to have a little sibling, he began to wonder. He wondered if brothers always got along like the ones at the park. Maybe his brother would be different, and they wouldn’t be able to play.
Jamie’s parents reassured him, however, when he brought these fears to their attention. “Don’t worry,” they said. “He’ll be just fine,” they said. So Jamie grew excited as he waited everyday for what was going to be the best surprise of his life.
In mid-July, Jamie woke to the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. He ran to the window and pulled aside the green curtains that decorated the edges. Out of the dusty old van stepped his mother and his father, and with them, was a new little baby.
Barely containing his joy, Jamie scampered around his room in his pajamas, dancing to a music that no one else could hear. Doors slammed shut with a sound of anticipation until Jamie could contain himself no longer. He sprinted through the house to meet his parents at the garage, his bare feet leaving tiny footprints in the carpeting.
His dad beamed at Jamie, proudly recognizing his son’s happiness. “Jamie,” he said, “I want you to meet your new little brother. This”—he stepped aside to reveal his mother holding a baby’s car seat—“is Henry.”
Jamie’s erratic dancing sent him jittering around the room. “Can I hold him, Dad? Can I? Can I? Please? Please? Can I?” Jamie pled.
“We’ll see,” said his dad, still cautious of the baby and a little wary of Jamie’s unstable excitement. “Let’s let Henry and your mom get settled in first.”
Jamie continued to spin, waving his hands all through the air. His parents watched him, serene smiles on their faces. Faster and faster Jamie went, until his hand caught a vase that had been hastily stowed on a low shelf.
The vase crashed to the floor, shattering into four pieces. Jamie halted in his tracks, knowing he was about to get scolded. But to his surprise, his parents were focused solely on little Henry. Henry was now screaming, his fists flailing, just as Jamie’s had been moments ago. Jamie’s eyes crinkled together, confused. Why weren’t they paying attention to him?
“Oh Henry,” his mom crooned. “Did the noise scare you? Let me take you up to your room…” She walked off with Henry, leaving Jamie with his dad.
“Why is she talking to him? He can’t even talk back!” Jamie exclaimed to his father.
“I don’t know,” said his dad, suddenly exasperated. He looked weary, already worn out from the day of newness. “That’s just what you do with babies. Let me just clean this up, Jamie. Then maybe we’ll talk.”
Jamie was already gone. He sulked back to his room with the familiar green curtains, and somehow he knew that day that maybe having a brother wouldn’t be as exciting as he thought it would be.