Me and my brother were not the closest of siblings you’ll find. With a 10 years age gap, most of his childhood memories probably consists of me snatching the TV remote away from him (and ended up with 2 scratches on MY face — how I lost to a 5 year old, still beats me), scaring him with ghost stories when he refused to go to sleep or attempting to cross dress him with toilet rolls and lipsticks.
As time went by, I moved out from home and out of the country as he finished high school, graduated from college and then university and entered workforce. Everything happened in a daze (for me, at least), and before I knew it, he was already a pretty sought after IT software specialist living the high life. Over the years, I’ve received my share of SOS calls from Mom with reasons ranging from “he just wouldn’t study” to “he’s so addicted to his computer and hasn’t eaten for 12 hours” to “do you think he’s gay?”, all to which were answered with “Ok, let me talk to him.” and I never did. “Hey are you ok?” would be my typical icebreaking text message to him, and his reply would always be “Ignore whatever Mom told u.”
Last month, I had a short trip back home alone with Doughnut at the same time when my parents were away for a vacation. I texted him before taking off, and when we arrived at the airport, he was already there waiting at the arrival gate. The pint-sized little brother of mine whom I used to trick into washing my car in exchange for a fast food meal has grown a slight moustache and was at least a good 5-inches taller than I am. Without me asking, he took my all my luggage and we headed to the car.
We arrived home and he again carried all my luggage to the room without me asking, had bought dinner and some of my favourite snacks and changed the sheets in the room. Every morning he would wake up earlier than usual and prepared Doughnut’s boiled drinking water and waited till we woke up before heading for work. Meeting or otherwise, he would call and ask whether we’ve eaten or needed anything from the supermarket near his office. He was also home unusually early to bring us out for dinner and cleaned the house every night before he went to bed. He even took a day off to drive us around, sending us to the mall for some retail therapy and took another half a day off to send us to the airport when I’ve told him that taking a cab would be fine.
In the airport, he walked us to the departure gate and waited till we were out of sight before leaving. Right after we’ve settled down in the boarding lounge, I texted him.”Hey thanks for everything. Sorry to have troubled you.”
His reply shocked me. “Not an issue. Go cool off and sort out your stuffs.”
“I’m not as dumb as I may appear to be.”
I’m already a little envious of his future wife.