Brother

Now, my brother, where do I start? I suppose I should say that he’s intelligent, funny and, above all, caring – but he’s not. For some reason, he believes arrogance is a synonym for ‘clever’. Boasting would be an understatement; we all know when my brother has achieved something minor, never mind three A-levels. All A*. In Maths, Chemistry and, of course, Physics. It would be unfair for me not to give him credit where it’s due. However, on the 480th time of being told “I only dropped two marks, when I did that exam at your age”, it can be very challenging not to retaliate. Moving onto ‘funny’. That’s the thing with being ‘funny’. If funny means laughing at someone, my brother would make a fortune as a comedian. However, if ‘funny’ is to be intentionally funny – well, he’s got no chance.

The only real time that I laugh at my brother is when he’s demonstrating his clumsiness: falling off pavements, walking into things, tripping over his own feet, etc. Honestly, the list is endless and, finally, my brother is caring.

He’s great at guiding me through situations when we were younger, offering advice that used to sound very much like: “Please don’t tell dad I kicked you. It didn’t hurt that much. I barely touched you. You’re being oversensitive.” Note that I would have a bulging purple bruise, although I made sure the bruise I gave him was much darker and, of course, hurt much more.

Anyway, now you know my brother better, I’m sure you can comprehend why I was so chuffed when he announced he would be leaving home. After applying for the ‘prestigious’ Imperial College of Maths and Science university based in London, he had been accepted - why wasn’t I surprised? He had known his alphabet by age two, was solving quadratics by age seven and, now at age 19, he would be intensely studying the physical mechanics of the universe. Him moving out meant that not only would I be free of his smug smile that I had to endure every day, but I wouldn’t be nagged to read an article on the ‘exhilarating’ economy of America or the ‘shocking’ plummet of the stock markets. Written by another ‘type’ of brother and headlined in the dullest magazine out there – The Economist. Only read by Genesis or, as I like to call them, ‘Golden Boys’. As you might have guessed, I’m referring to just how ‘amazing’ they are (or just how overrated).

This weekend, we went to visit him in his new life.  Whilst we were there, we went out at night and, on the last night, whilst devouring a hearty bowl of pasta, a strange thing happened: my lip began to quiver; my nose began to run, and my mascara started to trickle down my cheek until it reached the end of my chin where it drizzled onto the table in front of me. My vision began to go foggy, and my brother’s image became softened and unfocused. I was sobbing. In front of everyone – over none other than The Golden Boy! And the really horrific thing was that I couldn’t stop.

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