The Closest Person in my Life

*names have been changed.

Believe it or not, it’s my brother. He’s 4 years younger than me physically, but mentally, a couple of months. He’s wise beyond his years, mature, and already knows his spiritual calling. I know many teenage siblings argue constantly or experience way too much distance but that’s just not the case for us. And though, one may still have to meet my parents, it’s really my brother that a man has to get approval from to change my last name. It’s him that I return all my gossip to at the end of the day.

But don’t get me wrong, it took us a while to get here. We were very close as kids like two peas in a pod; playing imaginary games together, taking turns with the TV, watching each other’s shows (I was a certified girly girl who still had seen every episode of power rangers and Ben 10), and bullying our babysitters together. And then I moved into secondary school and naturally, the dynamic changed. I grew out of games and had less time for my bro. Now that I think about it, I basically abandoned him. Wow, I suck.

And from there we just got along less and less. Our arguments would sometimes get bad. Rarely physical though because our ma is African and would whoop us both, but when they did get like that, it was a pretty intense time for the both of us. Eventually though, we would just move on and start talking to each other again and no one would have to apologise or even talk about it.

I don’t know what happened. We just became closer in the years between 2016 and ’18. My newly made best friend became an older brother figure to him (and a basketball coach), which in a way sort of brought us closer together because he was, by default, kept in the loop about all the ups and downs of the friendship. I also realised I could be very protective of my brother, because when that best friend of mine started getting into trouble, I cut the whole friendship between the two of them off and I was unmoving about that. As much as it hurt me to see my bro miss *Jamal (and to see his basketball motivation take a toll without him), I knew the kind of man that I wanted him to learn from and though it’s harsh to say, it wasn’t *Jamal.

And then in late 2017/early 2018, someone else came into my life. And it wasn’t that my bro and him didn’t get along, but they just had nothing in common. And I can’t explain why, but I didn’t like that. It wasn’t as if I wanted my bro and him to be the best of friends, but I was not feeling the vibe when the three of us were in a room. This was the second sign that I was a protective ass sister.

The real difference, though, was in late 2018 when I moved out of my family home and into university halls. The first term actually dragged us apart. We weren’t talking at all and the thing is, I didn’t even notice. It was when I came back home the first time after a good two months that I realised how much I missed him. And the term after that, we just grew even closer. One interesting thing I noticed is that he began to tell me stuff about his life that he couldn’t tell our parents. I appreciated that the most because, to me, it meant he trusted me. And that’s taken some time because I’m very sure I’ve been telling him stuff I can’t and won’t tell anyone else wayyy sooner (but he won’t admit it).

What inspired this blog post though? Well two things. 1) it’s his 15th birthday today. Happy birthday, bro. And 2) I’ve made a new friend recently. I wouldn’t call *Darnell a best friend just yet but he’s a close friend. And honestly, my brother and him don’t get along. And I don’t just mean they don’t get along, I mean they argue. Now as much as I prioritise my brother, I’m also fair. So when he has instigated something, I will tell him off the same. But *Darnell is grown and my brother is not. My brother is blood and *Darnell is not. And it almost shocks me how one thinks they could be cool with me and beef my bro? Like… if gang pull up are you gonna back your bredrin???

And once again, I’m not talking about *Darnell and my bro being best friends. But if I were to meet my friends’ siblings, I know my place and I know what boundaries not to cross, and that’s irrespective of whether they’re tight or not. Because really and truly, even if you and your bro fight in private, you better have each other’s back in public. And that’s on period.

This is just a quick one to everybody out there who got a little bit confused in the past and for everyone yet to come to prevent you from being confused in the future. I hate this kind of talk with my chest but I’m gonna firm it and give it a go: I will ride or die for my bro.

We can both take a joke. But when I tell you draw the line, don’t let me tell you twice.

With that being said and done

Happy birthday and Live in Peace, bro!

From your sis,

Kyra-Ann ईबी

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