Watching you walk away is hard. I feel as though everything I’ve offered to you, every piece of my heart, every breath and word and smile, is going with you, and you’re going a long way off. Everything I’ve given you is following you, spinning after you, like a leaf dropped in a whirling eddy of water, and all I can do is watch and pray it doesn’t go under, that it stays its course and makes it through the tiny rapids in the creek, because they’re really huge. They’re huger for that leaf than you could ever imagine.
As you walk away a thousand memories are coming to mind, and I feel like I’m losing you. I’m not. You’re just becoming your own person, making your own decisions, leaving for a while. You’ll come back, I know it.
but it’s a helpless feeling watching you whirl in the ripples and eddies and swirls, and all I can do is clutch my hands to my face and pray you’ll do fine.
I know you’ll do fine.
I watch you walk away, and everyone else is already in the car. I watch the wind ruffle your brown hair softly, watch it play about the edges of your plaid shirt. You don’t look back. I’m glad, but I want to see your face again. I want to be sure you’ll be here when I can see you again. I want to be sure this is temporary.
I’ll see you again. I’ll see you again.
I get in the car, and close the door, and turn to catch one more glimpse of you, striding up that sidewalk like you own it, ready for anything anyone could throw at you. But I can’t see you for the cars in the parking lot, and those solitary trees in their concrete islands.
Sitting back and staring out the window, I forget—purposefully? – to put my seatbelt back on. The silence is already abstract and bizarre, and the almost-setting sun turns all of the scenery a golden gild as we drive south, to home. Everyone is occupied, in murmuring conversation, listening to headphones, and I’m sitting in the silence, staring at the fields of corn and marigolds and thinking and not thinking, blinking and not blinking.
South, to home. It’s still your home, you hear?
You’ll be busy. Occupied. I won’t be. I’m obviously not. I feel odd, like we’ve tried to rearrange a living room so we no longer need the chairs. Can we do this? It’s too bizarre, too odd, too strange. Why is it changing again? Can you remind me, someone, because I keep forgetting.
I didn’t cry on the way home. Didn’t talk about you with others. Just sat, silently, watching the trees go by. But I wanted to. I wanted to cry.
That’s why I hugged you so long, you know. Maybe if I hugged you long enough, I would still feel like you were here with me right now, like you’ve been for all my life, right beside me, behind me, there. Here.
And I know you’re not, and that’s what’s so hard to get used to.
It’s been three hours.
Oh, my darling brother, how will we ever survive?