"Yo Mista, you got any brothas or sistas?"I haven’t seen my younger brother in a year.
As an only child for the first nine years of my life, I learned how to get lost in my imagination. My best friends were the Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Superman toys now packed in boxes buried somewhere. I filled my life with comic book heroes because I wanted to protect people from harm; I wanted to be selfless.
I was about to enter the fourth grade when my brother was born: one of the happiest days of my life. I remember I was sleeping over at a friend’s place while my mom and dad were in the hospital. When my brother and I first met, I promised myself to be his friend, mentor and father figure – everything I wanted and needed, I would give to him.
I loved having pictures taken of him and me together. I wanted to carry him, play with him and teach him the alphabet when he was only a year old. I remember I wanted him to eat a lot of baby food with spinach because I watched Popeye the Sailor Man religiously when I was younger. Silly, I know.
I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign because it was a short drive from home. There was no way in hell I was going to leave my brother alone in that house. I came home every weekend for him my freshman year. Living in New York City while he's in Chicago still gets to me from time to time.
After my mother cut ties with me (see this post), she restricted my contact with him. Of course, my brother and I got around that by talking on the phone behind her back or chatting online, but living in secret isn't fun nor is it fair. She tells him he isn’t allowed to visit me because I’m a “bad influence.” How, you ask? Well because I paved my own path to success – watch out. The threat level has been elevated to orange ladies and gentlemen.
If you're worried, don't be. We have a plan. My brother plays bass in a band and it just so happens that he’s going to be going on a “tour” for a week in August. His band members are going to pick him up in a van, but instead of hitting the highway, they're going to drop him to the airport. That's because I just bought him a roundtrip ticket to see me in August. We'll lie and cheat to see each other. No one can separate blood.