BRRROTHER by Christopher T Dabrowski
English translation by Monika Olasek
Winter. Biting frost. Chins stiff from cold. The snow was sparkling in the sunshine and cracking under the feet of passers-by. That day my father and I were alone. My mum was in a hospital because of a large belly, where, as I was told, my brother was. Indeed, three days later we went there to see my little brother. At first I was really disgusted—this little wrinkled yelling creature, was it really my brother? Well, I could only be glad that I don’t look the same. It was a nightmare!
After a few days dad brought them home. At first I was glad to be the older brother (it sounded so good). But I quickly came to my senses—my joy was precocious. There was I, the first-born, the apple of everyone’s eye, whose wishes were immediately fulfilled, the cuddled darling—and now, suddenly, I was pushed into being a servant, the worse one, who hardly deserves any attention. Our house was now ruled by a little piggy-pink god, to whom our parents run night and day, whom they nearly worshipped. Now he was the centre of their attention. I was cruelly degraded—be quiet, you’ll wake your brother… go play with your little brother… see? Adam is so good, try to be the same... It made me sick. What’s got into them? Why did the little creature change them so much? How did he dare? Soon I developed a real dislike to that little gnome. My brother, who was supposed to be such joy for me, appeared to be a monster!
Now I think how stupid I was. Now, when I’m a grown-up, I see it all in different ways. Those days I felt pushed away, unwanted. And yet it is normal and logical that a little baby needs more time and care than the older one.
If only I had known then what I know now, I would have behaved totally differently.
The gnome was growing very fast. The older he was, the more he demanded from the surrounding world. My world! At first I had to help serving the master: carry his milk bottle, play with him and take him for a walk. Then, good heavens, my room was divided into two halves. Yes! The same room, where I kindly spared a corner for this little scum’s bed. I felt sick when my father announced, that from now on the other half would belong to Junior, and it was my duty to accept it. OUTRAGE!
Damn, now, when I’m nearly thirty I realize how much I lost because of this stupid jealousy.
My parents did not give me a miss, they just started treating me as more mature. It was an ennoblement but I didn’t understand it, I treated it as a punishment...
He was such a drag—at first he crawled alongside me when I walked him to the kindergarten, then when we were at school. After classes, instead of playing ball with the guys, I had to take the little tot home. As if this was not enough, I got some new duties: dusting, dishwashing and helping with the shopping. It is not that I’m lazy and evading. Not at all! But I got really pissed off because I had to work like a horse and that lazybones was lying with his tummy up. And all that explaining—he is too small; when he grows up, he would have as much to do as I have now (yeah, sure! He will certainly scrimshank).
A tear runs down my cheek. Now, when it’s too late to turn the clock back. The first time I treated my brother as a friend not as a rival was when I was in college—he was then second grade high school. I don’t know why, but I grow up a secretive, shy boy. And my younger brother was dating chicks like wow!
All the civil wars were forgotten, we both grew up, but every time he brought some girl home I felt a bite of jealousy—Once again he is better; the world loves him more than me... why him and not me? I remember that once I was really down. Then Junior patted on my back and ordered that we should go for a beer, like two brothers; to talk a bit. We ended up in one of the local pubs. When I was totally stoned, all the grudges, jealousy and accusations, everything that grew in me all those years—it all came out. Surprisingly, he understood. We did some more dives.
In the morning it turned out that the lousy creature, my Bro, is my best friend. He soon taught me how to pick up the girls and make them fall for you. He invited me into his gang. He became my true friend. How I regret that through all those years I treated him as a brat, as a necessary evil, although he was not the one to blame. I fully realized this just now, holding tight the telephone in my hand. I couldn’t believe what I have just heard. My brother, Adam… was yesterday killed in Afghanistan …
Coming soon from Schlock! Publications

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