Saying Goodbye

Cash Martinez, Reporter

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In my freshman year of high school, my older brother, Dominik, moved three thousand miles away from the home, the town, and the people he’d known since he was born. I can still remember watching his figure shrink and eventually disappear from the sight of the the taxi that my family was in, the same one that was taking us to the airport: a memory that has been ingrained in my mind even four years later. I would never lie awake in bed again and hear my brother stumble through the door minutes away from midnight, the laughing voices of his friends outside and the sound of cars leaving from the front of our house; I would never have to fight him for use of the bathroom in the morning or wait through another one of his 20 minute morning ‘rinse downs’; I wouldn’t see him at my choir concerts, like I’d seen him at my band concerts for the last five years. I was moving into one of the most significant milestones of my life- starting high school- and the person who I had looked up to for most of my childhood wasn’t going to be around to guide me through the difficult moments; needless to say, I was uncertain of what the future held. A life without my brother there, standing confidently beside me, scared me beyond belief. I wasn’t just saying goodbye to my brother; I was saying goodbye to my best friend. It was a hard fact to swallow that Dominik’s future was one where I was just a footnote in his day-to-day life. I began to worry that he was slipping away, and that, just as I had feared, I was going to lose the special connection with my brother that I’d had for as long as I could remember. But as the days turned into months, and the months turned into years, my fears turned out to be just that: fears. If anything, the distance between us strengthened our relationship and ourselves. His absence gave me the push I needed to be able to deal with my problems on my own, allowing for organic self-growth rather than forced. Ultimately, the life change that I thought would be for the worse was for the better, in the most unexpected ways. Even if things will never be the same as they were before he left for college, the ways that I remember him by now are even better than before: I can see him in the way that the sky gets grey and dark when it’s about to rain, the old brick walls of the shops on Kentucky Street, the crimson red of the hand-me-down MIT sweatshirt that I wear when I have no other clean clothes. I’m never too far from my brother.

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