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My brother Elliot and I are close.
Don’t get me wrong- it’s nothing weird or anything like that. We’re just close.
Sure, as kids we fought over dumb stuff as brothers and sisters do, and as
teenagers in high school he pretended not to have a little sister, and I
pretended he was just another jerk jock. But despite all of that, we’re close.
Now that he’s out of the house, and I’m in college, we don’t see each other as
often, but we try to talk on the phone at least once a week.
Not many people can pinpoint why it is
that they are close with their siblings, but I can. And I know he can too.
Maybe without our shared experience we still would have been close, but what
happened to us really nailed it down. We never talked about it, but I know we
both remember it.
Every time someone suggests telling scary stories, or starts
talking about odd experiences, it looms heavily over us. Even to this day, I
can’t make sense of it. But this is the reason my brother and I are so close.
If nothing else, this is the one thing we will always have in common, one thing
that will keep us together.
It happened in the summer. I was 9
years old, my brother 12. It was a pretty uneventful summer so far. We grew up
in a sleepy town in the northeast. It sits on the coast and is pretty much
split in two, with half of the residents being dock workers or fishers, and the
other being the wealthier type who commute to the city every day.
exception of my family and a few others, it is mostly those richer people who
have children, and even though the town is on the coast, it’s not exactly a
tourist attraction, so many of those wealthier people often leave on vacation
for the summer. This, of course, means the children are gone as well. Which
means my brother and I had a long string of boring, drawn out summers with all
of our friends gone. This summer was no exception.
At some point during this summer, our
parents began to get fed up with us. Being bored and young, we often got into
things and caused trouble. Looking back, I have to laugh. I mean, we really
gave my mother, who worked from home, a hard time. Elliot and I would run around,
yelling and breaking things while my mother tried her hardest to get work done
in her office. My father was out working on the docks.
One day, I guess my brother and I were
being particularly terrible, and my mother finally told us to go play outside,
we could even go into the woods behind our house if we wanted to, something she
had never let us do before. Of course, she told us we could only go so far, but
still, it was like we had a whole new world to explore.
So Elliot and I
gathered some “adventurer” stuff that we needed if we were going to
explore this new territory. Elliot got his backpack from inside, a small green
one with his name stitched across the side and frogs lining the outer pocket.
He filled it with a compass he had gotten for his birthday, some
walkie-talkies, a notebook to take adventure notes, and some band-aids. I was
in charge of the necessities, which to us included a box of pop-tarts, two
water bottles, and a bag of goldfish. It was around noon when we set off to
explore the woods behind our house. With a worried smile and a warning to be
back before one thirty, my mother sent us off.