You call him selfish, you call him bitter.
You only talk to him once or twice a year.
You call him brother.
But you two don’t have the same dad.
You have a dad who raised a perfect family in a nice, small white house.
You have a father who still sends your mother flowers for no reason, parents who dress up and date every other weekend, a younger sister that’s your best friend.
He has a dad who left.
A calendar dad, with arranged dates, hours, minutes.
His mom taught him to shave.
(But it was not the same, he never got it right)
And he wanted to love you, he really did, because you were just a little baby, the first baby he ever held.
But he started getting less visits and less gifts after you came along.
And kids understand with feelings, not reasons.
You woke up an angry voice inside him, one he’d never heard before.
You want a brother because it would be another sprinkle to add to your life. Fun! A bigger family. Another seat at Christmas dinner, another pair of lips to make laugh.
He wants a brother to explain some of the empty spaces that don’t let his life add up.
And you’re never going to be what he needs, and he’ll never be what you need.
Still you hug every holiday, you exchange presents, you call each other brother.
But you might as well be strangers, that simply happened to look alike.