“I remember your bare feet, down the hallway. I remember your little laugh.”
I have to talk about something hard today, because my heart has been hurting.
My little brother came into the world on September 24th of 2012, and made my heart so full of love. He was the child of my father and his wife, so my half-brother, but I never felt so close to someone. He had bright blue eyes, and the second I saw them I was locked in. He was so perfect and pure. He hadn’t made any mistakes yet, and didn’t have time behind him where the world messed him up. I vowed to protect him, no matter what, and never stop loving him.
Having my little brother made the time spent with my father easier. He made me laugh and smile, and I knew I would be okay because he lit up the room with his smile, or dancing.
He gave me the best hugs.
He was ticklish on the bottom of his left foot, and he used to scream when I blew raspberries on his tummy. He couldn’t function right if he didn’t have juice when he woke up in the morning. The thing I loved most about him was when he squeezed my pinky finger with his tiny, tight fist.
I can still feel you hold my hand, little man.
Things got tough in the few years I was with him, as most of you know. I made a very hard decision to leave my father’s house after the abuse got too bad.
With that, came the consequence of losing my precious, baby brother. I knew this. I thought I was prepared to leave without him.
I remember your blue eyes, looking into mine, like we had our own secret club.
When I knew what decision I had to make, I couldn’t stand to look at him. One of the nights before I left, I ended up having to babysit him. He was with me in the living room, dancing to Pharrell’s “Happy”, his favorite song at the time, when I just burst into hysterics. He stopped dancing and sat in my lap with his Cheerios. He didn’t understand why I was crying. I didn’t want him to understand.
He started laughing, then realized I was crying and put his fingers on my chin. “Tay Tay, was wrong?” I didn’t answer, obviously, because that made me cry even more. He then put out his finger, circling it around my nose and making a bzzzzzBOOP noise, something we did to each other. “Tay Tay okay?”
I just smiled at him, tears falling down my face like Niagara Falls at this point. “Tay Tay okay.”
He stood up, wobbling on his heels and bent down, kissing me with his eyes open.
“I love you, I love you, I love you.” I remember repeating to him.
“I wuv you too.” He said, stretching out to escape my hug. He walked away and started playing with his firetruck.
That was the last conversation I remember having with him. I wish, more than anything, I would have made it last longer. I would have made him hang on a little longer. I would have kissed him harder. But I didn’t.
I don’t regret leaving my father’s house a bit. With any decision comes consequences. And this is a consequence I will forever have to deal with.
I can’t protect him anymore. I can’t see him anymore. My sister updates me all of the time on how he is, what he’s learning in preschool, what joke he made. Without her, I wouldn’t even know he was alive. He doesn’t know that I am who I am. He refers to me as “Amber’s sister.”
That breaks my heart.
I have a song for him, that I listen to when I miss him more than usual. I encourage you to read the lyrics, though they don’t fully pertain to my situation. I’ll post a link to the song as well.
Tay Tay always loves you, Austin Ray. To the moon and back.
Until next time,