You Are Getting to a Ripe Old Age If You Miss Old Times

brother pic

Here’s another story from Changing Every Day. When you finish reading, take the quiz to test your understanding!:

My Brother

Liang Yang

Currently, I have started having memories from the past. One of my friends said, “You are getting to a ripe old age if you miss old times.” One day, I was sitting on the couch and looking at the photos on the wall. There was a picture that drew my attention. In the picture, my brother and I are sitting in the desert back to back.

He is in now in England. He has been there for 11 years. He has a PhD, and he is working for a university. He likes traveling, and he has already visited a great number of different places in Europe. I think of how his real life comes from his personality and early education. My brother not only shares his goals and dreams, but also believes in himself and the ability to achieve them.

He was number one all the time in school. When we were in the same school, I was proud of him. Most of my classmates thought I had no problems with my homework because my brother could teach me at home, but he only shared his study methods with girls in his class, not me.

I didn’t interrupt him unless I got homework that I couldn’t handle alone. Once I approached his room and knocked at his door lightly, while he was thinking. When he opened it, I wasn’t delighted to see the impatient look on his face, but I knew there was nothing more important than homework. So instead of caring about his attitude, I put my homework on his desk and looked at him.

“Can you tell me how to do this?” I said. “I don’t know the process.”

He looked at me, but he shook his head. “Did you daydream during the whole 45-minute class?” he asked, in a superior tone.

I quickly stood up. This could be embarrassing. It could hurt my feelings and make me lose self-confidence. I saw he helped his female classmates in a friendly and courteous way. I felt that it was better not to be his sister. So at that moment, I spoke up.

“Listen, clever student! I admit my worst subject in school is mathematics. I don’t understand it as well as other subjects. Furthermore, it is hard for me to see the relevance of math in my life. But I think I could have been good in math if my brother had taken more time to explain it to me. But you . . . you . . . let me down!”

Then I took a deep breath and continued to be unconvinced. “Even if I don’t beat you, I know I have studied well if I have improved on my own.” I said this while I was slamming the door.

He was uncommunicative.

I remember that when my brother and I would get into a quarrel, my mom would always try to remain neutral. At the dinner table, as always, she instructed us in our relationship, and we became reconciled again.

One morning my brother and I were on our way to school. It was a warm spring day with the sun shining bright. But it was getting chilly by the time all students started for morning exercises outdoors. What a wonderful day, I thought. I walked back to the classroom where the school video was transmitting the good composition work of students. One of my brother’s essays was chosen. “Oh, no,” I whispered. The name of it was “My Special Sister.” The next four or five minutes were the longest I ever spent at that age. My face got hot as I bit my lip.

“My sister sometimes is lazy. She ignores when she makes things dirty and disorganized.”

I looked around when I heard that, slapping my pockets nervously.

“My sister has a round, red, cute face like an apple. When you see her happy face you just want to pinch her chubby cheeks.”

I was putting my hand over my eyes and saying, “Please, that’s enough” in a low voice.

When we both got home, I pretended not to see him. He slumped down beside me. “I didn’t mean it like that, Liang. Did you hear that I wrote more about your advantages than your shortcomings?”

“But you can’t let everyone know them in public,” I responded, and almost burst into tears.

“I couldn’t stop my teacher from picking this article!” he said, as if complaining of an injustice. Meanwhile, I leaned my head against him, and we tolerated each other until we went to sleep.

Childhood with him was a lot of fun. We were always together playing and exercising. Even though we fought and strived for favor with our parents, we both knew that “blood is thicker than water.” That means that “family ties are closer than social relations,” according to my mom.

As we grew up and got to be older, we still kept good memories of being little. Now we both have families of our own.

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To read more stories from Changing Every Day, click here.

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