That's when I realized that I couldn't have been an only child, not when there were people out there in the world who could be your sibling, and be totally unrelated to you. You can have whole families and not have a single person in it be related to you.
So anyway, when I went to university, I met this boy. He was my blockmate, he was tall, skinny, and really, really good at laughing so hard that everyone else in the room couldn't help but laugh. I kind of had a crush on him for a whole term, but it's cool, Luke had a crush on Leia, and they're siblings and all. They even made out a bit, but ew, don't worry, girl who took my brother away, I have never had the chance and the very idea makes me kind of want to scrub the back of my throat out with something for cleaning drains.
Anyway, this boy was really a sad case. The first time I pointed him out to my mother when we were driving near school, he was picking his nose in the street! I have never let him live that down. You probably shouldn't either. You probably shouldn't let him pick his nose, or spit in the streets, or I don't know, say that the movie version of a book is better than the actual book.
Anyway, I was a really sad case too. The first time he met me, I was full of bravado and was pretty much an asshole. I thought I was Hermione Granger, Han Solo, and Edmund Pevensie all rolled into one. I was in love with a girl who didn't love me back, and I wrote terrible poetry, poetry that would make you realize that no matter what any English teacher says: not everyone is meant to write poetry.
During my terrible incest phase I a) admitted to him that I liked him in the middle of Botany lab to the shock and disgust of almost everyone involved, b) stole his favorite red cap from his first girlfriend and washed it so much it turned pink and stopped being a cap, and c) realized that I was full-on Dollangangering my own fucking brother.
Anyway, yeah, girl who took my brother away, it was terrible. Teenagers shouldn't be allowed to make their own life choices.
After the terrible incest phase I a) learned that one day he used his super soaker's reservoir as a water bottle for when he biked from Lipa into the countryside, b) that Lipa is not where the buko juice comes from, and c) he has about five million uncles, all with their own superpowers.
I stood by him through two break-ups (WITH THE SAME GIRL oh my god, has he told you that story, there is a bit where he runs out into a fucking field in Bataan with no slippers and only his trunks and sang horrible drunken videoke all night), ate a ridiculous amount of Cheetos, watched depressing animé, went to even more depressing animé conventions, traded books, learned that lemmings jumping off a cliff is an URBAN LEGEND, jesus christ, and two Harry Potter book releases.
He stood by me through all the weepy angst that comes with being a teenage girl, my suicide run of a thesis, that girl I mentioned earlier, all these hilarious in-fighting shit that happened with my other barkada (all girls, good lord), meeting my father for the first time, meeting my grandmother on my father's side for the first time, and about thirty sprained ankles.
He's been at birthdays 18-26, believed me when I said that malapit lang yung lalakarin namin, laughed when I butchered innocent Filipino sentences, and ate my fucking cooking and survived.
He hugged my mother and kissed her on the cheek whenever they saw each other for nearly ten years.
We graduated, he went to medicine, I went to grad school, he graduated from medicine, oh god I am still in grad school.
I know it's silly, but I had this whole future planned out (ask him about my tendency to spin whole fantasies out of a misplaced word) about how he was going to meet a nice girl (this could have been you) and he was going to be a doctor, and they were going to have kids, and I would be this horrible influence on the kids since he was going to be away so much with all the duties and rounds and whatever it is that doctors do instead of being able to sleep and keep still, and I would bring them great books to read and be an awesome godmother that bought them the toys their parents wouldn't. I was going to be great friends with his wife, and I would help her bully him into exercising (hypocritically of course) and help him buy her presents, and viciously take her side during arguments if her side needed to be taken.
I was going to watch the new Star Wars movies with him, and hate them, and love them, and throw popcorn at the screen with him.
He was going to mock every girlfriend or boyfriend I chose, tell me they were unblooded young wo/men who didn't know their swords from their asses.
I had so many books and films I wanted to share with him. I was going to tell him about this guy I liked. I was going to ask whether he nearly pissed his pants when he took the boards.
I can't believe that you made him choose between us. It hurts me a lot that he chose you.
I don't understand why you never wanted to meet me, even though you were my brother's girlfriend, I don't understand why you didn't want him seeing me.
I'd like to think that the reason why all of this happened is that you thought that I wasn't a good influence on him, that I gave him things that distracted him from medicine? you? That you thought that there was a time for sisters, and that time was over.
I'm sorry that I think of you as the girl who took my brother away, when I should be thinking of you as the girl that my brother chose. It's been two weeks, and I'm still kind of angry. It's been two weeks, and I haven't heard anything from my brother, hell, my mother hasn't heard anything from my brother.
The thing is if you'd met me you would know that I only ever wanted what was good for him, what was bright, wonderful, and possibly only available in fictional universes. He could still get that of course; he doesn't need me to be happy, but I've only recently realized that how much of my happiness is tied up in him.
This is sentimental hogwash. He'll tell you that himself.
I've got other brothers, of course, but he's the only one of him. Ugh.
P.S. If he eats shawarma rice, do not get into a car with dysfunctional windows with him. He will kill you all and laugh as he chokes on his own methane.
P.P.S. He's great, and I'm sure you know that.