Karl (louderback) wrote in louderprose,
Karl
louderback
louderprose

Sixteen

When you were young and I was sixteen our days were filled. We spent them lavishly and our love for one another could withstand any test. You worshiped me, hung on my words, demanded my presence, my opinion on all things, my participation in every little game you played. I was glad of it.

The difference in our ages gave me all the advantage. I was the "experienced" one. I used you. You wanted to please me. I abused you, you were a little afraid of me. You did what I wanted, when I wanted it. You wanted to.

You hung with me through High School, though I ditched you often enough. You thought I was ashamed to introduce you to my friends. I just thought it was uncool. Right up to my Senior year you thought I was the coolest guy that ever lived. Some distance was growing between us. You didn't really step back, but we both knew what was going to happen.

I went to college. I left you behind. We phoned a while, then let it slide. You followed me to college, but it was not the same. I had different friends, I had a new girl-friend and you didn't get introduced. When we met it was no longer glad smiles and a warm embrace, just a casual glance, a nod, a civil recognition of one another.

Out of school, living our lives, our paths cross. We speak briefly, strangers now. We don't call. We don't write. Contact is uncomfortable, not fun, not the joy it had been. The love faded, the camaraderie, the need for each other vanished.

We are just strangers now. Strangers who happen to share some history. You keep in touch with my parents as much as I do, but we seldom see them together. They tell me how you are and I guess they report on me to you. We have nothing in common any more.

What happened, baby brother? Where did we lose it?

In response to the prompt: “Sixteen”
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