We’re in the toy section at Winn’s next to the Diary Queen on Alameda Ave. Jorge is 13 and I’d just turned 5.
I look at my options. Rainbow Bright is cool, but Lurky is just so cool. He’s brown and furry and would probably make an awesome pillow. After some thought, I decide on Lurky.
I watch him shell out the $17 for it and feel somewhat embarrassed that he would spend so much money on me, but at the same time so special.
* * *
Before walking to the other side of campus, my 7th grade brother walks me to the area where the first graders wait until the bell rings. As customary, he leans down to give me a kiss on the check.
Some of his 7th grade peers see this and start making cracks at him, “Oh, how cute, you kiss your little girlfriend on the check.”
My brother looks at them and goes about his business. I realize, again, that I have the best brother in the world.
* * *
We’re both attending EPCC, and it’s the first day of classes.
We’d gone to register together and ended up taking a few classes around the same time which enabled us to carpool.
Jorge’s class ended early. He was lucky enough to get one of those profs that hands over the syllabus on the first day and calls it a day.
My prof is a high school teacher, so he thinks he has to walk us through everything. I’m sitting in class listening to him drone on about expectations and procedures when I see my brother walking by. As he walks past the door, he looks in and continues to look in, turning his head as far as he can. A few seconds later, he’s walking past again, holding his binder in the opposite hand, doing that crazy head turning thing again. It’s then that I start to giggle and work hard to stifle it. A few seconds later, he’s walking past again, binder in the opposite hand.
My prof catches on and walks over to close the door. Through the sliver of window, I can see my brother walking past over and over. I try really hard not to look anymore because I am about to loose it.
* * *
A humid Sunday evening in Houston, Texas, we pull up to the Southwest terminal. I’d been trying not to think about this moment. I was so glad our driver had gotten lost on our way to the airport because it bought me a little more time.
When I get out of the car and turn to look at him, I lose it.
This is it. This is the moment that officially marks my departure from El Paso.
He hugs me and tells me it will all be okay. I will come visit for Halloween, and once again, we will terrorize the neighborhood with our creations. Even though he may have wanted to, he doesn’t cry. I am grateful it was him who helped me make the move.