My older brother is a rare character. By the time he was eight, he was already immune to the belt, pinch, slaps, and shoes, pots swinging or swirling toward him.
My mom had secret agents from different background, tracking his whereabouts, on a daily basis. Therefore, whenever I saw the merchant of rice, beans, or even the milk lady who often said, “Now that boy of yours was with some dirty feet little boys, and they tried to drink all my milk.”
I was reassured, he couldn’t have been too far away. Perhaps, ten miles cap. So the ten P.M. whooping will be mild.
But, if the report came from the mango, banana, cow or goat merchants:
“Mmm! Saw your boy running the river, with some dirty feet boys, good for nothing!”
I knew he was in DEEP trouble. He must have traveled to the country side where my grandmother lived. I’m talking about over twenty miles away.
By the time he finally came home, after midnight, he would find my mom sitting on the patio with the belt.
Although I was about five, I was not able to sleep until he came home. Because, I always felt a sense of duty to plead on his behalf.
Whenever he was finally getting a whooping, I was always in tears, screaming my heart out: “Please, please, don’t hurt my brother!”
But wait until it’s my turn. Do you know what he was screaming, while he jumped for joy? “Don’t hit her where she can’t die Mamma. “Hit her right there, behind her head. In the back of her head, MA! ”
I recalled the night he showed up with a large bag of pennies. When my mother asked him.
“Where did you get this bag from?” He replied.
“From the cemetery!”
His tiny ear almost got chopped off by my mom’s nails. She was pulling it so hard while she said, “YOU GO BRING IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT!”
He answered back, “But, it’s too late Mamma, the zombies might be up by now!” (LOL I made that one up, he didn’t really say that)
Anyway, later on I heard my mother telling a neighbor the story. The woman in shock exclaimed, “Oh my God! An evildoer probably did a ritual against someone with hose pennies, and the boy went to touch them? For sure now, bad omen will follow him!”
I was playing with my doll on the patio. I couldn’t stop laughing. I felt like saying, “Yeah right! Like the devil would hurt his own son! BUT, since I had just got a whooping for smart mouth, I kept my mouth shut.
Now looking back, I think my brother was just being a boy. Well! An unusual one. I think even the priest felt the need to intercede on his behalf 24/7.
At one point, my brother thought it was funny to run off with the bag of communion bread, simply for a good laugh. I think God must have graced him, since he was an altar boy.
My intercession on his behalf started as early as I could utter my first word of prayer. The fact is, for the most part, he was a good brother. I don’t recalled him hitting me even once. He bugged the nerve out of me. Killed my dolls, ripped their clothes. And while I was eating, he also enjoyed running off with my meat, or the whole plate of food, although he didn’t even like to eat. I recalled times when he protected me as well. But the day he grabbed my little brother’s bottle from the crib, and drunk all his milk, not even my prayers were able to help him out.
Yes, this is the truth. In fact, to replace the milk, he attempted to feed my brother a bottle filled with water instead. But, my brother kept on crying. Then, while he tried to grab the large can of powdered milk from the cabinet, the whole can fell off his head. Imagine my mother’s face when she walks in, to find my older brother, leaking the milk from the floor, with the empty bottle lays on the floor next to him, while my baby bother is screaming his heart out of hunger.
As my brother got older, he developed a great sense of humor. I recalled the period when he thought he was, “The ladies’ man.” He had a birthday celebration every week. Beautiful girls while they brought him his birthday gifts, kissed him on his lips, would say, “Happy Birthday honey!”
Surprise, I would answer: “Who’s birthday?”
Then, he would give me, “The look,” like saying “You better shut your mouth!”
Before he answers, “Oh baby! What have I done to deserve you?”
I often felt like answering: “What has she done to deserve you?”
Yap! This is my first older brother number one. Has he changed much?
Well, I love him too much to tell you the truth! Besides, he’s a working progress. In church every Sunday.
One day when I asked him “Why he was such a faithful church attendant?”
He answered, “I can’t afford not to Sis. I must seek forgiveness now, for my pending sins. ”
There you have it! This is older brother number one.
On the other hands, my second older brother who now lives in Colorado, was the complete opposite from my elder one. He seriously had no sense of humor, although he was the kindest among my brothers. The only two things which mattered to him were me, and his food. My older brother was scared of him too, because he knew, he had no problem slapping him. Everyone knew not to bother him.
In fact, he was always so serious, I think his lips were glued with the Letter “U.”
I love my third brother who now lives in North Carolina. Although for a while we all wondered about his true nationality.
Working for the airline company, he traveled extensively. Therefore, whenever he stopped here in Florida, I often overheard his conversation with the ladies.
One morning, he might be from Jamaica. Don’t be surprise if by the same evening, he was from Trinidad instead, and spent his whole life in England. Lastly, although I lived in Florida, before he leaves, I might have relocated to France. During another visit, I may just find myself living in Africa!
So imagine whenever he says “Baby, I want you to say hi to my older sister!”
“Hello!” Wow! You live in Africa?”
“Yap! Wherever my brother wish me to be dear; since I never have to pay my relocation expense!” Is always my answer.
There you have it! The stories of three of my brothers.