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HIM: Priyadarshini Basker

February 8, 2016

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As I sat uncomfortably, with knots in my stomach on the seat of my plush car, in my 100,000 dollar wedding gown, I directed the driver to take me to the airport as soon as possible. The driver pressed the accelerator and sped away. On the way to the airport I began to see the selfish person I was. I prayed that I did not throw away the one person who showed me love and affection, which I did not deserve.

I remember the day he had turned up on my doorstep, completely unannounced. It was a Friday. I did not give him my attention completely as I was busy closing a business deal with a company. Ignored, he did not mind me, and went ahead and made himself comfortable in my flat. The following night he had arranged all my designer cushions like a pillow fort and had ordered pizza and told me to bunk my vegan diet because according to him I looked “thinner than a coriander stick”. That night we tucked in and had a movie marathon. I never realized when I dozed off, but the next day morning I found myself between the sheets of my bed and him sleeping on the bean bag in the room. I supposed he carried me inside and tucked me in, just like the old times. That weekend was the best time I had in years. I thought I had forgotten to laugh, but when I was with him, I was all smiles. I did not bother to inform him about me getting engaged or the job promotion. I realized this person, who had sacrificed his own education for me, was cut off from my sophisticated life. A tear trickled down my cheek as I thought about my insensitive nature.

As the days passed by, the smallest of matters, like him dropping tomato ketchup on my vintage Persian rug, changing the contents of sugar bottle to salt, keeping the house dirty after I came back from work or changing the place of my toothpaste tube with his shaving cream, got on my nerves. It struck me now that after the fun weekend I never gave him my attention or talked to him about things. Little did I realize that he too would feel lonely by having dinner all by himself and would like to talk to someone about father’s death. I never was really there for him, however silently he was there for me all the time, just like how a mother is always there for her crying child.

He was not my brother by birth; he became a part of my life only after father married again. He took care of me when my so-called peers tried to bully me or if I fell and got hurt. If I were to start crying he would say, “Now you don’t want a red nose do you?”

My mind ran back to the time he told me he was dropping out of college. He firmly told me that I had to go to school, get good marks and go to a good college as he stayed at home to take care of my father who had recently then been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. And so I did. He also worked overtime, so that he could pay for my tuition at Brown University. I graduated with majors in Business Studies and a minor in Micro Economics. Over the time my phone calls with him became less emotional, a duty and my job an utmost priority. When the news of my father’s death reached me, I cried only fifteen minutes, in the bathroom for a wheel-bound stranger and then went to my office to finish reading a contract.

Yes, fifteen minutes was all it took to mourn over my father’s death. I did not go down for the funeral, nor did I follow up on how my brother was doing.

It was during my wedding rehearsal that he took things to heart and fled. Before the dinner started he wanted to make a toast and so in his nervous excitement he took the champagne bottle from the ice bucket opened the bottle with such a force that the cork hit my fiance’s chest and the juice fell all over my Gucci dress and his suit. Embarrassed in my circle of my friends, I shouted at him and ticked him off. The entire night I could not sleep, so I went to his room to apologize to him. How could I be so mean to a person who had taken care of me? I knocked at his door twice, but there was no answer. Understanding that he might be angry I left without saying anything. It was only in the morning when one of my bridesmaid’s told me that my brother was not in his room and he had just left a note, which said-

“Dear Mia,

I’m sorry if I have been a trouble for you over this week. I wish you and Robert a happy married life!

Your brother forever,

Ian.”

 I rushed through the security personnel in my high heels and ran towards the waiting area frantically searching for my brother. The security was hot on my heels, and that was when I found him sitting there all by himself with a Rubix’s Cube in hand, trying to solve it. I ran towards him.

“Ian, I’ve been so rude to you, please just forgive me!” I said as few heads turned in my direction.

“What are you doing Mia? Shouldn’t you be at the wedding?” he remarked, getting up alarmed.

Two security guards caught hold of my elbows and started dragging me away. I begged them to wait.

“I realized no one was there to give me away Ian, I’m really sorry for my behavior towards you. Please don’t go.” Tears were spilling out, by then we were out of the waiting area. He requested the security guard to let me go.

The familiar white handkerchief was in his hand wiping the tears from my eyes and said “You don’t have to be sorry for anything. It’s your wedding day, don’t cry. You should be smiling today.”

“So, does that mean you will walk me down the aisle and give me away?” I asked him, not able to believe the goodness in his heart.

“Yes”, he said softly. I hugged him, and started sobbing furiously.

“Ssh, there, don’t cry. We have to get to the wedding now,” he said as he soothed me. With my head resting on his shoulder, we went out, escorted by the security personnel.

When we reached the venue, Robert was sitting on a stool, waiting patiently and having understood my situation, he did not say anything but signed me to get myself cleaned up in the powder room as he went to assist Ian with his suit.

As I walked down the aisle, with my brother at my side, I had a sense of being whole. When he gave me away, he said, “Take care of her Robert. Love her more than I do.” I hugged him tightly and as tears were coming out from the corner of my eyes, he turned his face towards me and said, “You don’t want to have a red nose on your wedding do you?” I laughed simply as Robert smiled towards Ian politely and the priest began the ceremony.

Copyright © 2016 Priyadarshini Basker

Image courtesy: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/700060

 

6 Comments
  1. Heartafire permalink

    That’s is pure unadulterated love, you are blessed with this brother.

  2. A sweet tale.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Written greatly. One of the finest on this site. Keep up the good work. Waiting to read more.

  4. The simple word that comes to mind – BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Anjana permalink

    You’re a very talented writer Priya! Loved how this went about.

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