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To the little boy in striped pajamas and red glasses...

To the little boy in the room across the hall:

I prayed you into existence back when I was only seven so from the day you were born, I latched onto you with a grip so strong because I was certain I could offer you protection. That promise snowballed into an obsession with keeping you from any pain and for a while, you really were safe. But God has a sense of humor and the universe snatched away our older brother and now it dares me to continue offering words of consolation.

But when I look at you, I laugh at my delusion of believing I needed to save you, when every day you do the same for me. You wear him so effortlessly – the glint of his humor resting in your eyes and the heavy echo of his voice in your sighs. The way you greet everyone walking down a crowded hall, and the way your anger dilutes into soft cries. You carry his nuances in your front pocket, sprinkling them around like stale bread as we morph into desperate hungry birds, lunging at whatever parts of him you leave behind. You wear him so effortlessly, but instead of making him your wardrobe, you carry him like an accessory because while you adore him with all your heart, you have promised to live your own life.

A life crowded with people who hover around you, soaking in the magic you radiate in all its different hues. Magic birthed from wisdom you’re too young to befriend, and yet you carry her too without too many regrets. Wisdom that knocked on your door too many times before you were even allowed to cross the road alone, and yet you let her seep in and make you her home. Overnight the little boy in striped pajamas and red glasses grew into the keeper of my confessions; my partner in rebellion against this world and all its toxic conventions. For you have seen too much too soon and not even I have the words to paint a prettier picture over all this gloom, but perhaps I don’t have to because you’re more intertwined with him than you can ever imagine. 

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