My birthday is on September 18th but I always celebrate it on the 19th, because 19th is his. I was born on 18th but 19 is my favorite number. The reason is the same, 19 reminds me about him.
It wasn’t until ten years ago I know anything about him. I wish I know him since I was born—since we were born. I can’t tell my exact feeling towards him. Sometimes it’s so complicated, that I can lock myself in my bedroom and cry for him. Sometimes it’s just so simple that I can say I simply love him so much—too much.
He is a brother I never have in this world. He’s my brother for nine months that I can’t even remember. Sometimes I imagine the night I was born. September 18th 11:57 P.M. He finally pushed me all the way through my mother’s—our mother’s hip. It was narrow and cramped and tight, I wouldn’t make it if he weren’t there behind me. Cheering me up and shoved me forward. Until I made it. Until my lungs breathed the air for the first time. Until he heard me cry. It was his turn.
I waited. The nurse wrapped me in a warm blanket. I was safe, but my brother was still fighting. I already widened the passage, but it seems that it wasn’t expanded enough. He was struggling to pass through. Our mother was exhausted. There was nobody helping him. I waited. And waited. It was like forever. Until it was 00.16 A.M. September the 19th. He managed to get out. But it was silent. There was no crying. There was no cheering from the doctor and nurses. It was dead silent. He was blue.
I wish it were me who came out the last. I wish it were me who pushed him first. I hope it were me who left behind. But he did it for me. He is a brother who give me a chance to live. A brother who give me a chance to hug our mother and father. A brother who let me go to school and enjoy the prom. A brother who let me fall in love with a boy in my senior year. A brother who let me blow those candles year by year. I wonder if he envies me. I wonder if up there in heaven, he want to live a life like me too—playing basket balls, hanging out with friends, having a girlfriend, joining a band. Did he ever regret his decision to trade his life over me?
My mother told me I was with him for a week at the NICU. We were lying side by side, but I can’t remember any of it. I can’t remember the touch of our skin. I can’t remember having a brother in my life. How does it feel? How does it feel to have someone who stands for you when you were bullied at school? How does it feel to have someone who pats you during your sleepless nights? How does it feel to have someone to share your stories and secrets? How does it feel to have someone who teases you about your first love? How does it feel to have a partner in crime for everything? How does it feel to have a brother to grow up with?
To live. Or not to live. We didn’t really have those choices. I miss you, though I never understand how I can miss someone I don’t remember. Maybe it’s because we are connected in unusual way. Maybe it’s because our bond is extraordinary. Maybe because you are the half of me.