Our favorite thing to do was play toy shop. We would own a big toy store in the middle of Hollywood and sell our toys to all the biggest celebrities. We both loved nick at night so Lucille Ball was a frequent customer. We would play for hours, listing off celebrities, and how we would meet them all. One day, we said, we would move to California. We'd work in the movies and live together forever. We would pick out appliances for our future home when our parents took us to home depot and talk about the posh life we would live. When Steve was in a mood, Aaron would protect me. He pointed out that Steve had treated him better or take the blame when I had really been the guilty one. I am not sure I would have survived all those years if it wasn't for my two brothers.
He was never my step brother, just my brother. I loved him so much. People often mistook Aaron for my biological brother because we looked so much alike and were so inseparable. He was older, and smarter so he taught me about the world. He read huge books so I loved books too. He was a straight A student so I worked my hardest to keep my grades up. There came as time when Aaron got too old to play with his baby sister as much. He got too tired of watching his Dad's abuse so he stayed with his mom and visited on the weekends. We would take the ferry over to the mall or walk to the children's museum when he came to visit. His mom moved one state over, about a 5 hour drive, but he made that drive nearly every weekend. He had a car then so we could get away. In my time with him, I felt like nothing could ever go wrong. It almost made having his dad in my life worth it.
Finally, the day came, the day of my Independence. January 1st 1998, I will never forget that date. Steve had gone too far. Mom kicked him out, he packed up his stuff in the middle of the night and I would never have to deal with his abuse again. After nearly 10 years, the majority of my life, I was finally free. I thought briefly of my other brother who was by then an adult. He would still come to visit, I was sure of that. So I dismissed the idea that the divorce would make a difference in our relationship. Yet winter turned into spring with no sight of him. He was a senior, I told myself. He lived far away. He was busy. Visiting was harder. I was sure when he had more time he would come see us. I had faith in my brother. Our bond could not be broken.
The last time I saw him, he knocked on the door of my best friend's house. My mom had told him I'd be there. Someone had knocked on the door and we'd gone to answer. It was a bright summer day, and he seemed to glow just like the sun behind him. He came inside and showed me his new tattoo on his foot. He told me how bad it hurt. He told me of his plans to attend Duke university. How he would study architecture. He told me he would come see me whenever he could but that he had to go now. He didn't have much time. He was there no more than 5 minutes then turned on his heels and walked out of my life forever. I have tried over the years to talk to him, but he seems to have no interest in a girl who's Mom was once married to his Dad. We exchanged Emails once for a bit and then one day he just never replied. We were facebook friends briefly and then he deleted me, blocked me too. I don't know what I did. I can only imagine I was a reminder of his estranged father. It seems I meant a lot less to him than I thought. Every now and then when I watch I love Lucy, or work on a play, I think back to my second brother. I wonder if things remind him of me or what he is up to these days. Last I heard he was living in California, working on movies.