Well I guess I can begin at the time my brother died. He drank a glass of milk. A few minutes in the bathroom and a trip to the hospital later and soon he'd die. On the way, he had fainted in the car with my aunt.
He told me he said to ask my aunt to turn around that he was fine. The feeling was the greatest thing he'd ever felt. In the afternoon they resuscitated him. Like in the movies. My whole family was distraught and learned the importance of deadly food allergies.
After that his life perspective changed forever. He wanted to do everything. This of course wasn't the first time my brother has come close to dying since then he almost fell of a chairlift, slipped off into rapids carrying a drunk cousin, drowned in a pool trying to reach the bottom. And about four or five other food allergy scares.
As we grew up, I handed him a book. One which I wasn't sure whether was destined, unfortunate or just plain stupid of me. My brother had a strong stubborn side to him. He won't listen to you if he doesn't believe it. He needs proof. Like from someone he trusts or through experience.
This is because his heart had been broken many a time by girls. He bravely approached them and got shot down too many times to count. And one time when the family was fooling him, he lost trust with us.
A typical thing for Filipino families to do is to tease you if you show any sign of weakness. Whether that be your weight, intelligence, or in the case of my brother his lack of a girlfriend.
We had a made him think that a girl had a crush on him. He wholeheartedly believed it because he was also a very naive person and saw good first in people. So now he held his heart guarded and followed a the lessons learned in this one book.
The book I gave him was "Legend" by David Gemmell. Probably the best example of heroism I've seen written. But of course that is just our own personal opinion. In the book there is a code:
“Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the persuit of evil.” -- Druss the Deathwalker
The book is about an aged warrior and a poet as well as other warriors. My brother followed this code through and through. And in the books it stated that those who would, would most likely find themselves dead in no time.
My brother always played Druss the aged old warrior fearing old age. He lived for the moment and always looked to do the right thing no matter what. I was his counter part or would like to believe. The saga poet who told the tale of his adventures. Flourished of course.
The books were full of understanding morality and mortality. The importance of life and following one's heart. My brother and I can talk for hours about scenarios of morality, perception and belief. And we'd learn more about what we think is good and evil. For him there is no grey.
The greatest dream my brother had was to give his life to save someone. But we live in Canada and in a quiet suburb. The opportunity never presented itself. In the end, Chub became the guy who would do tough things and uncomfortable situations. But being the butt of all the jokes, he was always suited to be in that role.
He worked in the Pit at Shanker wrapping all the skids. He was there for the lonely friends, and those who needed an ear and a heart. In school he was friends to all popular and not. He was close to so many people because it was just the way he was. A funny, positive and easygoing person.
And when I lost my mind to bipolar mania and schizophrenia. I couldn't have asked for a better brother. Where he was always the strong warrior, I played the poet despite not being really as good at poetry as my brother. I always had two minds about things and when I had suffered the most. After spontaneously flying across the country to Toronto ending up in a mental ward. My brother took 3 planes and faced his greatest fear to get me back home.
Days after he admitted he was mourning the loss of the brother he once had. But despite it all he continued to understand what I was going through. He abandoned the steel wall in his mind and let me in. The days that followed allowed him to get my mother and father to understand my situation.
My brother suffering from fits of uncontrollable anger because at the same time he was going through a split with his wife. He had found her cheating on him. He even drove her once to the house where the guy was, without knowing. This from a young man who gave his all to his marriage. One would even say too much.
My brother had been head over heels in love with her. He had arranged everything to get her here from the Philippines to Canada. Did all the forms and preparations himself. He went home a few times to get to know her better and they eventually got married. I wasn't there due to suffering from mental illness, but they came back as a happy couple a few months later. I only wished that I'd been more supportive. He'd give her the world if he could. He worked two jobs and tried to be the perfect husband.
But now we are both in better places as brothers. He helped me recover my mind. Talked with me and allowed me to see through my hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. He went through hell to help me out. He told me he'd do it for me again if he had to.
My brother would swim through the sea, walk the mountains and run through the forests just to do the right thing. He'd endure physical and emotional pain. Just to ease your own.
I might not be a hero as I thought I was, but I've lived with one for years.
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Wow, very moving for a first story. Strong words from a strong writer; looking forward to reading your other stories! I liked them all after reading this one, but I'll go back and comment as I have time. See, I had a friend named Zion when I was younger and I haven't talked to him in a while, so when I was reading over your profile I thought of my friend and decided to check out your stories.
Thank you for commenting on my stories. Really appreciate any feedback. I'm still junior writer trying to learn proper grammar and prose. It's funny I haven't met another Zion yet. The only one I know of are Lauren Hill's son and the NBA star. I'm loving your spotify. Love finding new music to listen to. Another author I followed here said she usually uses music while writing for inspiration. Do you do the same, Rhondalise?
I do! It's the playlist I put on here than I listen to mostly but I have some other one's as well. Did you follow my account on Spotify? And yeah, my buddy Zion used to live in South America with me but then his family moved a few years before my family moved to the US. And I'm also a junior writer. :) I'm sixteen this October.
This is wonderful. Oh, and I absolutely love the fact that even though you've joined recently I.e in July, you've written eight submissions already. Wow! Keep up the good work. Do check out my stories if you've time;)
Thanks so much, and yes I'll be reading your submissions too. Love experiencing people's styles. I think that is why I've been able to write as much as I have. Usually without outside influence, I'm a very slow writer. Here, I'm excited to see next weeks prompts, what other writers are up to etc...
Nice story Zay. A good tribute to a good guy. Your brother's name suits him, Bayani, which in Filipino means Hero. Thank you for sharing your pice.
Wow!! This touched my heart. It was straight-up a beautiful piece. I enjoyed reading about him and his brother. It made me smile and your last line was very effective.