I can vividly recall my first date but not for the reasons one would usually suppose. Actually, in my opinion this ‘momentous’ event hardly meant anything to me at the time and this was reflected in the triviality with which I treated the occasion. My focus at age thirteen wasn’t primarily at chasing girls though it should have been. My focus was on impressing my older brother and getting his attention. I admired him in so many ways. He isn’t the kind of brother many other boys my age would dote over.
He was a ‘study-aholic’ and dedicated himself primarily to his school work and the work he did after school. He hardly had time for anyone else, and that included me. I longed so much for those days when he would mess around with me or punch me or beat me and deny it to my parents when I complained. We had both grown up from those days and somehow I feel as I grew older I began to lose my older brother.
My first date was, in actuality, to be a movie and dinner with an extraordinarily intelligent and mildly beautiful young girl with whom I went to school. This date, however, also represented a chance for me to spend some needed time with my brother, even if it was to be only a few hours. I feigned annoyance when my parents insisted he had to accompany. Being the kind of son that he is he, of course, did not complain. He was all too willing to do as my parents requested and I was all to happy that he didn’t have better things to do that evening than spend some time chaperoning his younger brother.
I hadn’t spent more than an hour with my brother since he started on his new part-time job with the same company my dad worked. He also did odd jobs around the neighborhood. I hadn’t heard the full conversation but I caught on that he and my parents had discussed his college education and they had stressed how difficult it would be to finance his studies immediately after he completes high school. He, however, was insistent that he needs to get into pre-med right away and thus took on the challenge to earn as much as he could to allay the cost burden on my parents. I’ve always admired his diligence and this in addition to the fact that he was MY big brother and no one else’s, set him apart from all other older brothers.
Francis left early that morning to go to work. My dad always joked that he would soon take over his position because he was always so eager and on the ball. I had wanted his opinion on what to wear but it was too late when I got up and I felt a bit disappointed.
Nevertheless this didn’t throw me off at all because I knew that at five o’clock he would be home with enough time to change and get dressed and then we would be on our way to meet the two sisters a short walking distance from our own home. That walk, with my brother, at six-thirty that evening, on that cloudless Saturday evening, was the highlight of my evening and is the memory I most treasure in my reflections of that evening. While we were walking towards the house he ruffled my hair with his fingers, the way he usually did and almost threw me off the sidewalk with a slap on my back. We romped, just like in the old days, for the full fifteen minutes it took us to arrive at their front door and at that time I found the brother I hadn’t seen in a long while.
We didn’t have a particularly spectacular time with the girls. It was just like a normal date I guess. Susan was alright and so was her sister. They both seemed quite enthused to be out of the dreariness of their home for a change. We chatted about any and everything. Of course some times I brought up some silly ideas and my brother would hunch me in the side with his elbows, or rub my forehead till it burned.
It was in those moments that my mind would flash back to our younger days, when he, in his mischief, would do just the same. It felt like magic finally having my brother back and knowing that I was not in danger of losing him to the rest of the world. My first date, the date with my brother with whom I now share a peculiarly close friendship was indeed, a marvelous experience.
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