Wednesday, July 21, 2010


His eyes are like walnuts, tiny strands of hair poking up like green weeds in a beautiful garden. He laughs like there is no tomorrow, but only today is getting lovelier by the minute.


It's sweet like sour gummy worms and Capri-Sun juice pouches, just like how Mom use to pack our plastic Igloo lunchboxes in grade school. Mine is the red and blue one and his is the green and purple one. We push the button on the side and it opens like a gold-filled treasure chest. I always wondered why we had such large lunchboxes when we barely ate anything. String cheese, a half of a sandwich and a small bag of Cheetos. That was all we ever needed.

There's a medium-sized birthday cake lying safely on the dining room table with "Happy Birthday Derek + Kyle" written in cursive on it with blue frosting. There are no lit candles fixed on top, we can't blow them out anyway. Besides, the fire alarm will go off because the sensor was so close to the dining room. Our older brother, Kevin's elbows are pressed hard on the table cover impatiently waiting to divulge in the vanilla cake, while Papa holds me over the pile of paper plates sitting down in a chair closest to the kitchen door. Mom holds Kyle tightly, standing tall like a seasoned mango tree. She laughs because he giggles, forming a pleasant sound that resembles an antique piano. 88 keys of gracious kindness. Papa hears this and smiles as wide as the setting sunset. Thank God for the baby bibs because it's going to get extra messy. Who was the grubby twin I always pondered. Equal? Him? Me? Two. It doesn't matter.

This is our day of wonder, a day of tranquil love filled with instant connection between one heart to the other. The sun blooms through the window blinds and hits his euphoric face. He squints, but that doesn't seem to bother him because he's safe in Mom's arms. Tree branches, soft and warm; your ear rests
slightly on her left breast, feeling the rhythm of her heartbeat. It's a song of worship.

You ready for cake, Derek?, Papa questions. Scattered words pop out from my mouth like a broken cassette tape in a Walkman. I point at the baked rectangle and let out a scream. The room is filled with laughter coming from every direction like a solar system.

Grandpa sits tirelessly on the couch next to Grandma. His red flannel shirt pokes out of his khaki pants just a little showing a hint of his brown leather belt. Papa hands me over in his warm arms as he grasps tightly like a bear and a cub in a forest. He kisses me on the right cheek, his short stubs of facial hair grazing my face like sandpaper. He smiles and then goes for my left cheek. He chuckles just a bit in my ear, making them twitch with a small throb. I catch a whiff of his aftershave, cologne, and hair gel all mixed together as one constant. It's a weird bouquet, but pleasant at the same time. I touch his gold wedding ring on his left hand, and then run my fingers through his palm. They're rough, but surprisingly smooth like the outer skin of an apple. He grabs my hand, and ultimately grabs my soul. I hold onto his chest, clutching his shoulders as he pulls me closer to his face. He kisses me yet again. And I don't mind. They're infinite lips.

Kyle is still resting in my Mom's arms. This time his cheeks are filled with vanilla frosting, a pinch of light blue is left on his lower lip. Papa wipes the utter mess away in the same movement as if he were to wipe my desolate tears falling from my face like waterfalls. But this time, these tears are filled with devotion.

"Want another slice, boys?", Papa asks.


All for one and one for all
My brother and my friend
What fun we have
The time we share
Brothers 'til the end. - Author Unknown

by derekwong