Sitting on the balcony at 4 a.m., creepily waiting for my brother to get home + How did i get here?
It’s currently 3.53 a.m.and i’m sat outside on my balcony floor waiting for my little (17 year old) brother to come home. It smells like piss out here and i’m pretty sure there’s a rat somewhere around here observing me but i want to know who’s sending my brother home and i want to know if it really is who he says it is.
It’s not so much out of neurotic rage since he’s been missing since 11 a.m. which is the time that he said he’d be back, but more out of curiosity. I’m not as furious as i was 45 minutes ago when i myself came home to find out that he wasn’t back yet. A curtain of relief clouds my anger (and heart-pounding fear if i’m to be honest) and all imaginary scenarios all ending with him dead at the side of the road or passed out from being injected with heroin at some ratchet house party dispels as he finally replies me with half-arsed apologies while for some reason, tears start to leak from the corners of my eyes.
I remember being a handful– no, two handfuls–– when i was around that age, in fact, i think my phase started even younger, when i was fifteen and i don’t think it ended until i was eighteen. And while i believe his convenient excuses whenever he trudges home late like his phone running out of battery and miraculously coming back to life suddenly when he needs help with unlocking the door, or how it went unreachable for five hours because he set it on airplane mode to charge faster and then “accidentally” fell asleep at a friend’s place, i also believe that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
I’m only 22 and it wasn’t too long ago when i was pulling all the same excuses as well…and perhaps even more. I literally had every possible explanation under the sun ready to shield myself from the watchful eye of my father. And the schemes and tricks i would pull just so he wouldn’t catch me and my nasty then-boyfriend (who i wasn’t allowed to date in the first place) sending me home would have made freaking David Blaine proud. I would alternate the tricks to make sure he was none the wiser and i really believed that i had succeeded pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes. Sometimes i would tell the boy i was with to switch off the headlights and slow down to a snail’s pace the moment we turned the corner to my house so my father wouldn’t be expecting it. Sometimes i’d tell him to drop me off a few meters away from my place and then immediately take a turn to the corner directly before my house while i walked to my gate so my dad’s field of vision would be cut short. Some nights when the situation was really dire, we’d do both.
In fact, i distinctly remember during one night, my father was standing at the exact same spot as i was, waiting to catch me in a lie when yet again, i came home past my curfew while out on a “forbidden” date. And ironically, so so so much sooner than i had ever ever expected, here i am, switching sides as i lay in wait to find out if my brother has come close to being as notorious as i was. You know what they say about the sneakiest kids making the strictest parents and vice versa.
In the end, my dad never really caught me and my then-boyfriend sending me home, although he did find out about the relationship eventually which was pretty scandalous as it was, even without my dad’s objection in the first place. Looking back i’m not sure if i had really out-maneuvered him or if he had stopped himself short when he realized that he didn’t really want to know about his daughter’s carousing after all. I’m pretty sure he could have caught me red-handed if he had really set his mind to it.
But with my brother it’s different. Playing the part of the overbearing sister who’s seen it all is much more acceptable than a scary bloodshot eyed father (plus i’m about 100% sure he’d pick me over my dad spying on him any day any night). Now a car curves around the corner with the bass thumping and the headlights on, finally stopping directly in front of my gate; nothing to hide. I shut my laptop and stare the owner of the car down…it’s a guy who i’m guessing is Hakim, the person who my brother says is sending him home. I let the glare of my glasses do the talking and turn around and shut the sliding door, hoping that i’ve radiated my disappointment in my brother efficiently.
That’s all for tonight. Thank God. Tomorrow is a different story.