We started off as best friends when we were kids, outcasted by our two older sisters who were part of an elite group that we could not join because you were a boy and I was the youngest. I spent hours watching you play video games, and I occasionally convinced you to play with me and my Barbies (although you'll probably never admit that).
Then, as you grew older, you came to the realization that it was no longer "cool" to hang out with your younger sister. You spent your adolescence isolated in your room, still playing video games with your friends but now blocking the entrance so I could not disturb you. The house felt lonely, especially after our older sisters entered college and fled the household.
We were siblings, but we barely ever talked, and if we did it would quickly turn into an argument. I always criticized you for being lazy when you were in high school, and you mocked me for trying too hard. We were both struggling, but on opposite sides of the spectrum: you didn't know what you really wanted to do, and I pushed myself too hard for my own good. Somehow, we eventually found ourselves crossing paths in the middle and began to rebuild our long gone friendship.
When you left for college and I was left by myself in the house, I realized I needed you more than I ever thought I did. The occasional trips to the grocery store to get ice cream together at eleven on a school night, driving together for a quick ride to escape our hectic household, laying on your bed crying after some irrelevant argument with my boyfriend or best friend. I missed my older brother. Our relationship wasn't great, but it was important to me.
It wasn't until I finally entered college that we truly became close friends again. We both knew our list of family issues stretched for miles, and when we returned to our household for winter break, we virtually spent the entire time together, helping each other get through the mess of the holidays. Even after we both left for college after the "vacation," we remained a close unit. No, we weren't talking every day, but that's never how our friendship functioned. The fact that we spoke on the phone at all was significant enough. Our mom was shocked when I told her that you initiated a conversation in the first place.
Now we have reunited again for the summer, and I finally feel like we are in a good place in our relationship. We're closer than most siblings I know, which is never a level I thought we would reach. We're honest with each other, we can be ourselves. You are comfortable enough to sing along to NSYNC in the car when it's Throwback Thursday on the radio station you force us to listen to, even though you (hopefully) know you're off-key the entire time.
After years of wanting us to be close again, I am so thankful that I finally have my older brother back. Our years of noogies and pulling each other's hair is over. Finally, it's our time to talk about life like adults. This summer has not been easy for either of us, but we have each other through it all.
And we can always still go on those midnight trips to the grocery store for ice cream for an additional source of comfort.