Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Brother's Keeper

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a former love who had resurfaced in my life in a rather unexpected way. Months later, I wrote about how he had to exit stage right out of my life because of a woman reaching out to me. Throughout all of this, I've kept in touch with his family still. The former flame lives far away and his family is still here in New York. I don't think they know what happened between us because like me, he's an extremely private person. They've still asked me from time to time why we didn't make from way back in high school. My response is always 'Ask your brother."

Out of all of my former flame's relatives, his younger brother keeps in touch the most. He'll call or mostly text, just to see how I'm doing or to ask my opinion on something. I always looked at him as a kid in a little brother kind of way (well, if I grew up with my own younger siblings, I might have already known what that feels like but I digress). I remember tutoring him when he was a kid and how he always wanted to tag along when he brother and I would hang out. So when he reaches out now, I still respond in a sisterly type of way. Our conversations are normally short and superficial. "Hello" "How are you?" "How's so and so?" Do you remember when blah blah blah?" That is until he recently asked me out. Like on a date.

That evening's text conversation, started off with the usual pleasantries. Then he asked "can I ask you a question?" to which I responded "uhhhhhhhh sure." When someone utters those 8 words, all I can think is "Ohhhhhhh shit! What truth/half-truth/spin-doctored answer am I going to have to come up with?" I hate the question because until the actual question the person wants answered is asked, you spend those precious seconds racking your brain trying to figure it out before they ask.

"Why aren't you married?"

Now, if there is ever a question I hate it is that one right there. There are many reasons why I'm single: loved the wrong men, wasn't ready, haven't been inspired, unsure on marriage ideals as a whole for me, wasn't a priority......the list goes on and on. But what I hate about that question is that the implication implies there's something wrong with me. Or at least that's what I infer from the question. Whenever, I get this question I like to respond with a little bit of humor. So I responded with:

"I don't know. Ask your brother. LOL (just jokes)"

Quite frankly, I wasn't about to get all introspective via text with someone I only have superficial conversations with. I expected his reply to be an "LOL" with a topic change. Oh boy was I wrong. This boy went INNNNNNNNN:

"U SERIOUS? That's the past. How long has it been? My brother is dumb. I could of been wit u. I like you alot. I could be ur husband. We should go out."

"Uhhhh say what now??? Dude, are YOU serious??"

First of all, I dated his brother. So what, it was back in high school. His brother wasn't just one of those random I like you, you like me dudes in my life. I LOVVVVVVVVED his brother. For many many years, up until this recent incident with his woman reaching out to me, his brother was the guy I compared every guy to. He was the guy I would wonder how my life would be different if we'd stayed together (realistically, who stays with their high school sweetheart but I digress). Even though I can't stand that he lept off my pedestal and became a common asshole like some of the others, there is still a teeeny tiny minuscule part of me that still loves him and I probably always will. Actually, that's not quite right. I care for him. I wouldn't use the word love to express my feelings for him. Not anymore. Wow....that just hit me. Anyway, entertaining the idea of dating his baby brother felt........gross.

Second of all.....wait.....I don't need a damn second point. That's it. Even though we're not together, my former boyfriend's family has always been a weird extension of family to me. Kind of like the family you see at family reunions. You know you're connected some way, some how. But you don't keep up with the minutiae of their lives, nor do you care to. You keep it pleasant and most of all, you keep it moving.

So how do I respond to the baby brother? I don't want to hurt his feelings but I wanted him to know that what he was proposing was NAYYYYVER going to happen unless we start ice fishing in hell and even then his chances are slimmer than Anthony Weiner getting a Fruit of the Loom endorsement deal.

I responded that he and I could never be, partly because of his brother but mostly because I've always looked at him as a younger brother. The younger brother that I used to tutor after school and walk to McDonald's when no one else in the house wanted to. I told him that I was flattered that he thought so highly of me but that he'd be better off finding someone his own age (did I fail to mention that baby brother is 7 years younger than I?) and who didn't have history with anyone in his family. I hit send and held my breath, silently freaking out.

"I don't know but ok. I'll leave it alone. Im done....my brother is still dumb though. "

I didn't respond. There was nothing left for me to say.
I didn't hear from him for a while until recently. He sent a text:

Heyyyyy. What's good with you, sis?

Even if he didn't mean it, I felt like all was right in the world.


rashad said...

He's in direction violation of the brother code for even putting you in that situation. You don't even indirectly holler at women who your brother or your close boys once were interested in even a little bit..these are the rules, and there's little to no flexibilty. This ain't no Snoop Dogg song..

£ said...


*cues "you're still a young man" by tower of power*

you're gorgeous and a catch. can't blame dude for trying. :) But you're right, the code is that you NEVER mess with the sibling of a former boo. Wayy too awkward. Especially since this dude was *THAT* one. (and we all have THAT one, even if we don't talk about it. lol) neither time nor circumstance voids this fact. You are forever off limits to him, and vice versa. Them's the rules.

(Is he fine doe? We may be able to bend the rules a bit... lol)

And i SOOO agree with you on the marriage question. It's like a backhanded compliment. From one angle it's saying "you have all the qualities to make an awesome marriage mate..." followed by a big BUT "... but you're still single so something must be wrong with you." At least, that's the implication.

I say, unless youre making me an offer i can't refuse, don't ask.