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Brandon: 7 Years Old.
I couldn't ask for a better life. Being only seven years old and having anything I could ever want is something that mean kids would die for. Yet, no matter what my parents got me it didn't matter. I just liked spending time with them and I think they never understood how much that meant to me.
My parents were both in politics. My father was running for mayor while my mother was the state Senator of Michigan. They never told me why they got into politics, when I would ask they just told me that they wanted to change the world. They wanted to make the world a better place for me and for all the future kids and the current people living in this world.
My parents always had big plans for me and my little brother, Nicholas. They told me, ever since I could remember that I could do anything my heart wanted, I could be anything. I never really knew what I wanted to do and my parents said that was okay. I'd find my calling eventually and whatever it was they would support me in any possible way they could. They were the perfect parents.
Me and my little brother were close, more so than an older brother and little brother usually are. I was thrilled when my mother told me he would soon be arriving, thought it seemed to take forever before he was actually here. I was five when Nicholas was born. I couldn't have been happier. I was now his protector, his friend and his big brother. That meant a whole lot to me. I planned to do my best to keep him safe.
Even when he was a little baby, I had plans. We'd go to the park and I'd teach him how to play. I would sometimes look into his crib and just watch him. He would move his tiny hands and make little noises that sometimes irritated me, but I would quickly get over it looking at his smiling face. It felt great to have someone who was going to always be with me, to always play with me and to be there when I needed him. I was going to be the same for him.
My father always told me, I took after my mother, not just in looks but in personality. I was the caring and compassionate type. I'd do anything for anyone with no questions asked. I took care of Nicholas, if mother was too busy, but my father would always be there seeing as I was just a little kid. Sometimes though, I felt as if she didn't love me as much as Nicholas. When she would come home, she never really spent time with me, it was always just with Nicholas. I never wanted to believe it, but sometimes there were incidences where I couldn't deny it.
When Nicholas had first started to learn how to walk, he'd bump into just about anything. The walls, the tables, the chairs, anything that could be walked into he did. I always thought it was cute, he'd just stumble backwards a little, look at me, and smile. He'd never cry. I think he knew I'd always be there to protect him and help him if he ever got hurt. One day father had left the front door open. He was carrying in food he had bought and forgot to shut the door. I was sitting on the couch watching TV. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Nicholas heading toward the door.
I didn't even think about it. I jumped up off the couch and ran over to him. When I got there, he was just about to fall off the first step of the front porch. I grabbed him by the back of his shirt, tightened my arms around him and let my back slam against the concrete. I never felt the pain at first, it was after my father had run out to us and my mother had just gotten home. She went off on a fit, yelling at me and my father for not paying attention and almost hurting Nicholas. He didn't have a scratch him but a large portion of my back was instantly black from the fall.
Mother had never asked me if I was okay. She grabbed Nicholas, stormed off inside and slammed the door behind her leaving me and father outside. After mother had gone back inside, I let the tears go. I cried. Harder than I had ever cried before really. That was the first real incident where I thought she loved Nicholas more.
Father said it was because he was a baby, and it would change once Nicholas got older. Father was wrong. Even as we both grew older and Nicholas turned two, he was still the object of my mother's complete affection. Some days I actually thought I didn't even exist in her eyes.
Sometimes late at night, I would hear mother and father fight downstairs. My room was on the second floor of our house, and I could barely hear the TV when it played, but when they would fight their yells echoed loud enough to wake the other side of the earth.
"Don't even lie Ann! You do not show Brandon the same amount of affection as you show Nicholas!" my father's voice boomed. I held tightly onto my stuffed bear and closed my eyes tightly. Their fights were always about me. How mother never showed me the same amount of love as she did Nicholas, my mother would always deny it but my father knew.
"Nicholas is a baby! He needs me more William!" mother shouted back. I heard my door creak open. I sat up to see Nicholas standing in my door way, his eyes filled with tears and his blanket gripped tightly in his hand. I helped him onto my bed and he clung to my side. He always cried when they fought...
"Brandon needs you too! Why do you favor Nicholas?" father's voice seemed to deepen as they continued. Nicholas curled up at my side, I pulled the blanket over us, and did my best to not to show my own fear.
"I do not favor Nicholas," mother replied. Nicholas's hands wrapped around my arm tightly.
"It's okay Nick," I said softly. Nicolas wiped his tears away on the blanket, sniffled and nodded his head as he cuddled under the blanket. I let out a soft sigh and did my best to get some sleep as the fight raged on downstairs. There were times I never thought the fights would end. I'd wake up in the middle of the night at almost two in the morning and they would still be fighting.
The next morning, I woke up to pure silence, not even the sound of birds outside seemed to reach my ears. It scared me. I always worried that one day father would just leave. He would leave me and Nicholas alone and we'd just have mother. I never wanted that to happen and it was my worst fear.
I walked downstairs leaving Nicholas asleep in my room. I looked around the living room. The walls were always filled with pictures of the family. There were pictures of me and father, Nicholas and father, Nicholas and mother but never me and mother. The TV was on a sport chanel and I guessed father must have fallen asleep on the couch.
As I turned the corner, I could see father lying on the couch. His feet were propped up on the end of the couch and his head was buried into a pillow as the blanket hung loosely on his chest, almost falling to the floor. I walked over to the couch, seeing his chest slowly move up and down. I reached out and pressed my hand against his side, pushing gently.
"Daddy?" I said softly. My father jerked awake and looked at me. His eyes were filled with sadness and I could tell he barely had gotten any sleep. He sat up and opened his arms. I climbed onto his lap as he wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug.
"I know you heard sport, but it's going to be okay," he said. His voice was the soft and sweet voice I knew and not the angry voice I had heard the night before. I nudged him gently as I held onto him, not wanting to let go. I had always wanted to be like my father. He was strong, he was kind, he was always there for me.
"I'm sorry daddy," I whispered. I knew the fights were my fault. Father only wanted mother to explain why she loved Nicholas more. I never meant for them to fight, it doesn't really bother me. Father loves me and that's enough love for me. I felt his hands grab tightly onto my shoulders as he gave me a gentle shake and looked into my eyes.
"Brandon, you listen to me. This was not and never will be your fault. Ever. Do you understand me?" he asked firmly. I noticed the tears flooding his eyes. I had never once seen my father cry, and now he was on the edge of breaking down. The rock that I thought was my father was now breaking and it crushed me.
"I understand daddy," I got out weakly. He gave me a sad smile and hugged me tightly once more. The hug was so tight that I thought he was afraid to let me go. I had never seen my father like this. I made a promise to myself that day. I wouldn't worry about mother anymore. I would focus on father and on Nicholas and doing my best to protect them.