“Flip it, Margaret, come on!” came his annoying voice.
“But I’m trying to… It just doesn’t come entirely over the spatula,” I replied slyly.
My brother and I had spent the entire evening in the kitchen. He was teaching
me how to cook an omelette. I had added all the right ingredients in their appropriate amounts, poured the batter on the non-stick pan, heating at the lowest flame.
Before this, we had successfully baked biscuits with flour all over our faces, and an occasional rude word. It was a bonding experience, my brother and I cooking side by side in the cold winter, exchanging fewer than ten spoken words, but sharing our souls at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as close to my brother as I did that day in the kitchen.
He was leaving for university the next week. Maybe that’s why I felt this urgent need to spend all of the time that I can, with him, even if all we did was fight or argue. He was moving on to the real world, while I was left behind, still living out my dream-filled existence.
“Ben, it’s ready!” I called out as I garnished the omelette on the glass plate.
He came and stood beside me admiring the egg dish. Chewing the first bite, he remarked, “Mmm. Tastes good,” I smiled. “But this could do with some improvement” he teased as I punched his shoulder.
I’m not sure what hit me then but I hugged him ever so tightly and murmured with watery eyes, “Are things going to be the same when you come back? You’ve never left the house for a lot of days before. How are things going to be when you come home?”
Taken back by my sudden breakdown, he said softly,” Nothing ever stays the same.”
Winds rushed past us, giving a chill to my backbone. Blunt words like that spilling from his mouth put me in an upset mood. I wasn’t quite expecting that answer. Everything was so cold.
The house was silent for a minute. But just the next second, he cried out way too loud, hugged me back, and let out some tears without hesitation.
“That was a joke! Ha, caught you! Margaret, I will always pester, bother and annoy you. We will learn new dishes together, and I’ll snatch all your snacks, and we’d watch the newest sherlock episodes…”
“Promise you won’t forget about me?”
“I can’t forget pigs you see,”
And we laughed.
The night we were at the airport seeing him off, I did not shed a tear.
Everybody was crying and worrying about his well being and health.
“Everything does change,” said dad with the smallest whisper.
And I assured him just the opposite as the airplanes flew past us above the sky.
“Its gonna be the same, always,” I said, more to myself, than my father.