They had an almost sibling like rapport. They both had siblings as children, and they hadn’t met until they were both adults, but somehow they both fell into that gentle back and forth, both taking roles they never had before.
She was twenty four when they first met. She was the oldest child of five siblings, and often referred to as a mother figure. He was thirty one, and the youngest child of two, and the youngest of his grandparents’ grandchildren on all sides, in so many ways the absolute baby of his family. Somehow, within a couple weeks of their meeting, he became her big brother, a relationship the two of them took to with incredible gusto. She annoyed him, and yet mimicked him. He embarrassed her, and yet protected her. They weren’t above fighting like children, but when united they were quite an opposing front. They were most certainly not people that you wanted to go toe to toe against. They would beat you, every single time, without fail, no matter what.
They were this amazing team, even when they didn’t see each other regularly anymore, for the next twenty years. That was until, at forty four years old, she died. He had just turned fifty one when he received the call. An aneurism that no one thought to look for, a headache she casually mentioned, and two hours later, she was gone.
Both her parents were still alive, as well as all four of her younger siblings. She had a husband and two beautiful daughters of her own. But when it came to her funeral, to think of who knew her best, who should speak about her, who really embraced so much of her, no one hesitated. They all knew, instantly, and without a doubt, that the person who knew her best was her brother who wasn’t actually a brother. And although he knew it would probably break his heart, he agreed to speak. After all, it’s what she would have wanted, and it was all about honor and respect, for her.