… the impact of separation in an individual’s life…
In the car, on the way to the airport, I found myself remembering the day he left. I probably asked 100 questions to prepare for the moment when he would wave goodbye as he walked through those doors. Until that point, my whole life revolved around my older brother. We used to build model airplanes and play video games together. It feels like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. A lot can change in 3 years, I know that I have. I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d even recognize him if he’d even recognize me. Of course he would he’s my brother, right? With each passing minute, I felt the tension in my stomach grow in anticipation and anxiety. Why am I so nervous? Three years couldn’t change our relationship too much, could it? Then it was time. I tried in vain to suppress the wave of nausea that rose in me as I stepped into the airport. I trailed my parents through the terminals as they talked excitedly about Roger coming home. And then I saw him. His long hair had been cut short and his once pale smooth skin was tanned and calloused.
“Angie!” I heard him yell. As soon as I saw his familiar smile I was off. I sprinted across the airport and I was in his arms again. He didn’t smell like the Roger I used to know. “Look what I got,” he said excitedly handing me a brand new model airplane building set.
“Thanks,” I said, not wanting to tell him that I didn’t make model airplanes anymore. As we made our way to the car I caught him glancing at my new appearance. The car ride back home was awkward at best.
“So Angie, how’s your airplane collection going?” Roger asked to get the conversation going.
“Actually she goes by Angela now Roger she grew out of Angie years ago,” Mom said without looking back at us.
“Oh,” he whispered turning his face to the window. The rest of the car ride consisted of Mom and Dad asking him questions about what it was like as a pilot in the military. I stayed silent because I didn’t want to have to tell Roger that my name isn’t the only thing that has changed. When we got home he went straight to my room expecting to see the airplanes we’ve been building since we were younger displayed as they were when he left.
“This airplane is gonna look great in the collection isn’t it,” he said as he ran upstairs to my room.
“Roger wait I-” but it was too late he had already yanked the door open. I watched his face drop as he scanned my pink room.
“Oh,” he started “where are your airplanes?”
“They’re in the attic I- I don’t really do that stuff anymore,” I said “once you left I guess I … I kinda lost interest, I’m sorry.”
“No it’s ok Angi- Angela I’m just gonna go downstairs and see how suppers going,” he said leaving. I knew he was crying but he turned his head away at the very last second so I wouldn’t notice.
I felt my own tears roll down my face. Why wasn’t this working? It’s supposed to be how it was before. I stood there in my room scanning myself in the mirror. A lot had changed. My once short brown hair was now long and bleached blonde. My once boyish attire was now switched out for skirts and tight-fitting shirts. I used to be a mini Roger but once he left I kind of had time to figure myself out without him. I stood there looking at myself until I was called for dinner. As I made my way down the stairs I heard the hushed voices of my parents and brother in the kitchen.
“What happened?” I heard my brother ask “When did she change so much?”
To which my mother answered “She didn’t stop growing because you left; she actually became more of her own person without you. This is who she is now.” Dinner was filled with the sound of my mother talking and not much else. As I looked across the table I couldn’t help but notice my brother studying me. It was like he was trying to figure me out. Later that night while I was in my room I heard a knock at my door.
“Can I come in?” I heard Roger say through the door. As soon as I gave my permission he was in my room sitting on the edge of my bed like he used to when we were younger. “You’ve grown up so much without me,” he started “my little sister is not so little anymore. It was stupid of me to think that you would stay the same. I know that I’ve changed. I just remember how when I left you asked me so many questions. I was so worried about whether you were going to be ok without me. I know now I shouldn’t have been. You are your own person now. You don’t need me anymore.” He grabbed my hands as he said: “I want to get to know you again,”.
I hugged him tight as we shared a tear. Until he saw the picture of my boyfriend I had on my desk. “So who’s this boy,” he said teasingly as he picked up the picture “ and when do I get to meet him?”
With that everything seemed right again. We were two very different people than we were three years ago but I was confident we’d get to know each other again. I didn’t need him anymore but I was glad to have him back in my life.
6 thoughts on “I Want To Know You Again – Polished Personal”
Nice work! I absolutely love the model airplane thing — super cute! Developing a simple thing like that through a piece can really make your writing stand out! I loved the dialogue you developed through the piece cause the characterization of the siblings was really well done because you clearly established the tension between Angela’s thoughts and words.
To develop, I would recommend looking at your GUMPS especially with your dialogue and making sure that the tags are written out properly. I would also suggest trying to incorporate more subtle elements of characterization and setting. This could include discussing the connection between the person she was with Roger and the person she is now. For example, her wearing stuff that her brother gave her before but the separation from him physically meant she needed to separate mentally too which is when she started choosing her own wardrobe. The principle of “show not tell” would allow you to develop her mental growth more stylistically. Just some thoughts from me.
Overall, you should be proud of the work you put in this semester! You were an extremely valuable part of our classroom and I am forever grateful for you!
Thank you so much for commenting! I’m glad you loved the model airplanes and I’ll be sure to include elements like it in my future pieces.
I am currently working on developing my GUMPS and I will definitely keep an eye out in future pieces to ensure that my tags are written correctly. I absolutely love your idea about the clothes. This piece takes a little bit of inspiration from my own life and my relationship with my older brother. The clothes idea is definitely applicable to that as I used to wear a lot of his hand me downs until I created my own identity. I love all of your suggestions and I’ll be sure to show and not tell in more of my pieces
This is such a wonderful piece of writing. Angie and Robert’s connection was so adorable- I agree with Nimrat that the model airplane collection was such a perfect idea to thread in. I know you have such a strong relationship with your own older brother and I could feel your love for him throughout this story. Weaving fact through fiction brings to life the tales of all, and in this case it most certainly fulfilled that purpose. One suggestion I do have is that I would have loved to have a little more background behind the model airplanes: why were they so important? Maybe having a quick flashback would offer ample explanation. I just thought it was a lovely image of the growth of their relationship and the transformation that happens over time, but it just needed a little ore clarity behind it. As always, I love your storytelling and your heart. I am excited to continue working with you love!!
My love Lexi,
Thank you so much for your amazing comment. I’m glad you could see the parallels I drew between Angie and my own life. The idea of the model airplanes was originally not as big of a symbol until I polished this essay and I completely see what you mean about going deeper into their relationship and what it means with the airplanes. I’m glad you enjoyed my piece and I look forward to working with you more.
Dear beautiful Abby,
This is an adorable and heartfelt piece that has made my heart fill with love. I am absolutely in love with the brother sister dynamic that you have created as it allows for an insight within the mindset of this young girl. Throughout this piece, the dialogue you have created aids in the character development within the siblings and helps to develop the tension within the situation. As both Lexi and Nimrat have commented, the model airplanes are a beautiful thread that you have intertwined throughout your writing. One thing I would love to see within this piece is a bit more background and information about Angela’s separation from her brother. Maybe even add in the day that her brother left? You are always such an inspiration for me Abby! I can’t wait to read more from you!
Lots of love,
Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. I can definitely see what you mean about going more into depth when it comes to the actual separation. It is an interesting idea to put the date in it and I could see how I could weave it into the piece. I will definitely consider this for my next pieces. thank you again for enjoying my piece and I’m excited to get to learn with you for another 3 semesters of highschool.