The First Time I Ever Saw a Boy Cry

Thursday, November 07

By Jasmine Perez

There was no moment more raw than the black night that brought my brother’s tears to me in the puddle that flowed beneath my door. It was the first time someone had opened up to me just as I opened the door to the sound of his sobs crashing upon it as the waves collided into my chest and seeped into my heart. His mouth spewed out begs to take away the pain that he endured and packed away through the years. On that night, it was as if, described by him, his mind had dug into the pile of agony and gripped a handful of it. There, it lay on his bedroom floor; scattered and messy. None of it was to ever make sense; not to me, not to him, or anyone else. 

          I couldn’t help him, and yet, he thanked me multiple times that night. My brother thanked me for the constant support I provided. We spoke enough that night to last a lifetime. Our minds allowed us to revisit the simpler times and we bathed in the innocence of the past. The times where all that mattered was the amount of times we had to take out the trash in a week or the times that we used to worry about our outfit for the first day of school. He used to ask me for help when tying his shoes and now, he’s asking me to heal all the cuts and burns that life had caused. In the days following that night, I could see bits and pieces of him dissipating. It began with his tears, the ones that evaporated into the darkness and led to the absence of his laughter. My younger brother no longer soaked his smile in the sun rays outside. I could see how that night had changed not only him, but me, in some way. 

          The nights after greeted me with nightmares of my brother and his fears. He experienced fears of change and inconceivable measures; measures generated by his paranoia and anxiety. It had been passed down from our mother and her mother before that. The anxiety hung more heavily on his head due to lurking monsters of his childhood, or rather the lack of one. We were children deserving of much more than what our mother could ever give us and I realized, oddly enough, I wasn’t alone which made it more frightening than reassuring. I would never want anyone, let alone my own brother, experience the darkness that I was introduced to years ago; the anger. My brother had nowhere to channel it whereas I channeled it through my writing and chose to ignore it, entirely. I have holes so deep within me that hide the anger I was given, although like bats it does flutter into the light at times. My brother doesn’t know how to discover those spaces to hide his anger, instead he lashes it at those he loves trying to somehow get rid of it never realizing it leaves scars on us. That night, I showed him the scars and he traced his finger over them feeling the welt that had once been there and he apologized with tears in his eyes. 

          I will never forget the first time I saw a boy cry, and having that boy be my brother is something that has impacted me forever. That night, we both sat there in the dark waiting for the moment in which both our minds would be at peace. The moment never landed upon us. Instead, it skipped over our heads and laughed in our faces. My brother didn’t mind the lack of peace because he had found comfort in my presence as I in his.

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