Someday | Teen Ink


October 7, 2016
By jl637 DIAMOND, Livingston, New Jersey
jl637 DIAMOND, Livingston, New Jersey
72 articles 0 photos 16 comments

 The summertide breeze whispers an estival tune across the gentle sea of my little brother Aidan’s eyes. Sticky-heat grass kisses our skin like the watermelon popsicles melting between the galaxies of our fingers, painted the hue of a horizon’s sundown-inferno. His hair, the majesty of ebony midnights, ripples in the fading dusk. He reminds me of myself when I was five, blowing laughter across a canvas of ivory-golden clouds.

  “Jackson, will I grow up to be as tall as you?” Aidan’s hazel-toned irises twinkle like the glittering multitude of stars I remember so vividly as a child. Mama and I’d sit under the sky with the mystical aroma of twilight blossoming on our tongues, and we’d watch the cosmos descend like lovers from heaven into the waning light.

  “Of course. At the rate you’re growing, you’ll be taller than dad someday,” I laugh. Aidan’s popsicle-stained lips twitch upward into a smile brigher than the sun, mirroring the intangible bond between us. “When I was your age, I thought I’d grow as tall as the magic height of the sky.”

  “Will you?” he asks.

  The word no starts to form on my tongue, but instead I say, “Maybe someday you will.” Behind us, the sunset unfolds into an ocean of colors, reflecting the white of magnolia petals and violet of honeyed lavender our mom nurtures in the backyard. As a toddler, I would cultivate marigold seeds with her at the zenith of autumn’s harvest, when the air was ripe with the souls of nature’s beings. We’d watch as their tiny, hard seeds flowered into brilliantly colored petals, tall and glowing with bursts of scarlet.

  He grins that crooked smile of his, a set of pearl-white teeth sparkling against the break of nightfall. Gloom settles upon us, but inside, we are beaming light. “I’d like that.”
  When I was five, and darkness swathed my skin on summer nights, my father and I’d wade into the backyard, moonlight blazing across the shadows of our faces. Fireflies drifted aglow upon the foliage, their wings burning with more radiance than the pulsing stars that claimed the sky. Dad and I’d run barefoot across sharp edges of milkweed with open glass jars in our hands, drunken on the hunt for the elusive treasure we sought. The first time I caught a firefly in my jar, my dad and I sat on the back porch and gazed in wonder as it shone like a newborn flame and inhaled stardust into its carpals. My father’s eyes beamed, a reminder of days faded in the past.

  “Jackson, what do you want to be?” My little brother Aidan nudges his finger into my ribcage, rousing me from my trance. Fireflies begin to emerge from the astral skyline, twirling in halos of orange sunrise.
  “I’m not sure. Maybe an astronaut, or a doctor.” I don’t tell him that maybe I’m not smart enough to become either, or how even though college is driving around the corner into my neighborhood, I’m still not sure who I want to be or who I even am.

  “You’d be the best anything in the world,” Aidan rests a skinny arm upon my shoulder. We sit there for awhile as the late sun disappears behind a sable line of horizon, and it seems only he and I exist on this vast and terrifying planet.

  “Hey,” I say. “Wait here.” I walk into the house and return to the backyard a minute later, Aidan’s silhouette gleaming in the luminous smolder of fireflies.

  “What are you holding?” he asks.
  “Just watch.” I open the jar and begin to chase after the ever-changing flames. Soon, the sky is swollen with the laughter of two brothers united against the rest of the universe, Aidan’s smile lighting up the end-of-summer darkness. He’s smiling, and I’m smiling, and I start to realize that I never truly grew up.

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