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THANK GOD FOR JUNE: It is said that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. This year has been amazing. I’m thankful for big stuff, small stuff, standard stuff, personal stuff. I don’t know if I’ll post them all. I’m just going to go with it. I hope you read something that feels good.

I am thankful for my brother.

My brother Alexander ripped my Jennifer Capriati poster because I tripped over his Nintendo game. He lost my favorite beanie in middle school without telling me. He does this thing where he gets two inches from my face until I wake up. He broke a very expensive blow dryer during a lame attempt at the Harlem Shake, and hit me with an aluminum bat in the face once. 

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But the first time I drank and my parents found evidence, my brother took the fall for me. Because without question–my little brother gave me the big room when we moved in to our apartment. Because when I broke out into tears and couldn’t get through the show, he grabbed my hand and said, “Screw it, let’s go get some burgers.”

Because before jumping off the boat or crossing a street, Alex would always look for my hand. Because even when I was mean about it, he’d grab it again.

Because I was older, so I taught him the rules, but Alex–Alex taught me how fun it could be to break them. “This is how you do it…”

Because somehow, “Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tonella. Tooooonellita,” made me more patient. Because I kind of love it now.

Because there’s something hilarious about how annoying he is. Because, “If you become a famous writer, Anto, I will find you…”

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Because as insolent as he can be, my brother makes me feel at home where ever we go. Because he actually knows what I’m like when I’m pissed, when I’m hungry, when I’m sleepy, and when I’m sick—and apparently, he likes me anyway. How do I know this? Because,”Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella. Antonella.”

Because I know what he’s like when he’s selfish, scared, and irritated–and I still think he’s a nice guy. I still think I got the best deal. Because… I grew up with this kid that was just full of life and full of—something super funny that I don’t think any of us have quite figured out yet…

Because I’d wait for him to open his Christmas presents too quickly and torture him a little by taking my time. Because when he was really sleepy he’d post a “Do Not Disturb” sign on his room door.

[Text message received]: Anto, ask my Dad if we can go out

Because my brother is funnier than yours. Because my brother probably dresses better than yours, but the truth is I taught him that. Because the harder life gets, the more he blossoms.

Because,”That’s what he turd me.” Because you don’t make fun of your parent’s quirks with other people, but it’s the first thing you talk about when you’re alone. Because long drives in Texas.

Because whatever he needs to go through always ends up making both of us better people, and vice versa. Because living rooms tents, Blockbuster negotiations, punto quemado, and bike pegs.

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Because growing up, I only had one partner in crime, and Sinatra said it best, “When it’s right, you only need one.” Because this funny little kid turned into a real gentleman. May all sisters be so lucky. To my favorite kid ever, thank you. Then and now.

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About Antonella Saravia

Antonella is a New York based writer from Nicaragua.

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