#284 Forever Eleven

by Jocelyn Charette

“How old are you?” He asks curiously.

“Thirteen.” She answers.

“Do you have any siblings?”

“Yes, two.” She replies.

“How old are they?”

“Eleven and sixteen. I’m the youngest.” She responds self-assuredly.

His eyebrows furrow at her statement. “If you have an eleven year old sibling then you can’t be the youngest at thirteen.”

She sighs. “Just because I have more life experiences than my eleven year old brother, doesn’t mean I can’t be the youngest.”

“Huh?” He scratches his head. “Oh, I think I get it. Is he a step or half sibling that doesn’t live with you?”

“Nope, he’s my biological brother.” She answers.

He frowns. “Tell me how that makes sense.”

“Ok.” She responds, “Do you have any friends that you haven’t seen since, say, the first grade?”

His lips purse as his head tilts to the right. “Yes, my best friend when I was five moved away.”

At this she remarks, “So your memory of your best friend is when you both were five?”

“Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything? How are you the youngest?”

She replies, “At the age of ten, my eleven year old brother drowned in a boating accident. So in my mind’s eye, he’s forever eleven—just as your friend is forever five.”


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