The last song I am going to sing will be for my brother

singing his final song for his brother Madingo Afework, Yared Afework. The basketball hoop our father had mounted to the garage was where my brother was practicing his free throws in the driveway. He attempted free throws every day until he made 100 of them, all of which went in. If the ball even just touched the rim, he didn’t count them. He already displayed this level of discipline at the age of thirteen. Being the younger, I took advantage of being closer to the hoop by deliberately positioning myself beside the surrounding fence. He threw the ball despite his frown. It skimmed the net as it smoothly descended through it after flying through the air in a high arc. He sprinted frantically for the basket as soon as the ball slipped between his fingers. It was too late, though. Before I snatched it from the air and ran halfway down our street, the ball hadn’t even touched the ground. I jogged down our road while grinning foolishly. I started running around the old empty home down the block, over the bluff behind it, and down to the cul-de-sac on a parallel route as the pursuit continued. A half hour later, when my brother was finally ready to employ his superior talents and agility, he would always fall upon me like a justified monster, causing my own tears. Oh, how sweet revenge is. I was a pain when I was younger. This is a reality that I am aware of. And my memory is not dim enough to obscure strong memories of earlier times when I would amuse myself by bothering my older brother as he naively went about his daily activities. My relationship with my brother hasn’t always been friendly because of this. Instead, it took an evolutionary path that gradually stifled our sibling rivalries, disagreements, and altercations.

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