Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Kuya

My Kuya is almost two years older than me, appearance wise, some say that I look older. Why not? After passing the CPA Board, I have been working myself to death in order to provide for all my family’s needs. Who wouldn’t aged dramatically with that? Having taken the responsibility to support my entire family financially, I have sidelined whatever it is to make myself glamorous while my Kuya enjoys his singleness and fondness for vanity. Thanks at least to my contagious smile that often conceal my hardships, the veins don’t show up obviously in my forehead.

My Kuya and I have nothing much in common. We could hardly pass for as real life brothers. He is way more blessed physically and as what they call it in Tagalog, guapo daw. Growing up together at a not so distant age gap, he was always the bida, always the escort, always receiving the compliments of how pretty he was. As for me, they only noticed my presence every after end of school year, during Recognition Program where I would always be awarded the First Honor.

During our childhood, I could not recall having any good times with him. It is only now I realized how sad it was. The person whom I was supposed to have played many street games during our younger years had never had the chance to do so. He had played with other kids though, and the only moments he had bonded with me was when we had a fight over something.

Entered high school, he went to a public school while I enrolled in a private school by scholarship. He had been a victim of frat scam. He never really went to school, his daily allowance was being taken by those people and he just loitered the whole day in one part of the campus until the day’s over. His grading card was obviously falsified and from that we had learned what’s happening to him. He stopped from schooling after that. He gained trauma with school and said he didn’t want to go back anymore. Nonetheless, ha had never told my parents what really happened and my parents, just the same, had never bothered to ask the school’s authorities about it.

So I alone carried the hope for my family till he decided to go back to school. I was entering college then and he enrolled his first year in night high school. The he took an acceleration test and the following year he was on a regular fourth year. He was also smart I must say because he was able to finish high school in two years. I have never done that! With the help of one of our Auntie, he enrolled in college and incidentally took the same course as mine and in the same school. Initially I was completely turned off by his decision. Well, not his decision to go to college but to take the same degree and the same school as mine. I was not threatened, it was only that I was uncomfortable to be compared with him.

So it was another heartbreaking chapter in my life. I was the number one and most celebrated accounting student at that time, his classmates knew I was his brother but I have never told anyone I have a brother studying in the same department. All the times that he approached me to help him with his assignments, I have coldly declined. While I was teaching everyone how to get a good grade in accounting, I could not even do that to my own brother. I was still too fed up with my disgust over his decision to take up Accountancy when he could have taken a handful of other courses. I was selfish.

I finished my degree at the top of my class. What an accomplishment, but not as far as my brother was concerned. He persevered without my help and my assistance. He was trying to prove that he took the same course not because he could asked help from me but because, just the same, he wanted a degree so that he too, could be of help to our family. That was something I wasn’t able to realize soonest. I was overpowered by my personal feelings. I never realized that he was studying all the while he was working as a cook in a relative’s business, and that where he’s getting his tuition fees and everything.

Just as I thought he would be as tough as me, he stopped his college as he wasn’t getting any help from my Aunt and me. He also stopped cooking for my Aunt business and later he landed a cashiering job in a local bookstore. I knew it was quite uncomfortable for someone as good looking and smart like him to do the job but he did pursue it. From it he was able to buy his personal needs, never mind all other household expenditures which of course fell into my hands. I am not really familiar with all the other things he does in life but he is one charming, sometimes funny, sometimes narcissistic, sometimes sweet guy, well at least for some of my brothers and sisters. Sooner he quit his job.

When I was in the Philippines and every time I was in the house, we never had taken time to speak or talk casually, as with rest of my family. It was never them, it’s me. I was all too absorbed of being the bread winner that I thought there isn’t anything anymore to talk about. Kuya now has a Smart loading station but I am not pretty sure if it’s enough to afford his personal wants and needs.

My brother and I have never shared any thing in common, much less moments together. We were always ignoring each other for no reasons. He has become indifferent to me and vice versa. I must admit that though I had been more lucky enough to finish school and landed a better job, sometimes I felt it so unfair that I have to carry all the burden. I should be inspired to work harder but seeing him doing his stuff like a care-free teenager, sometimes I felt so stretched and tight at the same time.

He’s turning 32 and still hasn’t married. Oh well, what good a marriage would become if you ain’t got anything to make it work financially. Before I went back to Dubai after my vacation, he was applying for some call center job. He asked me to send him money so that he could go to Manila to attend to some job interview. I hope something has materialized since then. That’s going to be a perfect gift for him.

Every time I will send money back home, I send thru him. During one of our chat in the internet, he mentioned his intention to go here and if I could help him get a job here in Dubai. Said I would try. I owe this guy so much. Never mention my clothes that he usually wear, the many times that I have taken him for granted when I should be on his side make me feel so guilty. He has never showed any insecurity though he knew I was more lucky and able. He had been a brother to me all along, but I am not sure if I had been a brother to him for all his worth.

I seldom call him Kuya because I seldom talk to him, neither he. I know he was just waiting for me to open up. Nonetheless I am proud of having a brother like him. Now that I am here in Dubai, he’s like the family man taking care of my parents and our other siblings. For his birthday, I just wish him happiness, contentment and fulfillment of whatever his heart desires.


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