One day the father decided to take the two boys swimming on a warm summer day. As they swam and played, grey clouds started to swiftly drift across the sky. As they formed, the two boys felt cold. At the same time, the boys got into a big argument, after a while they were shouting at each other, trying their best to hurt each other’s feelings, the older brother usually better at it.
“Come to me,” said the father, two warm towels prepared and ready for his two sons all along.
The bigger boy jumped out and grabbed the towel right out of his father’s hand and toweled off, smugly looking at his younger brother.
“Come to me,” said the father, his arms opening the towel wide for the other brother still standing waist deep in the water, the air causing his skin to prickle in the chill, but the younger brother couldn’t even look at the father, his feelings still hurt very badly from the older brother.
“No way! Not him! He doesn’t deserve to come over here!” said the bigger brother. He leveled his eyes with the younger, “Do you hear me, you don’t deserve it. Stay there where you belong,” his words full of malice.
“And I don’t like you, either!”
The older brother had been telling him that for years and years, to the point where the younger brother maybe started to believe him. Maybe his older brother was right, maybe he was unlovable. The younger brother started to feel alone and small.
The father longed for the little one to come to him, quickly. He turned to the older brother, now dry and digging into the plentiful basket the father had brought for his sons. “Son,” he said to the older brother, “do you truly love me?”
“Yep!” he said absently, not looking at him, focused on what he was going to get.
“Then feed my children. Help your brother,” the father said, pointing at the younger brother.
But the bigger brother wasn’t actually listening. “Yep, I do! You sure know I do, I mean look at how much!” he said as he ate a chicken sandwich for all to see, proud of himself. “Now do you see?” he said, grin on his lips as he flopped on his back, ready to relax.
Again, the father said, “Son, do you truly love me?”
“Obviously,” the bigger brother said, annoyed that he was asking him again. As he started to doze off, he didn’t even care to look at the little brother, hoping he would just go away.
The storm got heavier, and large waves started to roll, pulling the little brother in further. The older brother didn’t realize that the spot he chose to nap was the exact spot the little brother needed in order to get to the father, blocking him.
“Tell your brother that I love him, and tell him that I want him to come to me,” the father pursued.
“That he’s no good? That he’s bad? That he’s not worth anyone’s time?” the older brother said sarcastically, even sounding mad.
The father asked the older brother a third time, “Do you love me?”
“YEEEEESSS!” he said, rolling his eyes as he tried to splash water in the younger brother’s face. He crumpled up the sandwich wrapper, and used it to hurt the younger brother. It worked.
“Feed my children.”
“Nah,” he responded. “I’m too hungry.”
Beautiful and dead on. Thank you.