My brother and I have a very complex relationship. As twins, we have been with each other for our entire lives. Think about that. Throughout my entire existence, there was never a time when my brother, Jacob, wasn’t somewhere close around the corner. At times, this can be a great blessing. Many days during my childhood, I would spend countless hours with my brother at our house doing a multitude of extremely enjoyable activities, such as playing video games or creating our own unique adventures. I was almost never alone as a youth, and if I was a single child instead of a twin my days would have been filled with much more alienation and loneliness. However, there have also been times in my life when being a twin can seem like the worst curse imaginable. We are both opinionated individuals with quick tempers, and due to this we would constantly get into altercations—some physical, some not.
As much as Jacob and I have our differences, one thing is for certain: we communicate with each other. Or at least, we did communicate with each other until we parted ways and went to different universities. When Jacob went to The Ohio State University and I Miami University, it was as if our line of communication had been permanently severed, and for a while I was unsure if it would ever be able to be glued back together.
When my twin and I first parted ways, we knew things would be different. I remember the atmosphere of solemnity that engulfed the dining room table on our last night as a whole family before Jacob and I headed off to college. “We’ll stay in touch, won’t we?” Jacob asked me as we listlessly played with the food on our plates.
“Of course we will!” I said. “It’ll be easy! We both have iPhones so we can text and FaceTime as much as we like.” I honestly could not say if I believed what I was telling my beloved brother at that moment. I suddenly looked down at my dinner and repressed an urge to say anything more.
“I hope you’re right,” Jacob responded.
I couldn’t have been more wrong, as it turns out. What transpired in the coming weeks was the product of a lack of interest and determination from both parties involved.
It happened very subtly at first. When I received a text message from Jacob, I would reply. Only I wouldn’t reply for at least a couple of hours at the earliest. For some indeterminable reason, whenever I received a text from my brother those first few weeks at Miami, it was as if this cruel, uncaring force rose up from within me and refused my fingers permission to send Jacob a message. He soon became evidently more agitated at the ever- increasing time it took for me to communicate with him, but I didn’t seem to give a damn. My indifference towards my brother was so palpable it could have been cut using the flimsiest of butter knives. After about 8 weeks, my brother gave up. The texts stopped coming and I entered a period where I had absolutely no communication with my brother whatsoever for weeks, something so foreign to me that it was hard to accept this fact as reality. The next time I saw my brother, it was Thanksgiving Break and we were both home in Cleveland, and unfortunately the situation couldn’t have been more dismal.
Averted gazes. Curt phrases. No conversations. This was what it was like in the Klein household during my and Jacob’s Thanksgiving Break. Jacob couldn’t bear to be in the same room with me for longer than ten minutes, and his disgust towards me only fueled my disinterest towards mending our cracked and jagged relationship. Whenever I did try to start some dialogue with Jacob, he would shoot me this ferocious glare that chilled me head to foot. I remember the goose bumps it gave me to this day. I could tell instantly by his facial expression that he was NOT in a forgiving mood, and that for me to even attempt to try and win his forgiveness would be a useless endeavor. Hence, the entirety of our break flowed in this passionless and unbrotherly fashion. Jacob and I were locked in a stalemate of childlike stubbornness, and neither one of us was willing to surrender.
It wasn’t until Winter Break, the next time Jacob and I were home together, that the situation finally started to remedy itself. Ever so slightly, Jacob’s presence became more apparent whenever I was at home. If I would be in the living room watching television, he would join me. If we were both in the kitchen eating dinner, he would take his time to finish his meal instead of rapidly scarfing it down so he could get away from me, as he’d been accustomed to doing recently. When Jacob and I had around 10 days left together at home, I knocked on his door, anxiously entered his bedroom, and started the conversation that we should have had many months prior.
“Jacob, listen to me. I know I have been an atrocious sibling to you since we went our separate ways. I lost communication with you, and I have no excuse for why I did. The only possible thing I can think of is that I was getting overwhelmed at Miami and wanted to devote all of my time and energy to my academics. I am very sorry and I hope you can forgive me”.
“Sure I can, Jordan. I understand that college is hard. I have to deal with it too. I just missed talking to you is all. It’s so strange not having you constantly in my life, and I think we both need to adjust to this. Let’s just make sure to be more communicative during Spring Semester!”
With that, we embraced, and all had been forgiven. Any misgivings Jacob had been fostering for me had been completely destroyed, and we could start anew. By the time Winter Break came to a bittersweet end, I had the fullest confidence that I would always be there for my brother… and he would always be there for me.
When reflecting back on this experience with Jacob, I realize just how vital it is to keep in close contact with the ones you love most. Even if you have millions of things you have to do and thousands of people you have to see, it is necessary for your relationship with your loved ones to communicate with them on a regular basis.
When I went to college, I stopped communicating with my twin, and for that I, in essence, lost him for a lengthy interim of time. It is one of the hardest things in the world when you’re sitting directly next to someone you love and can’t express how you feel because your bond with him or her has been shattered. I am so grateful I realized my mistake when I did, because in doing so
I was able to restore Jacob’s former adoration towards me, and today we are closer than ever before.
The prompt for this narrative was one that really intrigued me. I was unsure of a time when I communicated effectively, but I remembered instantly a time where I had a lack of communication with my brother. I chose to write about an experience I had with my twin brother because it was related to the topic at hand and it also taught me a valuable lesson in effective communication that I thought would be beneficial to share to others. I wrote this narrative with the intention of having a universal audience, meaning a person of any age, race, or background could read my story and comprehend its message. In regards to my title, “Losing a Loved One,” I decided on it because it reflects the seriousness of what happened between my twin and I. By reading this title, the reader may assume death is in my story. When they realize there is none, however, they will understand the importance of my lack of communication and have a better understanding of the lesson I am trying to express. During the revision process, the main components I focused on were breaking up my paragraphs in a way that made my narrative flow smoothly and ensuring the pace of the narrative was slow when it needed to be and fast when it became necessary. The most challenging aspect of writing this piece was creating a reflection that was meaningful and resonant to the people that read it. I wanted my reflection to be one that anyone can read and then apply the lesson I’ve learned to his or her life as well. I also tried with much effort to exude my personality as much as I could in my writing. I managed to do that by including figurative language and dry-witted humor that showcases who
I am as an individual. These are the strategies I used in my writing to fulfill this purpose. Furthermore, the dialogue of my story was something I strived to make sound realistic and engaging to the reader. I believe I was able to incorporate many techniques and modes of writing in an exemplary way, and I am very satisfied with my finished product. In writing this narrative, I learned that I have the ability to tell a story that is engaging, interesting, stylish, and insightful all at once, and I will continue to keep the lessons I’ve learned from my professor in the forefront of my mind when I am writing the upcoming inquiries of ENG 111.