I knew the long hours doctors worked. When my brother told me he wanted to become one, I knew I wouldn’t see him much. I didn’t expect to not see him for two years. He decided to work overseas, and I stayed with our mum. She needed care. She would never admit that her wheelchair stopped her from doing anything she wanted to do. She played basketball to prove that to everyone. I’m not sure she ever stopped to think that it might prevent her other son from doing what he wanted to do. Not that I’d ever tell her that. It wasn’t like I was saving lives. I was happy to help, and she did need help. There was nothing wrong with that. I missed my big brother, though. There were times when I wished he’d come home. He had patients to care for overseas, I understood that. But what about the patient I was caring for at our home? Mum missed him a lot too. Not that she ever admitted to that. She didn’t want anyone to feel any guilt. That was our mum.

I often ran to the sea. Everything in my head shrank to the size of a grain of sand when I was there. I’d see the boats lined up and imagine hauling one down to the shoreline, jumping in and sailing over to my brother, closing the gap between us. People asked why we couldn’t just fly over to see each other. But like I said, I always knew doctors worked long hours and I wouldn’t see him much. Money also widened the gap. Mum and I didn’t have much. And Oscar…well, he never had the time. But he was saving lives, and that mattered.

Perhaps one day, he would come home, for a visit, or to stay. He might find the time when I tell him Mum wants to become a professional basketball player.

Writer. Faith walker. Notebook collector. Coffee drinker. Coffee Drinker. Coffee Drinker. Mother of two...and counting... @BathSpaUni MA CW grad.

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