Everyone handles trauma differently: some binge-eat, some become violent, and if you’re Junior, you steal suitcases from the airport. In the story “Midway,” by Joe Meno, Junior and his older brother, Luis, struggle to make ends meet as they have been abandoned by their father and mother.
Luis, a mere nineteen-year-old boy himself, finds grueling work and buys a busted old apartment all for Junior’s sake. Throughout the story, Luis complains about his brother, saying several times that he was “going to kill him,” but in all actuality, everything Luis does, he does for his brother.
I can relate to this. My little brother is the most important person in my life: he comes before everything. When my brother was young, he was diagnosed with mild autism. Social situations cause him major anxiety, so he tends to keep to himself. Like Luis, I invite my brother to every event and party I go to so that he feels included and has the opportunity to interact with others. I am my brother’s protector, and even though both of our parents are in our lives, if he ever needs anything, he comes to me first.
With me living in Chicago and my brother living six hours away in Detroit, it’s harder to watch over him. Living far away from someone you love hurts, whether it’s a friend, a significant other, or your little brother. I can imagine how Luis’ heart must be breaking as he throws a going-away-party for his darling Carrie.
We make sacrifices as we grow up.
Luis gave up his life and his girl to take care of his brother. I had to leave my family for school. But both Luis and I made sacrifices to be in Chicago. (Maria Kowal/CoS Student)