I’m standing just outside of my front door now. I haven’t closed it behind me; I need to know that I can still turn around and shut myself in.
I woke up this morning to news that my little brother Arlo might not in fact be coming to University with me next year as we’d hoped. He might be changing schools and in doing so, having to spend an extra year in Sixth form. As much as I want him to do what is right for him, it feels as though whatever vague sketch of a map I had has been erased. We were going to have a flat together so that we could support each other through the everyday stuff. It was a point that I could look forward to. The idea of going back to university without him, without that tiny point of security, is too terrifying to contemplate. I could learn to drive and go to campus from home if I have to. I could put it off yet another year, I might have to do that anyway, who knows.
I’m standing outside my front door, but I have no map, no set points to aim for. It has made turning left and tumbling down the path to death that much more tempting.
Except for my brother. Arlo is having a hard time too. Hence changing schools being suggested at all. He needs to make the right choice for him, he needs to do what is best for him even if that means rubbing out the only point on my map. Arlo is a lot like me and turning left means leaving him to deal with that on his own instead of being there to help him. So maybe I’ll have to sketch some new points on my map and maybe the road won’t always go in the direction I’d expected it too, but I have to turn right.
In my back pack, with my pen and paper, is a picture of Arlo. I am his big sister.