I promised a blog post for my chosen brother. This is me making good on my promise. Sophomore year of high school: I was at my locker, one morning, before my first class. I didn’t turn off my chair. I wasn’t going to be there long. I was talking to two of my guy friends who became my chosen brothers when suddenly: I was slammed into the lockers across the hallway. I didn’t have a clue what happened. I started to shake and cry. I heard one brother tell the other: “You get Stacey. I got him.” I was confused. My brother/journey partner bent down and said, “You okay?” I think so. “And your chair?” Okay, I think. What happened? What’s going on? “Some Freshmen yanked your joystick and it took you for a ride. Don’t worry. Look.” I turned my head and my other brother was sitting on the guy who messed with my chair. Whoa. “Yeah.”
All the commotion brought adults running. I was still shaky and crying so my brother/journey partner explained. “Take her to the clinic, please? We’ll take care of everything else. ” “Of course. Can you drive?” Yeah, I think so. “Take your time. It’s okay.” Okay, I just need to get my stuff. “I’ll help. You tell me what you need.” After that, we went to the clinic. The nurse examined me and asked about my chair. I told the nurse I and my chair were fine as far as I could tell. She said I was overwhelmed and shocked. She told me to take my time calming down and gave me some water. By that time, first period was over and my brother/journey partner walked me to my next class that I had with a couple more of my chosen brothers. Sorry, I said. “Please, this isn’t your fault. I’m just glad you and your chair are okay. I’ll see you later.” He looked at another of my brothers: “Keep an eye on her.” “You know it.” Have I mentioned they’re protective, yet? ‘Cause they are.
Later in the day the assistant principal talked to me informing me he had talked to mama. “We’re going to take care of this situation. You’re okay, right? No, pain? Your chair is okay?” I’m fine, sir. My chair is okay, too. Did mama freak out badly? “She’s worried, but okay.” I just want to go home. “It’s almost the end of the day. You can go back to class, now.” Yes, sir. The next day we all had to give statements about what happened, separately. It felt we were being interrogated. All our statements matched. The bully was suspended and my brother, who defended me, had to serve a couple of days in In School Suspension (ISS). I didn’t know that until he told me years later. Mama and I would have complained had we known. That’s just who he is. Defending the people loves despite possible consequences. Always has been him and always will be him. I consider it a privilege to be loved so much by him. I want him to know, publicly, I love him just as fiercely.
Years later life got rough for him. I was able to give the support and love he’s always given me. It felt good. We’ve had many conversations about challenges over the years. I make sure to let him know nothing he could ever do would make me love him less. We’re both fans of The Fast Saga. I quote lines about family from the movies, often. My favorites are: “I don’t got friends. I got family” and “Family is family.” Dom’s right in both cases. I want my brother to know I’m proud of him and I’m blessed to get to be his sister by choice. He makes me better and knowing he’s no more than a few key strokes on my phone away makes thriving much easier.