My brother sat with me at the kitchen table through the whole night. I couldn't sleep and came downstairs not to wake anyone up with my tossing and turning. At times, I noticed his hands were shaking. His eyes were sunken and red. Maybe I was the one keeping him company after all.
He tried to comfort me, repeating what they said on radio and what they wrote on the front page of the newspaper. "It'll be over by Christmas," he said a lot. I couldn't help thinking that even if the war ended after twenty-four hours, some men would die. Some of them could be my brother. When our eyes met, I knew that idea crossed his mind also.
We spent hours not drinking the glasses of milk my brother poured us when he joined me. I could see he was afraid, yet he sat there talking to me, comforting me, trying to make me feel better about him going off to war. It was always about putting others before him, he's always been generous that way. "Baby brother, this war will end it all. No more after that. I'm going to war to end all wars. Imagine what that means for the future, what it means for your children and mine."
Before the sun came up he stood and went to the door. He picked up his duffle bag, threw it on his back and walked out the door. He didn't say goodbye, but I wasn't upset. I worked so hard to fight back the tears I thought I would be sick. He wasn't crying though. My brother is strong, not like me.
I took out paper and wrote my brother a letter in which I told him everything I did not have the courage to do with words.