Embrace Your Sidekick: My Ride or Die

A little while ago a friend of mine stumbled upon words that I said: people always leave. I stand by what I said. People in my life always leave. It’s not always fights or disagreements that cause a rift in the relationship, sometimes it’s just distance that grows, physically and/or emotionally.  I don’t have this friend that I have known since kindergarten or elementary school. And that is okay.

But I was thinking about who in my life I would define as my true sidekick, the one person I know I will never grow apart from. It isn’t the sidekick that I necessarily go to with every issue I need to discuss but it is the person that has known me for all of their life. The person that has never judged me no matter how ugly the truth gets and would drop everything in an instant if I needed them. It is my brother. The guy that just graduated high school and is 10 years younger than me. We have lived very different lives due to many circumstances not even considering that we have a huge age gap but it’s him that I think of when I think about who at this very point in my life will get drunk at my funeral in 50 years. He is the person that has never known me for anything but being me and accepted me for that. He knows my weaknesses and my flaws but at the same time has always looked up to me just like I am starting to look up to him. He is the one that sits with me while I am crying for no apparent reason and joins in on the uncontrollable laughter. He is the one that let’s me do the silliest of things while discussing the deepest issue of life. And let’s be honest, he is the only reason I can deal with my/our family.

We have an unconditional love for each other as well as mutual respect and admiration. We couldn’t be more different but for some reason it works. And in our family siblings communicating isn’t a given. But the moment that I really knew that he was my true sidekick was about two years ago. We were sitting on my couch watching a movie when he just looked at me and said: I think I am gay. Besides the fact that I celebrated having been right all of his life because yeah I knew all along, he told me that I was one of the first people he told. When I asked why he said that he knew that he could tell me anything and it wouldn’t change how I perceived him and I wouldn’t love him any less. It’s the trust and the bond that we share that is beyond age difference, gender or sexual orientation that I know that he is my true ride or die. And honestly I don’t even know how we got here considering we didn’t really truly grow up together.

But here is something he doesn’t know and I don’t ever want him to know: he is the reason I am still alive today. When I am in my darkest moments and the pain feels like it becomes unbearable I think about how it would affect his life, just like how my life would be affected if I lost him. I think about how I can’t let him deal with our parents by himself, about how he needs someone in his life that he can trust with everything while knowing that my love for him will never change, just like when he came out to me. He gives me the strength to hold on whether he knows it or not and because of him the pain becomes less.


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