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This Lockdown Has Helped Me Reconnect With My Elder Brother. A Broken Relationship Has Been Mended

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Unpopular opinion: One of the most challenging and complicated dynamics of a relationship come to the fore when you have to deal with siblings. Brother and sister duos that grow up together, under the same roof, with the same upbringing and enjoy a love-hate relationship all their lives, that often starts from having each other’s back and ends at the first sign of one being a tattletale. Guess, if not most, that is definitely how you’d describe most of my relationship with my elder brother – a brother I grew apart from once we realised we were essentially different people.

Don’t get me wrong here, by growing apart I don’t mean the, ‘we haven’t spoken to each other for years’ kind of a deal, but yes, we hadn’t shared with each other any personal stuff for a while now, and it wasn’t until the lockdown was put into place that I thought there could ever be a going back to how things used to be. From once being each other’s most trusted confidantes and WWE opponents when we practiced choke slams on each other to recently where we had become strangers that don’t see eye to eye on anything. Being in the same room had become painful, but surprisingly being in the same house for over two months now – therapeutic.

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Like everything else, this rekindling also didn’t start easy. There were days that were about me controlling my temper so as to not shout at him for saying something silly, or for eating from secret quarantine stash, and days where he has had to keep it calm despite finding out I am dating. Guess we both still remember how to get under each other’s nerves. Sometimes it’s difficult to even breathe in the same room as my brother, for I would always wait for a snarky comment so I could go off at him. We didn’t make co-existing seem easy, or even possible on some days. But what really got us together, apart from our mother’s nagging pleas of not fighting for once in our lives, was doing chores together.

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Suddenly, having a third party to blame all the frustration on – the cooking and cleaning, we bitched our way back to each other, and before we knew it, were reminiscing old times and sharing a laugh. From doing grocery runs together, to taking our dog out for a walk and midnight food cravings turning into heart to hearts, who knew that the solutions to all those big and crazy arguments were in the simpler things? It’s not like we don’t shout at each other now, we still have our moments when a simple disagreement turns into a full- fledged screaming match, replete with petty comebacks, but we know better than to take it to our hearts now.

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With so much history to share and no one else who would understand us like we do, somewhere I am grateful to have found my way back to my bestfriend, with whom I can share the happiest of my days and the darkest of my secrets, knowing he would always have my back, and hopefully think twice this time before giving away my secrets.

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