Shengliver’s Note: The writer Boan has a brother. She is in Year 11, her brother in Year 10. Their parents migrated here when Boan was a child. After the brother was born, Boan worked as a babysitter. She looked after him, fed him three meals a day and abused him when she was in a bad mood. Even when she was angry with him, the brother still followed her like a shadow, calling her sis, sis.


When I was young, I was a dictator. My younger brother was my meek follower. Every time I was unhappy, I got mad and vented my anger on him.


When my parents scolded me, my brother would come over and console me. I would abuse him and send him away. I thought it was a shame that my parents’ scolding me was witnessed by my follower. It would tarnish my image in my brother’s mind. But if my brother did not come and comfort me, I would lose my temper and accuse him of showing little concern over me.


We used to live in a poky rented house. My family had almost nothing when we came to the city from our hometown in Hebei. I was very unhappy living in the poor rented house. From time to time my family would go and stay in a hotel for a night or two. That was the happiest occasion. If I wanted to go to a hotel and my parents did not agree, I would order my brother to cry and fight against my parents. My brother followed my order. It was a very effective way because my parents valued my brother a lot.


Although I abused my brother when he was young and short, now the situation has totally been reversed. He often bullies me and I am not his equal. He is very tall now.


Time flies. A lot of things are not as they were, but the bond between my brother and me is as strong as ever.

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