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Main : Love : Brothers & Sisters

Paper Cup, The
by: Dana, Source Unknown

One night I was sitting in my kitchen half-listening as my 15 year-old brother Tommy antagonized my 12 year-old brother Kevin. I didn't pay attention when Kevin charged up the stairs with the hurt on his face.

About 20 minutes later, as I was walking upstairs I heard Kevin crying inside the bathroom. I bit my tongue to stop myself from saying, "Come on Kev, don't be such a baby." Instead, I knocked on the door and asked, "Hey Kev, do you wanna talk?"

No response.

I tried again, "Hey why don't you come out of there?"

Again, no response.

So, joking around, I grabbed a stack of index cards and a pencil and wrote, "If you don't want to talk, we can write notes to each other."

An hour later I was still sitting on the floor outside the bathroom with two stacks of index cards in front of me. One was blank and one was cards from Kevin on which he had translated all his yucky feelings into words for me. By this time, I don't care about the rings of my precious phone and Dawson's Creek show downstairs. As I read one of Kevin's notes, tears came to my eyes. It said, "Nobody in this family cares about me. I'm not the youngest, and I'm not the oldest, and I'm not talented. Tommy thinks I'm a wuss and Dad wishes he had the other Kevin as a kid because he's better at basketball. And you're never around to even notice me."

Tears came to my eyes as I wrote back to him. It was true what he had said about me. I wrote back, "You know Kev, I really do love you and I'm sorry I don't always show it. I am here for you and you are loved in this family."

There was no response for a while, but then I heard a tearing sound coming from inside the bathroom. Kevin, who had run out of index cards wrote on a torn up paper cup, "Thanks."

I wrote back "For what?" It returned to me with "Loving me" written on it. Since then, I try my best to never only half-notice my family members anymore. Kevin and I have a closer relationship now, and sometimes when one of us notices that the other is upset we'll smile and say "Write it on a paper cup."

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