I love my brother with all of my heart but I feel so distant from him. His name is Mustafa, but I’ve always called him Musti. He’s too cool, with his tattoos and piercings, living in the city, staying in his dream-like apartment with his girlfriend who is really kind.

He’s always been the example of the family. If I show any signs of negativity toward my education, my mum tells me to be more like my brother. He is loved dearly by my parents because he’s always been extravagant and different, ever since he was a kid. I discovered what kind of music he was into when he was a teen because I was going through a wardrobe and found his old System of a Down CD.

We’re 12 years apart—he’s 26, I’m 14. I don’t have many memories of living with him and that makes me sad. When we’re together, we talk like we’re old friends, but we don’t have the same bond that he has with my older sister. Sometimes I feel left out, as if I don’t really have a brother. At times, I’m desperate for his company, crying to myself when I review my school day in my head. I wish he was here to comfort me and make me laugh when I’m feeling depressed. If my family was Malcolm in the Middle, he’s Francis. He’s the cooler older brother that I’ve always wanted, but I never really get to see him.

I miss him a lot. ♦