The Moon Inside of Me

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Brother

“The world is blind, and you come exactly from it”
- The divine Comedy.

I closed the book and left it on the kitchen counter. There was no ready lunch, but there were some tapioca flour and pieces of old cheese in the fridge. It gave four portions: One for me and three for my brother. He always came crawling in hunger after a night out.

We held that mutual respect. He never asked or got into my personal life, and I never questioned him about his schemes, even though I feared that Jorge would end up like daddy.

It was halfway through the tapioca when the noise from the front door echoed in the small room. It was stuffy since we never left the windows open, and as I watched a movie, I didn’t remember turning on the lights. My brother - or what’s left of him - stumbled in, causing a splash in the bottles. The clothes were dirty and I didn’t even have to get close to smell alcohol and don’t know what more.

“I didn’t know you were home already ...” The hoarse tone struggled with my ears. Quickly, I got up to walk, wrapping his arm over my shoulder.

- I always arrive before 1 pm, you are lost in time.

- Oh, Luna ... Don’t be mad at me ...

- Now you look like a crying dog. - After a few years, it became easier to resist Jorge’s drama.

“I’ll stop getting mad when you wash yourself, I was eating”!

Without any delay, I put him, with clothes and everything for a cold shower. I wouldn’t stand there watching my drunken, naked brother, so I closed the door and let him drown in his notes of misery, which were also mine.

When he came out wrapped around his waist with a grimy towel, I noticed that his body was marked by purplish bruises. He walked to the two-seater round table and disguised his pain by poking at the random mess above it.

- Did you fight again? - I asked without taking my eyes off the TV.

Jorge didn’t answer right away. We both enjoyed a torturous silence as we searched the corner of each brain for an escape from that life.

- Do I have to sign this? - He always changes the subject. With long fingers, he indicated a piece of paper sticking out of my notebook. It was the permission for the trip to the Museum of Tomorrow.

I shrugged in response, completely indifferent.

“You should go ...” The sentence contained such hurt that I was forced to look at him. One hand held the ends between the sides of the towel so it wouldn’t fall, and the other covered the face with the paper. “I wish I had known a museum at your age.”

That broke my heart.

It was true that Jorge and his brown curls were never entitled to any kind of education, leisure or culture. I remembered when we were kids and he spent hours in front of the blank canvases, decorating them with the most beautiful abstract patterns I had ever seen.

Our mother defended the idea that he was going to study at a college for young artists when age came. Now I found myself there, stealing all the teenage years my brother had ever had ... And I wasn’t even making good use of them.

“You can sign ...” The words came out in a whisper.

Jorge handed me the signed and carefully folded paper, quietly entering the only room in the house to change. He slept on the couch at night, but as he always went through long adventures and evenings, I let him use my bed all day.

The rest of my evening came down to 1% homework and 99% Korean web series... At least in them, it seemed possible that the poor girl, without a culture or a future, would find someone to get her out of misery and show a new world.

And I still had to break through the hell with Dante before the day was out.

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