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After “the boy next door” went home that day my brother immediately began giving me a hard time.  Apparently it was crystal clear that I was in a little bit of shock. I just hadn’t expected… I’m not sure? I guess it never dawned on me that while I was off “growing up” that everyone else was too. When I had left “boy next door” and my brother for that matter came up to my chin. I used to torture those poor boys.

My brother and I started telling stories about our childhood and how mean my friends and I had been to them. On my 18th birthday we had gone to the river on an overnight camping trip. I had 5 or 6 friends with me and my boyfriend, my parents, brother and sister and our neighbors (including boy next door). Everyone except the little kids (my brother 13, sister 11, and boy next door 15) was drinking that night as we partied around the campfire. The boy next door was at an awkward age, he was best friends with my brother but that night he wanted to hang out with us older kids.

We allowed it, “IF”  he could keep up with us. My boyfriend began to sneak him beer out of the coolers and take him down by the water where they would all cheer him on as he drank beer after beer as fast as he could.   I remember laughing at him as he started to slur his speech and get rowdy. It only took 6 or 7 beers before he started feeling ill, that’s when I found out they had snuck him a few shots of liquor as well. Annoyed with my friends, I took him back up towards the tent when he started to throw up. I explained what had happened to his dad, who had a good laugh at his expense… and we put him in the tent to lay down.

I brought crackers and a bottle of water to his tent and stayed with him for a while as he threw up off and on. I felt terrible that we had egged him on the way we had, because I knew he really only did it to hang out with me.  He had a crush on me from the moment they had moved into our neighborhood probably 5 years prior. I was his best friends older sister, and loved to torment him in any way I could.

As my brother and I sat there reminiscing about old times I had a weird feeling floating through me. I wanted to see him again. I needed to see him again. But what about England? Was I ever going back there?

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