As far back as primary school, I’ve always had a best friend who was always on the same wavelength as I was. A person I could always hang out with, get advice from or really just be myself around. I remember almost every one of their names. And for the short periods of time where I didn’t have that friend I would be restless, demotivated and a shadow of myself: this only served to strengthen the bond we shared. A recurring bond I would later learn was first created when I was a toddler, with my first best friend, the original best friend, my younger brother Ugo.
All the best friends who came after (not counting family) where a result of his absence for one reason or the other. I was always a year ahead at school so every year I had a best friend in the same school year as me; we went to different universities so different “best friends” through those years, and now we live in different cities so yeah you guessed it, another set of “best friends”. One could almost argue that I’ve always made a subconscious attempt to have my brother, or the next best thing, around me as often as possible. I love my brother so much, the need to share that love has created a personal philosophy of loving all around me for as long as I can. Afterall, if I show someone I have that much love to give, they might respond likewise and who knows, I might be looking at a “new best friend”.
When we were both very young, for a time we were about the same height, and apparently looked so much alike that people mixing us up was infinitely commonplace. Looking back we could’ve actually gotten away with a lot of mischief because we knew each other that well. I’m still dumbfounded with how freely conversation flows between us. Nothing has ever been off limits, nothing… well, I’ll rephrase that, “virtually” nothing. Some things in life are best left unspoken. Now this kind of blind honesty is not for everyone (we have our fair share of ‘disagreements’) BUT it is remarkable how much clearer a situation becomes when you have all the facts. And by extension how much easier it becomes to solve problems and resolve issues. I pride myself today on being very unbiased and efficient with most problem solving situations. And I’m sure I can trace much of that confidence to the multitude of issues my brother and I have hashed out over the past couple of decades.
As if it couldn’t get any better, our honesty in communication created a beautiful honesty in character. Neither of us have ever tried to impress or have any other sort of effect on the other by pretending to be someone we weren’t; not successfully anyways. There were many attempts, especially as teenagers, when we’d try and impress or outdo the other. We almost always ended up having a full discussion on what we’d done different and how, so the other wouldn’t miss out on “looking as good”, or whatever the sibling contest was at the time. Sometimes we’d have this conversation before the “contest” even began.
Some might say this level of openness in a relationship is unnecessary, hard to replicate or even counter productive. All I know is I have only ever tried to replicate this type of relationship once and never again. No other relationship with another human being has come close to what I have with my brother… except that one time I took the same approach with someone else.
That person was my lil sister Chichi, and we all know how I feel about her.