“What’s on the other side of the world?” he asked.
I could almost see the sparks of curiosity radiating from his eyes. “That’s for you to find out.” I pat his head, reassuring him that this would be his journey to take – a life journey exclusively his. He is on his own to find out the answer himself. He was obviously unpleased with the answer, but reluctantly accepted anyway. He simply nodded and slowly put on the jacket I bought him, albeit a size too big. I had to get to the shop down the street before they close at 10pm, and I was rushing on a major project. The jacket looks good on him though, despite the chaotic gift shopping for him. Probably due to his swim-built broad shoulders, the jacket fit very nicely across his torso, just a tad too long for his body. I have a peculiar preference of colour, but I am very certain that this burgundy jacket will accentuate his tanned brown skin. He smiles and turned around as if for me to inspect and evaluate my purchase decision.
“There will be a bountiful amount of resplendent people, beautiful sceneries, exciting food and culture. It’s important to keep an open mind. Remember to have fun exploring, and take some time for yourself and only yourself. “ I hope he take the words to his heart. “You sure?” he asked, puzzled and confused look quickly took over his face. “I could attest to that, being the best evidence; don’t worry about it.“ I tapped his right shoulder. He seems to relax a little. I walked him towards the custom area to check into the waiting area. It’s almost the time of departure; he better make sure he doesn’t miss the flight, so I won’t stall him further. I looked him directly in his deep walnut brown eyes and extended my right hand, alluding to a hand shaking gesture.
Suddenly, he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me, tight. Truly I did not see that one coming, and it really took me by surprise. I can feel his warmth radiating from his body and I am sure I would certainly miss that. He took his backpack and swung it across his back in a swift fluid movement. I have to admit, he does look cool and swanky at times – he might not know it himself. Spruced up in the burgundy jacket, he is pulling that look off quite nicely. He would do just fine, I am pretty sure. I waved that final goodbye to my younger brother, sending him away on a 17-hour flight to the other side of the world. His back slowly blended into the crowd. I decided to sit at the departure area for a moment. Three years from now, I am sure he would ask me again when it’s time for him to come back home. By then, I will tell him that: “on the other side of the world lies a place called home.”
Basking in the warmth of the morning sun, the airport felt extremely poignant all of the sudden.