On a spectacularly sunny California afternoon, the love of my life asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
There are certain things girls dream about. We fantasize, subconsciously or not, about the perfect ring, the ideal proposal, the classic dress and of course, the right guy. I am no exception and while I’ve found the right guy, there is one thing I don’t think I’ll ever stop wishing – that he could’ve met you.
I think you two would have really hit it off. His sense of humour, though jarring for me at first, is so infectious that I now find myself cracking his kind of jokes right back at him. We laugh more than we actually talk and I think you would’ve just loved that, I mean, you were quite a funny guy yourself when you were around. If the two of you could be in the same room, I think we’d all hear you both guffawing miles away. He likes to horse around and just be silly, and, as grown up and adult as I sometimes consider myself, it’s a relief to just turn that off with him. It’s a relief to just…be.
That’s not to say he can’t be serious. In all my life, I haven’t seen anyone as dedicated to their goals as him. When he makes up his mind to do something, that shit gets DONE. You’d appreciate that about him, just as I do. It’s reassuring to know that if I ever need help with anything, he’ll be there. Even when it’s something he has no idea about, he’ll still do his best. That perseverance calms me down. I get worked up so easily about small, nonsensical things, and his steadfastness anchors me. It also makes me feel safe. It’s a little like how, when I’d tell you I heard something outside, you would take a round of the front and back yards in the middle of the night, cricket bat in hand, ready to strike. He’s like that, for me, all the time. It’s like having a bodyguard around 24/7, except this one safeguards my soul, too.
One thing you two would truly bond over is music. His playlist is one you’d easily want for yourself and his love of Coke Studio could rival yours. Granted, you were only around long enough to listen up until Season 2, but the sheer joy and passion with which he enjoys some of the newer tracks often reminds me of you. There are moments when he’ll be singing aloud at the top of his voice, and then suddenly pause to lament why he doesn’t have a good enough voice to properly carry a tune. I tend to smile then, because that’s when I imagine the two of you together, listening to this music, with you actually singing it, and him being your happy audience, the way I once was.
You’d like him, you really would. I don’t just say that as a little sister who wants her big brother’s approval on her choice of partner. I say it because if you could see what I do, you’d agree. You’d see that he already makes Ami laugh and smile without even really trying, and instils in Abu a hidden hope of a son’s shoulder to lean on. You’d see the effort he makes in learning about you, and keeping your memories alive for me, going as far as playing one of your favourite songs for our proposal. You’d see that he wants to move mountains for Ayana and get her every toy under the sun, without ever having met her yet. You’d see that he worries about the aches and the colds of every member in the family, as if we were his own. You’d see that, in a matter of just mere months, he is family.
I never allowed myself to think too much about who I’d marry or how it would be, because anytime I did, my heart would shatter remembering that you won’t be around for any of it. Now, when I have someone who makes all the cliches about love and life ring true, I think about how it will be and I wish, more than anything, that you were here for all of this. I wish you could see your baby sister next month, getting engaged in front of family and friends to the man she loves. I wish you were around for all the planning, and the gossiping, the freak-outs and the dancing. I helped you make your wedding playlist, and I had always imagined you helping me make mine one day.
I wish you could be a part of this magic, in person. But because you can’t, I will console myself with what I know to be true – that I chose someone my brother would get along with, fantastically well.