I was born in a secluded village on a mountain.
Day by day, my parents plowed the yellow dry soil with their backs
towards the sky.
I have a brother who is 3 years younger than me.
I wanted to buy a handkerchief, which all girls around me seemed to
have. So, one day I stole 50 cents from my father’s drawer. Father had
discovered about the stolen money right away.
He made me and my younger brother kneel against the wall as he held a
bamboo stick in his hand.
“Who stole the money?” he asked.
I was stunned, too afraid to talk. Neither of us admitted to the fault,
so he said, “Fine, if nobody wants to admit, you two should be beaten!”
He lifted up the bamboo stick.
Suddenly, my younger brother gripped father’s hand and said,” Dad, I was
the one who did it!”
The long stick smacked my brother’s back repeatedly.
Father was so angry that he kept on whipping my brother until he lost
After that, he sat down on our stone bed and scolded my brother, “You
have learned to steal from your own house now. What other embarrassing
things will you be possibly doing in the future? You should be beaten to
death, you shameless thief!”
That night, my mother and I hugged my brother. His body was full of
wounds from the beating but he never shed a single tear.
In the middle of the night, all of sudden, I cried out loudly. My
brother covered my mouth with his little hand and said, ” Sis, now don’t
Everything has happened.”
I still hate myself for not having enough courage to admit what I did.
Years gone by, but the incident still seemed like it just happened
I will never forget my brother’s expression when he protected me.
That year, my brother was 8 years old and I was 11 years old.
When my brother was in his last year of secondary school, he was
accepted in an upper secondary school in the central. At the same time,
I was accepted into a university in the province.
That night, father squatted in the yard, smoking, packet by packet.
I could hear him ask my mother, “Both of our children, they have good
results? Very good results?”
Mother wiped off her tears and sighed,” What is the use? How can we
possibly finance both of them?”
At that time, my brother walked out, he stood in front of father and
said,”Dad, I don’t want to continue my studies anymore, I have read
Father swung his hand and slapped my brother on his face.
“Why do you have a spirit so damn weak? Even if it means I have to beg
for money on the streets, I will send you two to school until you have
both finished your studies.”
And then, he started to knock on every house in the village to borrow
I stuck out my hand as gently as I can to my brother’s swollen face, and
told him, “A boy has to continue his studies; If not, he will not be
able to overcome this poverty we are experiencing. ”
I, on the other hand, had decided to further my studies at the
Nobody knew that on the next day, before dawn, my brother left the house
with a few pieces of worn-out clothes and a few dry beans. He sneaked to
my side of the bed and left a note on my pillow; “Sis, getting into a
university is not easy. I will go find a job and I will send money to
I held the note while sitting on my bed, and cried until I lost my
That year, my brother was 17 years old; I was 20 years old..
With the money father borrowed from the whole village, and the money my
brother earned from carrying cement on his back at a construction
site,finally, I managed to get to the third year of my studies in the
One day, while I was studying in my room, my roommate came in and told
me,”There’s a villager waiting for you outside!”
Why would there be a villager looking for me? I walked out, and I saw my
brother from afar. His whole body was covered with dirt, dust, cement
and sand. I asked him, “Why did you not tell my roommate that you are my
He replied with a smile,” Look at my appearance. What will they think if
they would know that I am your brother? Won’t they laugh at you?”
I felt so touched, and tears filled my eyes. I swept away dirt and dust
from my brother’s body. And told him with a lump in my throat, ” I don’t
care what people would say! You are my brother no matter what your
From his pocket, he took out a butterfly hair clip. He
put it on my hair and said, “I saw all the girls in town are wearing it.
So, I think you should also have one.”
I could not hold back myself anymore. I pulled my brother into my arms
That year, my brother was 20 years old; I was 23 years old.
I noticed that the broken window was repaired the first time I brought
my boyfriend home. The house was scrubbed cleaned.
After my boyfriend left, I danced like a little girl in front of my
mother, “Mom, you didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning the house!”
But she told me with a smile,” It was your brother who went home early
to clean the house. Didn’t you see the wound on his hand?
He hurt his hand while he was replacing the window.”
I went into my brother’s bedroom. Looking at his thin face, I felt like
there are hundreds of needle pricked in my heart.
I applied some ointment on his wound and put a bandage on it, “Does it
hurt? ” I asked him.
“No, it doesn’t hurt. You know, when at the construction site, stones
keep falling on my feet .
Even that could not stop me from working.”
In the middle of the sentence, he stopped. I turned my back on him and
tears rolled down my face.
That year, my brother was 23 years old; I was 26 years old.
After I got married, I lived in the city. Many times my husband invited
my parents to come and live with us, but they didn’t want.
They said, once they left the village, they wouldn’t know what to do.
My brother agreed with them. He said, “Sis, you just take care of your
parents-in-law. I will take care of mom and dad here.”
My husband became the director of his factory. We asked my brother to
accept the offer of being the manager in the maintenance department. But
my brother rejected the offer. He insisted on working as a repairman
instead for a start.
One day, my brother was on the top of a ladder repairing a cable, when
he got electrocuted, and was sent to the hospital.
My husband and I visited him at the hospital. Looking at the white
gypsum on his leg, I grumbled, “Why did you reject the offer of being a
manager? Managers won’t do something dangerous like that. Now look at
you, you are suffering from a serious injury. Why didn’t you just listen to
With a serious expression on his face, he defended his decision,
“Think of brother-in-law. He just became the director, and I being
uneducated, and would become a manager, what kind of rumors would fly
My husband’s eyes filled up with tears, and then I said, “But you lack
in education only because of me!”
“Why do you talk about the past?” he said and then he held my hand.
That year, he was 26 years old and I was 29 years old.
My brother was 30 years old when he married a farmer girl from the
During the wedding reception, the master of ceremonies asked him, “Who
is the one person you respect and love the most?”
Without even taking a time to think, he answered,” My sister.” He
continued by telling a story I could not even remember.
“When I was in primary school, the school was in a different village.
Everyday, my sister and I would walk for 2 hours to school and back
home. One day, I lost the other pair of my gloves. My sister gave me one
She wore only one glove and she had to walk far. When we got home, her
hands were trembling because of the cold weather that she could not even
hold her chopsticks. From that day on, I swore that as long as I live,
I would take care of my sister and will always be good to her.”
Applause filled up the room. All guests turned their attention to me.
I found it hard to speak, “In my whole life, the one I would like to
thank most is my brother,” And in this happy occasion, in front of the
crowd, tears were rolling down my face again.
-Love and care for the one you love every single day of your life. You
may think what you did is just a small deed, but to that someone, it may
mean a lot.
Have a nice day everyone! May this story inspire you in some way.