Marine-bound Marcus and Racing in the Kitchen

I'm in the market for a new late-night advisor. That job has been vacated for the next couple of months, while my little brother is in the Marines at Camp Pendleton.
Lately we have grown a lot closer than ever before. Our weekend trips for icecream or shopping trips are definitely important to me right now. 
I'm going to miss him a lot. Especially at night when I need a hug or a good talking to. It kind of hit me a few days ago. I had a bad night and he wasn't home. I got up and went downstairs and it hit me in the gut. He's gone for a few months. This step is huge on his push for adulthood. It's weird to think how much has changed since we were kids.
He probably doesn't remember much about our childhood. I admit readily that I abused him; it’s the older sister’s job to do so. We argued countless times but it was friendly more than anything, it was our way of talking. Nobody understood and my parents even punished us for it.  I remember the very early years, listening to records in our matching red wooden chairs and fishing hats. My favorite memory focuses on our racing days in the kitchen:
Removing the mud-covered shoes; Mark and I exchange serious looks. The chance to prove who was better had arrived. My little brother was two years younger than me; he was smaller, thinner, and faster, but clumsy. Unfortunately, I was also clumsy but my advantages were my long legs and arms, natural for this sport.
The timing was perfect, no one was around. Dad was at work; slaving away with papers and pens while Mom sat immersed in the television within her room, swinging her iron across the wrinkled fabric while Oprah gives ridiculous pep talks.
We glance around uneasily, trying to push our fears of falling or ripping our head open on the table beneath the visual spectrum. I slapped the bottoms of my almost freshly white socks impatiently. It was my secret to winning: hole-less cotton socks, with strands of cotton just begging to wear.
I jump to my feet and the race immediately begins.
The announcer in my head shouts in his deep excited yell, “THEY’RE OFF!”
Careful not to lift my socks from the smooth plastic floor, I gracefully push off, quickly gaining speed. My feet move rhythmically in match to the opposing arms. The weak muscles I possessed in the nine years I’d been alive, flexed and moved in strength.
I glance to my younger brother racing along beside me. He was completely calm, void of emotion except for his tongue flipped over his top lip in concentration. Striding smoothly he overtook me, without even a look towards his foe.
I suddenly noticed the invisible ribbon tape at the end of the linoleum-slipping race: the fridge. My arm swung up with a mind it’s own, determined to touch finger to the cool, textured surface.
This would hurt if I didn’t stop soon. I stopped my stride but my socks were smooth and did not grip the floor. My desire to stop was fulfilled as I crashed disgracefully into the yellowed refrigerator.
The slow crash was not painful but it was soft like the fruit that like sat within it because of the slow speed of the sock skate.
I remember my brother and opponent. On the sunny yellow floor he lay in a ball, laughing hysterically and shouting between fits of laughter, “I beat you!”
He continued to shake, his dark hair falling across his forehead in waves like a curtain. Before my announcer could finish his monologue, I shoved the voice back into the dark depths of my mind’s eye. My brother was no better than I.
I'm going to miss his awkward hugs, wrapping my arms around his skinny waist, so tightly that they might go around twice. He would drape his arms lazily around my shoulders, a feat that couldn't have been accomplished when he was younger and smaller. But now he is bigger and older and I need to let him go I guess. I can't depend on him forever.
Like I said, late nights are going to be rough. I am taking applications for the "late night advisor" position that begins after midnight, typically only a few days a week with minimal duties that include: listening, talking, and hugs.

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