I know, I’m cheating. This is how we write your name in Azerbaijani. It’s spelled ‘Khalid’ in English. But I hope you can forgive me for using a bit of creativity here. I didn’t want to write a love letter to X-men or even ex-men.
Anyway, I digress. My little bro. You were a dream come true. Do you know how much I pined for a sibling as a child? I was so lonely.
Although I loved you, your arrival didn’t bring me the relief I longed for. You occupied most of mum’s time and you were not much of a playmate for a couple of years. I was 11 years older than you. Besides, you were a boy – ah, this obsession with boys in our culture. Even you saw me as a hero when my son was born. And even though you are a proud dad of two gorgeous girls, I know you think it’s not quite right that you haven’t fathered a boy yet.
You were a strange kid. For some reason, you were you more than anyone else in our family. Maybe because mum left you to your own devices… You are kind but not willing to please others. You are honest. Mum still considers it as a handicap. It’s quite hard to function in our culture if you an honest person. No wonder you want to run away from there. It’s hard though. With a family and two kids it’s not easy to get up and go.
I hope you know what an incredible gift you have. Your photography is phenomenal. I’m captivated by your fascination with old people. Every time I see your shots, I’m blown away. You capture the soul of those people. It’s incredible.
Anyway, I could write and write and write. You know that I love and admire you for who you are. I’m deeply grateful that when I disappeared, you always sought me out. And when I came back… You just open your arms and let me back into your heart. No questions asked. No resentment. No regrets. It’s as if I always lived in your heart.
I love you bro. Sorry that I hurt you inadvertently when I ran away from my own pain.