Monday, November 29, 2010

A Subtle Connection - Emily and Her Brother

The connection between Emily and her brother is subtle. The childhood enjoyed by Aaron is very different from Emily’s childhood. Emily looks up to her big brother, but they spend little time together. Aaron is a mystery to Emily, nor does she question the ease in which he is allowed to move about the house. Where Emily tiptoes, Aaron runs. Where Emily whispers, Aaron shouts. There is no competition between them, no vying for their parent’s attention. It belongs to Aaron. Emily accepts their opposite roles, because that is all she knows. Still, there is a subtle connection which Emily feels but does not fully understand. In this scene from Pages in the Wind, Emily is afraid and confused while attending a funeral that she is ill-prepared for:

They were guided to seats that lined the ugly room with the sad music. Emily sat down where she was told, wrapped in confusion and feeling as if she were in a dream. Aaron was looking downward as if he could push the scene away by not looking up. Emily searched her brother, her parents, and the people standing in the room, trying to understand what was happening. She wanted to run but the man was still standing in her way, his face was so blank that she was not even sure that he was a real person.

Emily sat in her chair with her face straight ahead waiting for some understanding of her surroundings and why she was there. Her brother continued to look at the floor to avoid the scene in front of him. Emily watched him stare at the floor, and wondered if he understood what was happening. He tilted his head and looked at Emily. His eyes were filled with tears, which surprised her as she had never seen Aaron cry. He continued to look at her, with no attempt to wipe away the tears. Emily watched him and in his tearful stare she sensed that he was trying to tell her something. She continued to read his tearful eyes, until she understood what his eyes were saying. Emily gently nodded her head, and stopped trying to make sense of the scene. Aaron dropped his head again, choosing to stare at the floor and erase the scene. Emily dropped her head also, and for a time they sat in silence sharing a secret that helped Emily to withstand the tragedy that she knew was in front of her.

Although Aaron and Emily do not share the same childhood, the connection is apparent. This connection may be more significant for Aaron, who is kept from his sister by the privileges given to him by his father. Aaron observes the violence that Emily experiences. He is a passive witness to her pain, as he is endowed with privilege and presented with a life free of pain. How will this affect him? Will this affect how he sees the world?


  1. i think. emily gets full freedome for her wish,

    any way thanx the post

  2. I love the subtlety with Emily's brother. The scene had a lot of feeling and you could feel the connection as you say subtle. Subtle but sure. I love you writng thanks for the post that I always follow.

  3. I think that siblings have a subtle connecton and love the one between emily and her brother. I wonder how this will play out. Love the post and love your writing. This is going to be a great book when it comes out. Interesting characters!

  4. Interesting piece. A good story can emerge from this (or already has). Your are courageous in sharing a work in progress.

  5. Beautiful writing, and I agree with Margaret that you are courageous and it shows in the story. Can't wait to read the whole book.


I would love your input on this work-in-progress. I thank you for your opinion.