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It happened near the end of summer, which is when, I guess, a lot of changes take place. The sound of heavy rain was coming from outside and a sky full of pitch-black clouds burst into thunder. “Only nine seconds away!“ I said and opened the front door to watch the spectacle. The thunderstorm came closer. “Six seconds now!“ I shouted to my brother, who didn’t seem as excited as I was.
“Damn it. That always happens when I least expect it,“ Tobi said.
“What? What do you mean, Tobsi?“
“Don’t call me that! You know I hate it! Man, I mean… I don’t know… just shut the door.“
But I knew. Two hours ago, the sun was shining like a big, golden golf ball, like the summer was never going to end. And then, out of the blue, it became completely dark. As if the oceans started boiling in rage, throwing a black cape over the earth’s shoulders.
“The weather changes so fast at this time of the year. That’s kinda scary,“ Tobi said while looking at the front door.
I wasn’t sure if that really scared him, but I went back inside.
Tobi was now watching his favorite TV show. I think he had been planning to go out, but where would he have gone? He never tells me. He always says that I am “too young“ to hang out with him. Or that he has “no time“ and “other things to do.“
“When’s mom coming home? I hope she’s doing alright,“ I said.
“Don’t know.“
“Hey, Tobsi. Remember when we used to count how far away the storm was?“
“I said don’t call me that!“
“Why don’t we do that anymore?“
“Don’t know. Now shut up, I’m trynna watch this show!“
Sometimes he acts like this. He gets upset. And some days I do too. Some days we might disagree, but most days he is the best gift that life could have given me.
And all of a sudden, I felt really tired. Maybe it was the weather that made me fall asleep. Or something else. But I stopped trying.
As I woke up, slowly, the rainfall had moved on. Had left our house. Had left our town. The clouds opened up like heavy curtains in the morning and a single shimmering beam came through. It felt like summer was never going to end again and that everything was the same. But it wasn’t. Something was different.
“See? Changes so fast,“ Tobi said in a different, more relieved tone of voice and leaped up, ready to go.
For the first time in years, I didn‘t ask him where he would go. Not because I didn’t care anymore, but because I understood it now. Firstly, sometimes the smallest bit of light is worth focusing on. Secondly, we all need some space.
I thought to myself, what difference can one moment really make?
- And as nature often shows us, one instant can change everything.

(For a friend)

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