(Disclaimer's on my profile.)


Ten – Lessons

My brother and I didn't always get along.

He just wanted what was best for me, wanted to protect me from all the "bad guys" in the world. Now that I'm older, I can see that he was actually a pretty good big brother, especially for putting up with someone like me.

But back then, I didn't understand the lessons he was trying to teach me. I didn't want to grow up, take responsibility for my actions. I wanted to be a kid! I wanted to have fun, get toys and games and let Mom and Dad worry about all the adult stuff. I figured there was lots of time to get used to the "real world" he was always talking about.

Then I went to the Digital World.

Everything I had taken for granted back home was gone, and we didn't have adults to take care of us. Takuya tried really hard, though, and I was never on my own, so even then I didn't understand what Yutaka was trying to tell me. He said Mom and Dad wouldn't always be there to take care of me, but even when they weren't, my friends took care of me. I was just a little kid; no one expected me to act like a grown up!

I didn't like Kouji back then. Takuya was my surrogate big brother, after all. He looked out for me and played with me and protected me. All Kouji ever did was tell me to grow up. I didn't realize it at the time, but Kouji reminded me of my real brother, and I guess that was part of the reason I hated him so much.

In the end, it became one of the reasons I respect him. The simple fact was Kouji and Yutaka were right. I was just a whiny little kid who expected everyone else to give him everything he asked for.

I thought of Takuya as my brother, more than Yutaka, because I thought a brother was someone who made you happy. I wanted that kind of brother. But I needed the brother I already had; the brother who would help me become a better person, even when I didn't want to listen to his advice. That was just one of the many lessons I learned in the Digital World.

I still think of Takuya as a brother, of course, just as I think of JP and Zoe and the twins as my family, but Yutaka is the only one I'll call nii-san, because he's the only one who deserves it. After all I put him through, it's a miracle he still tolerated me.

Of course, it wasn't all brotherly advice and bickering. After all that happened in the Digital World, after I grew up and stopped acting so selfish, we actually got along pretty well. We spent hours together, talking and playing video games and going to movies. Believe it or not, he actually has a fun side. I just had to tease it out of him.

-Tommy Himi, 33 years old