I watch as my five nieces and nephews ran around the park, brandishing toys and sticks. We’re here for my grandad’s 80th birthday, and the whole family had come together to celebrate.
I sit down next to my brother, who’s popping a cap off a new beer.
‘Do you remember when we did that?’ I ask, nodding towards the kids.
With a laugh, he says, ‘We had so much fun,’ before pausing to take a sip of beer. ‘Do you remember all those stories we used to make up?’
I nod. ‘You always made me the servant in your fictitious worlds.’
‘You weren’t always a servant. You bitched to mum, so we had to take turns.’
‘Well you can’t be the king every time,’ I tell him.
‘First of all, you demanded to go first in every board game, so it was only fair I was the king. And second of all, I’m the eldest, I choose the characters.’
I shake my head with a laugh. ‘You pass that down to the kids?’
‘Only the eldest.’ He winks.
One of the kids screeches, and we look over at them. The youngest, wearing a pink tutu, is chasing the rest of them around.
‘Don’t let it touch you!’ one of the kids yells.
I turn to my brother. ‘It always felt like the story would stay with us forever. All I remember is the fun we had.’
‘Even though you were always the servant?’
I point at him with the top of my beer bottle. ‘Ah ha! So you admit it!’
With a scoff, he smiles and shakes his head. ‘You’ve never changed.’