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My Brother by Yu

A class of mine did great speeches. The speech I liked the best was given by a young man named Yu who is so nervous that when he speaks his right hand is clenched in a fist and his left hand has all five fingers sticking stiffly out, arms trapped by his side. He can’t look at the audience but looks everywhere else: the wall, the ceiling, the window. However, Yu did look at the audience when he spoke, although he delivered a shy speech that stumbled and was barely audible; yet it was the most beautifully written of any of my students. Is it beautiful simply because it’s the truth? He e-mailed it to me so that I could share it with you expressing the will to speak no matter what.


Today, I’d like to talk about my brother. His name is Yu Chengmeng. In the Chinese language, meng means the eldest son. He is only one year older than me, so we grew up together. Of course, we always had a good time with each other and I have a deep impression of him. And he has had a special influence on me.

We went to the same primary school. I was one grade lower than him. But we walked to school together. I will always remember the happy times on the way to school. There were trees, grass and flowers by the side of the road. In spring and summer we kids caught different kinds of butterflies, so sometimes we would be late for school (this is children). And on the cold days we ran on the way to keep warm and to see who ran the fastest. We really had a happy time.

And we also went to the same middle school. The school was a little far from our home, so we lived in school and went home once every week. We lived together and usually played football together after school. I remember one of our company was a strange student. He didn’t get on well with the other classmates and he didn’t care about that either. It was hard for him to laugh or even smile. But he would be happy to talk and play with my brother. I just didn’t know how he made it, so I asked my brother. He told me: “You just don’t understand him. If you want a person to be your good friend, you should know more about him.” Now I still remember these words.

He didn’t go to high school like me, because he didn’t study well. When I was going to high school he had to find a job. He said to me: “I regret not having studied well, but I hope you work hard, go to a good college and have a good future. And remember not to tell these words to your son in the future.” At that time, he seemed a man just like my father. He was no longer a student, no longer a child.

In a word, he has always been a good brother for me.

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