As a child in primary school, I remember being not so affectionately called ‘alien’ by the other children, due to my unfortunate condition: heterochromia. My left eye being green and my right being blue resulted in endless teasing from the other students, often times causing me to go home in tears, feelings of worthlessness overwhelming me. That is, until I would see my brother. While my parents were never able to console me, he always somehow managed to turn things around, make them seem not so bad. He'd tell me the story of the Ugly Duckling, who everyone laughed at, who grew up to be a beautiful swan. He always told me that I was already that swan on the inside, and that it was their loss for not seeing it. Just to remind me of my worth, he would make me an origami swan and give it to me after school every day.
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He would do this every school day for years, until the Tuesday afternoon that he just stopped. I pretended not to notice, but the change in my brother was impossible to ignore. The once jovial, loving boy was now gone, replaced by a cold, damaged being with whom I was not familiar. Something broke my brother, and I had no idea what.ns188.8.131.52da2