Dear Kevin: 16 reasons why I hate you

A letter to my brother about how our relationship evolved through the years

Emily Xia

Dear Kevin,

God, I hate you.

I hate that because you were five years older than me, you always made me bring you water bottles and snacks from downstairs because you were too lazy to get out of your creaky chair and get them yourself.

I watch my brother as he plays on his Nintendo DS.

I hate that even when I was sure I was right, you somehow won every argument we ever had, leaving me crying on my wooden chair at the dining table.

I hate that you made fun of me for liking dorky kids’ shows, like “My Little Pony”. I hate that you would always punish me for no reason by refusing to allow me to watch the newest episodes of my favorite animes (by the way, I watched them anyways when you weren’t at home).

I hate that when I was in second grade and I told you my favorite color was green just like you, you were so petty and told me my favorite color couldn’t be green, because you already called that color your favorite. For the next couple of years, I had to say my favorite color was blue because I didn’t want to make you angry.

I hate that when your friends came over, I was never cool enough to play Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart with you because you knew I would lose.

I hate that you endlessly teased me for being too scared to sleep on my own. “Stop bothering Mom,” you said. “You’re being so immature.”

I hate that you critiqued how I never finished my food at the table, or that I never wanted to use chopsticks. You told me that I wasn’t being true to my Chinese culture by not using chopsticks, and that I wasn’t allowed to leave the dining table if I didn’t finish my food. Just so you know, Kevin, I had the smallest stomach ever when I was a kid, and my motor skills weren’t quite honed yet to pick up food with chopsticks.

I raise caterpillars into butterflies with my brother annoying – I mean, aiding, me along the way.

I hate that you always corrected how I spoke, making me feel utterly self-conscious whenever I said the word “totally,” just because you didn’t like how it sounded.

As we grew older and out of the phase where we supposedly weren’t allowed to have the same favorite color, we’ve gotten much closer. But don’t think the coast is clear — I still have reasons for why I hate you. 

I hate that you had to leave for college, and that you genuinely hugged me before you had to get in the car to go to the airport. The night before you left, I was wide awake in my bed, and I heard you cry for the first time. 

I hate that you can’t bring me on daily boba trips anymore like you used to, just because you didn’t want to go alone. I swear, every time you come back home during a holiday, my boba intake increases by 500%. 

I hate that you started calling me an a– for fun, so I had to retaliate by calling you the same. I’ve changed all your contact information to “big donkey” in my phone so I can stay PG.

I walk down the field of Kennedy Middle School after graduation. We didn’t plan on coordinating colors that day, but I guess we look pretty cool.

I hate that you suddenly became such a driven and passionate student after high school, and that you’re setting such a high standard for me to follow through. As I watched you hold your diploma for Purdue’s graduating class of 2019 with honor cords around your neck, I couldn’t help but regret how I missed your high school graduation because I was stupid and didn’t want to miss school. You didn’t care, but I do.

I hate that I can’t laugh until I cry until 1 a.m. with you anymore, and that everytime I want to talk to you, it has to be through a screen on Facebook messenger. 

I hate knowing that every time you come back home, I can only get one week to hang out with you before you have to leave again. I hate that even though you do visit me, we can never go back to when we were both living together at home, bickering over something unbelievably stupid.

I hate that we became so much closer when we only had two years left together, because now, we’re not just siblings — we’re best friends. And that makes it hurt 100 times more. I hate that even though we’re both so excited to have successful, prosperous and happy lives, sometimes, all I want to do is just go back to how things were before.

But most of all, I hate that I never told you how much I love you. I’m way too full of stupid pride to send you such a sappy message without notice, but even though we were both annoying as hell when we were children, you’re my rock and I wouldn’t be who I am today without your guidance.

I hope you don’t read this article, but if you do, just know that I love you. You’re an a–.




Kevin in his Purdue graduation gown, with a proud sister watching him.

All photos used with permission of Li-Qun Xia