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More Than That This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Yannika L, Bellevue, WA

Autistic. That's how they labeled him. Not everyone got it, I don't think, why he wouldn't look at them when they spoke to him. Why he wouldn't say “hi.” Rude. Unfriendly. Weird. Yes, that was my brother. His expressions were a mystery, a blank page.

A musician. He could stay up 'til all hours of the night and into the day playing his red electric guitar. When he walked around the house, when we sat down to dinner, he wore the guitar strap as if it were part of him. He clung tightly to this lifeline. There must have been a spark that went off in his brain repeatedly, as if he were a computer calculating formulas. And whenever that spark went off, it would ignite like the Fourth of July.

He would let all his emotions vent into the strings, sounding perfect the first time without fail.

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