They say a baby bird imprints on the first creature it sees when it's born. I wasn't a baby bird, but I had imprinted on Hank the moment he stood over me with his fists raised, protecting me from playground bullies.
I had been five.
Hank had been seven.
He was my hero from that day forward. If he laughed, I laughed. If he hurt, I hurt. If he got a brain freeze from eating his ice cream too fast, my head ached as well.
Hank was everything.
And then one day, he wasn't.
He was just gone.
I was willing to go through hell to get him back.