Sharing the Spotlight

“TYLER!” my dad yelled out as my brother shrieked, flopping out of the golf cart and onto the wet, perfectly cut grass.

“Your mother is going to kill me,” my father mumbled with a sigh as he rushed out of the cart to comfort my little brother whose cries had shaken the quiet golf course.

“Let’s go.” my dad said. The only 5 minute long car ride home had turned into a nightmare, loud, obnoxious, ear-piercing screams, and a petrifying question. Does he really need to be so self-centered and unpleasant? Is mom gonna kill dad? It didn’t help that I was boiling over with anger. I knew what my brother was doing, and he wasn’t going to get away with it as long as I was there.


How to convince my parents that I am their favorite and should spend all their money on Barbie Dolls for ME? I asked myself. I knew I had to do something for them to come crawling back to me, but what? All I knew was that I wasn’t going to let him take it away from me, because it’s MINE!

That’s it. That’s it! THAT’S IT! It was my fault my brother fell out of the golf cart-well, that’s what my parents would think I thought at least. They would pity me, feel horrible for making their sweet, innocent daughter feel this way. Guilt tripping, why hadn’t I thought of it before? I had to primp myself for this special occasion, let’s see.. Tear-stained face, trembling hands, and sad eyes-this is too easy.


Walk in, apologize, quiver lip, let one, only one, single tear drip down your face. That’s all you have to do Alex, it’s so easy. I smiled, quickly, not letting anyone see, my plan was extraordinary, in no time my goal would be achieved. I quickly turned my smile upside down, my face now filled with a frown that holds worry and regret. I walked down the stairs slowly and self-consciously, making sure not to give myself away already.

“Mommy? Daddy?” I asked, my amazing acting skills coming into proportion.

“I’m sorry,” I said looking down, preparing my left eye for the short drizzle that would soon come,

“For what pumpkin?” my dad asked me, obviously confused.

“For Tyler getting hurt!” I cried, my lip quivering, hands trembling, but that one single tear did not fall, not one, but twenty. Twenty tears fell out of my bloodshot eyes. Wow, I am a great actress. Am I even acting? I asked myself. Yes, yes you are Alex, keep going! I told myself, I “needed” this.

“Oh honey,” my mother said, “It’s not your fault, please don’t think it is,”

“How would it be your fault AJ?” My father asked, my mother slapping his arm, forcefully, in disagreement.

“Because I made Tyler sit on the end of the seat and then he fell out. I just wanted to sit next to daddy!” I said, looking down. I hoped this would get them, I wasn’t even completely lying, I did want to sit next to my dad.

“I’m sorry you feel that way Alex, but you shouldn’t.” my mom stated. Here it comes, the day they claim I’m their favorite, I couldn’t wait.

“We love both of you equally, and Tyler falling out of the gold cart wasn’t your fault, it was his. He sat in a position that had no chance of ending well.” my father clarified, my mother nodded in agreement.

Wait, what?


“This is not what I want. This is not what I planned. And I just have to say, I do not understand.”

“Tell me about it Sharpay,” I sighed. This was going to be a lot harder than I thought. What to do, what to do… What was there to do? There wasn’t much left, my parents had explained everything to me, I couldn’t trick them now. Is this over? Did it even have a start? Maybe my parents were right. Tyler does need a little bit of special treatment because he is younger and could get hurt much easier. Was all this worrying and plotting for nothing? Probably so… It was true that my brother needed to be in the spotlight for a little bit, just to learn and grow up, why couldn’t I seem to accept that?

I had to do something, something that would say sorry for how obnoxious and spoiled I had been acting. My plan was fantastic, and this time it was to help my family, not just myself. I slowly made my way downstairs, ready to face my family, here goes nothing.

“I’m really, really sorry for every mean and unpleasant thing I’ve done today,” I said. I wasn’t up for talking about it so I walked back upstairs. As I passed my brothers room, I decided to start phase 2 of my genius plan-do nice things for my family when no one is looking. I started off with my parents, I took my favorite stuffed animals and put them on their bed. Next up, my brother. I organized his bed so all his stuffed animals were sorted out from smallest to largest. The last thing I was going to do would take me all night, but I was up for it. My night was filled with papers flying in every direction, crayons scattered across the floor, I didn’t even have dessert. As I walked up the stairs, I planned out what I would say in my head, it had to be perfect.

“Alex, go get into your pjs so you can go to bed soon, it’s getting late,” my mom smiled,

“Ok I just need to do something really quick,” I said as I walked in.

“I made this pictures for all of you and the cats as a present, I hope you like them,” I said as I handed them to my dad and started to hang the cats’ over their beds.

“They are really nice AJ,” my dad said,

“Thank you Alex,” my mom said, observing her drawing.

“YES I HAVE A GREEN SHIRT!” Tyler screamed, I laughed, happy they liked what I did.

Even though it would have been better if I knew about this before my jealousy got the best of me I’m glad I did now. At least I could be happy and understanding of what came between my brother and I-even if I wasn’t happy with it.

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2 thoughts on “Sharing the Spotlight

  1. Alex,
    I really enjoyed reading this. You take Telling the Internal Story to the next level. And, to be honest, your play-acting skills illuminated in this piece scare me a bit. I’m never going to know what you are thinking ever again. And, finally, I think you took my lesson about how Good Writers Need to Be a Bit Crazy Because We Talk to Ourselves a little bit too far . . . Just kidding: it’s what made the memoir interesting. Nicely done.

  2. I really enjoyed this funny memoir… I thought you added such great detail and I thoroughly enjoyed the part where you quoted Sharpay.

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