#12 Unhealthy Competition

Hey there,

 

This one is about looking back to find no one.

We all encouraged healthy competition. Pete, on the other hand, was in a dog-eat-dog world all by himself, ruthlessly competing with anyone at anything he set his mind on.

Attending the same school with him was dreadful and being his younger brother added insult to injury. His competitive nature inevitably ended in unnecessary fights and I was always at the receiving end of it; not from him, but from the people he fought with. “Not everything is a competition, you’ve got to chill out!” I yelled.

But who took a younger brother seriously? He had to be the best at everything. That was always the end of that discussion. In the process, he eventually tuned out anyone advising him otherwise, even mom and dad. 

Going to events, parties, picnics even, were the highlights of my school years primarily because of the absence of my elder brother. He despised social gatherings, called it ‘a waste of time’. He was busy chained to his desk studying for the next test, which always was two months away. Man had no life. The only extra-curricular activity he had was football. That was because the coach didn’t make him captain that one match. He always had something to prove.

He wouldn’t even bother coming out for family dinners because we weren’t ‘important enough’ for him. While it was heartbreaking for mom and dad at first, they got pretty used to it. In fact, everyone did. We were all worried but adaptability to different situations was a key trait in the family, some used it well while some didn’t. 

A few years later, we had a reunion. One family graciously hosted the event and invited everyone who attended the school. Nostalgia worked its magic and we all reminisced simpler times. We talked about the stupid things that we did as kids - bunking classes, misleading our professors, pulling unthinkable pranks on classmates and much more.

Pete came to that party with me and I never really knew why… It was very unlike him. After spending a good amount of his school years ignoring everyone around, he felt out of place. He barely remembered names and didn’t know who to talk to. The worst part was, people remembered him, but dare I say they had fond memories of him. 

Yes, he topped the school, he won every award there was, he made it to the best university in the country and aced that too. He was the best on the football team as well. Like he set out to do, he was the best at everything anyone could ever think of.

But, he had no one to share it with. And as much as he deserves all the credit for his accomplishments, this one was on him too.

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