December 12, 2012
I’m don’t like to play sports. It just isn’t my thing. Needless to say, I also am not a fan of sports stores. For one thing, that bitter smell of the equipment, and for another, the fact that I have nothing to do when I go.

So I didn’t enter Sports Authority with a good attitude. Neither did my brother, Alex.

Alex has many special needs, including but not limited to: brain damage, legal blindness, and epilepsy. He hates stores, because he is basically not able to see anything, and forced to be quiet and just be dragged along.

I entered sullen and he entered screaming, miserable and wanting to leave.

I’m the “Alex Whisperer” in my family. I’m the best with him, and we have lots of inside jokes (yes he does have a sense of humour).
My dad allowed us to walk around the store together, me guiding him using his cane.
We walked over to the mannequins. I took his hand, and put it to the mannequins face, and he moved his fingers over it, tracing its features.
“What is this Alex?” I asked him, as he put his hand down.
“It is a person!” He exclaimed, jumping and flapping his hands. I smile. He settles down. “Good job.” I tell him. We move on, looking at the clothes, balls, and other stuff Sports Authority has to offer. I slowly am less unhappy about being here. Alex is like a drug to me, being around him makes me calm, happy, and satisfied.
But quickly, my good mood is dissolved. I soon realize, I have an unwanted stalker.

I subtly turn my head. It’s a girl, probably in fifth grade. When she sees me looking, she turns around, but when I turn around, and at her out of the corner of my eye, I see she is still looking. At Alex. What a total brat. I think, annoyed, as I take Alex to the soccer section. Hasn’t she seen a special needs kid before?! Apparently not, because she still was staring. I’m angry now. Okay, if she looks ONE more time, then I’ll go yell at her. It didn’t take long. I closed my eyes, and took slow military precision steps towards her. She sees me coming, and busies herself looking at soccer balls.
“Excuse me?” I say, an edge to my voice. She looks up, and a slight blush appears on her cheeks. “Hi,” I pause. “The boy you’re staring at,” I gesture to Alex, “Is my brother. Are you such an insensitive brat that you just have to look at him like he’s some kind of circus sideshow? You can ask questions, I don’t mind answering them, but he’s a human being, not a museum exhibit.” By this time the girls cheeks are a bright red, and she looks at the floor. I’m about to leave, but she stops me.
“Um....why is he, holding, a, stick?” She stumbles over her words. It’s mine turn to stare, mouth open. I’d heard that question from four year olds, but never from kids her age!
“Excuse me?!” I whisper, sure I heard her wrong. She pointed to Alex’s cane.
“Why’s he got that stick?” I raise my eyebrows, and choke out a furious laugh.
“It’s a cane, genius. He’s blind!” Her eyes widen with surprise.
“Oh.” She pauses, then says, “Sorry.” in a sarcastic way. I close my eyes, and shake my head. “No.” I tell her. “I feel sorry for you. Anyone so inconsiderate and mean deserves my pity.” Then I turn around, and walk away, guiding Alex.
“Kathryn, I am so mad!” Alex starts our special game, a wide smile in his face. I try to forget about the girl, and concentrate on him. I talk to him, absentmindedly telling him jokes. He laughs. The girl disappears from my thoughts.
Right there, with Alex, I am happy. I am calm. I am satisfied.

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