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Jasper has been by my side since he was crawling around in diapers looking at the world in amazement. As my little brother and I grew older we developed completely opposite personalities. I became the calm and laid back kid and he was always so energetic and up for any challenge. Aside from our differences, we are helpful to each other. I show him the importance of being responsible and he taught me how to have fun once in a while and be childish.
“Hey, tell JJ to clean his room while I’m gone,” said my mom rushing to get to work “That boy’s room needs to be cleaned or else he’s in big trouble”. Jasper had been pushing off cleaning his room since.. well I don’t remember the last time he cleaned it. I walked up the staircase after my mom left. I found my brother in his natural habitat. Jaspers eyes were glued to the TV with pure concentration. Yup. He’s in the videogame trance.
“Mom wants you to clean your room,” I told my brother trying to break his meditation.
“Not now I almost got a high score!” he said in excitement. So I left. Later I found him in the exact spot.
“Almost got it,” he interrupted. For years he’s been trying to beat my record at Starship but I’ve remained champion. Starship was this ancient videogame I used to play when I was in elementary school around Jaspers age. The animation is choppy and 2D but I had an obsession with it much like my brother right now. As I grew older Starship drifted out of my life as a silly. The game is now extremely easy compared to the advanced gaming system of the Xbox. I left Jasper and did some homework in the kitchen. I would just remind him later. I found myself drifting off and daydreaming, staring outside at the warm colors of the leaves. Then I snapped back to reality and actually tried to focus. I stared at my French homework. I sighed in utter confusion. I sat there attempting the French in boredom. Screams and shouts from my brother shattered the silence. I rushed up the stairs abandoning my halfheartedly written homework.
“I beat it,” he yelled with his face beaming. The television screen had tiny fireworks exploding because of Jasper’s victory. He had a true sense of accomplishment.
“Here, you play,” Jasper offered filled with triumph.
The game was too easy for me; I was doing my homework so maybe another day.
“I got to go finish my work,” I said as I slowly trudged down the stairs to continue my boredom. Then I remembered.. My mom was coming back in 15 minutes. I doubled back up the stairs and entered Jaspers room. The room was a pandemonium of dirty clothes and toys on the ground. The scent of dirty wet soccer cleats pierced my nose almost making me gag. I covered my mouth like I was in a radioactive zone. I left the horrid room. I returned to my brother soaking up his triumph in his victory dance.
“I bet you can’t beat it,” laughed Jasper spinning around. He didn’t know that I was the master of that game. I was torn between getting my work done or playing the game I used to worship.
“Hey, If I beat your record then you need to clean your room immediately,” I said knowing he wouldn’t pass up the challenge. “If I don’t beat it then I’ll clean it for you”
“Okay!” he said not knowing how good I was at the game. I grabbed the controller and played the game. I was a tiny space ship flying through the Universe dodging asteroids and shooting down alien ships. The more alien ships I shot down the more my score skyrocketed. My brother’s jaw dropped in amazement as I took down every ship in sight. My score was soaring, creeping toward my brother’s high score. I glanced at him for a second and he had a look of disappointment on his face. Jasper’s shoulders dropped and he sank into his seat. He really felt accomplished at beating my high score and now I’m about to crush it. How could I do that to him?
“Oh no, there are too many ships taking over,” I said as I exaggeratedly swayed my controller. My brother had a spark of hope appear in his eyes. Seconds later I let myself get blown up by the alien chief… only a couple points from beating his record. His excitement was brought back immediately and he jumped up and down on the couch doing his victory dance. I just chuckled at my brother’s happiness. I remember when I was like that. When the entire world was without stress and all I cared about was having fun. I had only 5 minutes to clean his room. I rushed into the toxic vicinity and gathered all his dirty clothes, I swept the floor, folded his clean clothes, organized his toys and I even cleaned his awful soccer cleats with the hose outside. To finish off the room I sprayed Febreeze everywhere. It was spotless. It may seem like I was doing him a huge favor but having him around is enough of a reward. Having that little kid in my life is the only force that can break my seriousness. Jasper is usually the one who makes me kneel over in laughter and the one who gets me to do the most ridiculous things. My mom arrived home and Jasper rushed down the stairs to tell her the terrific news. Jasper rambled about his triumph in great detail. I walked down the stairs laughing as I admitted my downfall in Starship.
“After all these years you finally beat me kid,” I said.
“Well I hope you didn’t just play videogames Jasper,” said my mom as she walked up the stairs to inspect Jaspers flawless room. Jasper and I were left in the kitchen.
“Thanks Paxton,” my little brother whispered as he reached out and hugged my waste. Was he thanking me for cleaning his room or did he know I lost on purpose? I didn’t know so I just patted his head and responded.
“Anytime kid. You’re the champion now… and you always will be”