La Familia Es Todo

Sometimes a person’s morals can conflict with the rules. How one handles such dilemmas is what gives them character and defines them as a person. As a child I understood “the rules” and the importance of respect. I had a squeaky clean permanent record – up until the day I had to make a decision between following the rules and protecting my brother.
“RIIIIIIIIING,” the rusty old bell rang out across the school.
Instantaneously, the school was flooded by a child tsunami. They poured from the classrooms and onto the playground. I, too, broke free from the shackles of the classroom and ran to the school oval. It was a scorching hot spring day and the sun glared down upon me as beads of sweat ran down my forehead. I chased footballs down like a rabid dog chases a bone, and punted them up into the air.
The end of lunch was nearing and the humidity held an ominous tension. As I walked off the field I heard a loud argument breaking out.
“It’s my ball! Give it back!” one voice shouted.
“But I caught it fair and square,” another shouted back indignantly.
I peered above the crowd and sure enough, I saw my brother holding a ball as two other boys tried to pry it from his hands. The other children, bloodthirsty fight fanatics engrossed in the conflict, crowded eagerly around the boys, awaiting a knockout finish.
“C’mon, split it up,” I told them as I pushed between the boys and my brother.
The larger boy shoved me aside and stormed menacingly toward my brother like a raging bull charging towards a red flag. The expression on my brother’s face told me that he knew that he had bitten off more than he could chew.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was going to have to make a decision, stop this boy from attacking my defenceless brother and face the consequences, or let him take the beating.
As he pulled back his fist, I made my move. I became The Dark Knight, camouflaging with the shadows, awaiting a chance to take down my target. Just like Batman, I crept up behind the criminal, leapt into the air and took him down,
WHUMP! THUMP! WHACK!
“AAAAAAAHHH,” he screamed as I delivered the savage blows.
“Don’t you ever... think about…touching him again,” I let the animosity in my voice say the rest as I stood over him. I was interrupted by a friend tapping me on the shoulder.
“Psst. Jesse. Behind you,” he whispered.
I turned around to a horrified teacher, staring with her jaw hung all the way to the ground.
Despite being issued my first ever detention, my father was proud of me. He told me that I’d made the right call and that I should always look out for my brother. From that day on, I realised that family is everything, and that sometimes you have to break the rules to protect what you love.

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