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I Dare You

Angela Chau


My older brother was a fairly typical one. He always bragged that he

was better than me. From being better at Maths and Science, to who

was capable of holding their breath for the longest, his self-pride

enshrouded him wherever he went. He believed he was the perfect

man. Shaggy light brown hair, blue eyes; he even claimed that a girl

had once kissed him on the cheek when he was eight. Sadly, I could

never figure out if he ever recounted a mendacious story.

He stood at around one and a half metres tall. I had once asked

him if I was better for being the shortest. He frankly said, ‘No, that’s

not right. It’s a privilege to be the tallest, the biggest, or the strongest.

Dictating your shortness is like saying that you’re the weakest, the

wimpiest, and the worst.’ That hit me hard, that one solitary

comment. It was worse than an adult’s gush of wrath and vitriol,

because it was frommy brother, one of the people I believed to truly

love me.

I often asked him if I could have a turn at being the best. He

reluctantly agreed, but on the condition that I had to surpass his

own achievements. It was invariably the same: ‘Climb the pole and

touch the top, I dare you.’ I couldn’t lay a foot on it. ‘Swim non-stop

to the edge of the lake and back without drowning, I dare you.’ I

swam halfway, found myself fighting for breath, and unwillingly

turned back. ‘Run to the end of the road to the yellow brick house

and back, in under two minutes, I dare you.’ It seemed too simple:

down the road, to the end, across the road, yellow brick house, return.

In only two minutes. I sprinted swiftly, hastily swerving around the

cars with caution. I touched the house and returned. I demanded

the time. ‘Two minutes and six seconds, just a few seconds shy of the

limit.’ Devastated, I sulked, internally screaming at myself. Bright,

bold words, were flashing in my brain, digging into my heart: I was a


I stood regretful, mad, ashamed of myself. ‘Two minutes and six

seconds, just a few seconds shy.’ It constantly replayed in my head,

bringing back memories of the other nightmare. ‘You are the

weakest, the wimpiest, and the worst.’ My brother was gazing at the

stopwatch, with a smug grin crawling onto his face. He didn’t seem

to be showing much sympathy. It disgusted me that he was standing

with the sense of pride and the achievement of beating me once

again. I was so close, which made my defeat even more miserable.

Slowly, the anger inside me soon turned into ambition. I yearned to