Best Personal Essay- Cheater,Cheater

There I am standing outside of my house at 4:00 am, hosing my porch and stairs down in the middle of winter. What I thought that would never amount to anything and would have no repercussions with my family . I was wrong.

It was quiet and everyone was still asleep. The birds were silent and all you could hear was the cold winter breeze run through the leaves of the trees. The snow was like a group of a bunch of small ballet dancers. This was the calm before the storm.

Oh! I should probably start from the beginning. My name is Amado. It’s an unusual name in America and not super common in Chile & Puerto-Rico. I come from a very diverse family. there are 8 of us in total and we’re all so different. It's sometimes like always having your friends over at your house especially when we play games. My mom is tough as nails and sometimes scary but she’s nice when she wants to be. My dad is hard-boiled and strong, it feels like he was pulled straight out of a boxing movie. Everyone in my family has pretty interesting hobbies and jobs that they do, well except for me. I mean I do stuff but I’m not particularly good at it. My mom and dad praise me a lot because I’m the only one in my family who still does sports consistently. I'm in cross country in the fall & I usually run on my own to stay in shape during the spring. It’s fun being with my friends and waiting for my turn to run. Although sometimes I think of being a prized boxer or a great baseball player that always won games and such.

That's what I think about at night and it's a little scary. Some people count sheep, or just listen to their heartbeat, but I think of different scenarios that could've happened in my life. I never really do any more than that except listen, watch, and think about different activities I could have done. I consume so much media it should be illegal, I often was and still am glued to the TV and watch fictional shows about heroes, justice and just cool stories over all. That was my dream job when I was little, Superhero. Saving people and getting recognition for it would be amazing I always thought to myself, deep down I knew it wouldn’t happen but secretly till this day I still hope.

It’s kind of ironic, I like talking about myself but when I comes to writing about myself I find it extremely hard. Anyway back to the story, it was a day like no other, it was winter break and me and my brother where playing as always, I was 9 and my brother was 10. We must’ve been super bored because we went to go pick on my older brother who was about 14 at the time. He was still in bed like most teens at that age. I remember shaking him and shaking him to make him wake up until he barked at me “Leave me alone!”. I guess I was offended so I slapped him hard in the eyeball, a pursuit was enable. I ran as hard as I could to the kitchen and hid behind my mom. The rule of thumb for every household is that you don’t do anything dumb in front of your mom or dad especially if you’re on break. My 14 year old brother at the time shouted “That's why you could never beat me in a fair fight!”

“Could too!”

“Could not.”

“Could too!”

“If you can, then my room tomorrow at 12:00pm”


I think my mom didn’t say anything because she was so over us. As my 14 year old brother walked away, I was furious. My blood was boiling, I thought of myself as Superman and he was Lex Luthor, there was no way I was in the wrong and he was the bad guy. Time passes and before I know it its bed time. I fall asleep fairly early for some reason. Before I know it I wake up sweating and I’m soaked. I look at the clock and see its 3:37 am. I try to go to sleep but the thought of my older brother fighting me was on my mind, I was scared

“What if he hurts me bad”?

“What if I have to go the hospital?”

“What if I die?!”

I couldn’t fall back asleep I was so scared that my 14 year old brother was going to end my life or put my in the hospital. Then an idea clicks in my head, If I ice the porch and wait outside he won’t be able to catch me! The plan was perfect, at least to me. I sneak downstairs, put on my winter clothes, grab the garden house, and get to work. It was beautiful outside, you should have seen it, the street lights were still on and the snow was falling perfectly in way that I could watch it for hours. Before I know it, I’m done and the porch is completely wet, I was waiting for sunrise so I decided to wet the stairs just in case too. I waited, and waited and waited, it was cold and boring. I went back inside through the back gate and watched TV.

Before I knew it my 14 year old brother sits next to me while I’m watching TV. I completely forgot about the fight we were supposed to have and just sat there watching TV. Then when I saw the time I completely remembered. I kicked him in the stomach hard and ran, I guess my brother was reminded as well by my foot. I run out the front door and carefully maneuver the icey porch and stairs combo. “Come and get me!!!” I shout and a pursuit ensues. It seemed unreal my brother ran out the house slipped he slid straight ahead and fell down the stairs. My heart immediately sank, I knew I was in trouble but not because I thought my brother was going to beat me up but I was more concerned with him being dead.

“Wait did I kill him?”

“Heroes don’t kill people?”

“Am a evil?!”

“Am I bad guy?!?!”

These questions swirled around my head as my dad helped my brother up, I didn’t even notice my dad got there, I couldn’t move. My whole world wasn’t black and white anymore and all it took to realize that was my older brother falling down some stairs. This event stuck with my forever for some reason, every time I think back to the moment it makes me cringe. It was kind of the beginning of my life of cheap tricks and treachery. I thought, since I couldn’t win in a fair fight I would essentially “cheat” if you could even call it that but that’s how I won and it felt good for some reason. I realized that cutting corners in games or anything else would make me feel amazing.

Cheating has always been something I’ve been relatively good at ironically, I know that's probably a really bad thing but what can I say. Party games are my favorite, I like to impress people with my knowledge when I actually already knew the answer to the question they were going to ask. I have a scale of times when it’s ok to cheat, it goes if I’m doing ok and might be able to win this fairly I won’t cheat, if I’m losing a little badly then I may cheat a little and then stop half way through, and If i’m losing hard and I really want to win I’ll pull at all the stops and cheat like you’ve never seen before. It’s a bad habit and I should stop, but how do you stop doing something you're so good at, maybe it's an addiction maybe I need therapy.

Comments (5)

Mindy Saw (Student 2019)
Mindy Saw

I learned that Amado had an inspiration from all the media that he read and has seen as a kid and how much that meant to him. The part where you used nonlinear storyline seemed to work because it was like I was reading a movie. Using illustrative scenes also worked because I believe it was for the "hosing the front porch" scene. That scene was clear in visual in my mind as I was reading.

Eli Zimmerman (Student 2019)
Eli Zimmerman

I learned about the relationships that you share in your family. I liked the use of the non-linear timeline because you provide essential backstory. Your scenes were very descriptive you had a lot of similes.