TITLE: On the Beam
GENRE: Young Adult
If people were colors, I’d be pastel pink. In a family of whites, I’d stand out. Unfortunately for me, my family glows in the dark. My mom sold her first software design to Microsoft when she was 22, and her sister Allie won an Olympic gold medal. Did I feel pressure to overachieve? Um. Do Crocs make your feet sweat?
Mom never cracked the whip on me because she identified. While she was acing SATs and shopping for Jessica McClintock prom dresses, Allie had already flipped her way into endorsements, home shopping appearances, movies, and an unfortunate reality television stint. Still, the obligation to invent, cure, or save something weighed on me. By 15, my only noteworthy accomplishment was that I could shove a pound of licorice in my mouth at once. Now, I do have two spleens, but Mom gets credit for that because my organs were her handiwork, after all.
For a few bloated days every month, I decided I was a mutant, destined for nothing special. But the rest of the time I believed in my genetic potential. So being me was either thrilling or depressing, depending on the time of the month.
My chance to overachieve hit when I was at my lowest point. Did I succeed? I’ll tell the story and let you decide. But I warn you, in places you may want to thump me on the head. Great genes don’t make people immune to bad decisions.