It was Qing Ming, the holiday in China when we honored our deceased ancestors. On the ground of the cemetery, drenched fowers lay in my grandfather's remembrance. That morning—a month before my sixth birthday—I clung tightly to my mother's sleeves and fnally learned why he passed away.
I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. I shot my brother when I was six. Luckily, it was a BB gun.
But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him. And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother.
Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: To me, Jon was just cocky. Deep down I knew I had to get the chip off my shoulder.
That is, until March 11th, The Korean War game was simple: Once we situated ourselves, our captain blew the pinkie whistle and the war began.
My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain. We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Hearing us, the alarmed captain turned around: It was my brother.
Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post. Vengeance replaced my wish for heroism and I took off after the fleeing perpetrator. Streams of sweat ran down my face and I pursued him for several minutes until suddenly I was arrested by a small, yellow sign that read in Korean: My eyes just gazed at the fleeing object; what should I do?
I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry. I opened my eyes just enough to see two village men carrying my brother away from the warning sign. My brother and I did not talk about the incident. That night when my brother was gone I went to a local store and bought a piece of chocolate taffy, his favorite.
Then, other things began to change.
I ate dinner with him. I even ate fishcakes, which he loved but I hated. Today, my brother is one of my closest friends. Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. And Grace, my fears relieved Twenty minutes have passed when the door abruptly opens.
I look up and I smile too. Bowing down to the porcelain god, I emptied the contents of my stomach. Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. Ten minutes prior, I had been eating dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant, drinking chicken-feet soup.
My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them. When the waitress replied no, I went for it.
Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest.
I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths.The Insider: College Admissions Advice from the Experts is where College Coach experts weigh in on the latest college admissions topics.
We cover everything from application timelines and strategies to tips on financing your child's education. Written for the Common App college application essays "Tell us your story" prompt.
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