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Zheng 1Colleen ZhengMrs. KamaliHonors English Period 416 January 2018Insert Interesting Title Here! What’s an image you’ll never forget? It was a warm autumn afternoon, years before I designed the best brain-computer interface created, the NeuroLink, that took the world by storm. Golden leaves rode the wind, water flowed and gurgled through rock crevices in the stream, and the sun outlined the tall trees in a hazy light. I remember the park’s layout, the temperature, the light’s angle, and the placement of every tree, just like it was yesterday. I reconstructed it as a Memory and stored it into my NeuroLink, adding small details every year.

My younger brother, Sasuke, in his bright blue scarf and boots, and I were hiding red and blue eggs in a small, grassy clearing. The objective of the game was to steal the other person’s eggs before time ran out. With the clouds floating lazily across the sky and my brother and I playing so ____, the thought this was the last game I would play with him never crossed my mind. Suddenly, Sasuke darted into the trees bordering the clearing, chasing after an egg thrown too far. A few minutes passed. I shouted his name. My exasperated calls soon take on a twinge of confusion, a note of concern, then became frantic and panicked.

My steps quickened into a sprint and my world becomes blurred as I scanned the park wildly for a little boy in a bright blue scarf. I gasped for air and screamed his name, clutching my head and whispering to myself what I want to believe, and tore home, praying he left for home early. Behind me, the sun began to set, washing the park in orange-gold, and leaving the red and blue speckled grass waiting for the game to start. The heavy guilt and shame trailed me and tapped me on the shoulder every passing day. I sobbed for forgiveness on my knees before my parents and watched how the trauma had slowly streaked my jet-black hair with a single slash of silver.

My parents never talked about him, they blamed themselves and bore the pain silently. He only existed solely in their sculptures and the few pictures I owned. Countless copies of the same sequence are stored in the Memories of my NeuroLink, each one altered by small, subtle details. The stream shifted a bit to the left, a little to the right, me leading Sasuke home before starting our game, me going to find the egg instead of Sasuke, me calling Sasuke to come back just a few seconds early. Variation after variation of scenarios that could have happened, should have happened, but never happened.

I remember every single detail, except the ones that could have saved his life. Who abducted him? Where did he go? What might have happened if I had done this? If time had shifted just a little? So, I keep building, fabricating Memory after another, torturing myself, confining myself in this endless hell. Underneath my layers of fame, fortune, and genius lies just a boy. A boy who is agonized by the same nightmare every night, who is trapped forever wondering if he could have done a single thing differently, who continues living his life with vicious, unending shame clenching his heart. I invented the NeuroLink because of my brother.

I created Warcross based on the last game we ever played together. Everything, everything, I do, is for him. And I’ll never forget that perfect moment we shared together before it shattered beyond repair.

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