This won't be the most heartwarming story you ever see here, but it certaintly warms my heart thinking back on it. Growing up, I never really got along with my siblings. I was the youngest of 4 (Two older brothers and one older sister) and because of that, I was constantly picked on. I had to toughen up quick as we would often get into verbal and sometimes physical altercations. I won't go into detail here, but things got kinda crazy here and there.
After all the fights and hurtful things said, it was video games that ultimately brought me closer to my two older brothers. We shared plenty of moments of split-screen multiplayer madness in GoldenEye 007, passing of the controller after one of us died in Super Mario Bros. 3 and having a blast playing beat 'em ups like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon together. Sometimes we'd brag over petty thoughts of who was better at whichever game, but more often then not, we simply enjoyed the experience together as brothers.
My favorite memory of this would be playing Tekken 3 with my oldest brother. I was in Jr. High at the time and he was fresh out of High School. He'd destroy me over and over again as at that time, the PlayStation was in his room and I had very limited play time on it. He was good with almost every fighter on the roster but King was his main. He knew all the wrestling combos King had in his arsenal and he'd simply ragdoll me almost every time. Still, he'd challenge me again and again and I would never say no to a challenge from my brother. I was best with Bryan and Hwoarang but was still no match for him.
Then he got a job working with my dad at a moving company. I took this as a opportunity to get better. After school and sometimes on the weekends, he'd be busy working. So I figured out how to sneak into his locked room and practice while he was away. I practiced with a number of characters but got really good using Bryan, Hwoarang, Jin, Heihachi, Lei and Paul. I learned what combos I could, but mostly just got good at learning most of the moves and learning when to best use them. Timing was key and I practiced my ass off to make sure I could keep him at bay so he couldn't use those wrestling combos with King on me. I acted like I wasn't in the mood to play for weeks so I could get in as much practice as possible. Then came time to challenge him.
He was being his usual cocky self but was happy to answer my challenge. We started the game up and picked our fighters. Of course he started with King, so I started with Bryan. I did what I set out to do. I kept him at distance and with Bryan being the much better striker, I picked up the victory pretty easily. He was surprised, said it wouldn't happen in the 2nd round and it didn't. I still beat him, but it was a much closer match. Of course he wanted a rematch and I gave him plenty of them with both of us switching between characters. I'd say we were pretty even with him winning some and me winning some. After so many brutal beatdowns, I could finally keep up.
It was a great time for both of us and my brother was shocked but also realized that I had been practicing. Afterwards, he didn't say the words but he looked at me like a proud brother would and smiled. It was the first time he ever really acknowledged me in a positive way and coming from the broken home that we did, that honestly meant the world to me. I'm happy to report that we share a much stronger bond these days and even though we're halfway across the country from each other now, we keep in contact often and catch up on all the crazy that life brings our ways.