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Silver Spoon, Gold Platter

Malky Cope

All that glitters isn’t gold. You never know what’s going on behind the façade of people’s “perfect” lives. Experience has taught me that the hard way

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

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O n the outside I have it all. The youngest child of rich parents, I’ve always gotten everything I ever wanted handed to me on a silver platter. Add good looks, brains, and popularity to the mix and it’s not hard to wonder why people say I have the perfect life. But all that glitters isn’t gold. You never know what’s going on behind the façade of people’s “perfect” lives. Experience has taught me that the hard way. But let me start at the beginning of my story.

For a while I had known something was wrong. For a few months already my mother hadn’t been feeling herself. Then she took a turn for the worse. I heard the hushed conversations behind closed doors, knew she was seeing doctors and doing tests even though nobody actively shared that information with me. Although I’m 16, to my parents and siblings I’ll always be the baby of the family. They couldn’t hide it from me forever, though, and once they had definite results they finally shared the news with me, confirming what I already felt in my heart. My mother was ill. Seriously ill with the dreaded illness.

The doctors gave my mother a 50 percent chance for recovery but my parents were determined to fight it — and win. They did their research and found that the best place to treat my mother’s particular illness was in New York. So the decision was made. For the next couple of months, New York would be their home. My father actually has a branch of his business in New York so they had a perfectly legitimate cover-up story. Except for the rest of my siblings and a few close relatives, they didn’t want anyone else to know the true reasons for their travels.

As my two older brothers were both studying abroad in yeshivah, it was only me that was a problem. To leave me or to take me. In the end, my parents left the choice up to me; I could stay put in Los Angeles and move in with my sister who lived just a few streets away or come with them to New York. I declined the first offer. My sister is very sweet and all, but as the oldest sibling of the family she feels it’s her duty to be my second mother.

 

I didn’t need her bossing me around nonstop for the next few months. Besides, I wasn’t sure what the future would bring and I wanted to stay with my parents, to have my mother at my side. So I chose New York. It would entail missing a few months of school but because we’d only be there temporarily it wouldn’t be worth it for me to go school there. Instead my father spoke with my principal (who was told the truth), and arranged for me to receive the work so I didn’t fall behind during my absence.

My friends were all envious that while they’d be sweating away, dealing with the everyday rigors of school, I’d be having a grand old time in New York. I know they thought I’d only gotten permission because of my father’s money; he supported our small school nearly single-handedly. Ha. If only they’d known the real reason — not one of them would have been jealous of me.

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