The Story
Of Mako:


Mako's teenage years started where his childhood left off; still going strong with hockey and skiing. Hockey tournaments sent him all over British Columbia, while our family's Christmas vacation in Whistler became a ritual.

His temper still fueled some fights at school (Burnaby South Secondary), which was fine when it was against other students, but when they involved his teachers, he got suspended. If I remember correctly, he got suspended a couple of times because arguments with teachers..

I don't know exactly how many times he got into fights at school, but I did hear of this one incident when some little shrimp challenged him. Regretfully so I'm sure, as he soon found himself in Mako's patented headlock (I like to think that I taught him that) and in tears.

So, he had inappropriate encounters with peers, teachers, and...who else is left? Ah, parents of course... During P.E., a fellow student grabbed Mako's (actually mine that he borrowed) shirt, yanked it, and ripped it. Because he treasured what belonged to me so much, he threatened to kick the #&*$ out of the kid if he didn't bring $30 to school the next day. When he didn't, Mako went to the kid's home, got into a shouting match with his mother and came home empty handed. That night, a knock on the door revealed that the kid's father wanted to fight Mako. Because fathers are so tough, he brought a bat with him and told my mother to get her *&$#&ing kid outside now so that he can kick the *&#$* out of him. Very good parental example indeed. Mako answered his challenge but Mom wouldn't let him out of the house. The father didn't get what he wanted so he went home and called the police. Yes you heard me right. After threatening to beat up my brother, this guy who was twice my brother's age, goes home and calls the cops. That night, we had two visits from the cops. The first was to warn Mako that if he touched the kid at school, he'll be in big trouble. Mako calmly told them that he will gladly pay the consequences that come with beating someone. This lead to the cops' second visit. To deliver $30 from the kid's father.

Need for speed? Mako had it. Especially when he was a new driver. At first, he only had access to Mom's Hyundai Pony. Now, it doesn't matter if you're Jacque Villeneuve, you can't pick-up speed in that thing. But his time came when Dad bought a Hyundai Elantra. Not exactly a speed demon, but enough horses to get your heart pumping if Mako's your driver. The first day he took it out, he filled the car with his friends and took it to 170 km/h. Not exactly record breaking territory, but certainly could have caused problems in that school zone. I still remember the smile on his face when he told me what he did.

His final years of high-school were highlighted with time spent with his then-girlfriend, Rita. They seemed to do everything together, which faired well with me, as Rita worked at Sport-Chek and always gave me a generous discount.

Yes, my brother got into trouble on the rare occasion. And he felt that he was invincible. But one thing that you couldn't ignore about Mako was his ability to pull-off first class grades in school without doing what teachers preach most: studying. While I was in the dumpsters trying to pass every year, Mako's grades were flourishing. The only stumbling-block he hit with academics was when he knew a subject better than his teacher. Japanese (a language that Mako was fluent in) class is the perfect example. I'm sure he let his teacher know that he/she shouldn't be teaching a course with such limited knowledge of the subject. The final laugh goes to the teacher though, as Mako was awarded with a failing grade. But rare occasions aside, I think at this stage Mako was starting to realize that he had a talent that so few people do. He knew that natural intelligence could take him a long way, and he later took full advantage of it.

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Next: Adulthood