There I was, dressed in black with my hair up, tears rolling down my cheeks. Was this really happening to me, I thought? My brain was weak, heart broken while I stood in the rain that day, holding onto my family and friends. It was one of those times when your brain says move on, but your heart says stay home and gorge on junk food. But let me start from the very beginning.
The day, my birthday, was supposed to be full of happy memories, and family. Everything went great that cold February day until my dad got the call.
“I’m sorry to inform you sir, but Marie has been diagnosed with cancer and not long to live,” he said. That is the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry. My grandma, Marie, was going to die, and I could tell by the stone-cold look on his face that it was serious. I still can remember the exact time at 7:42 p.m. when he told me.
“Shonda, Grandma has cancer and is going to die, we have to visit her one last time.”
My first reaction to this was I broke down in tears. No more Christmas parties, laughing or listening to her stories about traveling around the world. I would have to use the little courage I had to see her one last time, so I did.
By that time it was April. Three months diagnosed. I finally went over to their house. I walked in that old country farm house to see her and Grandpa Hilary looking through old picture albums. She could barely walk, talk, or anything anymore. She said only a few words to me. While she laughed and held my grandpa’s hand they told me a story about traveling the United States. Her last words to me that I will never forget were, “Bye now Shonda, always pray for me, I love you.”
Then we were gone. It didn’t hit me until after we pulled out of the long stone-covered drive that was the last time I would ever talk to her again.
A few weeks later, we got the call. My grandpa told Dad, “She’s on her death bed, come say good-bye.”
So he did. When he came back, face pale, and the look of just seeing a ghost he talked to no one for days. Then that spring day in May, she was gone.
To her showing I went. I didn’t know what to expect, because I had to stay all day in that creepy funeral home. We were the first family there that day. My first reaction when seeing her was complete shock. I kneeled on that kneeler and prayed for her, just like she said to. The longest and hardest I’ve ever prayed in my life was right then. But, the worst thing was to see my Grandpa Hilary see her for the first time. He’s the bravest man I know, married to Marie for 65 years and loved her with all of his heart, and you could obviously tell. He slowly walked up to the pink casket (pink was her favorite color), he grabbed her clammy white hand, knelt on the kneeler slowly, and cried. His cry was a long hard sob. I have never seen anything like it before. You could tell by the look on his face that he was crushed and heart broken.
The funeral was the next day. A slow moving, rainy Wednesday morning. I packed up in the shiny black funeral car and headed on my slow journey. Everyone in church that day cried. They cried for Marie, and cried for all the lost hope and memories. She wrote a poem only a few weeks before she died called, “Suitcase for Heaven.” Since she traveled a lot, it was only fitting to read it. As my cousin Christa read these words, I felt the tears roll down my hot cheeks, “I packed up my suitcase for my final journey to heaven, all know I’m in a better place now, I miss you, hope to see you soon, wish I could send a postcard, but, I love you.”
All the funeral cars proceeded out of the Church to the cemetery. At the grave right next to Marie’s was a nest of baby birds just hatching. I knew right then it was a sign from God that this had happened for a reason. Right after blessing the grave, it started to rain. A hard, downpour rain came down upon us. I still believe today that those were my grandma’s tears falling down on us.
Never a moment goes by without me thinking about her. I hold her dear to my heart, and will never forget that day of mourning. She still, I believe, watches me every day, just like God, and I still always try to remember that everything happens for a reason.
This is not a fictional story. This is a true account of one man's struggle to overcome his financial struggles, his family's middle class status and a stepmother's unfair treatment, and reach success beyond his wildest dreams.
It all began in 1939, when Rama was born to two loving parents in a place called Agraharam, India.1 He was the youngest of four brothers. As time moved on, his mother died of typhoid fever when he was just 10 months old. This unfortunately left a huge burden on his father to support him and his three older brothers financially and emotionally. The death of his wife made a necessity of remarriage. With his father's new marriage, also came four other children, two girls and boys, as well as unfair treatment from his stepmother.
The new stepmother was unjust and was partial to her biological children. She would give the four brothers a less nutritious meal once a day and no money to use or spend. She let her own children get away with many things and was very strict on the other four brothers. She got away with all this behavior because his father was too soft a person and busy earning money to support the family of eleven as a low salaried technical employee and didn't have much time to notice the partiality shown by his new wife.
Even with all this unfair treatment, luck was still on his and his brothers' side; they still had people to help get them through. They had their grandmother, who raised the four brothers right up from the date of their mother's death and was always very supportive and encouraging of their dreams. She helped them to tolerate the treatment from their stepmother and came through for them when their father and stepmother couldn't. She would sneak them food separately without the stepmother's knowledge whenever possible. She also gave the boys small amounts of money given to her by her son for the purchase of some medicine.
They also had good neighbors who looked after them, but who were as poor as they were. These neighbors noticed the greedy behavior of the stepmother and used to call the boys over to give them food. Such gestures of kindness were greatly appreciated by the boys.
After 12th grade all of his three brothers went on to the university to attain a bachelor's degree in science and commerce. He graduated high school at the age of 16. His father wanted him to go for the Bachelor's degree since professional courses like Engineering and Medicine were very expensive and were not within the reach of his father's meager salary.
Even though his father had an ambition from the beginning to send him to an Engineering college, he could not encourage him. Because it was an expensive course, his stepmother didn't approve and thought that he should not pursue engineering even if he got admission due to heavy financial shortages (and lack of food). Many times, there wasn't enough food to eat, and he had to fast.2 The salary his father earned was barely enough to cover the basic amenities the family needed.
However, he eventually applied for a spot in the Engineering College and got a spot because of his excellent academic performance throughout high school. However, there wasn't a sufficient amount of Rs 105 3 to pay the semester fees to join. Since his father wanted him to go to Engineering College, he decided to mortgage a silver plate to generate money for the tuition fees. He finally graduated at the age of 20 and received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.
Immediately after graduating from college, he got a job as a Junior Engineer to help his family. Meanwhile, he also searched for other jobs and finally received entry as a Class I Gazetted officer in the Ministry of Defense Engineering Services of the Government of India, which was the only lucrative Government job at that time which averaged about Rs 2000 at that time. His family was very happy, but he was located over 2000 miles away from home.
After six years of stay, Rama got the opportunity to transfer back to stay with his father. During his stay, his parents pressured him to get married. He finally got married in March 1969 to a beautiful, young lady who understood his situation and was with him every step of the way. His job was the Design and Construction of a unique Air Force Academy for Indian Air Force. After completion of his job, he received commendation from the Government of India.
After marriage, he and his wife got relocated to the Defense Headquarters in New Delhi, India. There they were both blessed with a daughter in 1970. After a short while, he was relocated to a Naval project in Visakhapatnam4 and stayed there for four years. There he got to design the construction of the long awaited "dream structure," the "Dry Dock" for the Indian Navy. During their stay, the couple was blessed with their second child, a boy in 1974.
The new family now transferred back to New Delhi because of Rama's promotion in the Ministry. He still wanted to continue his education and his ambition was to receive a Master's degree in engineering. With his meager salary coupled with expenditure for two small kids, he thought he could never pursue his Master's degree. However, he tried to secure a seat in Indian Institute of Technology as a part time student. At this point, money was very hard to the new family. At one point, there wasn't enough money to buy eye glasses for his wife. He and his family made plenty of sacrifices. With determination coupled with hard struggle, eventually he obtained a master's degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi5 and was placed in First Class. This was a turning point in his career. He received a foreign assignment from the Government of India to go to Nigeria in August 1977 as the Chief Engineer Federal Ministry of Works. His dream of going abroad had come true. His original assignment with the Federal Republic of Nigeria was for three years. Even though his contract expired with the Nigerian Government, they were not willing to release him and requested him to extend his stay and continue for four more years.
His serving in Nigeria had given him a chance to fulfill his long awaited dream of joining the International Organization. He had an excellent record of service in Nigeria and was interviewed by the African Development Bank, AfDB, (a subsidiary of World Bank) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa in May 1984. There was tough competition between 77 member countries, both regional and non regional of Africa, and he got selected as a Professional Transport Engineer representing India as the first Indian and first from a non-regional country to hold such a high and prestigious position in Africa.
Due to his new job in the International Organization, he got a tax free international salary of $9000 a month with benefits like education for his children anywhere in the world, medical reimbursements, and diplomatic facilities. This new job opened up many avenues to look at the world from a different angle; now he is in a position to understand other's pain and difficulties so he tried to help them in what ever way he could. Along with his family, he visited many places in the world and had given them good quality of life .This new and fascinating opportunity had propelled him, and his family's earnings boosted up to a new level. Later he was selected by the United Nations Organization for an expert position, one of the World's prestigious organizations, but due to geographical distribution of the staff he was denied to join the same.
Coming from a small village and from a middle class family, reaching such a high position in an international organization was unimaginable for him and his family. He continued his job for 16 years and enjoyed many benefits and was able to successfully educate his children to the highest level of education with his wife by his side.
He maintained the respect and dignity of the AfDB Organization and successfully retired in April 1999 after 23 years of glorious service abroad. However, with his reputation in the International Organization, they requested him to continue his service as a consultant. He has been going back every year to Africa to continue his consultancy, with his most recent one that ended in November 2007.
As the first Indian to work for the International Organization in Africa, my grandfather is now 69 years old with a wonderful family and an amazing story to tell. But he's not just the Chief Engineer of an organization or a husband or the father of two children, he is also my grandfather.
In conclusion, this story is not just of my grandfather's alone, but there are millions in the world who face such kinds of difficulties. These stories are either heard from others or seen in the movies, but I was very lucky to have heard this story firsthand from my grandfather. In the end I realized that nothing is impossible, and that you can achieve great things in life if you just set your mind to it.
1A village near Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India
2Fast: 1. To abstain from all food 2. To eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food
3Approximately $18 in 1957
4Located in Andhra Pradesh
5Indian Institute of Technology is India's version of MIT and Ivy League
A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.
I was marked. This was it. There was no turning back.
“And the left one please.”
Numbly, unconsciously, I extended my other arm. The sharpie hung dagger like and then slashed down, carving its ink into my skin. The shower scene from Psycho flashed through my mind. I could feel the ink bleeding into my sub dermal layers. Sickly sweet marker fumes burnt my nose and sent another tremor through my already queasy stomach. As I fingered the hastily scribbled 293, all I could think of was the cliché your days are numbered. I turned around and threw up.
It all started a few months ago. It was the summer before my freshmen year, and I was bored. For the last two years, I had gone running every morning with Dewey, one of my friends, but now that we were going to be in high school, we thought that we were too old for jogging. We needed a bigger challenge, something that could really test us. When I found the flyer for the Kewpee1 Triathlon, I thought it was a godsend. There was one small problem: Dewey and I didn’t know how to swim. But seriously, how hard could it be? I had had some swim lessons and Dewey could at least float. And we had two months. When you’re fifteen, you know that you can do anything in two months.
The first day at the pool sucked. We had no idea what we were doing, but we were way too cocky to admit it. We just flung ourselves into the pool and started clawing at the water like drowning rats. Half blinded by the chlorine, I careened into the middle of Senior Water Aerobics, my spasmodic splashing doing major damage to their perms. Somewhere in that first lap I got hit in the head with a Frisbee; I didn’t care. I just wanted oxygen, lots and lots of oxygen.
Between our rasping gasps for air, I did the math. One lap was 25 yards. The swim for the triathlon was 800. That’s 32 laps. We just did 1/32 of the swim. We just barely did 1/32 of the swim. Dewey looked like he was going to barf, I’m sure I looked the same way. Reluctantly, we peeled ourselves off the wall and started swimming. That was the one upside to our cockiness; we didn’t know how to admit defeat. It hurt a lot, but we turned around and did another lap. Then another. Then another.
As the weeks peeled on, something slightly recognizable as swimming slowly emerged from the frenzy of kicking and splashing. It was like some ungodly combination of the Energizer bunny and the tortoise from Aesop’s Fables: slow and steady and it just kept going. It wasn’t fast and it definitely wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but it was hardy and easy and we could do it forever. The little girl in floaties could still swim circles around us, but we didn’t care because at least we weren’t going to drown.
Well, at least I hoped that we were going to drown. We still hadn’t done any swimming in the actual lake, and as every swimmer knows (I knew because they were all telling me, all the time), there is a big difference between the local pool and open water. To tell the truth, the warnings were starting to get to me. Actually, to tell the real truth, I was borderline neurotic. The lake was no longer simply “the lake;” it was THE LAKE, like a symbol from a nineteenth century novel. It was the Moby Dick to my Captain Ahab, a sort of cosmic, existentialist catchall. It was crazy. I dreamt I was drowning in a clown suit, or chained to the bottom and sadistically tortured by mere people. The point was I was terrified, and with each passing day I grew more and more apprehensive and slept less and less until suddenly it was August 1st, the day of the triathlon.
The Sharpie still wet on our arms, Dewey and I made our way down to the lakefront, a slight waddle to our steps due to the unaccustomed and entirely indescribable fit of our new Jammers2 The other swimmers had already congregated, and we fitfully found our way to the back of the crowd. Some guy up front was explaining procedure for entering and exiting the water, but I wasn’t listening because it had suddenly dawned on me why swimming is always the first event in a triathlon. If you pass out while running, you lose the race. If you pass out while swimming, you drown. I was so busy pondering this grim tidbit that I must have missed the whistle, because all of the swimmers started filing lemming-like into the water, dragging me along with them. Actually I hadn’t missed the whistle, because suddenly the whistle really did blow, and the nice, orderly lemming lines erupted into a frenzy of kicking and splashing. In thirty seconds I was in last place, bruised and battered, barely floating. I turned to my side. Dewey was there; he looked like he was going to barf. I’m sure I looked the same way. It was hopeless, wasn’t it? I felt defeated, but then I looked at Dewey again. He was still choking for each breath, but something was different. There was a hint, a very subtle suggestion, of a grin. I was astonished, but then I realized that I was grinning, too. No wait, I was beaming. Then it dawned on me: this was it. This was the challenge that we had been waiting for. Suddenly, I couldn’t contain myself. I was right, it was hopeless, but the fact that it was so hopeless, that it was so impossible, made it so much more meaningful. I had reached my limit, but instead of finding agony with each new stroke, I found bliss.
This is supposed to be the part of the essay where I wax on and on about the virtues of hard work and what it means to me and how I won the triathlon and became a state caliber swimmer etc., etc. etc., however, as you may have guessed by now, that’s not my story. Sure, we made it out of the lake. We even beat someone (never mind the fact that he was eighty years old). After the triathlon, Dewey and I could hold our heads high, not because we finished the race (even though that is a good reason) but because we did something that nobody else (including ourselves sometimes) thought that we could do. It is only in trying the impossible, even if it ultimately results in failure,that we can grow.
My whole life changed when this boy approached me. I was in eighth grade and no boys EVER talked to me! I was one of the biggest nerds (literally I was fat), and I knew that. My dreams of cute boys talking to me had disappeared with my self-esteem a few years earlier.
As he walked toward me, I wondered what he wanted from me. Unfinished homework I was sure. I was kind of on the right path of knowing what he wanted. The question pertained to school at least, but it threw me way off guard. This really cute boy asked me to pick a seat next to him the next time we got to pick our seats in any class.
“What? A cute boy wants ME, boring-ugly-fat-nerdy me, to sit by him at school?” practically sprinted through my mind, but I said “Sure,” in my coolest tone of voice I knew how to use. I was not going to give up this chance, this once in a lifetime chance for me to sit by a cute boy, a cute boy that actually wanted me to sit by him.
“Cool.” He nodded with such smoothness I wasn’t quite sure he had actually been talking to me, or if I’d been dreaming.
This was all taking place as we were waiting for the bell to ring, telling us to move to the next class: science. When the bell rang, it seemed to break my trance of wondering whether or not that conversation had actually happened. I scooped up my science book and headed toward science class, hoping that everything had been real. As I walked into the room, I realized everyone who had gone in before me was standing up in the front of the room (the sign that we were changing seats). Wasn’t this too much of a coincidence? Crazy coincidences like this never, ever happened in my boring life.
The teacher waited for everyone to file into the room and get the hint to stand up front. About ten people came in after me, lining up (in the most pathetic excuse for a line I’d ever seen) at the front of the room. We waited for him, the teacher, to tell us where our seats were. He told us to turn around and face the chalkboard where there was a weird design of boxes, which we were then told stood for seats in the room. They were lined up at tables in groups of three at each table, four tables in two rows with an aisle down the middle.
Apparently we were getting to pick our own seats, this was all too odd. Everyone got really excited because this was the class we always screwed off in. Finally we would be able to be by our friends while we screwed around. I was excited along with everyone else, until I remembered the conversation I thought I had prior to this class. Hopefully I would get to pick before him, and then he could just pick a seat next to me. Those seats would be open no matter what, I was a nerd, remember.
Surprisingly, another great occurrence happened to me next. The teacher chose my name first to pick a seat! Why were all of these weird things happening all in one day? I was so thrown off guard that one of the girls in the class had to poke me to get me to write my name in a spot and go sit down. I took advantage of the opportunity at hand and chose one of the furthest, but not to obviously far, seats from the teacher’s desk. I chose the second table from the front, toward the door, at the chair closest to the aisle.
After I sat down, he chose another name. It was the name of one of the girls in my class whom I rarely ever talked to. She picked a quick seat at the front table on the opposite side of the room, furthest from the aisle. I got the hint; I wasn’t going to have people running to sit next to me. I understood that I wasn’t one of the most talkative people in the class.
A few more people had their names chosen and quickly picked random seats around the room by their friends. Finally, about ten people into the class, the boy I had talked to, or imagined I had talked to, had his name called. He looked around the room. This was one of those boys that could choose a seat anywhere. He talked to almost everyone. No one would think it was weird where ever he chose to sit. Oddly enough, he chose the seat right in front of me. As soon as he sat down, he turned around slightly and smiled at me. I smiled back and just acted normal, like nothing weird was happening to me at all.
My closest friend in the class was called next. She, thank goodness, chose the seat next to me. I was so happy I wasn’t going to be the person left all by myself with the last person left standing up front being forced to sit next to me. When she sat down she gave me a weird look that asked why the guy in front of us had smiled at me. I leaned over toward her and lied with three simple words, “I don’t know.”
Later on in the day, after dinner, I was sitting at the computer talking to a few friends online when a pop-up said someone wanted to add me to their friend list. This rarely ever happened; I always added the people I wanted, never the other way around. To my complete shock, the pop-up was from the cute guy at school. For a second I thought that maybe this whole day was a big joke, why would he really want to talk to me? Sitting kind of close to me in class is not nearly as weird as wanting to talk to me in his free time.
I halfheartedly pushed the accept button and waited for something to happen. His screen name popped up in the lower right hand corner of the screen and drew two feelings throughout my body, fear and joy. Fear was the thought that this was all a big joke and there were people other than him sitting by his computer waiting for me to say something completely horrifying about myself. The joy was produced by the thought that maybe this guy actually wanted to talk to me.
Soon thereafter, he started a conversation with a simple “Hey.”
I didn’t want to seem too desperate so I waited a couple minutes and said a not needy or too enthusiastic “Hey.”
Our conversation started out normal, but lasted longer than any online conversation I had ever had. All of my fear had left my body soon after the beginning of our talk. I ended up online for at least three hours talking to him about just random stuff. We talked about things I had never talked to anyone other than my best friend about: sex. (Thinking back I’m extremely happy the conversation was online or I would have been so nervous he would have laughed.) I tried to sound like I knew what I was talking about, but really he was opening a whole new world to me.
About midway through the conversation he said something along the lines of thinking that I was hot. It took me aghast, and I lost my breath for a second. Never, ever had anyone ever even said I was pretty outside of my mom and best friend. I didn’t know what to say back so I just opened up and said, “Yeah? Well you are hot too.”
This led to an even more intense conversation. We did something I had never even heard of: we had cyber sex. When we finished, he said he had to go so we said our “laters” and ended the conversation. I sat there and thought about what had just happened. It baffled me that I was even capable of doing such a thing. Then I realized what time it was. It was around 11:00 p.m. I hadn’t done any of my homework yet, and I was so tired. That was one of the most interesting days of my life.
That day changed me. I had never before gone without finishing my homework. I was a complete nerd and usually I even did extra credit. I didn’t know what to do with myself so the next morning at school I copied someone else’s homework. I cheated. This also was something completely new to me. Cheating was completely off-limits! What was happening to me? I had no idea.
In science class that day the same boy from the previous day’s events asked the teacher if we could move a couple seats over in our little section of tables. He claimed he couldn’t pay attention to anything sitting next to the guy he was sitting by. The teacher reluctantly allowed it, seeming to know that something wasn’t quite right about this guy saying he couldn’t pay attention. He turned around and told my friend to move over into the empty seat beside her, and that he was going to sit in that middle seat, in between us.
I just sat there, not knowing what was going to happen next. When the people around me got situated, the teacher started class by giving us some notes on the board. Not very far into the notes, I felt a hand on my leg. I glanced over at this boy, who I had only even seemed to be noticed by the day before, who was smiling at me. He winked and nodded like he was trying to tell me something. I didn’t catch what he was trying to say, but after our conversation the night before, I didn’t know how to stop what was happening.
This started to be a regular occurrence during science class. No more than a week had gone by before it became a daily ritual. He would slide his hand further and further up my leg each day. I was starting to barely even realize his hand on my leg until one day it went too far and I scooted away. His eyes looked at me in complete confusion. They seemed to be asking if I was saying “no” to him. I told him I had to go to the restroom and asked the teacher for the pass. I spent an extra amount of time on my way to and from the restroom so that I wouldn’t have time to go back to class and actually sit down.
When I finally did get back, I approached my seat right as the bell rang. On the way out of the room, the guy came up behind me and told me to make sure I was online that night. I nodded and said “sure” in a quiet voice. I was already wondering if we were going to go through the first conversation all over again.
We ended up not going through it again. Instead, he asked me why I scooted away today when he moved his hand up. He said he thought I wanted all of this. By this time I had convinced myself I did, that it made me feel wanted. So I said I was just kind of shocked at first. Then he gave me some instructions, since he was beginning to pick up on the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.
He told me, “Go take a shower and clean yourself up down there. I’m going all the way up tomorrow.”
If anyone had seen my face at that moment I would want him or her to describe to me what my face looked like. I don’t know if I was more shocked, scared, or happy. A popular, cute guy wanted ME!
I had moved into what seemed to be like a completely different girl’s life. I wanted nothing more than this boy’s attention. He made me feel like I was another one of the pretty, popular girls. About three weeks after it all started, I had almost gotten into the habit of just copying someone else’s homework in the morning at school instead of doing my own. I had changed so quickly that my friends even seemed to stop talking to me. My entire life was focused on him and keeping his attention.
This attention I was getting from him had led me into a major crush. I would have told my best friend this in any other circumstance, but what we were doing in science class would have been completely horrifying to her and there was no other way to explain why I liked him so much, so I had to keep it secret. All of this was starting to make me want to explode, but I had no one I could tell. He started to become the only person I ever really talked to.
Then, randomly one night online a little over a month later, he got online and didn’t talk to me. This hadn’t happened since the day he added me. I was confused. My first thought was that maybe he didn’t see my name as online in his list, so I talked to him first. He didn’t reply so I figured he just wasn’t online. I convinced myself that it was ok, that I was fine without talking to him one night. After that, I couldn’t concentrate on anything the rest of the night. This led me to the decision to get to bed early. I did just that and then woke up early in the morning to get ready for school.
At school that day he didn’t talk to me at all. In science class, we didn’t do anything, so he went and sat by other people. I was so confused, and I had no one to talk to about it since no one knew what was going on. At that moment, I knew I was changed. I knew something was wrong with me. Throughout the rest of that day I didn’t really talk to anyone, I just went through the regular motions of the day. People didn’t seem to notice since I usually didn’t talk much anyway.
This was the first day of a long depression. I had figured he would talk to me that night, but he didn’t. I couldn’t even figure out what my emotions were at the time. I couldn’t feel anything other than used. For some reason though, I still wanted him back. It had only been a day since we had talked or done anything and I was already this crazy about it. Something was wrong with me. I realized then just how much I actually had changed. My wardrobe had even changed to flirtier shirts that consisted of a lot of black.
This boy had changed me so much. I began to wonder if I could ever go back to the way I was, but decided I didn’t want to go back to not being wanted by anyone. I was convinced that I had to get him back. For the rest of the week, the last week of school, I tried my best to get his attention back. I failed miserably. He didn’t want to acknowledge me at all anymore. I still felt like I loved him, which was what my simple crush had grown into (so I thought).
The last day of school, of eighth grade, I went through the motions of being happy and glad to be out of grade school. Really, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had lost all of my friends for this boy and now he seemed to hate me. The hate was the worst because in my head, I kept telling myself I loved him.
That summer went by slowly. I tried to talk to him every now and then online, but he seemed to ignore me. My depression turned into hate. I now hated this boy. He ruined my life. He changed me into someone I didn’t even know, and then he left me all alone.
But those were just my naïve feelings. I know now all that had happened was that I allowed this boy to change who I was. I knew that I would never be the same person again because he had taken away something that I couldn’t gain back, my innocence. This was something I had accepted to carry with me for the rest of my life. That was until the day I wrote it down for other people to read. As I write, I spill out my soul full of dark secrets. I spill everything I have taken the past few years hiding from the world. I allow myself to say out loud that he changed my life, and maybe it wasn’t a terrible thing because from then on I knew how to say no. But also from him I learned that I couldn’t trust people. Our “relationship” taught me to fear every relationship from then on. He made me who I am today; a fearful girl who can trust few and goes on worrying about every move she makes in her day-to-day life.