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I am Scared of the Child who Breathed His Last

Joined: 10/15/2013
Posts: 4
That Ulzzang Girl
That boy died in front of me.

It happened one late summer afternoon when a kid like me took a break from those tiring street games. While walking home, I was contently eating my biscuits that I’ve bought when I saw this frail lad, maybe the same age as me, smeared with dirt and dressed in tattered clothes, lying on the sidewalk just across where I was strolling. He was just like any Filipino kid, eyes devoid with light, hair as black as coal, and skin enveloped with bronze.

He was struggling for life that keeps on escaping from his every breath. I stopped taking my pace. My eyes locked with his. It was as if I was the one torturing him with every bite of my biscuits. I imagined his flesh and blood crushed between my teeth. It was a dreadful picture of reality. He was clenching his fist and beads of sweat trickled down his face. A few minutes later, his chest stopped pounding. Just then I realized, it was one of those usual yet sad episodes of nature, death.

After eight years, that memory still keeps on hunting me. I had the chance to at least call for help or comfort him in any way I can, yet there I was! Refusing to leave my comfort zone, standing still while feeding myself like a glutton while watching him die as if all of it was just part of a film. Right in front of me I was observing a fellow child bear his pain and suffering alone.

Whatever the cause of his unfortunate fate I still don’t know. Now, every time I see street children begging or children suffering from severe malnutrition, sickness, and abuse, out of the blue that boy’s face would always pop out of nowhere. For me he has become the symbol of what the young generation is like when in misery due to the world’s cruelty.

I had a little research and found out that the estimated number of childhood deaths just in 2010 was 7.6 million. How much more will be the deaths in the previous and upcoming years? With this fact in hand, I realized how fortunate I am, yet at the same time I felt the shame of not being able to share, of not being able to appreciate what I have while others have none.

I was a fool, or maybe I was just scared. Scared of being seen helping a street kid, scared of being embarrassed, scared of being infected of his icky microbes, and maybe I was also scared to accept the fact that we will all die. It’s just a matter of time.

The one that creeps me out today is the thought that what if we meet again? How will I face him? Now I know what I’m really frightened of. I am scared of the child who breathed his last.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your FEAR essay being chosen as 1 of our 10 essays in the running for 1st place in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment since we received over 160 essays this month. Please feel free to share your “runner up” status with the world.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners. If you are selected as the winner of this month’s competition, we will contact you directly via the email you used for registration.

In the meantime, you can view all the results by clicking on this link:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 3:49:34 PM
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Comment by NicoleLVMullis

Joined: 5/9/2012
Posts: 34
This is a tough story honestly told. Great writing.

Nicole L.V. Mullis
Raising a Family Editor
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:27:29 PM
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Comment by That Ulzzang Girl

Joined: 10/15/2013
Posts: 4
Hey um can I ask a certificate of recognition or participation on this contest please? I need it for my academics. Pretty please?? I just need some proof that I indeed got even the 4th place. Anyway thanks, more power and God bless. I hope more students will get inspired to write stories.
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:51:31 AM
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