Gemma Jain , Grade 11, Catherine McAuley High School -
POWER! WAR! MANIPULATION! DISASTER! It makes me shriek, my razor-like hair raises boldly off my pale skin. The fear of being alive, the vicious torment engulfing me, eating up the exaggeration that is the meaning of life. I sat there in the midst of a tattered corner, wrapped in a linen cloth, eyes blinded by the vain nature of human greed. The teal and pale velvet upholstery worn by all those rested before me began ripping. My grey-charcoal hair was unkempt and oily as if I didn't indulge in the pleasure of combing or showering since my early days in the war. A half-torn apart $5 is bubblegummed to the edge of my pocket, looking like it has been burned to ashes matching the appearance of my eyes being burned by the overpowering of human selfishness. My slender, long nose is set above my crooked mouth, the lines at the corner give my face a character of someone who would often smile, but my jaw reveals a portrait of a person who knows failure. The wall’s crimson blood is me, bleeding from this unfair world, human’s hatred and it’s greedy heart, this unstoppable drug addiction which is breaking the world apart. “You don’t deserve to be here”, “Stay away from him’. People keep talking to me without waiting for any response. Even though I am being naively attacked through hateful comments,I feel a satisfying inner peace that people are actually noticing me. “Everywhere I go people speak about me”. Whether they would look directly in my eyes or not I felt, for the first time I can remember that I am not alone in this world. No matter how big or small, I am always the centre of attention in a place where no one would normally stand a chance. Begging for change in a place full of obnoxious yet highly qualified civilians, who previously had no time to cast their eyes on a worthless piece of rubbish, were now whispering about me as if I was now centre of attention on a Tuesday morning at 8:30am while sipping their hot chocolate coffee so slowly that it eventually turned cold. THUMP! My heavy breathing, hindering my ability to survive. Suddenly I am brought back to greet yet another day. Suddenly an unilluminated shadow casts upon itself, its presence observing my every moment, as I stand to shield myself from any perceived imminent danger. Out of rays, appears a young girl holding a red balloon, as each step draws her closer to me, my neck twitches until a mere meter separates and we are parallel to each other. Our eyes locked to each other. She searches for answers. She passes her balloon over to me and without a word but a beautiful smile, she leaves. I feel as if she knows me for a long time. I stare at the balloon. For the first time in years, I tear up and I know that I will be the change.