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Story Time: The day my life changed

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Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

When I was an eight years old naughty child, I liked to tease people, especially the old man, living in our neighbourhood. My parents had no idea what I used to do because no one complained to my father about my behaviour. That was why there was no one to stop me.

One evening, the old man was parking his car in front of his house. It seemed that he had returned from a grocery store, because the backseat of the car was full of grocery bags. I stood hiding behind the bushes, my mind in search of an idea to tease the old man. The old man could not feel my presence and he left his car’s door open while taking two grocery bags at a time and putting them by the main door.

This gave me an idea. As the door of the car was open, I could see the key was still hanging in the ignition. The idea was to grab the key and throw it in the bushes and the old man would never know where his car key went.

As the old man took the grocery bags to make his third shift, I approached his car, tiptoeing silently to avoid being spotted as almost everyone in the street knew that I used to tease the old man. The first few steps to the car were taken smoothly but as I got nearer, the feeling of being spotted accelerated. My heartbeat quickened and my body started to shake. Now I was paying less attention to the path I was following and more to the surroundings.

Just then, my foot caught something, maybe a stick, and I tripped over it doing a somersault. I landed on my back and, unfortunately, my head hit the sharp edge of the open door of the car. I screamed loudly as blood trickled out from my head and I slowly fell unconscious.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself in the hospital lying on a bed. My head was wrapped in thick bandage. I did not feel any pain. My worried father and mother surrounded me, but the most shocking sight was when I saw the old man standing beside the wall, looking worried. I could not believe it. This was the person whose life I made miserable every now and then, and he was so worried about me.

I felt so ashamed of my acts ... no one could be so kind, I thought. The old man had proved that he was far better than me. I slowly stood from my bed and hugged the old man and kept apologising for what I did to him all this time. The old man also cheered up when he saw that I had recovered enough to walk. He appreciated the fact that I accepted my mistake.

At the same instant, my parents also felt relieved to see their son accept his mistake. This incident changed my life. It felt as if my earlier feelings had been replaced by new feelings, especially the desire of teasing others had been replaced by the desire to be kind to others. It was certainly an important day of my life which changed me for good.

From that day onwards, I never teased anyone because I had understood that it is bad. So friends, it is bad to tease anyone, but it is far worst not to accept your mistake and keep repeating it.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 5th, 2018