Struggling to Survive
For a long time I knew only my world. My mom and I were separated as soon as I could take care of myself. My friends were two boys and a girl who grew up with me. They were the only ones I knew.
My young years were spent looking for food. I never had enough to eat. There were times when I went for days without food or drink. This made me strong and weak. Without food for days my will became stubborn — stronger that I was going to survive. My body suffered weight loss and at times I had to make myself stand. Wanting to lay down and give up never crossed my mind. My bones stuck out on each side. My future was bleak and dark.
For two years I huddled under trees to hide from the heat, cold, rain or storms. I was pushed away by the others when we did get food. At times I was chased, had cans, buckets and rocks thrown at me. I stayed close to the easiest escape route. I hung on the edge and hid from all that saw me.
My thoughts were of food — not happiness, or play or smiles — only hoping for fresh food or fresh drink when I saw other feasting.
Now two years since I last saw my mom I have become stubborn, strong and independent. I can take care of myself.
During my time I have had to fight, run away, stand my ground and take charge. The nights I have spent outside made me aware of the night creatures. I slept for most of my young life with one eye open and one ear listening to the dark. My favorite time is right before the sun tops the trees. That time of day just before the birds wake from their sleep — when all is quiet, the sky is alive with colors. The way the air is thick with smells; dew would roll down the trees, then drip to the ground.