Imose | Teen Ink


December 4, 2018
By oliviaflarue BRONZE, Shaker Heights, Ohio
oliviaflarue BRONZE, Shaker Heights, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn." - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

As a child, I didn’t have much perspective. Most children don’t, but regardless, that is one of my biggest regrets. Up until the age of eleven, my life was something I wished I could just redo with the new knowledge of the world that I had gained through a mass of regrettable experiences.

My biggest regret is Imose. Imose was a lively kindergartener when I met her. Her hair was constantly in twists or braids with those plastic clips on the ends in the shapes of butterflies or hearts or some pattern of beads. She and I would spend recess scouring the playground for “treasures”. These mostly came in the form of clips very similar to those in her hair, or a toy a child had left the afternoon before, or just about anything shiny. In retrospect, we were very much like the dragons of legends--scavenging for pretty things only to hoard them all to ourselves.

Sadly (for Imose) I seemed much more skilled in the art of foraging, and therefore would return from recess with substantially more bounty than her. Sometimes we would fight over things like this, which would end one of two ways; I would begrudgingly give her some of my findings, or I would stomp away saying,”It’s your fault if you’re not as good as me.” Yeah. I wasn’t always the nicest person. I learned most of my insults from television which resulted in comebacks that tended to be much too harsh for the situation at hand. Then again, I was five years old and everything that happened in my life seemed like the most important thing ever.

Even though we fought, our relationship would never stay hostile for long. Within minutes we’d be back together, enjoying peanut butter sandwiches at lunch or playing “house” in the back of our classroom.

I was invited to her sixth birthday party later in the year. It was Cheetah Girls themed, which I was not the biggest fan of, but back then it didn’t really occur to me that this was not my party and therefore it didn’t matter if I liked the theme or not. So I turned my nose up but kept my mouth shut, my parents’ voices in the back of my head telling me that voicing my current opinions would be rude, even if I didn’t understand why.

I went on to win one of the few competitions held at the party. (It was something about guessing song names or Disney movies or some other idea along those lines.) I was the first winner that night which meant I was able to choose any prize I wanted. My hand went straight for a fairy wand with glitter inside and a star on top, just as Imose screamed,”No!” I whipped my head around, confused because, Hadn’t I won? What did I do wrong? “I wanted that one!” Imose whined as her mother tried desperately to calm her down and simultaneously scold her for throwing a fit in the middle of her birthday party. But me being who I was back then, I didn’t care that Imose wanted the same prize as me, or that it was her birthday and she was my friend. I only cared about the rules and myself, which both said that I was allowed to choose whichever prize I wanted. So I did. I took the fairy wand without another thought, just glad I’d won before Imose so that I could claim it as mine.

The next year, when I was in first grade, there was a fire in Shaker Heights. Imose, and her two little sisters all passed away due to a malfunctioning heater. I was devastated. The fire took place just days before my birthday party, which seemed all too harshly ironic. Ever since then I have regretted how I treated her. Her passing ingrained compassion and empathy and the need to put others first in my mind, which I hope I never forget again.

The author's comments:

How does that saying go again? "I wish I knew then what I know now."

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