A Vision of Others

May 19, 2008
By Adeena Chefitz, New Rochelle, NY

Last week I was standing in front of the grocery store pondering about the lives of the random people I saw on the street. I found it amazing that each person that I saw had a history. I concentrated on a couple of people I saw and hypothesized their histories.
Old Lady Carrying Groceries

An old lady was carrying groceries. She struggled with each step. I could see the pain, which she encountered as she carried the groceries. Milk, apples, and flour. This lady seemed as if she was using her money very sparingly, only buying the necessities for survival. In another bag there was toilet paper. She grasped the two bags very tightly with her hands, as if the loss of them would result in great suffering. Her face was like the body of a cabbage, full of wrinkles. I thought about how this woman probably lived in the downtown area. There was a sign on the door that says Mrs. Fotter. She entered her minuscule home. She was greeted by no one. Her husband had died in World War II. Only his memories accompanied her. They didn't have any children and she remained without a family. Her day consisted of her sleeping and eating only one meal. She lived in such poverty that more than one meal a day was a luxury. She went to the downtown market once every two weeks. That was the only time she ever went outside. That must be why she looked so weak and pale.

I saw a boy, and I noticed Mrs. Fotter looking at the same boy. He was around the age of 7, and he skulked on the ground next to the market. He seemed very weak and ill. His conditions, just as bad as Mrs Fotter's. Mrs Fotter must of had a very kind and sensitive nature because she noticed the boy's impotence. Although she clearly did not have much for herself, she offered the boy a dollar to buy anything of which he pleased. I overheard her ask the boy of who his parents were.

“Excuse me. Who do you belong to?”

The boy was very timid upon answering her question. However, he must of realized that she meant no harm because I saw them having a conversation, but I could not make out what they were saying. I, consequently, did what I always do and created Mrs. Fotter's conversation with the boy.
Young Boy sitting by the market

“My name is Jeremy. My parents were killed in a car accident when I was a very young boy, and I do not remember them. I do not have a home. I usually sleep on the bench in the park. I decided today to sit by the market because I wanted to collect anything that fell from people's pockets. So far, I have collected a five dollar bill and some pieces of gum. You seem to be struggling with those groceries, do you want me to give you a hand and bring them to your house?” I see the two wander away, and I contemplate about their further proceedings.

Mrs. Fotter must of liked this boy. She agreed for the boy to help her with the groceries, and the two immediately fostered a relationship. Mrs. Fotter let the boy live in her little home. The two enjoyed each others company. Jeremy and Mrs. Fotter both gathered each day the collections of items that people dropped on the street. The amount was not enough for Mrs. Fotter to upgrade her living conditions; however, she was able to advance to eating 3 meals a day and was also able to feed Jeremy. During every meal, they always told each other stories. One day, Jeremy told Mrs. Fotter a story that inspired her immensely and greatly impacted both their lives.

I decided to sit down because I was so tired. I continued dreaming about Mrs. Fotter and Jeremy and the story he was about to tell her.

“So, once upon a time, there lived a young girl who grew up without anything except for paper a pen and an education. Her parents were alcoholics and did not work. They smoked more than they spoke to their daughter. This daughter loved school and spent most of her time there. She purposely skipped her bus and stayed at school longer to read and write. Another motive for her staying in school was because it was dangerous for her to stay at home. Her imagination grew as she read more and more stories. One day she started to write her own story. Her story was based on her own torturous life. She gave it to her teacher, who loved it so much that she published it. Her story was read by a vast number of people. She wrote many stories throughout her childhood, and when she was twenty she was wealthy enough to support herself for the rest of her life. She wedded, and lived a happy life.”

Jeremy finished telling this story to Mrs. Fotter. Mrs. Fotter was captivated by the story's theme: education can bring about success, even if one has nothing else. From that day forward, Mrs. Fotter enrolled Jeremy in school. He started the first grade and was a very curious child, always asking for the reasons behind every matter taught. For instance, when his teacher said that white was made up of every color, he asked how something that has nothing can be made up of everything. His curiosity brought to him great knowledge. With this knowledge, Jeremy became very intelligen, entered many science contests and won first place. He also invented many things. One of his greatest inventions was having hand-brakes on roller-blades. Jeremy thought, why do bicycles have hand-brakes while roller-blades do not? Jeremy became so clever that schools around the nation were offering to give him money for him to attend their school.

“Mrs. Fotter! Look, I have a letter!”

They opened the letter and inside it they discovered a one-thousand dollar bill. Millborne School for the Talented gave it to Jeremy as a scholership to attend their school. Other letters like that came in the mail as well. Jeremy and Mrs. Fotter became so rich that they were able to move to a suburban area in a two-story house. Mrs. Fotter became healthier looking and was able to eat whenever she wanted. Jeremy attended Millborne School for the Talented and became a remarkable scientist. Both their lives started out in dismay, but ended in complete happiness. They will always remember their encounter by the market that united them.

I am a ninth grader at Hillsdale High. My imagination is very wild and ideas can pour out without control. I enjoy watching people go about their lives on the street, and I create stories about them. This is what I just did a week ago with the lives of Mrs. Fotter and Jeremy. When my mind switches to reality, I actually have a very interesting life. I am an only child and live with my parents in a two-story house. In the basement, there is a treadmill, and I go on it every morning at six o'clock. I then go to school and spend time there with my incredible friends. My grades are considerably high, and I am one of the smartest kids in my grade. Socially, I am not the most popular, but I have a nice group of close friends, and to me that is very important. Whenever, I encounter an impediment, they are always there to offer assistance. There is this one kid in my grade named Mathew and we have a very awkward friendship. Online, we talk to each other openly and act like we are best friends. In school, on the other hand, we do not speak to each other. I can even count the amount of times I have actually spoken with him. Every time I speak with him, I feel very weird because the amount of times we do so is very infrequent. Besides my relationship with Mathew, other strange things have occurred to me. I used to be a very materialistic person, but now I do not even care what I am wearing to school. Life is a flow and many changes evolve. My life is very important to me, and so too are the lives of others. I further understand the greatness of each person and the ability one has to contribute to the world. There are so many people which I see on the street, each possessing their own lives, and Mrs. Fotter and Jeremy are just two of the many people.

People at first may seem simple and bare. They, however, are in fact quite complex, each possessing the potential for success. White is something that has nothing that can be made up of everything.

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