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Reality and Dreams
I was lying on the couch, as the sun was setting down, pondering if my parents truly were going to sell my dear, old piano. They needed to do that, so they can pay some bills and daycare for my younger twin siblings. Still looking out the window at the brightly shaded sky, I was quickly dozing off. Suddenly, my parents entered the room, with determined looks on their faces. I wondered what they were up to.
“Honey,” my father began, “as you must have realized already, we are having some money issue. Just today morning, we sold your piano. But that wasn’t enough to pay for your siblings’ daycare money.” I kept silent, I was trying to fight back tears, and an emotion of anger was building up inside of me. I was even forgetting I was sleepy.
“We can’t afford you at all. So we’ve decided to leave you on your own,” my mother explained, with her lips tight, forming a straight line. I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t speak. There was a lump in my throat. My parents were going to throw me on the streets so they can pay day care bills.
Then I wasn’t myself. All I could feel was a hard, cold surface beneath me.
I opened my eyes to find myself in a long, dark alley. Struggling to get up, I found myself in old, tattered clothes, making it very easy to freeze in the cold, harsh weather. Stepping out of a dark-pitch alley, I realized I was in a vast place with an enormous number of people rushing through the streets hurriedly. It took me seconds to figure out I was left on the treacherous, busy streets of New York City.
There was no way I could survive all by myself on the streets with nothing to eat or drink, or even a suitable shelter. I sat there in the cold for hours that day, examining the people passing by. I found that even with all of the magnificent sights, people just walked by, looking at their wrist-watches every now and then, making sure they were not late for important meetings. I hugged my shoulders and brought my knees close to my face, trying to conserve as much body heat as possible. I stayed left to a dumpster, where I was protected from the icy, arctic wind blowing violently by.
I spent the night, sleeping by the wall, almost freezing to death. To make matters worse, I was starving. I thought if getting a job could earn me a bit of money so I could at least find something to eat. It seemed like an impossible idea. No one here was familiar or even caring, and I didn’t know a soul who might help me in this tough situation.
Still, thinking, I wondered if joining a gang might help. I quickly shook the idea out of my head. That would be too much of a bad influence. I could easily get in trouble or get caught by the police. And living in jail at the age of twelve isn’t my type of living. But I had to find a way to get out of sitting on the streets. Begging was my only choice if I didn’t want to starve.
Oh well, I guess I would have to be begging for money to live. It was by far the most pathetic, pitiable choice I ever made.
But still, why would my parents just throw me out on the streets like that? I am more important than my siblings’ daycare bills. Once again, I felt acrimonious and aggravated at my parents. Surely this is against the law and children’s rights. In the afternoon, I got up and set out for the police station to sue my parents. I’m sure I’ll find a place to stay this way.
Okay, trying to sue my parents wasn’t the greatest idea ever. The police didn’t believe me and said I was just a greedy, arrogant child who didn’t care about anything but myself and that I would be better off thanking my parents and being more respectful and appreciative. He threw me out of the station, cursing and saying how stupid and annoying teenagers are these days. Boy, can these New York guys get moody.
I sat on the sidewalk, for the rest of the day, and put on a poor, dismal expression. Turns out I looked pretty saddening, because I got enough money to buy a bottle of water and hot dog. And so life went on the same until a few days later, something happened that had changed my whole life.
As I walked in the streets, I noticed something that caught my attention. I never figured out how I came to see it, but soon I bought a roll of duct tape to entertain myself in such a wretched, monotonous life.
Nonchalantly, I began covering a piece of cardboard. It was amusing, although I could not determine what it really looked like. Passing by people stared, but I ignored them, because I was used to it. Later on that day, a guy passed by and examined my work. He asked me if I was willing to sell it and for how much. I shrugged and he threw a twenty dollar bill in my lap and took it. Then he went away.
Later, I figured this duct tape thing was very good business. People would come by everyday and pay a good amount of money for some pieces of art work. Never had I realized the amazing skills my hands possessed. Soon I had a tent and a blanket for shelter. I also bought a stand and chair, to allow me to work easily.
Weeks passed. I was soon known all over. I had been invited to work in a workshop to help out, direct, and guide customers. There was plenty of jewelry, painting, crafting, and sculpting. But most significantly, my duct tape sculptures and designs. It was unbelievable how much people were willing to pay for a piece of tape and cardboard.
Four years later…
I sighed. After a long day of work—looking after employees and directing them all over the place—I was ready for a restful night of sleep. I was too tired to even go into my room, because that meant walking endless staircases and having maids rush all around you helping you to bed. So I simply took off my shoes and lay on the couch, near the window.
For some reason, I felt reminiscent. I remembered the day I was thrown out on the streets by my own parents because they could not afford me. Ha-ha. Now I have my own limousine, mansion, and factory. Now I am a business woman, or should I say, business girl. I was famous all over New York, and had been constantly appearing on the front page of the New York Times. Life was smooth and enriched with everything a girl could wish for.
Soon I was dozing off, watching the beautiful sunset. The sky was pink and orange, with dark shades of blue. I yawned and stretched my legs.
“Get up! Get up! Guess what happened! You’ll be babysitting us from now on! Hahaa!”
“Eh? What?” I muttered, rubbing my eyes. I opened my eyes, only to see Aaron and Kate jumping around in the living room. My mother walked in.
“Oh, good, honey. You’re awake now. Come, it’s time for dinner. We have something to discuss with you…”
I looked around. I was in our old, plain, simple living room. No expensive, fancy furniture, maids, or anything of the sort.
Sometimes, it seemed, that no matter how much you wish dreams could be true, they could not always be full or perfect. Maybe dreams aren’t everything… But that it’s perhaps wishing them that is the pleasure.