Taken Innocence

Walking across the classroom, I passed the boy who lived across the street, and my face scrunched up from the foul smell. Everyone that sat around him were always holding their noses. Some purposely coughed so the boy could get a clue that he stunk. There were a few blunt kids who put him on the spot and told him to stop taking showers in the garbage. The boy, who everyone called the Garbage Boy, never did anything but look down. Knowing the truth, I had not once ever made any remarks toward him. Because I knew why he always smelled like month old dirty diapers.
Every afternoon, he’d go home to find his mother and her husband loving and adoring his little brother while he was treated as the slave of the house. From my room, sometimes I could hear him being punished. His mother and step-father yelled so loud, but he never made a peep, afraid it would make them even angrier.
At nighttime after the chores were done, the slave of the household was forced to sleep outside in the dog house. He wasn’t allowed to take a shower, they didn’t give him a change of clothes, and the scraps in the trash bins next to his out-house were his only source of food.
The neighbors, my family included, ignored the neglected and abused boy; afraid to be in another family’s business. Lights were always turned off and windows were always shut tight so people wouldn’t be able to hear what went on in the house of the boy who was killed by his step-father one day.
Police cars, and ambulance and fire truck were called in the middle of the night. Everyone on the street came outside to see what was happened. From my porch, my little sister and I watched as the people from the ambulance brought out the boy on a gurney, covered by a white sheet.
I felt it was my fault the boy was dead. Why didn’t I do anything about him? I could’ve helped him. If it wasn’t for me or the rest of the neighborhood, he could’ve been in a happier home and be treated like a real person. I felt this regret for not helping an innocent life being taken away. But what could I do now?
He was gone.





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