The Cage

November 7, 2017
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It is true that being selfish or even feeling excitement is all part of human nature. It’s the general characteristics of human life that makes us who we are. I learnt this at a very young age. I was a seven year old girl who loved to ride on her slick silver scooter with my sister and two cousins, right outside our grandparents small yet lively house. My surroundings were bright, there was a cool breeze running through our hair, the warmth of the sunlight on our skin, and small birds flying in between the trees as if playing hide and seek. We were your average family having a bit of fun together, representing the most enthusiastic signs of human nature. That whirlwind day showed me that the sun doesn’t shine forever and darkness soon creeps in.


It all started one peaceful Friday morning. I was at my grandparents’ small, two story, beige house with my eight year old cousin, Emi. Usually we were able to quickly entertain ourselves; colouring, playing dress up, anything around us we could use as inspiration to create a beautiful story with our imagination. However, this particular day we couldn’t. I stared deeply into my cousin’s blue eyes, encouraging her to come up with an idea.


“This is so boring!” Exclaimed Emi as she hung upside down. Without shifting my stare I silently agreed. Just that moment our granny came; her curly brown hair bouncing along to her peppy skip.


“What are you guys doing just laying around?” She questioned, “Go outside and play, just like your sisters.”


Just then, as if a light bulb lit up in Emi’s brain, she screamed “Yes! Let's go on our scooters, I can show you my awesome tricks.” Being a competitive seven year old, who was extremely proud of the fact she had finally learnt how to balance on a scooter, I eagerly agreed.


Zig! Zoom! We were scootering along the clean roads of my compound as if it were ice. As the hours went by our legs began to feel numb.


“I think we should head back, Granny might have lunch ready.” Suggested Emi. Without saying a word I followed the smell of food like a lion following its mother. Just before we got home there was a small hill. We both looked at eachother and agreed that this would be the last adventure of the morning.


“Ready to race down to the house.”
“BRING IT ON!” I challenged.


Like a rocket we shot down the hill on our scooters; the wind in our scruffy hair and a spark of invincibility in our eyes. I loved these moments with my cousin because it was as if we were stuck together with glue and we properly understood each other but, good things don’t last forever and the dark clouds  started to reign in. The last thing I heard from that race was the smash of the scooter against the rough, brown wall.


“Emi! Emi, are you okay?” I scrambled to my feet and rushed to her side.


She lay there unconscious. Her shape like an angel but her skin like a devil. What seemed to be like hundreds of cuts bled slowly onto the ground but there was not a single cry of pain. All I could think was, have I lost her? Why didn’t I get hurt? Why didn’t I stop her from being so foolish? For a couple of minutes I sat there sobbing so hard my eyes turned red. Suddenly, I heard a wince and then a cry. I jerked my head up and saw tears stream down her bruised face. She was alive! I jumped for joy, this could have been the happiest news I had heard in my whole seven years of living, but my cousin was still hurt and I needed to get an adult. I ran inside the house to fetch my grandparents and it was the saddest thing I could have ever done. My Granny’s face was so shocked and frightened that I thought she wasn’t going to move. She just sat there lifeless like a mannequin and I felt my heart shatter. Slowly, I pulled back her hair around her ear and whispered “You have to go, Emi is hurt!”
And as if time had checked back in, my granny made her way to her hurt granddaughter and left me with a strong feeling of guilt.  After my cousin was attended to, my granny spent the entire day pampering her. She showed Emi so much affection that she never showed me. It was like I was a lonely ghost wondering the halls.
As the day progressed the feeling of guilt escaped my body and eagerness replaced it. Unfortunately, I couldn't fulfill my body’s request because all three children in the house were ordered, by our grandparents, to play quietly and cautiously in our snug living room, whilst attending to our bed rested cousin. For what seemed to be like hours, I lay there staring at the old rusty grandfather clock. Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock! I couldn't handle it anymore! At first it was tolerable but as the minutes went by my imagination sparked and all I wanted to was be wild. So I silently walked over to my cousin’s flowery bed and for a minute I just observed her. Long blond hair perfectly braided by my sister; crispy freshly baked cookies by my granny and colorful bowl of sweets from my grandad all sat beside her. Even though my cousin was battered and bruised the needing of attention overpowered my judgment. I knew I shouldn’t disturb her but I had too.


“Emi, want to go out and play?”
Gently, her eyes opened “No I'm resting leave me be.”


Shocked by her reply I walked away. Even though I knew it was wrong, I couldn't help myself wishing to get hurt in order to regain the attention I lost. For I was a hyperactive seven year old, who was stripped of all affection she once had and was expected, not only, to be calmer but also maturer. It was like putting a majestic eagle in an extremely small cage. Could I really be blamed for becoming negative and hoping for the worst?


Almost eight years later, I look back at this event and see how jealous and negative I was. My life now is full of positivity and as a result of the scooter accident I have become more grateful for the times where I am healthy, safe and unharmed. However, most importantly, if there is anyone injured or in need, I make sure to put them in front of my wishes and attend to them.






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