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Lonesome: A Journey Toward the Extinction of a Human Condition
In my childhood, I never dealt with bullies. The topic existed amongst the deep velvet curtains of a hushed auditorium, not the sizzling black pavement of a rowdy playground. Assemblies and celebrity exposés were my sole sources of information. The first attack on the home front hit my heart with shrapnel. The notorious disease of humanity hit me in the manifestation of a tow-headed five-year-old boy seeking God. My Sunday, other than beginning relatively early, was typical. Observing the children assembled at a table as the elderly teacher brought life to an ancient tale of Jesus. One of the boys abruptly rose from his seat and planted himself in a carpeted corner.
As the teacher’s husband ventured over to rein in the child, she announced “Don’t bother. He does that every class.” And thus the boy continued to sit, in a corner, alone in a place were everyone should be united. A few minutes later, I was instructed to pass out a pastel green sheet of paper on which “Jesus” was prominently written. I handed a sheet to every child, including the boy in the corner. After anxiously completed my duty, I seated myself next to the boy in the corner. I inquired as to whether he would enjoy having some crayons to color the paper, and what colors he would like (I am a devotee of personal choice). Arising only to bring several shades of green crayons back to the corner, I broached an uncomfortable subject.
“Are you okay?” A simple question, yet difficult to form with my tongue. Accustomed to the habits of adolescents and adults, I mostly anticipated a swift confirmation. Although fears of this boy being the victim of one of the numerous crimes flooding the screens everyday flitted through my mind. Then he exemplified the trust and honesty only preschoolers possess.
“No.” The word that escaped the boy’s lips prompted me to delve deeper.
“Why not?” My concern was genuine.
“The other kids pick on me.”
Initially, I did not know how to interpret his reply. The news has trained me to anticipate adult misconduct leading to the discomfort of a child, not the misconduct of his peers.
“That’s not very nice. The kids here?” My mood plunged further as I considered the fact that children learning about God were bullying such a sweet boy at their youthful age.
“No, the kids at school.” Internally, I breathed a sigh of relief, though I still wished the boy would be in higher spirits. Alas, I turned to the typical means of making one smile, time with friends.
“Why do you know any of the kids here?” He replied with negatively. “Well, would you like me to introduce you?” The boy shook his head. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Sydney. Would you like me to sit with you?”
“Yes.” The answer revitalized my mood. Contentedly, I sat with Cole and watched him color the paper while keeping up lively banter. He skillfully shaped letters, spelling out first “Jesus” then “Cole” and finally my name, “Sydney.” Similar to other preschoolers, he proceeded to draw two stick figures, and explained one was me and the other was him. Stickers completed the art. A red heart centered on each of the figures, who were joined at the hands. My own heart fluttered at this action, for Cole had affirmed I had made a difference. I had helped him.
Once snack time began Cole raced to the table, his energy rejuvenated by our newfound friendship. As he requested, I sat by his side, while facilitating discussion between Cole and the other children. He spoke with a few of them. Goal accomplished. Cole parted from the room joyful. Eavesdropping on a conversation my teacher was conducting with her husband, she ascertained that Cole had never participated with the class before. Presently, she thanked me for my help. Cole is among the most influential people in my life. I live for moments to aide others. I live for moments to change convictions others view as irrefutable. I live for moments with people like Cole. People who only need a friend. I want to be that. I want to be there. This desire is my character. I hope it embodies more than solely me.