Paper Bags and Apple Cores | Teen Ink

Paper Bags and Apple Cores

March 7, 2012
By musiclover97 GOLD, Elkins, West Virginia
musiclover97 GOLD, Elkins, West Virginia
19 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never knew."
"Writing is art to the blind, music to the deaf, comfort to the broken, and emotions to the expressionless."


We walked up to the cafeteria trash can from opposite sides of the room. In my hand was a Burger King bag with half of the food I had ordered still inside. In his hand was what was left of an apple; nothing but the stem. As he reached his hand out over the trash can, I winced at the sight of the dirt under his neglected nails. After he threw away his apple remains, he just stood there waiting. I extended my arm and just before I released my grip he shouted, “Wait!” “Yes?” I replied. “Are you REALLY going throw that away?” he said shocked. “Yeah? I’m finished with it. Why? Do YOU want it?” I said rudely. His eyes lit up and he smiled. Everyone always tells me just how blessed I am and how blinded I am to the world outside of my four-story house on the North side of town. But until just now, when I saw that expression on his face, I didn’t even realize how right they are. My first reaction, of course, was to look him up and down and compare obvious differences; his pants were three inches too short and they were faded from wear, mine had just been bought for $100 last weekend; his hair was shaggy and greasy, mine had fresh highlights and was styled by a professional; his shirt was dirty and had holes in the sleeves, mine was designed by a designer in NYC. But then, as I searched deeper past the material things, I noticed his eyes. The same sky blue as mine. I looked down at his stomach. With every breath it moved just like mine. His smile. Beautiful and bright, just as mine is. I looked at his neck. There was a copper chain with a plastic cross dangling from it. I felt my neck. My diamond-embedded cross with a 24 karat gold chain attached was there. We are the same. I handed him the food and walked away smiling. That day, I looked for him in the halls, but I didn’t see him into I was climbing into the back of the Escalade after school. He was proudly stepping into an old rusty white car without rims or a grill. As it chugged away, I waved at him. He looked at me completely shocked. He just stared until we pulled away. Later, I was talking to a teacher about him, trying to identify him. She told me that he is autistic and the words he said to me were his first. I was humbled, shocked, speechless. The people I use to look at with disgust and disgrace I now look at with mercy and compassion. They are just like me; living, breathing, smiling human-beings. We are all the same.


The author's comments:
This is a true story. It happened to me last week

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