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Fractured Dimensions

What does the storyteller have in common with the social worker? A shared knowledge that that any one person's story is not yet written. The beginning does not have to define the end.

Competing with steel, masonry, and concrete for aerial real estate, the dawn’s rays were strangled by the congested skyline. On one block, on one street, a particular young boy walked past the remnants of history—brownstone steps once hallmarks of progress and upward mobility now sprinkled with the seekers of treatments to numb untold trauma and pain. Following the rainbow of vials littering the cracked and broken sidewalk like a kaleidoscope of fractured dreams, he made his way to school. The grinding glass shards beneath his rubbered feet analogized the crush of his mere existence in a city that viewed him, at best, as a statistic. Unvocalized messages transmitted through uneasy glances, purses held tighter, and policing eyes tracking his steps seeped into this young boy’s vessel. Weary yet undeterred, he steadied his breathing and trudged every morning and afternoon through the poverty, racism, and tribulation that stifled and choked inhabitants with a cancer so potent it infected generations.

One thousand and seven miles away the sun rose as well, but unbound by manmade monuments, its beams covered the desolate earth. Threadbare curtains incapable of blacking out light or hunger hung on loosely, just as a certain young girl. Sifting through the sands of one dirt road after another, she plodded her way to school past the storefronts of fields of plenty; the multicolored nutrients noticeably absent in her forlorn trailer that manufactured shame as much as it did chronic illness. Neighboring abandoned and decrepit shacks that sheltered too many for too long now caved from the weight of time and their own timbers. Third world poverty shrouded itself in the mist of rurality and being the place that time forgot. Victim to being viewed as less than, a nobody, from the wrong family, and worthy of nothing but charity—she absorbed every blow inflicted by the fists of oversight and slight. Bruised yet unbroken, she soldiered onward through the tempest of destitution, malnutrition, and disinvestment that rivaled the biblical plagues in both scope and persistence.

That boy and that girl came to meet one day. Differences too bountiful to be enumerated, they nonetheless struck up a conversation. Which led to another, and another. And at some undefinable point, their contrasts became secondary to what they shared.

Society, like readers, are rabid for labels and conclusions in gift-wrapped packages. With the wrong perception or in the wrong hands, those can be dangerous things. Catastrophic things. The kinds that reverberate beyond the reach of one’s lifetime.

But this much could be said. That boy’s and that girl’s story is not yet written. But they will write it together, as survivors who knew self-worth was not given or earned—it was realized.

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2 comentarios

Charlotte A. Cason
Charlotte A. Cason
29 sept 2022

One never knows what the future holds for us, there is always potential for good!

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Holly Bills
Holly Bills
02 oct 2022
Contestando a

And that is the promise we must all believe in.

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