Grace: The Girl who changed my life.

The invasive form of persistence in a child is eye capturing. 
She stood at the top of the sloping street. She wore a drenched, rugged, patched colorless dress. Her Golden beautiful hair was short and unevenly cut. Her face was of dirt and innocence. Her eyes, oh her eyes were of a memorizing topaz shade. Barefoot, she walked desperately down the street. 
The little three year old girl caught my eyes, as my aunt and I were at the butcher street. Five years ago, Malls were not yet completely formed in Syria, and different shops were on different sides of the road. Most shops were in badly maintained areas. The street my aunt took me to was embedded inside the old city of Aleppo. 
I was captured by it all – The hot sun, the lack of a loud crowd, the old rigid buildings, and the eerie silence of a long road. While my aunt was busy talking on the phone, my eyes and I wandered around – exploring this new exotic part of the city, One I never thought existed before. 
Grace (The only plausible name that could describe that little angel) walked into the first butcher shop, asking for some food or water – only to be startled by a screening old man and ran out. I froze. I could not believe what my eyes just witnessed. Shivers were running up my spine and I could not move anymore.
She stood at the corner of the street, wiping what seemed to be pure little diamonds falling out of her crystal blue eyes. She walks over to the other side of the street, and enters yet another butcher shop. I hoped to God that she will get what she went in for or at least a smile from a loving old man. A few seconds later, she was being pushed outside by a boy; not so much older than her, out of the shop.
I could not understand what I just witnessed. How could anyone throw out a begging little angelic figure? How could they have been that cruel to such a young little girl? How..! 
A neatly dressed little girl, almost the same age as Grace, got out of a fancy car with her Mother. She wore a pretty little red dress, patterned with flowers and hearts. Her black hair was tied in a ponytail, falling down her back. On her neck was a golden necklace, shinning back to the glazing sun. Her shoes were black in color and leather in texture.
The mother and daughter walked into the same shop Grace walked in a few minutes ago. Grace stood on the side of the street, observing them – just like I was. The little boy – the same one who pushed Grace outside – handed that girl a bag full of sweets, as they walked out of the shop not pleased by the quality of meat.
My shock continues to rise as the little girl keeps on getting a bigger bag every time she walks out of a shop. Grace had that look in her eyes; the kind of look that makes your heart break. Till this day – that look never faded away from my memory.
As she turns around into an alley, I run after her – with dozens of questions in my mind. Right before she turns into another alley, she spots me and stops. I smile at her, and give her a welcoming gesture with my shivering hand. I start looking in my bag, trying to find anything to give her. I open my wallet and take out all the cash, and every single worthy item in it. I hand them over and try to find anything else to give her.
I was searching for anything, anything to give her – I barely noticed her coming closer to me. She stood there – staring at me with doubts. The tears flooding down my eyes and the shivering of my hands must have scared her. 
She throws everything I gave her on the ground and wraps her arms around my knees – hugging me.

During this holy day, I think of her. I think of how she has grown and wonder if anyone ever cared about her. I think of the millions of children that are just like her. I feel their agony, and fall weak. I cannot smile in a day like this.
The imbalance of wealth is stunning. I myself never knew such inhumanity existed. I myself never expected my family to laugh hysterically at me – while narrating the story to them, and urging them to take me back there and help her. I myself was blind and naïve. 
As I grow older, the darker things appear to be. The shiny bright light that was supposedly at the end of the tunnel is only a dying torch.
This is one story, out of billions of heartbreaking stories.
This one story forever changed my life.
This one story should be understood and not taken for granted.
Have a Blessed Eid Everyone.
  1. 😦 May Allah bless you for what you did!

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