Pitara Kids Network

Keep Hope Alive

First prize winner of Spin-A-Tale contest

It was destiny that bound us. Jamie, the black kid whose mum worked for us and me, Kevin the kid, whose mother employed Jamie’s mum. When I saw him first he was just this skinny kid walking around with his head drooping down to his feet. I asked him if he went to school but I got no answer.

Keep Hope Alive [Illustration by Shinod A.P.]

I assumed that he was just shy, so I went about my own work while he just sort of kept staring at anything. Later that night my parents started discussing Jamie over dinner and that’s when I came to know that Jamie was deaf… I was really shocked and not because he was deaf because I have seen lots of disabled people but the horrifying manner in which he had lost the power to hear.

His dad had beaten up his mother when she was pregnant with Jamie… The very next day I went up to him and tried to mouth my words and ask him if he would like to come play with my brothers and me? But he just kept frowning and looking at me as though I had said something absolutely weird and silly.

Somehow I pulled him along with me and got my message through to him. He would come to our house every evening and just sit in the garden and look up to the sky or chase butterflies in the warm sun.

One day Jamie and I were playing in the street with a ball. Suddenly the ball flew high and I ran to catch it. Unfortunately I did not see the oncoming vehicle and the car banged into me even before I could see it. All I could hear was this loud-pitched sound like somebody moan or something. The next thing I knew the world went dark and I fell down on the road.

I opened my eyes to just feel my head and left leg throb with pain. I started to cry and my mother came rushing in tears in her eyes asking me if my leg hurt too much. My mother told me that I had hurt my leg very badly and also that I was not supposed to move because I had lost…

I cried for days to an end. I stopped talking to everybody, and kept all my bedroom curtains closed. I thought that my life was over, after all what outdoor games could I play with one leg!!

During all this time Jamie, I noticed came to my room every other day. He would just stand in a corner and keep looking at me with uncertainty in his eyes. But soon that look turned to certainty and he came to me and told me in actions that I had to get up to play with him. I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t do that but he refused to listen. Soon enough by wintertime he had bugged me so much that I in fact tried to please him by getting up little by little every day.

By the next summer you should have seen us. Jamie put back the lost spirit in me and made me believe that I could do anything in the whole wide world that I set my mind to. In the town sports week he helped me up and while holding me and supporting me he ran around kicking the ball. You should have seen us we looked really funny. Anyway I started attending school again and managed myself with Jamie’s help. Very soon I learnt how to communicate in sign language and I in turn taught him the language and soon we were inseparable.

Hey I kind of tried getting you the photograph of us running together at the town sports week but you can’t see our legs, three legs in all I mean. But I know you believe me and hey if you don’t then I’m sure Jamie and I would love to give you a long speech in sign language giving reasons for you to believe…IN PEOPLE and always keeping hope alive in your hearts for peace all around you.