Written By: Maham Shahbaz. (A True Story)
Children are sensitive. You might think they don’t notice but they are the first ones to notice. Treat them harshly at the age of seven and they will remember it even when they are thirty. Love them once and they will love you twice more than you did.
Such pure creatures who have pure feelings even the bad ones. As we grow, we learn the double standards of the society, we learn how to cry from inside while we laugh heartily on the outside, we learn how to be kind to the people we loath, we learn how to act like we are on top of the world when we are deep down in the pit, we learn how to smile when we are breaking apart inside and more importantly we learn how to hide what we purely feel. In all this we forget what pure feelings are.
I see kids play in the park daily. There is always one that everyone degrades when the big ones are around and alone they are all quiet happy.
I went to their house one day and saw how her other two siblings didn’t talk to her at all, they didn’t look at her either. I’m a shy person around strangers so I didn’t have the nerve to go ask her other two siblings. They were pretty nice though, talked normally, laughed…I was having a good time. The little girl in her red frock and small hands sat in front of me, she wasn’t shy like me but she constantly looked down at her hands when her siblings talked. Then looked up finding a chance for I don’t know what.
The middle one of them, their brother went out to get some grocery for his mother and the eldest girl got up to help her mother in the kitchen.
We were both left alone and that is when the little girl smiled at me and I asked her name. I was right, there was no hesitation in her voice neither was she shy…she talked really cutely, there was a childish glow in her eyes when she talked and laughed.
She found acceptance and sat with me. After fifteen minutes her siblings returned and she was quiet again, I occasionally talked to her too trying to get her to participate. In front of them she was hesitant but she wasn’t shy, she was looking for acceptance there too. That is when I realized how sensitive a nine year old girl can be.
We had dinner at the table with their parents and the kids sat in the lounge. I could see it from the table that both the brother and sister sat together but the girl was alone watching TV, quietly not participating in any of their conversations and they didn’t invite her in either. How strange…siblings are usually really good friends. I remember playing with my elder sisters a lot, we used to have common friends too but this was a peculiar site.
After dinner when dessert was being served I saw the girl go out of the house to her lawn where there was a swing, I stood up and followed her. Normally I wouldn’t go after a little girl. I’m not a big fan of kids, they are cute, they are so lovable but I don’t know why I just avoid them sometimes.
She was on the swing looking at the sky, with her back towards me. I sat by her quietly she smiled at me again, I smiled back. We sat like that for a while. She was eyeing a football in front of her but maybe she was finding the courage to ask me to play, so I asked her instead, she smiled widely back at me, jumped from the swing and kicked the ball.
I’m not the sporty kind either but I used to play football when I was in seventh or eighth grade so I knew how to play and she was nine years old so it wasn’t much of a challenge. I let her goal most of the time and she thought she knew how to play. That was the only time in all those hours I heard her laugh. I taught her how to kick and from which angle, l knew very little but she was happy.
She got tired after a while but continued to play, I asked her to sit for sometime and catch her breath. We both looked at the stars some more and then I asked her if her siblings always treated her that way, she nodded. I was shocked so I asked her why and just when I asked her my parents got out of the house and they were about to leave so we got up as well.
The little girl hugged me and I saw her eyes glow in the moonlight with tears, she answered me and then ran in to the house “they don’t like me, I’m not a good girl…”