I felt sorry for the kids who lived at the other end of the apartment complex. There were four of them, all innocent and lonely inside of their apartment. The youngest at three years old, sat quietly on the porch. I guess she wasn’t allowed to go anywhere either. Three boys, whom looked to be her older brothers, were playing around roughly. None of them had on any shoes, but they did have on socks that were black at the soles. Their shirts were stained with red juice and dirt, something you would expect for elementary school aged kids. As the boys played in the small area in front of their door, they suddenly ran down to my end of the complex.
“Hi.” One of the boys said. I could see that his two front teeth were missing. “Hello.” I said.
It became a repertory thing to see all four kids out playing by them-selves. One day the little girl spotted me on the porch, and decided to pay me a visit. My mother was very strict; therefore, I wasn’t allowed to go many places. She took a seat beside me and I noticed she was wearing a sundress much too small.
“Can I have some?” Passion asked. I nodded as I poured out some chips. When she pulled back her hands, a chip had fallen onto the ground. She quickly grasped it and ate it. I told Passion that eating off the ground was wrong, but her fat cheeks just chewed away.
Passion was one of the sweetest three year olds you could ever meet. Her life was a little ruff, and so was mine at the time. We however, passed the time rather nicely. We shared snacks while I listened to her about how her ‘mommy’ was always gone. I felt some of what she did because my mom was very sick.
I rarely went to Passion’s house but this day I craved her company. As I approached her door there were some people arguing loudly inside, so I walked away. Later on, Passion invited me to her house. I willingly accepted, but proceeded to her home with caution. She then gave me a tour. The room Passion and her brothers shared was cluttered and smelled of urine. They had no bed. My heart broke so I decided to leave, knowing I had seen too much.
The next morning, I was out front eating cereal when one of Passion’s brothers said “Can I have some?”
“It’s all gone.” I replied, so he opted for the leftover milk. He told me to pour it into his hands. It was too much for me so I went back inside. Later on, I found out Child Protective Services had taken them away. I never saw them again. I thought I had it bad with my living conditions at home. Now I believe that there is always someone worse off than you.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.