A Soul Left Behind

Andrew - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

A Soul Left Behind

Half frozen, and on the verge of frostbite, I stampeded through the doorway at school. I stomped for a second or two cleaning the snow off my shoes, swiped my feet on the carpet for a quick dry, and edged forward through the crowd. From the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a sight one does not encounter on an ordinary day. A girl, with shoes much dryer than mine, had been cut off by a boy twice her height as they both approached the library, and without acknowledging her, he darted off into the abyss.

In only a moment’s notice, the door closed. It was but a second too soon, and yet, it made all the difference. The walls of the library safely confined the boy who walked through the door; he had entered the room without a struggle, only to mistakenly ignore the one soul left behind. The soul that was trapped within the frigid hallways, the soul that needed to find its way into this sanctuary of knowledge, the soul that was the only one of its kind, incapable of completing this task with ease. This soul happens to be a cripple, a cripple who is whole; whole in heart, whole in mind, and whole in joy. Her name was Emily.

After almost falling out of her wheelchair in an exasperating lunge to stop the door from closing, Emily recouped, repositioned, and retried opening the door. I watched with amazement as she slowly maneuvered her wheelchair sideways to grasp the handle of the door, opened it, and gracefully pushed forward.

In her wake hung a poster that said, “The smallest things in life make the biggest difference;” that is what I believe. If that boy made the gesture to hold the door for no more than three seconds, it would be but a miniscule feat in his eyes, and yet, it would mean the difference over a five-minute dilemma for that one soul left behind.