This I Believe

Michael - laplata, Maryland
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity
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The Feeling of shame will never end.

During my chilhood, I learned that the feeling of joy and happiness lasts for a short time. But, the feeling of shame will never end. When I was about 5-years-old, I got to fall in love with racing cars. Almost watcheveryday, I would cartoons about cars, watch my neighborhood kids and teens playing with toy cars, and looked at the toy cars whenever I walk by the toy store.

When it was a week before Christmas, my 6-year-old self had enough guts to ask my “Big” dad if he could buy me a remote control toy car for the upcoming Christmas celebration, because I knew that he could afford it by being the big man in his company. On Christmas morning, I woke up from my sleep by the smooth, calming voice of my Dad saying, “Wake up my son.” As soon as I opened my eyes, the feeling of both happiness and excitement filled my heart by one thing: The coolest looking toy car that I had ever seen in my whole entire life! The shiny rims, spiky tires, golden front lights, and, best of all, the body had the design of the World-famous Ferrari! When my dad gave it to me, I hugged him and kissed him on the cheeks to show how happy I was!

As the days go by, I would always race MY Ferrari with my friends at the neighborhood. But one thing was always obvious: I win every race. One day when I was playing with my toy car, the saddest thing in my 6-year-old life happened like a nightmare for real. On my backyard, I was trying to make the car jump off a ramp- jump over a big box in mid-air – and land safely on a soft pillow. But, I realized that my hypothesis for the landing spot was totally wrong, because I underestimated my toy car’s power. First, I got everything ready from the starting point to the landing spot. When I was done, I “Started the engine” and pressed accelerate button to full speed. With its lightning speed and its roaring engine, ” Broom!!!!” It went over the ramp. “Swish!” my car went over the big box! But, the next scene became ugly. When the car jumped off the ramp, it went up so high that it past the box AND the landing zone. I closed my eyes to avoid the pain. When I opened my eyes to see what happened, I saw billions of pieces of the toy car scattered on the ground. First, I cried as hard as I can to let the sadness go, but that didn’t work. So, I thought about telling my parents what happened. But I was afraid that they were going to be mad at me. Few minutes later, I told my parents what happened, (It’s better than getting in more trouble for lying, right?). First, they were kind of mad. But later, they got over it, because they realized that everyone makes mistakes.

During the next 5 years, my dad bought me toy cars whenever I broke them by playing too much, accidently crashing it onto a wall (I tried the same thing as before to see what I did wrong), or accidently spilling different kind of liquid on it. One day when I asked him if he could buy me a new toy car, I recieved a different answer from my dad….. “NO, you’re too old to play with toy cars. And, think about how much toy cars I bought you!” So after that day, I couldn’t get toy cars anymore.

As days go by, I was sad and angry about my parent not buying me toy cars anymore. One day, while I was coming back from school, A big poster drew my attention like a hungry fishermen reeling in a fat fish to claim it’s theirs. When I got closer, I saw a White race car that made my mind to go CRAZY by looking at it! So, I “Asked” my wallet if I had any money. The answer was “No!” So then, I asked my parents if they could buy it for me. The answer was an absolute “No”. After that day, I was so desperate to get it. SO, I tried one way that a childish person would do. When my mom went outside without her wallet, I snuck into her room and I opened her wallet. Without thinking what will happen in the future, I “Borrowed” 25 dollars and ran out the door.

With the money, I ran to the shop and bought it for about 20 dollars. When I got it, I came back home and played with it when nobody was around. Few hours later, I showed my “Trusty” big brother about the car and the money. Few minutes later, I see him telling Dad about everything I told him. I thought to myself ” Oh boy, Im a dead man now…”. After that moment, my dad found me with some angry expressions on his face like a tiger on a bad day. For few hours of punishments, I went to my room and locked the door so I could be alone from my dad, my brother, and my addiction for cars. An hour later, my dad somehow managed to open the door. After he came in, I wrapped myself with the blanket so I wont see him. “Son, im sorry for all the things that I did to you today, I wanted to teach you that stealing is wrong, and I came here to tell you that I love you.” With that said, he left my room. After that moment, I told myself to never even think about toys because it gets me nothing but trouble.

As I look back, I always felt shame. Im ashamed for my evil ways of stealing and disrespecting my parents. And when I think about my past, I cannot remember many times of myself being happy. But I remember so much about the things that I was sad and ashamed for. So, I guess, my belief is that happiness lasts a short time. But the shameful moments lasts a lifetime.