Race LaDue - Durango, Colorado
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

‘Trust no one’ is one thing I’ve learned and truly believe. I’ve come to the realization that even though someone may be bigger, smarter, or have more power than us, does not mean we can trust them. It just means they are giving a false impression of who they really are.

I’ve learned this because of one experience. I had the honor of sharing this incident with one other person. This person is my cousin, Hunter. He was only six during this story, and because of his age he was very small. He has really opened my eyes to what the world is really like. If someone were to look into this boy’s eyes, they would find the innocence of his soul. He still has the imagination and belief we are all born with. This is a story about how my cousin and I had our eyes opened. This story will show you how the world is not how it always appears and that you shouldn’t trust everyone.

“Are we there yet?” I must have heard this at least fifty times during this car ride. I had been driving with my cousin and aunt for nine hours straight. I was 8 years old and the three of us had decided to drive down to Las Vegas for a vacation. This means we would have to stay in one of those big fancy hotels. Driving with an impatient first grader and road raged driver for 500 miles had been excruciating. Joy filled my world when I saw the life-size, bright buildings climb into my horizon. As we drove through the city, I could feel the energy bouncing off of me.

Finally we made it to our hotel that had been pre-arranged and set up for us before we even arrived. The plans we had for our first day was to go to all the amusement parks and ride their rides. So we were going to go to Circus Circus, the Stratosphere, New York New York, and the Luxor. The second day we were going to go shopping down the vast streets and all the shops.

Once we woke up, we repeated the same process to get ready, and then we headed out. As we parked I got a weird feeling of worry and that something was going to happen. I ignored this feeling and got out of the car. We parked at a one far side of town and had decided to walk to the other end of it while stopping at every store that caught our eye.

We started to walk and a swarm of people surrounded us. It was a weekend in the middle of summer in Las Vegas and everyone was out. We went into a couple shops to dodge the crowd, and at the same time we bought some things. Although, once we reached our fifth or six store something tragic happened. We entered a huge store that was packed with an endless amount of people. As I stirred about, I noticed that I was alone without either of the two people I came with. I searched the sea of faces, and I couldn’t seem to find my family. I had decided it would be smartest to wait at the entrance so I could catch them as they left. I waited for a while, and as time passed, my mind filled with worry. I finally thought I should go look for them. Once I started walking I saw Hunter all alone! I caught up to him and found out that he was lost too. Now I was really in a panic. So we went up some stairs in the building to a platform to get a bird’s eye view of every one in the store. I skimmed the place and couldn’t find my aunt anywhere. I thought maybe she is outside and waiting for us there. We left the building and started walking the streets.

Since my cousin and I were young we had no idea what to do. I found out that in my moment of fear and fright I started to notice things more and become aware of what is around me. I looked about and I saw a policeman. I had been told that the police can always help you. My cousin and I went over to talk to him to see if he could some how help us find our guardian.

“Umm, excuse me sir,” I mumbled, “Can you help us?” He just turned around and stared at us blankly. I starred back at him and I instantly knew he was one of those macho men that was very masculine and would never show any sign of weakness. I had gotten a feeling that I was wasting my time talking to him. So I didn’t say anything.

My cousin finally jumped in and said, “We don’t know where my mommy is and we are lost.” He just looked at us with a cocked eye brow and finally, to my astonishment said,

“Just go sit over on that bench and eventually some one will find you”.

We blindly followed his orders without any thought. We sat down and I watched him to see if he was going to do any thing about our dilemma. He sat there with an empty face for a while until he casually started to walk, and did nothing about us hopeless kids. Finally, he disappeared out of sight. I didn’t understand why he didn’t help us. My whole life I had been told that people with power (like policemen, teachers, and parents) are people that I can trust. None of it made sense at that moment.

I sat there and I started to hear my cousin cry. This was a cry that would make you feel the pain he felt. I thought it would be wrong for me to cry too because then Hunter would get really scared, even more than he already was. I had to try to mask my true feelings with bravery and strength. However, my actual feelings were filled with fear, anger, pain, and sorrow. The thing that hit me the hardest was the feeling of being alone. The only one in my life that was with me and knew how I felt was my cousin. Besides him, every one else seemed like aliens. We had sat on the bench for what seemed to be a hundred life times, but in reality, it had only been two or three hours. Although, fortunately after we sat on the bench, I heard someone screeching my name. I looked to see and a huge shot of relief striked me when I saw it was my aunt.

I will never forget the feeling I had when she ran up and gave us massive hugs. At that one moment, nothing mattered. Those little things that I would always fuss about all seemed to be useless and they just disappeared. The only thing that I cared about was that I was alive and I was with everyone I love. A golden blanket of light and happiness fell over my world.

We all decided to call it a day and go back to our hotel to relax. The rest of the day seemed like a gift, a gift that most people wouldn’t appreciate and wouldn’t care to receive. This gift was the gift of life, the gift of bliss, and the gift of being trouble-free.

That night I fell asleep feeling safer and more protected than I ever felt before. Sadly, by the time I woke up, that feeling had changed. I remembered the policeman that had troubled me.

We packed up our stuff, and took off early that morning so we could make it back to our homes around dinnertime. That whole drive back was different from the other drive. We were all quiet in our thoughts and someone would occasionally try to start a conversation. This gave me time to come up with a conclusion of what I had experienced.

After numerous hours, I finally came up with a solution. Every thing I was told about trusting people with power was wrong. All power really is, is the ability to influence or persuade someone to do something. It doesn’t mean it’s always right. Just because the policeman I bumped into has power, doesn’t mean he is a good person. It means he could be bad or wrong, and that I shouldn’t put all my trust in him. Not all people are bad and not really always what they appear to be. Some police would have helped us, and some police would have even stopped everything they were doing to help us. Although we shouldn’t always assume people are like this. We should trust them only when we know that they are trustable people.

By the time we made it home I felt more aware of life. I did not feel unfairness or injustice, but more of a feeling of truth. To conclude this story of a life lesson, I have been shown that you can’t trust everyone no matter how much you think or have been told you can. You should only rely on those that have the power of trust.