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Narrative paper about - Essay Example

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I was no different. I was usually full of spirits, ready for any adventure that I could find. In my native Chad, the war was over but had left a trail of destruction in its wake. The reconstruction process was slowly warming up, and my parents were a small but exclusive part of the scores who were flocking to Djamena , the capital…
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When you are sixteen, you are sure the world is your playing field, and you could even stand to win it one day if you were but smart enough to play your cards right.
I was no different. I was usually full of spirits, ready for any adventure that I could find. In my native Chad, the war was over but had left a trail of destruction in its wake. The reconstruction process was slowly warming up, and my parents were a small but exclusive part of the scores who were flocking to Djamena , the capital. Their work in the diplomatic mission had brought them to this dilapidated city, and with them I came, terribly naive, but full of beans.
One weekend when my pockets were particularly full because of the weekly pocket money I had gotten from my Dad, I decided to spend some of it on renting a bike. I could not wait for the heady rush of adrenalin, the wind whistling past my face, deafening me a little and making my eyes tear up, and the sheer energy that a pair of screeching wheels can bring. Most grown men love speed, but youngsters can be addicted to it. Mopeds were glamorous at the time, and in my mind's eyes I met a hundred admiring glances.
In those times, renting a bike was a breeze, you did not need a license, proof of age, paperwork or insurance. If you could put money on the table, the bike could be yours for the day. I took myself to the nearest rental, and was immediately able to get my hands on what I thought a handsome blue mount. It was not able to exceed 40 miles an hour, but that did not deter me from pushing it to its limit.
I was lost in my hour of glory, speeding along without a care in the world and a tune on my lips. As it happened, I should have been paying more attention. Because all of a sudden there appeared a small boy from nowhere and dashed across the road. Everything around me stopped for that moment, and went into an excruciatingly slow motion. I knew I was going to hit the kid before I actually did, but there was nothing I could do to stop it.
My hands were paralyzed in the shock of the moment and did not make it to the hand brake on time. With a sickening crunch I hit a small soft body, and felt my tires roll over it. I kept driving for a while like a mindless automaton, before what I had done hit me. By then I discovered I had come away for nearly a mile. I almost threw the now offensive bike near a shop, and raced back to the spot of impact. I kept praying, "Let him not be dead, please God, let him not be dead!"
I saw the boy lying in a pool of blood, and he was still bleeding profusely from the mouth. A voice within me kept saying in a hoarse, urgent whisper: "Don't just leave him there, get help!" The boy seemed to be breathing. And I did get help when a passing motorist stopped and gave the unconscious boy a lift to the hospital 2 blocks away.
I left the doctor to tend to the boy and picked up the bike. I returned it without a word. I was pretty sure the boy would be dead by the time I got back to the hospital. No one could have survived such a hit, let alone a small, rather frail boy of seven or eight. I went back to the hospital and went straight to the doctor who had been attending to the boy. "I am sorry", he said, and my heart stopped beating. "But his tongue had been cut into two and had to be stitched back together". My heart resumed its beat.
I wanted to drop the boy home, and explain the matter to his parents as best as I could. But the doctor knew that the boy was an orphan, and told me as much. I paid for the boy's treatment, and since he had nowhere specific to go to, he went back to the streets. I could not decide if I was sad for the boy because he was destitute, or happy for myself, that there was no one to file a case against me. But mostly I was sad.
That day, though it finally had no adverse effect on my own life, taught me an unforgettable lesson: it is more important to get to a place without accident than to get there fast. For the past fifteen years that I have been driving my car, I am at my sedate, unhurried best. Somehow, speed for its own sake has lost its charm now. Read More
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