Max, Age 13, Penticton, BC

I sat there, in my room, trying to isolate myself room the world; I couldn't stand what had happened. I had been in the bombing that happened on September 11. I was now living in a foster home with my friends Jade and Nikki. I was very depressed.  They were, too. The orphanages were filling up fast.
I hated the world just then; my friends and I were in a world of hate.  From then on I knew that I would base the rest of my life trying to help the world.  I was constantly wondering why It had happened. Why couldn't we all live in peace? I tried to understand, but I couldn't.
I got up and went to Jade's room. He was in there bunched up a ball in the corner, he was traumatised, I didn't think he would ever be the same. I held back while I walked away.
I reached Nikki's room. She was playing with a ball, throwing it against the wall and catching it. I didn't think she would be this calm. I walked into the room and sat down next to her.
"Isn't it weird how they put us in this home?  Think it's an experiment to see how long we can live without our parents, I mean they keep on tellin' me that they're dead."
I finally realised why she was so nonchalant: she was in denial, she wouldn't believe what had really happened.  But I wondered why I wasn't having some sort of elastic bounce back, why wasn't I traumatised, or in shock or in denial anymore? I thought it might have lasted longer. I thought I might have been desensitised from all the music and TV I had watched before the tragedy.
It didn't matter though. I knew what happened, and I was being rational about it.  I walked up to the instructor of the home and told her I was going to the mall.  She said I would have to take somebody. I didn't know anybody here very well except Jade and Nikki and... and Nate!
I went to Nate and asked if he wanted to go to the mall. He said yes, very happily. When we got to the mall I went to the electronics section to find Much Dance 2001. But I thought for a while and turned around to face Nate.
"Why aren't you depressed, you lost your parents." I asked him, getting louder every word I said until I was almost yelling.
He answered, "I've been living in the orphanage since I was little little. I'm depressed too, but I haven't lost anyone, so I'm not totally traumatised by what just happened."
I was mad at him that he wasn't showing any compassion to what had happened to us, what we had lost and in such a terrible way.  I was horrified at how inconsiderate he could be. I started to run away from him, I was infuriated.  Everywhere I turned, I heard about this incident: the news, people talking, school, music everywhere. And I was sick of it. I wanted it to end right then and there. I wished it had never happened, I wished I knew a way to make it so it was all better. I wanted so much but I knew I could never get any of it to happen.
I wished that it would just end here. That magically no one would remember. No one would know.  All evidence would be gone.  I went back to the orphanage and grabbed all the stuff I wanted then left in a flurry.
As I left questions swarmed my head. Why couldn't the world be happy? Why couldn't we live in peace? Why was there disease?  When would it all end? When would we all be happy?
I cried as I ran away from that torturing place. Everywhere I looked there was something involving a spat or something hurtful. Cars honking accusingly.  People fighting over who was right or wrong. Even stuff that showed how corrupt the world was, a man buying a paper.  A woman buying insulin, why would they put a price on something so needed? What could be done to make the world better? Why did God make us this way? After that though I lost so much more.

I left the town and hitch hiked to the next city over.  I made a life there, but it didn't last long, the second I turned 18 it all came back to haunt me.  I wasn't allowed in the foster home, because I could legally live alone. I lost my shelter.

I had a job by then and my boss was inspecting everything when John, a new guy, burned a bunch of fries; he blamed it on me. I lost my job. I then had to buy food through the only money I had left. I lost all my money. I sold all the things I owned. I lost my soul and everything else.
I was left on the streets next to the McDonalds, begging for money from people.  One day though, a man saw me and told me he would take me in and help me until I could buy myself an apartment.
I made it from there, but only through one man's kindness.  I am sure God sent that one man to me to show there still was kindness in the world.

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