Lonely Maryam – A Short Story

“Ma!”  My voice echoed off the walls.  “Dad!” I screamed much louder, but it was no use.  They really were gone.  I looked around, and saw it.  What the horrible tornado had done.  It really was a wonder I was alive.  I walked through the alley.  Chunks of the bricks were gone, people were scarce, there was hardly a sound.  I just couldn’t believe I was alone forever.  I quickened my steps and started running to my house, or the remains of my house.  I flung the door open…Nothing…everything was gone.  I could barely believe it.  Would I have to raise myself?  What would I eat?  So many questions and nobody to answer them.

I woke up later to find that I had fallen asleep on the floor of the living room.  Was it a dream?  Nope…still nobody.  What if my parents were still alive, like in books?  No, I knew they weren’t.  I finally managed to stand.  My legs were numb from me sitting on them.  I walked upstairs.  Parts of some wood splintered my skin, but I didn’t care.  I immediately went to my parents’ room and dug through the closet.  It’s got to be here! I thought.  Tears were blinding me from finding the key to the safe.  I was just so lonely now.  No sisters or brothers.  That made me cry harder.  Salty tears.  Dripping tears.  No key.  I looked for the safe, but without the key, there was no opening it.

I walked around the town.  Nothing was the same.  Usually everyone was happy and playing, but today, there was nothing.

There was some discarded bread on the ground, and that is when I realized I was hungry.  I reached for it just as another hand did.  I looked up.  A small boy about five years old with a dirty face and hands looked back at me.  I just couldn’t take it.  Although my stomach growled, I smiled and handed it to him.  He ran away seconds after I handed it to him.  I sighed.  And I thought I had it worse.  He was just five and he was an orphan.  I hoped he could…That’s when it struck me.  It was crazy, but I had to.  I could barely care for myself, but at least I wouldn’t be so lonely.

“Hey!  Come back!” I yelled at the boy.  I ran and caught up to him.  I stuck out my hand and really slowly, but surely, he gave me his hand.

Imagine if you were in Maryam’s or the little boy’s shoes.  How would you feel?  Please donate to the 99 Orphans Project so we can help more kids like them!

~ Sabriya Zaman
Pennsylvania Team