I Walk | Teen Ink

I Walk

October 3, 2007
By Anonymous

I walk on sunshine on the cloudiest day.

Everybody wants to be remembered. Everybody wants to be noticed. I am not everybody, but I want the same things.

The girl walked slowly down the middle on the dirt road, looking around peacefully and beaming at the sights that greeted her eyes. The chattering birds announced to the world that it was finally Spring, and the world agreed. Beautiful new buds were already starting to blossom, and the trees were beginning to get their vibrant colors back. A slight breeze wafted through the air, reminiscent of age-old memories long tucked away in the corners of the mind.
The girl smiled, her pearly white teeth lighting up her entire face, and she sighed happily. Suddenly she caught sight of a stranger coming down the road from the opposite direction, walking a slow, steady tread with hunched shoulders. Though dressed in tattered rags, the girl was not ashamed of her appearance and she bade the traveler good afternoon. He nodded in reply, then stopped and blinked several times consecutively while a perplexed look slowly made its way across his face. He no doubt thought it odd that a young girl, dressed as she was and traveling alone could still display such a sign of contentment.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” he said, “but though your clothes are worn-out and dirty, your hair is unkempt and your face is covered in dirt, and you must surely have no money, you are smiling. May I inquire as to what it is that pleases you so?”
The man couldn’t have been much older than herself, for his unblemished face was smooth, and his dark hair hung low across his eyes. Despite his handsome features, though, he seemed tired—almost world-weary, and the girl couldn’t help but see a reflection of the person she once was in those troubled eyes.
“As a matter of fact,” she answered, “I smile for the same reason that you despair: I have lost nearly everything I once cared for. I have no home, no car, no job, and no money. I have lost touch with all my dearest friends and family members, and it is unlikely that I will see them anytime soon. I literally have nothing left to lose, and yet I smile. I smile because I know that things cannot possibly get any worse, for death would be an improvement from my current position. I smile because my situation in life can only get better from this point forward, and because being lost in depression and anguish helps no one. I smile because it is a beautiful day today, and I wish to enjoy it to the fullest extent. Would you like to join me for a walk?”
The man considered this question carefully, then in an instant made his decision. With a nod and a small smile, he took the girl’s offered hand and the two began walking serenely down the road once more. Above them, the sun shone brightly on the tops of the trees.

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