ISU Monlogue:

Household Hell

As a young girl, I have been faced with many hardships, with being born into a broken, hateful world, just the beginning. My mother is a prostitute and my father could have been anyone from the rich Americans that came for my siblings and neighbours, to the everyday passerby that left our community a little more broken with each passing step. I live, if you could call it living, day by day, scavenging for the next crumb of bread I can call a meal. My home, if you could call it a home, consists of fragments of scrap metal, leaves, and mud and is located between our community’s river of garbage and the depressing dented pathway we call a road.
         I think I am the sixth child of nine, but it is hard to say exactly how many children my mother has had. I have watched three of my sisters’ die from malnutrition and starvation, and have seen my older brothers ripped from my mothers grip and thrown into the back of army trucks and trailers never to be seen again. Of all my known siblings, I am one of three still alive.
         I am sixteen years old. I have skinny legs, short wiry hair, a bloated stomach, and rotting teeth. I wander through my community watching people suffer from the same horrific tragedies as I do, with no help from outside Africa.
         I have never known life to be easy. I have heard stories of stores in America that have rows upon rows of bread, vegetables, and water. I don’t believe these stories though. I have seen Americans and they all look sad and lonely. If they really had an endless supply of food, they wouldn’t have people around them dying of starvation and malnutrition. Americans have no reason to be sad. Their families would be huge because no one would be sick and dying, and so there would be no reason for them to be lonely. The hope I got when I caught a drop of refreshing rain on my tongue made we weep hysterically. How can a group of people that have so much, be unhappy? No, I don’t believe that Americans have stores with tons of food on their shelves.
         I wake up in the morning and pray that my family will do the same. The graveyards surrounding out town grow with every passing week. I long for the day when I no longer have to watch the pain and suffering of my friends and family.
         People have tried to help my situation. They have sent food and clothes, and even dug a well in the center of my village. They try to help. They try to stop people from having to live like me and my family. Their attempts of helping don’t seem to be working though. I am still hungry even though they gave us food. I am still thirsty even though we have a well. They call our living conditions poor, below standards, and impoverished. I don’t know what living conditions are supposed to look like. I don’t know what the standards of living are. I don’t know what living impoverished means. I do know that people should not have to live like me. I do know that people should not have to look for food, scavenge for clean water, or watch friends and family members taking their last few breaths. I do know, that they way I live, is like living in hell.

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