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Children Not Soldiers

The people have elected a new president. The first thing he did was conscript children into a school for future soldiers, and not a single human rights organization found out. Selena was one of those children. She was twelve when soldiers at school picked her up from school, rode a chopper, and disappeared. They brought her to a garrison along with hundreds of children like her. There, she met friends she'd do anything to protect.

chmcast · Urban
Not enough ratings
25 Chs

Seeing Red

"Hey, Carlos! Pass the ball over here!" said the soccer team captain. I left my seat and walked away.

Yawning, I sat down under the rumored hundred-year-old acacia tree, which had witnessed all the episodes of the city's public university ever since it was established. Watching a grade school soccer game from afar wasn't much entertainment as I thought. The students sitting on the bleachers cheered when the team scored.

Will it be better to watch it with them instead?

Naah. No matter where I am, who I'm with, I'll find the game boring. Besides, I don't have any friends. If there's something I am enjoying right now, that would be the blue sky. I wonder where the clouds went. Sometimes I hate times like this. My eyes went cold when my thoughts drifted elsewhere.

Knife. Blood. Throat. Eyes. The flashes of memory flooded my thoughts.

Great. Not that again.

Reminiscing ugly memories isn't much fun either. I willed my thoughts casually to my family. I wonder what my younger sister is doing right now. I hope they shrink helped.

I must've been pretty evil in my last life to be punished this way.

This punishment should be too much for a girl of ten, right? I just hoped I'd finish grade school, then high school, and get a scholarship for college. Start anew somewhere far from here.

The students' howls echoed again. I looked, and Carlos, the sixth-grade athlete, raised his hands in the air and danced victoriously. It looked cute yet shallow. So, I ignored the little act and sighed. Not the way they cheerleaders and other girls sigh, it's the dullness--- the boredom is creeping into my eyes. I yawned again and lay down on the grass field.

Hoping the bugs stay away from me, I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep.

My eyes flung open at the sound of a twig snapping.

"You didn't watch the game!" It was Carlos, standing a couple of yards away. The Soccer kid.

He's the kid with that brown wavy hair, smiling hazelnut eyes, pointed nose, and thin succulent lips. Yolly, my roommate's description of him every time she's going mental. My huge roommate fancies this guy so much she has his pictures plastered all over her side of the room. The boy is taller than me even though I'm older.

I sat up and observed him. He looked disappointed but still smiling.

"I watched over here. I saw you score," I said. I am a seventh-grader, while Carlos, a sixth-grader. Because of the incident back at home, I had no choice but to skip school for a year. I really don't know why this kid is bothering himself with me.

"Tell me how many times I scored then!" he said and sat down beside me, chuckling. Quickly, I tried to remember the two goals and the time left before I took a nap. I thought of an estimate and did the math quietly in my head. A close guess is what I need.

"Uh, four," I answered and smiled. Carlos frowned and nodded.

"At least you didn't sleep mid-way," he grinned. "I scored six goals! Still, we lost, though. That kid from Ignacio's was good!"

I did not sleep midway, indeed.

"Both teams' were trashy then," I concluded. Their defenses must've sucked badly. "Except the ones who scored. Let me guess, it was just you and the other team's kid who scored."

"Well," Carlos looked apologetic. "Garry managed to score---"

"After an assist from you, for sure," I said and stood up. Carlos hurriedly rose as well. "I better go, my roommate forgot her keys again, and she asked me to be back by four."

"Okay then!" he nodded. "Say high to Yolly for me."

"Maybe," I said and looked at him rather keenly. He looked embarrassed and, at the same time, disappointed. I sighed. What did I do to him this time? "Bye."

He nodded and waved a hand. "Bye."

----

I headed straight to the dormitories and found my roommate waiting outside. I never liked this roommate of mine. She's too bossy and a bully.

"You're late, twerp!" she snarled.

Ah. The huge girl with probably the dumbest mind in history. She's a fat-boned girl, and her lips are too vast and pouty. They looked like a dozen bees stung them. Her eyes were small, and her nose looked askew. She probably broke her nose in a fight and never got it fixed. It's not that I find faults in other people's faces. It's just that there's nothing about her worth praising! Even her personality is monstrous.

You're one to talk.

"I'm sorry, Yolly," I said and slid the key in the keyhole. "Carlos asked me to say hi to you."

"He did?!" she asked, enthralled. Then her mood changed. Still, she harshly pushed me aside. And to think she's a sixth-grader, a year younger than me. This kid's future will be fantastic. I followed the swooning ogress inside the room.

---

When I opened my eyes, it was already 5:30 in the morning. I stood up and grabbed a towel. Big old Yolly's snores were horrifying; thank me for improvising earplugs out of pillow stuffing. I went to take a shower. By the time I was finished, Yolly was still snoring. Quietly, I dressed up for a morning jog. I got to the field quarter to six.

"Heeeeey!"

I ran, ignoring the call. Carlos came scuttling toward me. I casually went on a halt. Then, I ran again.

"Why were you late?" he asked. I enforced a smile.

"You can jog without talking to me, you know."

"I pity your being alone, jogging without friends and all."

I laughed not because I find it cute but because I find it absurd. When Carlos started talking to me, some pretty bad girls had been trying to bully me ever since. One of them is Yolly and a girl named Helga. In short, my life's been more miserable because of friendship.

"Did you know that my PE Shirt had been tattered to pieces with a note attached to it saying, Get away from Carlos?"

"That's terrible!" he said furiously. I can see the crease on his forehead.

"Don't worry, I don't attend PE anyway," I said to him and remained quiet throughout the course. Every one of my classmates knows I don't attend PE simply because it's tiring. I got away from PE pretending I had asthma. And for a cast-out kid like me, talking to my mom will be very troublesome. Sadly, my relatives had managed to make her always out of reach when it came to me.

I went to the canteen and bought a sandwich and spaghetti for breakfast. . My thoughts drifted to my younger sister, and I sighed in remorse.

I want to see her.

"News Flash." –televeision

"Philippine's war on drugs had started a month ago, and the death toll surprised the country in more ways than one. Drug dealers who decided to fight instead of surrender ended up dead on the streets and most of the time inside their own homes."

My attention was now on the TV, and the news was music to my ears. They say poverty is the root of all crimes. I say it's this. Only those who had never fallen victim to the hands of a drug-addicted hooligan will give them mercy. Those people who had never experienced evil dawn on them, those sheltered people who were lucky enough to grow in a peaceful and controlled environment, should just shut the hell up. They have no idea how it is to live a life of misery while you're still alive and breathing.

Their deaths had been guaranteed the moment the present president had been elected. I'm too young to vote, but I know. This third-world country is up for some change. Those stoned people who'd rather kill policemen rather than give up their addiction to drugs don't deserve mercy. I can only imagine all those they had abused and harmed under the influence of their favored substances. Rape victims, battered children and wives, murdered people, robbed people… The list of the victims shall never end so long as those who're responsible remain free to do as they please.

The image of stone-red eyes raping my little sister in front of me flashed before my eyes. A slam of a hand on top of the table woke me out of my reverie. But not before my memories turned to an embedded knife in one of those hideous red eyes.

I looked up at the familiar face. I saw Helga, the president of the Women's Soccer club, standing beside me. I noticed she leaned away from me when I looked up at her. She must've seen something on my face. I cleared my throat and blinked away the wrath that was building up inside me.

Ever since I accidentally stepped on her at the Orientation day last year, she never stopped making my life a living hell. It is also the very reason why I don't have friends. She's a 9th grader, two years older than me. Aside from that, Helga is gorgeous. She's famous. I heard she's a freelance model, too.

"Did you receive my message?" she asked. Her little clique surrounded me.

Creation is hard, cheer me up!

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