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A Little Boy
by Marjorie Sabijon
09/01/06
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His name is Joshua.

They say he's about 12 years old. Not very short for his age but thin. His clothes are dirty on most days but his smiles never waver.

Joshua had taken a liking to my boyfriend. After lunch, Werby and I would spend a few minutes at the side of the building and chat with the "smoking boys." As soon as we get there, a smiling Joshua would appear and pulls my boyfriend along with him. He couldn't talk, so he uses gestures to let Werby know what's in his mind. There's not much he wants to do. He simply likes to hold Werby's hand while they march from where we're standing to the end of the driveway. Or he'll put Werby's arm around his shoulders, just like a little boy and his dad. Sometimes he'd play with Werby's shoelaces.

It's apparent how he craves for affection.

Joshua shouts with glee everytime Werby would run around with him. Joshua can't run very well. His movements are rather slow compared with normal boys.

Just recently, the boy had associated me with Werby. Whenever he sees me, his eyes would light up and his smile would appear. He'd go as far as asking for something to eat. But he doesn't eat a lot. He likes to drink coke and eat very little.

Some of my officemates say the boy's mother is in the United States and he's left to his grandmother's care. I haven't noticed him before, presumably because his grandma's attention was focused on him. Lately, his grandfather was taken to bed and there's no one left to look after him. His been on the streets for a few weeks now.

We can only make guesses to the story behind Joshua. One can't help but wonder why the boy is left unattended when his mother seems to be living a prosperous life in the US. One can't help but be amazed how a mother seemed to have forgotten about a retarded child.







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