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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: Lost Innocence
By Norma-Anne Hough
07/23/09


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Lost Innocence.

As we walked along the beachfront, I felt happy and fulfilled. The choice to come to Durban had been a good one. I had left my family home and had moved away to recover from a relationship, which had ended. Putting distance between Calvin and I had been the best solution.

“Penny for your thoughts.” Tony said as we walked arm in arm.

“Not for sale.” I laughingly replied.

“There’s a price for everything.”

“Okay then, I was just thinking how happy I am at the moment.”

“It’s good to see you laugh.” He said, hugging me closely.

I had met Tony about three months ago. He was on the Drug squad with the local police. We had met through a friend and had hit it off immediately.

“Will you be coming in for something to drink?” I asked as we walked along.

“No, I need to be on duty in about an hour.”

Turning to walk down a side street, I suddenly stopped.

“Tony, did you hear that?”

“What?”

“I thought I heard someone calling for help.”

“You are imagining it.”

“Perhaps I am.” Puzzled I was about to carry on walking, when I heard the call again.

“Tony, there is somebody calling out. The sound is coming from the boardwalk.” I said, beginning to run towards the sound.

Tony ran with me and as we got nearer, we could clearly hear a girl’s voice.

“Please, somebody help me.” The voice sobbed.

As we ran onto the boardwalk, Tony stopped short.

“No, the sound is coming from those rocks, alongside the boardwalk.” He yelled.

Taking out his torch, he shone it towards the rocks. Curled up, against the rocks he saw a small figure. By now I was beside him, we both got to the girl at the same time.

“Please help me.” She sobbed, as we both knelt down. As Tony shone the torch light on her face, I wanted to get sick.

She lay in a pool of blood. There was a gash over her one eye, and blood was all over her jeans. She was shivering and cold.

Tony immediately pulled out his mobile phone and called the emergency services, while I tried to calm her down.

“He hurt me real bad.” She cried.

“Who is he?” I asked.

Before she could answer, we heard the sirens of the ambulance, closely followed by a squad car. Passers by sensing drama, began to crowd around. Tony tried to get them away to allow the paramedics to get to the young girl.

“Totally disgusting!” one commented.

“Where are the parents?” Another remarked.

The police officers tried to disperse the growing crowd. The comments that flew sickened me more than the plight of this young girl. Listening to them, I wondered where there compassion was. Eventually the paramedics had stabilized Lisa, as we later learnt was her name. Watching her being put into the ambulance, I made a quick decision.

“I’ll go with them.” I told Tony. “Meet us at Casualty.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive.”


………………………………………………………………………

Many hours later, we had traced her parents. They lived in one of the top suburbs. Their mansion of a home, surrounded by beautiful manicured lawns, spoke of wealth. They had been out with friends and had no idea where Lisa had gone too. Their attitude shocked me rigid.

“How can she do this to us?” Her father stormed.

The mother showed no sign of emotion, when Tony told them Lisa had been raped and stabbed.

“You give you kids everything they ask for, and this is how they repay you!” The father ranted.

“Sir, she is at Addington Hospital on the beachfront.” Tony told him. “You are lucky we happened to be passing by, or she could have bled to death. Daily I have to pick up the pieces of children, who have been stabbed, either beaten or robbed. Perhaps if all you parents took more of an interest in your children’s lives, rather than just give them handouts, our job would be easier.”

“How dare you judge us?” The mother screamed.

“Tony, leave it.” I implored.

Shrugging his shoulders, he walked back to the car with me, tears pouring down his face.


……………………………………………………………………..

Authors note: The above account is a true story, which took place many years ago. We never found out what had happened to Lisa. Her parents had her removed to a private hospital with limited access. Sadly in South Africa, the abuse of young children and teenagers continue. There are so many “aids” orphans, who sell their bodies just so that they can eat. The other sides of the coin are the teenagers who experiment with drugs and sex, just to get a high! What a sad reflection on the parents of today.


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This article has been read 701 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Johnson 07/23/09
How sad for the children whose parents view them as an inconvenience.
Seema Bagai 07/25/09
A well-written, sad story. Thank you for bringing light to the situation of some teens in Africa.
diana kay07/26/09
thank you a powerful story. I have a couple of suggestions :-). I was not clear as to how old the author was. I wondered at first if she was a teenager but confused as she seemed older. I am still not sure so some clues might have been helpful particularly as the theme was teens and so I am not sure if the only teen was the young girl.
The first part was told dramatically but die to word count you squashed up the rest about the parents. Not sure of the answer, the story would have been good even without the parents part.
Gregory Kane07/26/09
Certainly a provocative and interesting story. Some people may be surprised by the following comment, but I wondered what race the various characters were. Durban is such a cosmopolitan city and racial differences between the victim, the officers and the bystanders would surely have contributed to the tension.
I thought the most tragic part of your story was the reaction of the parents. Hopefully their transferring their daughter to a private hospital was testament to a change of heart
Norma-Anne Hough 07/26/09
thanks for the comments.
The girl was 13 years of age.
All parties were white. This happened 40 years ago.
Brenda Welc07/27/09
Okay, I was in a good mood before I read your article and now I am mad! Good writing! How sad this is true, my heart was crying for the girl while I was hurling darts towards the dad. Keep up the good writing!
Mona Purvis07/29/09
This story held my interest, so that tells me you are a good storyteller. Maybe could find a way to work in a few more details. I always feel cheated if I don't know the MC by name. Good job.
Mona