Broken: A Short Story

Congratulations! A healthy boy was born in the mid 1950s. Although the couple wasn’t allowed to be married, the mother’s parents adopted the baby.

The baby was named Omar, after his great-great-grandfather. Omar was a good baby. His babysitter was his great-great-grandmother, named Big Ma.

Omar turned 5 years old and was registered for kindergarten. The teacher was responsible to fill out forms for students. Students answered the questions while the teacher wrote the answers. Students hesitated before answering. The teacher called Omar’s name. The teacher asked, “Do you live with your parents?” Omar looked around for help. He said, “I live with my grandparents.” The teacher said, “You live in a Broken Home!” Broken made tears come to his eyes. ​I didn’t break anything this morning, ​he thought.

Omar couldn’t wait for the school bell to ring. Not walking with his friends, he ran fast. Got home, ran up the back stairs, into the pantry, through the kitchen, through the dining room, out into the front hall and up the stairs to his bedroom. Looking around at his toys, bedroom furniture, and the rest of the house, nothing was broken! ​I wish I knew why the teacher said my home is broken​, he thought. When Omar turned 7 years old his grandparents gave him a birthday party. The children were invited. Some parents gave him gifts. This was the first time they had been inside of his house.

Omar noticed his friends didn’t have a lot of food. They were happy to eat syrup and bread for breakfast, while Omar’s family had three full meals a day. One day Omar had an idea to share some of his fruit with his friends. He couldn’t wait for the weekend, he was going to invite them over.

Omar got up early and ran out to the backyard. Knocking on their doors and waiting. He stood in the middle of the backyard. Doors opened and his friends standing there sleepy. One yelled out, “Omar, it's too early to play.” Omar proudly said, “Hurry get dressed, you’re coming to eat fruit at my house!”

Everyone ran back to their apartments, got dressed and raced back to Omar’s house. He began passing out fruit. They all got a piece and quickly peeled oranges and ate apples, peaches and plums. Omar’s grandparents returned home from shopping, shocked to find children at their back steps, eating fruit and laughing with juice all over their chins.

Omar’s grandparents walked up to the children, and asked if they could go home for now. Omar was so excited. He began telling why he gave the fruit to them. They took him into the house, sat him down and talked to him about what he had done. They told him they were glad he cared, but in the future, he should ask them first. That night, Omar went to bed feeling like a hero!

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Volume 12, Issue 21, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.03.2020