Today is the day, I am finally a teenager!!! I woke up excited to start this new stage of my life. I ran to my parents who slept on the mat on the other side of the house. They barely opened their eyes for they were exhausted from extra hours at work. “Happy birthday!” They both replied wearily. I knew that they had worked hard so I left them and went to get water and get myself ready for the day at hand. I had just finished breakfast (rice), when my parents had finished changing. They told me to close my eyes. I was bursting with excitement.
I removed my hands from my eyes to see my mum sitting in front of me on the floor and my dad had his arm around her and was kneeling down. I could feel a chain on my neck. I looked down to see the most beautiful pendant I had ever seen. I cupped my hands around it and lifted it to see it clearly. It was a picture of me as a baby. A tear fell onto the picture. I quickly wiped it off. I looked up and smiled. My mum wiped the tears off my cheeks and I hugged them both.
Since I was thirteen, it was time that I started to take on some responsibilities. One of those responsibilities were helping out the family financially. I had received the letter sending me off to work. I couldn’t wait. I was growing up. I was no longer a child. Mum had helped prepare me for the day. I glanced over at my watch. 09:59. I was supposed to be at work in 1 minutes. I brushed my hair with my hand and dashed off. I ran across the streets dodging the other pedestrians. I didn’t want to make a bad first impression. I saw the factory. It wasn’t what I had expected but who cares. I have a job! I knocked on the door. “Who is it?” The voice boomed at me.
“Um, I am Golam. I am here to work.”
“Ah! I can see you on my list for 10:00. You are a minute late! That isn’t good for your first day. Do you want to be payed because I won’t pay another unpunctual rotten child.” He shouted at me.
“I am sorry, sir. It won’t happen again. I promise.”
“It better not. Inside!” He opened the creaky door. Scared, I crawled in. This is not at all what I planned. I saw kids with dirt on their faces and wore rags. They were all working hard at their different machines. I could see piles of shoe scraps all over the floors. I had to watch my step. He assigned me to a machine and showed me what to do rather harshly. I saw men wearing the same uniform patrolling the sweatshop with wips in their hands. I get distracted as I watched them beat innocent little children. I never imagined it like this. All the years of my life I had looked forward to this but now I wish I was free. Free from this torture.
A week had gone by. I had just got back from work and I had 2 hours to sleep. I had received my first payment. The five coins dropped in the money jar. I lay on my mat. I passed out instantly with my hands wrapped tightly around my locket. I knew that this was my new life. I had to do this. My family needed this money. I needed this money. I thought to myself. Does every child do this? What about the rich girls in the books? Why couldn’t I be like them?