i want to go back where i belong ( a short true story of street child in usa)
October 4, 2008 4:31am CST
i would like to share with you a short but true story of one of the street children in america, this story is very interesting. The other kids called her " The Girl in The Hood". She came to our shelter one frigid night, a very large and unsure girl wearing a huge red hood pulled over the head. From the second she stepped inside, she cast a shadow over our shelter - a shadow that was bigger and shrouded in more mystery than any kid i have ever met. "Who is that girl in the hood, anyway," the kids would whisper. What does she look like under that hood? Does she ever take it off? Ever?" "She just need some space," i told them. "Please give her time." For the first thirty days at Covenant House, she never once took her hood off,never once showed her eyes. She wore the hood every minute in the morning, and every minute throughout the day. She even wore her hood to bed at night, pulling it tightly over her eyes as she drifted off to sleep. All our cajoling and pleading and counseling couldn't get her to take it off. She wouldn't - she couldn't - give away one thing in life that helped her hide. The kids found her... unnerving. Hard to understand. a little scary. Even the toughest, street-hardened, seen it all and had it all done to them kids kept a safe distance away. From the beginning we decided to be extra patient with her, to give her as much space as we could. But always, always, we were there, too. Because she obviously needed us there more than any kid I ever met... Our conversations, (and we never stopped trying to start one,) weren't much longer than a hiccup those first weeks. "hi," I'd say. "Hi" she'd say. " I'd love to talk to you when you get a chance," I'd say. "O.K," she'd say, as she walked away. many times, while she was all alone at a table by herself. I'd drop by to say hello and pat her on the back. "I'd love to talk to you when you're ready," I'd say "O.K" her hood would nod. "Later," she'd say. For a month this went on, little snippets of conversation here,a nod there. Her words, so few spoken over those 30 days always came the same way, barely a whisper, head and eyes down escaping under the cover of the hood. We learned that her name was Nancy. She was a runaway from North Carolina. She had been severely abused at home, by both her parents, and was so terrified she bought a bus ticked ( with the only money she had) and escaped to New York. She ended up at the Port Authority, all alone, and wandered the streets for weeks... until a kind policeman brought her to us. She was scared. And hurt. And no one cared about her. No one. "No one wants me" she said one night out of the blue while she was getting up from the dinner. She never looked up, when she said it. At that moment, it was more clear than ever why Nancy hid inside her hood. I mean, her was much more than an article of clothing for Nancy. It was her cocoon... her sanctuary, the only safe and secure place that was hers and hers alone. By hiding beneath her hood, Nancy was able to hide the incredible feelings or insecurity that paralyzed her. Her hood became her "alter ego" - her protector (the only protector she knew). her round-the-clock security blanket. The only place in the world she felt safe. Finally,though, our love got through to her.... "I was wondering, Nancy," I said again one day. "We really think it's time we get you some new clothes. I'd really like to buy you a new dress to wear." (It was probably the 99th time I suggested it - I wasn't really expecting much.) The hood slowly lifted, and her eyes met mine (it was only for a split second, but it was a first). Really? she said. After we got her a new outfit, I brought her up to Billie, one of our super counselors who ironically has also been a hairdresser. "Will you let Billie do your hair, Nancy?" I asked. " You'd look so nice" "I don't know," she said. "I'm so ugly," she said. "Everyone thinks I am," she said. For the first time, I could see tears streaming down her face. "Please let us," I said. " You'll look terrific," I said, putting my hand on her hood, and gently pulling it back. It was difficult keeping our composure those next few moments, seeing and feeling and touching and smelling hair that had been matted down for months. Our new scissors almost failed,her hair was so stiff. "Please stop... maybe this isn't a good idea," she kept saying. "I'm so ugly... don't waste your time." "You look great,"we said. "You really do." During the next week, a very scared and unsure kid didn't leave her room that much. Every night, around 5:45, I'd see her make a quick beeline to the cafeteria eyes straight down, and then back to her room thirty minutes later. "Hi Nancy,it's great to see you today. You look wonderful," I would always tell her."Thanks," she would mumble. But as time wore on, Nancy ventured out of her room more often. Slowly, she began to talk to the other kids. To smile, and even to laugh. Her counseling sessions, once frustratingly short, became longer. The pain and anger she had literally wrapped inside her,began to flow out. It wasn't an overnight transformation. There were days when Nancy slipped back into her own little world. But slowly,surely, she began to blossom under the light of our love, a beautiful child of God discovering an internal beauty she had never known. She was literally reborn. Then last week, she surprised us all." I want to go back to North Carolina," she said. "To live near my old home. I've got a cousin who says I can live with her. She's a good person. I want to go back where I belong." A few hours ago, I picked up the phone to hear a cheerful voice calling from North Carolina. "It's working out great,Sister," she said. "I just got a job today," she said. "It doesn't pay much, but it's a start. Thanks... thanks," she said. I'm so happy," I said. "Thank you, thank you," she said. The voice was filled with tears, but I never heard one so beautiful. what can you say about this story? i found it very nice one. though nancy been in very difficult situation but with the help of "Covenant House" she tried to recover. and im happy for her.