With street vendors and customers arguing, children running around, and people pushing past each other, the street that led me to my bus stand was filled with chaos. My mind was no less. Formulas, theories, and everything I had crammed for my test was swimming inside my head. Worrying about the test, I boarded the bus. My eyes roamed for an empty seat, but all I saw were dozens of vacant eyes staring right at me. Huddled between sweaty arms and bad breathe, I could hear the muffled shouts of passengers. My bag had started to feel heavier than usual and space I was in felt suffocating.
I tried to recall the questions important for my test, but the loud voices of two women seated right beside me distracted me. I tried to ignore them, but I couldn’t block their loud voices and ended up hearing everything they were saying. I’ll never forget some parts of the conversation. One of the women talked about how she gave all the money, which she had saved to visit her father who was thousands of miles away, to her son so he could buy books for school. She also talked about her job; how she works all day long carrying bricks to provide good food and education to her son. She confessed about how she skips breakfast every day to save money for her son’s school fees. She also reminisced about the sacrifices her father had made for her then and how she was doing the same for her son now.
It got me thinking about all the sacrifices my parents had to make for me and my brother. The rebellious acts they had to put up because I wasn’t understanding enough. I started realizing how childish and indifferent I had been towards my parents. It all came crashing down to me. Because of the woman’s words, I was able to put myself in my parents’ shoes. Sure, it was discomforting but the love that seeped through it warmed my heart. It took me a short-lived moment to grasp that my parents are superheroes without capes and their superpowers are overflowing love and care.
When I got out of the bus and started walking towards my school, I realized the eyes that stared right at me before weren’t empty but filled with emotions; it was me just being ignorant. My bag that felt so heavy a few moments ago was no longer heavy; what weighed me down was my guilt of not being able to realize the dreams my parents gave up to provide for me and my brother. When I got to my high school and took the test that day. I gave my best and scored an A, and that lit my parent’s face with happiness.
It is amazing how little things spark a change in your life. That conversation I overheard turned me into an empathetic person extending my ability to become more practical. I am now a grown-up who is well-tuned to other’s emotions and takes full responsibility for her life. Passionate about my studies, I now work harder than before to achieve my goals and do whatever I can to bring smiles on my parents’ face.
Sometimes words have a greater impact on people’s lives than we can imagine. The few words that weren’t even directed at me evoked my ability to analyze people and life with different perspectives. Curious about what life has to offer, I have now embarked on a journey to discover myself even more.