To celebrate the 100th post on MacroEdgo I am honoured to publish for the first time the work of an extremely talented young man who is destined to make a real difference for humanity, my 12 year old son. This is a school assignment which was just too good to not be read by a wider audience.
Coming to Australia
By Navin Edgerton
As I saw the figure that I least wanted to see rise on the horizon of the school cricket pitch, my feet stuck to the ground, high pitched noises piercing my ears. My head got dizzy, I became disoriented. It felt like seconds ago that my grandmother had been crying on my porch, in Sri Lanka about my Australian citizenship being approved. My whole life had been left behind other than my parents and brother. It had not been long since I had moved to Australia and being asked to a fight wasn’t a great start. The words that dreaded figure had spoken to me rang in my ears, “You and me, fight”.
The teasing hope of the possibility that my father’s advice would work taunted me. The previous day I had come home and asked my father what I should do. It was difficult to talk about it before breaking out in tears. In my new school here in Mackay, there were only six black people, I had encountered much racism in the few weeks I had been in Australia. I tried to avoid it but deep inside I knew that the reason this girl asked me to fight was because she was prejudiced, the thought of my skin colour making me not an equal made my lip tremble. She got closer and closer, my near constant heartbeat was threatening to stop my body functioning.
As she finally approached me, I started feeling my legs give way. She bent over next to me and whispered, “Meet me at the water tank after school”. My bones shivered once again threatening my collapse, the soft grass certainly felt like an amazing escape from this reality. I had to face her though. The water tank was the place known for fights. I summed up the courage to use the advice that my father had given me. I hesitated. I couldn’t stop thinking about the possible backlash. I remembered all that I had left behind. “No, let’s fight now”. I had done it, a gush of wind knocked me, but I was confused because it was a still day.
I quickly realized that the gush of wind had come from the fleeing of the girl that asked me to fight. I tried to move but I couldn’t. My father’s advice had worked. For the next few weeks, I thought about it. I couldn’t get why she ran. Years went by and I didn’t hear from her. She was still at the same school, but she seemed to always perfectly avoid me. Although I was able to face one bully, I knew I would never be able to escape racism. What this made me realize though, is that bullies aren’t strong, they speak confidently and act strong to cover the hole in themselves or their confidence.
Note: This story is about my mum. She still encounters lots of racism to this day, and she is undervalued because of that. She is the strongest person I know for putting up with that daily.
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© Copyright Brett Edgerton 2021