Friday, February 17, 2006

The Boy Who Died Of Hate

They were about 7 years old. Friends, living in a small , very small, English village in the mid 60's.
One of them had an Asian mother and the other one had a Latin mother. This was their bond. To the other children, they were Chinky and Wog.
It had been an ordinary day, after school, going to the sweet shop.

'Hey Chinky!' they yelled and their stomachs lurched, here they come again as they saw the bullies coming their way.

What happens next is very patchy, and some of it was filled in later by adults, so we have to take their word for it.

Asian boy's watch was snatched and he gave chase while Latin boy ran behind. The squeal of car wheels. Commotion. Ambulance and police. Asian boy trapped between two cars.

Later, the police were at Latin boy's home, just about to tell his mother to come to the hospital when Latin boy walked in and went to his room. The police it seems thought Asian boy was latin boy. Asian boy was dead. Latin boy refused to speak. The following day, Latin boy was shown the newspaper. On the front page was a picture of Asian boy with the headline THE BOY WHO DIED OF HATE. Latin boy was asked if he knew who was in the picture.

'Me,' he replied.

In a very short time, Latin made his first suicide attempt. He was 7.

Today, Latin boy remembers nothing about this except for seeing the newspaper and his response to the question. He doesn't recall Asian boy, or the incident. He does remember trying to jump out of the second floor window.

Latin boy was afraid of men but he doesn't remember why. He remembers loving school, his escape. Until the day he went to school and was found his new teacher was a man. That had never occurred to him! Up until then he had only had female teachers. Now it was all changed and he was afraid. And school was no longer a safe place. Innocent children's games and explorations were not so innocent. Latin boy knew too much about such things, about what adults did to each other. Yet he doesn't remember how he knew.

Loss had already been a big part of his life, he had already lived in a diffferent country before this village. Soon he was leaving this village, going to another country. He was told they would be back and the people he loved would still be there when he got back. It was a lie. Mrs M and Mrs R and Mrs B, neighbours who were kind and loving to him would forget him, he knew it, and they did. Two years later on a visit en route to a country even further way, he was so excited to go back. His stomach ached with excitement. Then as they arrived he saw Mrs R standing waiting for them. Her tummy was huge! He knew then it was over. He had nowhere to go, his safe place was gone.
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