Welcome to my blog :)


Thursday, 4 February 2010


(This is what boredom and being not tired at 2 am does to a person...nah hope u enjoy...PS pls join the STOP CHILD ABUSE cause on my facebook page - Theres nothing wrong wid discipline but abuse is different..time for us all to start differentiate between them )

He must have been four years old, maybe five. Looking back, it’s hard to say. Some things remain crystal clear though, as I recall that windy day in August several years ago.

He wore a tattered blue jacket. A little too big for him, one sleeve drooped down and covered his left hand. His light brown hair was a patch of brambles, unkempt and tangled so thickly I remember thinking no brush could ever smooth it out. His bare feet were scarred and covered with grime, mirroring his tiny, sad face. He stood hunched against the wall, silently watching, in stark contrast to the other children. Laughing, they surrounded me, anxious to pay the dime toll in exchange for a brightly coloured balloon. One by one they clamoured for position and each made their sought after purchase.

“Oh! A red one, please!”

“I’ll take a blue one.”

“I want green!” One little boy yelled with enthusiasm.

Most quickly wrapped the string around their little hands and ran off, eager to show their parents their new possessions. One little girl took her time though, diligently wrapping the string of a bright yellow balloon around a long white feather she held delicately in her hands. Her task completed, she turned her face to mine and beamed, holding up both treasures for me to admire.

Her joy was short-lived, as in her hurried excitement to show her mom, she tripped and lunged forward. Her prized feather and balloon slipped from her tiny grip and began to float away. Tears immediately slid down her dejected face while she watched the balloon, and its cargo, drift higher and higher. As I walked over to hand her two new balloons to compensate her loss, I glanced up and noticed the boy. Watching the balloon soar away from the girl’s beckoning hands, a look of wonder passed over his haunting eyes.

Waiting ‘til all the other children were gone, he timidly left the safety of the wall and approached me.

“Please, sir, may I buy a balloon?” His voice sounded weak, but his words sounded rushed, as if he had practiced them over and over in his head.

“Of course!” I replied in my usual boisterous way. “What colour would you like?”

“I don’t know,” he said softly. “I just need a balloon, please.”

“Hmm…I do seem to have this extra blue one that needs an owner, and look, it matches your jacket.” Pulling the balloon free, I held it out for him. He gingerly reached out, grabbed the balloon and looked at it with expectation.

With my last customer served and no more potential buyers, I began to pack up for the day when I heard him ask, “Please, sir, may I buy just one more balloon?”

I turned to see a grubby hand reaching out from the drooping sleeve of his oversized jacked, holding a dime.

“Sure, Champ.” I chose a yellow one this time and placed the bright string in his waiting hands. He wrapped it around his hand and stared at the two balloons as if he were waiting for some grand and glorious act.

After a moment, he again asked, “Just one more balloon, please?”

He bought a green one and an orange. Soon there were seven brightly coloured strings wrapped around his tiny hand, while his left hand lay empty, with no more dimes to spend. He looked at his balloons with a look of lost hope in his deep-set eyes.

“Why do you need so many balloons, Sport?”

He turned his haunted face to mine and answered, “So they can carry me away, like the feather. So they can take me to a place where no one hurts me,” he whispered.

I stood frozen in shock as that little boy turned and walked away with his balloons. I can still hear the echoes of his shuffling feet as he made his way to the corner. I can only assume the man yelling, “Connor Phillips! Get over here, boy!” was his father. Shock was replaced with anger as I watched the man rip the balloons away and toss them to the sky.

The next weekend, I didn’t sell any balloons. I sat at my kitchen table and thought of all that’s wrong in the world. I thought of parents who hurt their children and I thought of a little boy in a tattered blue jacket that was a little too big for him, who only wanted to be safe. I thought of a little boy named Connor Phillips whose photograph stared at me from page three of the local paper, along with a short, hollow prayer.

I stand here this windy August morning, as I have every year since then. The children are left wanting, as I have no balloons for sale this day. This day, I watch as hundreds of blue, green, yellow, and orange balloons, bound together, drift through the sky. I’m sure I can see a little boy holding tight, with a tired smile on his face, drifting far away to a safe place.

Copyright © 2010 by Andrea Simmons, All Rights Reserved, "Balloons"


lift said...

Articles written by a good

Drea said...

thank you

Katie McCoach said...

this was really touching and the end was especially, the images were welled written.
and it was a good way to write on a topic like this, to show people.

i noticed your copywright signage at the end... did you just do that yourself? it looks safer that way... does it really protect it? just curious cuz i have another blog that has a couple pieces and i'd like to do that too

Drea said...

hey katie,
Thanx u so much for the review...
About the copyright thing, my sister showed me how to do that(LOL..so finger cross it works...)
but u can also check http://www.copyscape.com, to find out whether your blog has been duplicated in some way...
Hope this helps.


Post a Comment