Battered But Not Broken.

Essay by weeareHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2008

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Battered but not BrokenNumbers were scrawled scantily across the aching chests of my parents in the fierce dark of night by government officials bearing military weapon strapped to their bodies. With the wind lashing across their blistered and twinging bodies, my mother mustered all the strength she had left inside of her and held onto my father with one hand as she wrapped me up and tucked me further into her shirt.

21834, 21835; those numbers had transformed the once prominent, compassionate and loyal citizens my parents were, to mere faces associated by numbers lost within the swarm of a thousand other numbers.

As the family took their places around the dining table, my mother recited those exact numbers whilst she was making her regular pancakes in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. My father took his place and sternly looked at my younger twin brothers demanding them to do their homework.

As for me, the painstaking wait for my Mother's pancakes had developed into a dawning recount of the tormenting ordeal my family endured some 30 odd years ago.

Although my younger brothers are permeated with naivety and imprudence, they took a sudden interest once they heard my Mother weeping. The events that unravelled in the earlier years of my life that I yearn to forget, have unfortunately been tattooed to the back of my mind and they hauntingly awake me every night. Throughout my life, I have accumulated fragments of our experience fleeing the indefinite homeland I've grown to forget, like snippets of an old, barely visible movie. The sensitive topic of our escape had finally emerged for the first time and I did not anticipate the abrupt onslaught of nausea that would overcome me. I made it known that it was too early in the morning to...