Essay Contest: Giving is Receiving — Sophie Wen

Sophie WenSophie Wen (11th grade)

Take My Hand

29 November, 2015




It’s cold, and your hands are numb.
“I’m dying,” your classmate groans. “I’m so hungry.”
You all are, having just run a mile.
You look at the bag of chips in your backpack. It’s your favorite flavor, and only a mini pack sized, so there would be hardly enough for you if you shared it with them.
“I want food,” he whines.
You sigh and take out the bag. “You guys can have some.”
“Really?” He jumps up and takes it eagerly.
“Yeah, I’m not that hungry.”
Your stomach grumbles in disagreement.

It’s cold, and your hands are under your desk.
The overweight girl, the weird one no one likes, has just volunteered for the school festival. But each class needs at least two volunteers, and the number of hands raised has fallen to zero the moment the teacher chose her.
“Well?” your teacher looks at you all expectantly, “anyone else?”
Silence hangs heavily in the room.
A warning tone drips into her voice. “If no one raises their hand, I’m going to call on names.”
You glance at the girl, who looks like she is about to cry.
“I’ll do it,” you raise your hand an inch. The teacher nods in acceptance.
You look towards the girl again quietly.
She smiles.

It’s cold, and your hands are behind your back.
“I didn’t get in,” your sister sobs, the letter from her dream school clutched in her hand.
“You’re on the waiting list,” you try to soothe her. “That’s amazing itself. And someone most likely will be unable to go.”
“What are the chances of that?” she shakes her head miserably.
“Very high,” you try to convince her. “Everything will work out, I promise.”
She doesn’t see you crumple your own acceptance letter into your fist.

It’s warm, and your hands are out.
“I’m dying,” you wail, throwing your pencil down.
“Hey, are you okay?” Your friend pokes you with as much concern a guy can give.
“I don’t get this problem at all,” you groan.
“Here,” he grabs your pen. You nod as he explains it to you, gratefully watching him solve the problem at a clearly slower pace than he’d like.
“That’s it,” he grins.
You smile back.
“What would I do without you?”

It’s warm, and your hands are on your desk.
“Hi.” A voice says shyly, and you look up in surprise.
The overweight girl who has been in your class every year is standing in front of your desk.
“Oh, uh, hi,” you say, waving awkwardly.
“I have five tickets to the cinema for any iMax movie,” she says softly, holding them out. “But I can’t go, so … I wanted to give them to you.”
She quickly drops the tickets in front of you and then runs back to her seat.
Your mouth opens but she is gone.

It’s warm, and your hands are intertwined.
“I got in.” Your sister shrieks, jumping up and down. “Someone actually dropped out!”
“That’s great,” you beam at her excitement.
“We have to go out for dinner tonight!” She spins in a circle. “My treat!”
You find yourself at a high class restaurant that night with a candlelit cake on the long table for some reason.
“Wait,” your sister says before blowing out the candles. “I’m going to make a wish.”
She smiles at you. “To the best sister in the world, I hope you can get your most important wish.”
You look at her, strangely touched.
She gives you a wink, and then the candle goes out.

Updated: November 30, 2015 — 3:54 am
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