One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Jayden, a kid who learned the meaning behind the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure" through his mother's sacrifice.

Submitted: April 20, 2017

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Submitted: April 20, 2017



One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure


“Mommy! Will you please just stop rummaging through the garbage in front of my friends?! They are laughing and started calling me names at school! I don’t even know why you have to embarrass me like that!”

Again, I was frustrated by my mother’s actions. Just like any other day, she would be searching and collecting trash from the heaps of garbage around my neighbourhood. I could not really fathom her actions though she had told me countless of times that those trash were like gold for us. My father had died from a car crash three years ago and since then, my mom and I were left to fend for ourselves. My father was the only one in our family who was working and providing for us when he was still alive but since his death, we were struggling to make ends meet. There was not much left in our bank account and with my mother being a full time housewife with hardly any working experience, no one seemed to be interested to hire her.

I resented this life. After my father’s death, I had been grumpy and angry all the time. I questioned God every moment of the day on why this had to happen to me and not somebody else. This was just not fair. I hated my mother even more when she started going around collecting plastic bottles and whatever that she could find in the piles of stinking junks just so only she could sell them to make some money. And even then, she would only get a few dollars not more than 10 each time she sold them. I did not see any point there. And everytime whenever one of my classmates saw her doing the dirty job again, they would make fun of me in class and called me the son of the trash collector. I hated my classmates too. I was in my final year of my elementary school and I did not want to step into my middle school being remembered as the filthy trash collector’s son.

One day, my mother came home with a smile on her face and revealed to me that she got a job as a dishwasher at one of my classmates’ father’s shop. Upon hearing that, I was immediately upset and locked myself up in my room for the whole day. Then, I heard a knock on my door. “Jayden? What’s wrong? You don’t like mommy working in that shop? Mommy is sorry if your friends are laughing at you again in school my dear. But mommy just had to do it for our sake.” Her tone sounded wistful. But I could not care less. I had had enough being called the son of the trash collector and now I was sure I would be called the son of a dishwasher. Could this life be any worse?  

I was reaching fast the end of my elementary school. One more week to go and I would be officially out of Morrisania Elementary. I shudder to think of what would happen when I continue into middle school. The kids would be meaner. Furthermore, I would be looked down upon because I was sure mother could not afford to buy me a laptop which was a must in every middle school. Miserable days were getting nearer. How I wished I was a rich man’s son and I could have everything my heart desired.

Just then, my Science teacher, Miss Peyton, dashed into my classroom looking for me interrupting me from my reverie. She had a worried look on her face and I was excused from the ongoing English class after she said something to my English teacher. She instructed me to pack my things and after I followed her out of the class, she told me gently that my mother was knocked down by a car when she was picking junks from the roadside. The hospital called the school and she was instructed to bring me to my mother. I could not believe the news not until I saw my mother lying on the sick bed of the hospital with her face scratched and one of her legs was in a cast. I got to her side and shouted for her to wake up. When she opened her eyes, I could not be any happier because she was still alive. I hugged her tightly though later my teacher warned me that I might hurt her. With a smile on my mother’s face, she said “Jayden, do you know what day is it tomorrow?” I nodded. It was my birthday. “Yes. Your birthday. And mommy has got something for you.” With the help from my teacher, she produced a big box from the bedside drawer and asked me to open it. And I did. To my surprise, it was a brand new laptop. “See? This is why mommy had to do all the filthy jobs. One man’s trash is now your treasure. Happy birthday my dear boy Jayden.” And I cried. I was so sorry mommy. 

© Copyright 2019 Gwendolyne Gwen. All rights reserved.

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