Dedication: To the boy who thought me to smile no matter how hard life could be.

When I was in Elementary School, I was a gloomy and quiet kid. Average in my looks and grades, I got often overlooked by my peers and my teachers. I was also bullied by my classmates just for the fun of it. I was so lonely and no one to talk to. I was afraid to tell my family about the bullying because I don’t want them to think I was a burden. I’m a loner and preferred to be that way until one day.

I got a fever during exams and I need to take the exams by myself in a teacher’s office. While I was busy writing, I looked to my left and saw a boy. Younger than me. I know who he was but not enough to know his name. He was a troublemaker who always ended up in teacher’s office. And he had ADHD (Hyperactive-Impulsive type) and other complications that I don’t know about.

This is the first time we interact and he stared at me with the biggest smile on his face. No one had smiled at me ever since I got bullied. He was the first in forever. He tried to make eye contacts with me but I avoided it for a few seconds. But then he pinched my cheeks hard, pulling it. “Kakak (Older sister), why aren’t you smiling? Please smile for me😊” he said with the widest smile.

I was taken aback. Everyone is so mean to me. Even I never talked to him, I had met him a few times. He was bullied for his disability. He got into a fight with my classmates and triggered his emotions so high that he ended up pushing one of them into the school pond. He may be victorious but his face remained broken and sad. He had gone through so much more than me but still able to smile.

That day, I smiled to him. He looked so proud after he abled to make me smile. He may not be ‘normal’ as everyone else but surely has the purest soul.

He made me realized that no matter how hard my life is, there’s so much more unfortunate people than me and they are still smiling. That is the first and the last interaction I had with him. I heard from teachers that he has been hospitalized and quit school not long after we talked.

I’ve never seen or heard of him until I was in high school. He had passed away due to complications that got him hospitalized. That was the first time I cry for a stranger. He may talked to me once but his simple act of kindness forever in my heart.

To that boy, may your soul is in a better place. I will never forget you.