I cannot seem to remember my name.
It’s as if it has been taken away from me and locked in a place that I cannot see
I have constantly tried to find that place but it is hard.
My legs start to feel weak as if they are about to break.
My back feels like I’m carrying the dead bodies of those who I cannot remember.
Am I going to die here?
The once colorful world turns pitch black.
I try to shout for help but all that comes out is nonsense.
If only I could remember.
Remember who had taken my name, my life, my everything away.

But all I see is darkness.
A place that seems so familiar but still so mysterious…
I felt wrapped around this darkness as if it was home to me and the light was merely a prison.
All my thoughts and pain wash away like a wave taking sand from the shore.
Small lights suddenly appear around me.
They gave me warmth and comfort.
Although I was a complete stranger to them and they were completely strangers to me.
They whispered sweet nothings in my ear.

However these only made my ears burn.
I covered them as they began to whisper faster and faster.
Soon enough I couldn’t take anymore and scream.
The lights pop into sparks like fireworks.
I don’t remember ever hearing or seeing them before now.
I didn’t even know that word till now.
This thought made my legs start running on their own.
Those colorful bursts of light in the sky were beautiful.
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Brighter than any smile.
Louder than any scream or cry.
They were music to my ears.
A sound that I wish to never forget
And I stopped…

A bright yellow key drops from the sky and into my hands.
It is out of pure gold.
Something a person would have sold rather than keep.
A long string of light came from the key.
It lent me to a box.
The box was also made of gold
I put the key in the keyhole and turned it…
Out came a clear blue ocean that swept me away like nothing
I’ve never seen such clear water without a single plastic in sight.
The darkness begins to bloom into color.
The ocean planted me on the ground like a seed before it washed to be with it’s family.
The grass was so green and nice on my feet.
The air was so clear that I could breathe in peace.
It felt like paradise…
But it wasn’t.
The light got so bright that I couldn’t see anything.
All I heard was sadness, destruction, and then nothing.
It was pinch black once again and all I could remember was nothing.

The once shining gold key crumbled in my hands.
Nothing is perfect forever.
It all ends someday.
I begin to cry.
My tears filled with so many mixed emotions
I remember what life used to be like.
I remember how it felt to be held and cared for.
But also how it felt to be alone.
How the world could easily beat you down to your knees and make you wanna hide forever in a place where no one will ever find you.
How just holding onto someone or something could make you feel full inside.

I remember how it felt to smile and laugh.
It felt like I have been satisfied forever but…
When I started to cry and scream, I felt miserable.
I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I remember how it felt to feel powerless.
I was surrounded by so many people that felt above me and better than me.
They put me down because I was different.
Different in how I looked.
Different in how I talk.
Different in my gender, sexuality, religion, skin, and everything that they could taunt.

I remember faces.
Faces of those I love and hate.
Faces of people who are long gone.
Each moment I had with them, both good and bad were precious.
I will treasure them forever.

I remember my name…
A simple word that some people don’t care for much or dislike theirs but…
Mine made me feel whole. 
It was something that no one could take away.
Every living being has a name.
Some more common than others
Some will change for reasons but it is something that you should never forget.
It is part of who you are…

-- Kamara W., 9th-12th Grade