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  • Writer's pictureTalha

Cruel Summer

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis

Nate loved summer. The pool parties, listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, breezy summer evenings, and everything iced that came with it. Maybe that was what made it even more difficult for him to digest what was right in front of his eyes. The scantily dressed children, half-hidden behind the makeshift doors of their makeshift homes, their wide eyes following him as he made his way through the slum. It was a few days ago that Nate had volunteered to work for a social organization that provided aid to the slum-dwelling population of his city. The truth was, he had never bothered to pass through this part of the city and had no way of knowing about the appalling conditions he was witness to now. He realized that the season he so loved was a curse to those who did not even have water to save themselves from the scorching heat. After all, summer is a knife.

The work cut out for him was simple; he had to receive the food and water supplies from a senior worker, and help in distributing them. The latter was a middle-aged man, with graying hair and hard eyes. Nate had somehow expected him to be a kinder looking person but then decided not to judge him by his appearance. They exchanged some small talk, after which he decided to have a look at the supplies.

Something didn’t feel right. The amount of food and water was not sufficient to feed all those people. He said just that to the worker. “Oh! Don’t you worry about that; just do what you signed up for, take some pictures for your social media, and be on your way.” Nate was extremely taken aback by those words. “But, that is not going to help at all. I signed up to do something good for them, not post pictures. Maybe you could ask the officials for more.” Realizing that he was not going to let this go, the worker decided to tell Nate what the real situation was.

“Look, kid. The officials provided sufficient money to buy the supplies. But, let’s just say that only some of the money was used to buy what you see here. What happened to the rest, whose pockets were filled, is none of my business. You should make it a point not to make it yours.” All this while, Nate just stood there in disbelief. It was now that he realized how messed up everything was. He had wanted to help these people. But now, he just could not fathom what he could do. He thought of filing an official complaint, but the idea left his mind as soon as it had appeared. After all, the corrupt members of this organization had been getting away for a long time. Who knows what kind of trouble he might find himself in if he dared to go against them? 

So, he did what he assumed all other volunteers had done. He took the supplies, went back inside the slum, and helplessly saw children and adults, with the same wide eyes, fighting for the food, fighting to survive.

It's a society where the good don't dare, and where the bad get away. What should be done?


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