(The following was an assignment from our writers' group. The topic was gender inequality.)
I. Am. Lost.
Lost, because I’m a boy. Because I was born, a boy.
Left by the side of the road. Left to fend for myself. Left with no money, nor belongings; with only the clothes on my back.
Left. And. Lost.
I have no skills. I have no education. I can barely read and write.
I know nothing of the world that awaits me. The world to which this road I now walk, leads.
I was told the outside world was a dangerous place. I was told it was something to fear. Now I must face those fears, for I cannot go back. I can never go home again.
Home. My home is no longer my home. The family I once had, is no longer my family. To them, I am dead.
My death was inevitable. Inevitable because I was born a boy.
There are too many boys born, every year, you see. The surplus must be disposed of. They must be expelled. Must be driven away. Away, down the road. This road. This road that leads to the outside world. Driven away and left.
Left. And. Lost.
My shoes. There is a hole in one so I can’t walk very far and yet, I must. I must in order to find my way, away from what was my home.
I have no future, neither here on Earth, nor in Heaven. The Lost Boys have no future for they are forever lost. I am a boy, and therefore lost.
If only I had been born a girl…
There are never too many girls. On the contrary, there are never enough.
My sister, she’s fourteen, and will marry soon. Promises have been made. Promises must be kept.
My sister will become her new husband’s tenth wife. Together, they will have children, and those who are boys, when they reach their teens, they too, will likely be…
Will likely be sent away, where they will become lost.
Because every year, TOO MANY BOYS are born.
If only I had been born a girl.
But a fourteen-year-old girl, set to marry a fifty-year-old man…
She, too, will be lost. Lost in another way, but still lost. Lost because she was born a girl.