Story - The Last Time. My name is Akshi, meaning eye, and I was abandoned at birth.

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Jasmine Banks 10V

The Last Time

The clear blue skies soared above me, as the white clouds glistened in the sunlight; the sky, so blissfully calm and soothing. Countless numbers of small huts created by bare hands with only straw, sticks and mud; surrounded the well in the centre of the village. Everyone in the community gathered here weekly to sing Indian songs and to dance with passion and joy. Tantalising smells from the curries were released into the air, which almost concealed the ghastly smell of the lavatories. Mothers with crying babies bound onto their chests, scrubbed their washing by the banks of the river. Small children were playing contently near the waters’ edges; little did they know the evil which lurked all around them.

My name is Akshi, meaning eye, and I was abandoned at birth. I have never had any family other than my twin brother; Harish. We were found on the doorstep of an old lady, called Aditi, who gave us warmth, love and nourishment until we were around 4 years old; and of what I remember, she was wonderful.  Unfortunately, one day she was not able to financially support us anymore, so she brought us to a hospitable and resourceful building, home to many other children - who were also orphans. This was where we grew up.

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We wanted to visit Aditi, but we were not permitted to leave the building and besides, we did not know where she lived. However, at the orphanage, life wasn’t too grim. Despite there being bland and repetitive food, it provided us with the necessary energy to get by; and it was prepared and cleaned by the volunteer workers. We had classes of literacy, science, and numeracy every day; and occasionally there was an art class. We slept in rooms of 8 on bunk beds which were tolerable but not at all extravagant. Under my bed, I stored a necklace inside ...

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