Ever had an experience that made you rethink your perspective on life? Well, I had one. I have described it in a moment that changed my life essay. Read on to find out my life-changing experience.
Changing for the Worse
My eyes reacted instinctively to the bright light in the room. I squinted as they adjusted to the pale glow, feeling as if a truck just ran over my body. My lower back felt numb with a sharp pain in my right abdominal region. I was scared to think of the possibility, wondering if it had occurred to me as it had to countless other people. I felt fine, as fine as a thirsty man in a desert, but not dead anyway. That was a plus.
Our decision to move from Honduras to Canada was good. The country was devolving into chaos, and gunfire had become a norm. I did not want to leave my home but assumed it was safer to attempt the journey than stay at home. Drug lords fought for control of the government-forsaken region of Tegucigalpa. My parents and brother had been victims of this violence. Sadly, many people in our neighborhood had similar stories to share; some were more gruesome.
Where Am I?
My eyes began to focus after what seemed like an eternity, allowing me to glimpse the unsanitary “surgical room” I inhabited. I saw someone’s leg protruding through a curtain, about five feet from where I lay. It was easier to ignore what I knew to be true than confront the possible truth. I chose the former and sat upright to steady myself for the difficult first step.
My head felt heavy, but I had to move, leave this horror show and get a bearing on my location. The ground suddenly came closer as I collapsed on the floor. It was the most brutal fall of my life, knocking the air out of my lungs and leaving me groaning in a cesspool of hair and excrement. Where was I? If I could define it, I’d say I was in hell’s reception area.
I heard the all too familiar sound of gunfire in the distance. Or was it close? I could not tell with the loud ringing in my ear. My throat ached from thirst as I hobbled out of the room to a dimly lit hallway. I did not check to see if the leg I saw earlier belonged to someone. My mind was fractured enough as it was to see another dead body.
“Halt,” I lazily came to a stop at the order and looked behind to see several men clad in midnight blue trousers and scarlet tunics with white pipings. The army was here. My legs gave way, my eyes rolled back in my head, and everything went dark.
The Moment That Changed Everything
I woke up in a well-lit room with an IV tube sticking out of my arm. I could feel my weakness, but grateful my second awakening was in a better place. A man dressed in light blue clothing came soon after I woke up. He spoke in English, but all I could do was mutter, “No hablo ingles.” He smiled, nodded, and left, returning with a woman that spoke my mother tongue, and my story began.
I told the man about the decision to hire a coyote to smuggle me out of Honduras to Canada via a ship. The deplorable conditions in the shipping container we were stuffed into and the double-cross did not surprise my hosts. The doctor (man dressed in blue) informed me that human traffickers often used this ploy to find easy targets for black market organs. I was lucky the Canadian army conducted a raid on the compound we were in Toronto.
Lucky? I almost died in a shipping container and survived being slaughtered. An illegal immigrant from a country experiencing violence, about to be deported because of the method I chose to follow, yeah right, lucky. The doctor smiled at my skepticism, “ Apply for asylum; you may be lucky.” A border patrol agent walked in after the doctor discerned I was fine to talk to them and prodded me on my journey and connection to the cartel whose compound I was found in.
I told her everything, from my parents’ death to the army raid, expressing my apology for using the wrong channels to enter the country. My case went on for almost a month while I recovered from the drugs pumped into me to prepare me for organ harvesting. I eventually received asylum and sought work as a dishwasher in a restaurant in Toronto. My ordeal left me traumatized; I realized the easy way out might just help you permanently take the way out of life.
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