‘No One Will Know’ by Arman Nahas, age 15, Westcliff High School for Boys

Within the depths of hell, he lay with his precious instrument. A hell with partygoers and drunkards wasting away their lives as if tomorrow will never come, a hell with fancy cars and lavish luxuries all making men and women complacent, drowning the streets with rubbish. Yet among these pieces of rubbish, a gem was present. Not one fallen out of the pockets of the lavish people, but a true gem who deteriorated after every drop of snow, rain, hail, after every punch, kick and elbow. After everything he had been put under, he weathers away, as does his instrument which illuminated the harsh streets with an assuring light.

Yet even that field slowly weathers away.

If the flames of hell were warmer than the place he was in, he was fine with dying a sinner.

Nobody knew who he was. Even he himself had reached the stage of forgetting his own name. Yet within his glorious fortress of bottles and wrappers, a wall stood. Strong and tall, with inscriptions incomprehensible by the ordinary human. The symphonic fluctuations, glorious glissandos and chromatic movement deep within the staves engraved into the wall were what remained of his soul, and the lush sound of the strings of his instrument warmed the icy alley where he lay.

Desolate. Isolated. With what truly remained of him being transcribed into the wall behind him.

Yet no one cared.

His capabilities ignored and deemed worthless, one to be thrown into the trash and be incinerated with the rest of them.

When the news of his passing reaches the inhabitants of this hell, they may cry a tear before switching channels to one a little more light hearted to uplift their mood. Or they may stop reading the paper or look for something happier to read about. Or more realistically speaking, they simply may not care at all.

He becomes a statistic, another one lost to the system, another one lost to prejudice, another one lost to neglect, another one lost to the hate that many themselves had no idea existed within them. At least they can sleep sound, being clueless as to what they had truly lost. His existence dissolves in the cruel springs of fate, with the masterpiece he left behind on the wall being the only thing to prove that he in fact, did exist at some point in time, in some place.

Yet even that, slowly weathers away.