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100 English Professor Mallette First Assignment Eemeli Isoaho Drawing on your memories of a friend or family member, write an essay about some problem that person had and its effect on your life. When I met my friend for the first time, he was hopping joyfully towards me as if he had just won the lottery. His smile reached from one ear to another as he introduced himself with a childlike cheerful voice. "I'm Nitin!" he tittered and spun around as if he was a ballet dancer auditioning for a performance. Nitin's outgoing and loud personality amazed me, and we became friends really quickly. For most people, Nitin was the guy full of life whose giggles could be heard from far away as he would constantly burst into laughter. He was the guy with chocolate brown skin, taller than an average Indian, and had the looks of a sleazy Bollywood star: dark excessively gelled hair, big sunglasses, and tidy clothes. For me, however, he was the person who made my first day at a new school delightful. As I got closer with Nitin, I could see that there was more to him than just funny stories, chuckling, whistling, bursting into laughter, and dancing. There was something dark in his smile that caught my attention. His eyes were like the ones of a dead fish on a plate, staring somewhere far away. His empty eyes zoning out gave a hint of something from the past but a small enough amount that not everyone would notice it. Now, two years after first meeting him, I already know that he is one of the people that have affected my life the most. From the very first day I met Nitin, I knew that something severe had happened in his life, something that could leave such strong memories that would have an effect on him even decades later. Not even in my wildest imagination, however, did I ever think that this something would have been what they call a family murder-suicide. A horrible act committed by his father killing his mother and himself. It is an act that takes place in hundreds of homes every year in the United States. English 100 Professor Mallette First Assignment Eemeli Isoaho I still clearly remember the sunny March Sunday evening when Nitin opened up and told me everything about his childhood. My friend and I were having coffee from my new green mugs I had just bought from Wal-Mart. Chatting with the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the background had become our Sunday evening tradition. As usual, we were fighting and clashing with our opinions about several different things, varying from the American foreign politics to religion. Also, according to the tradition, I was sitting on my overly cushioned bed while playing soft rock-and-roll music and Nitin was on my chair shouting his points of views. We both loved opposing debates and consciously bumped each other's opinions with the ones of our own. Somehow this time we stumbled onto the topic of our parents, and that is when my friend let everything come out. A small frightened and sincere smile, revealing my friend's white teeth, covered Nitin's face. He looked like a little boy facing his father after doing something naughty. He was gazing at the floor and then whispered what he had to say. After telling his story, he looked up at me like a little boy who felt relieved and comforted after letting out the big secret. On the other hand, the look on my face was a perfect copy of a teenage girl in a scary movie who has just been surprised by her future murderer. The fact that I had just been casually with chatting Nitin, and he suddenly told me his story about his childhood shocked me so much that I must have looked like Edvard Munch's scream. There we were staring at each other for a good five minutes, both of us shivering and anxious over what to say to each other. My friend, though, was grinning a little smile on his face whereas I still had my mouth wide open as if a doctor was examining my throat. How had he been able to hold this inside for so long? Did he still remember his parents? Did he want to talk about it? Is it okay if I asked questions about it? Millions of questions like these were going through my mind. Now, two years later I smile when I think of that moment. After the somewhat hard beginning, Nitin and I talked about the issue for hours, and he told me every single detail. I have English 100 Professor Mallette First Assignment Eemeli Isoaho realized how important it must have been for him to tell someone this enormous secret he had been holding inside for so long. I cannot even imagine the relief he must have felt after telling me and letting it all out. However, I do not think that it would have been that easy if it was not for my friend's great ability to be open about other things, which made it easier to be open about this as well. I am sure that my shock did not help him to relax and continue telling what he had to say. Nevertheless, he just kept talking and let me adjust to the situation. He told me that it is perfectly okay and normal to be shocked when you hear something like that. I thought that I should not show any emotions because I do not deserve to do so when my friend had experienced something so indescribable. Nitin taught me that you should be open and express yourself the way you want. Maybe it is not the best thing to tell the first person who you meet that your father killed himself and your mother. However, you can be still aware of your past experiences and not let them prevent you from accomplishing your goals in life. Nowadays, when somebody asks my friend "How are your parents?" he smiles and says that they are fine and truly looks sincere. His white and brown eyes look straight into your eyes instead of zoning out like they did before. I still have coffee-debates on Sunday nights with Nitin. Perhaps not that often as before, when we went to the same school, but still whenever we get the opportunity. Nevertheless, I still try to think about all the things Nitin taught me and put them into practice in my everyday life. Hopefully more people in a similar situation as Nitin will be able to face their problems and look at the positive sides, because I have never seen anyone as full of life and energy as Nitin. Another lesson I have learnt from Nitin is to enjoy and to be aware of all the little things you have in your life. It does not mean that Nitin, for example, cannot find his life fully pleasing because of what he does not have. Instead, he can truly enjoy and be happy about all the small things that he has in his life that make him happy. He can dance as much as he wants, have is English 100 Professor Mallette First Assignment Eemeli Isoaho daily evening cigarette, Sunday evening debates, and most importantly, go on his long hikes in the mountains. People would be a lot happier if they had the same ability to enjoy the little things in their lives as Nitin does and smile as sincerely and happily as Nitin did when he was wearing his brand new hiking coat for the first time. ... View Full Document

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