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A DAY OF TRANSFORMATION By: Kimberly Ann M.

Paras The scorching summer sun bit the dull sky when Mr. Hopkins passed by the nose-cracking dumpsite in Cummington, Massachusetts. Tuned in his cars radio, he instantaneously drove with a boom--- a speed like that of a gazelle. Being quite annoyed with the aroma of the dumpsite, he closed the windows, turned on the air-con with a much level of chill. He never wished to see that scenario again. The next morning, he woke with optimism and robustness. Again, he didnt have any other choice but to pass by the dumpsite full of roaches, feces, urine and other wastes. Mr. Hopkins said to himself, Okay, time to do the same thing again. Close the windows turn on the air-con and then simply drive as fast as a rocket. Suddenly, traffic made a commotion. Passengers in public jeepneys are complaining, motorists are making unstoppable and incalculable beeps, harried workers are yelling and some children are roaming to beg for alms. Mr. Hopkins, with nothing to do, took an ample amount of time in gazing at the dumpsite. As he was about to say his ear-breaking vulgar words, he felt a deep and severe rumbling of emotions inside him by the time he saw children collecting trash at the dumpsite. However, Mr. Hopkins had second thoughts regarding his feelings. In spite of that, Mr. Hopkins rode off his car. He swung his pouch backward and forward as he strolled around the dumpsite. Regardless of the foul odor which drastically crawled within his huge nostrils, he still insisted to approach the children--- very rugged, totally skinny and vastly badsmelling. Mr. Hopkins, in his clean clothes, expensive sunglasses and mouthwatering and voluptuous pouch, abruptly pulled the children, a boy and a girl into his car without asking any question. As made by luck, the traffic already departed when Mr. Hopkins stepped on the pedal of his car.

As he drove all the way with the eye-catching beauty of nature that could be seen through the mirror, he interrogated the children, Hey, where do you live? Where are your parents? How old are you? Then, the children, with their mouths hanging open, spoke nothing. Mr. Hopkins asked for the second time, Are you hungry? Again, the children answered nothing. Upon reaching his house, Mr. Hopkins offered the children sumptuous foods to eat. Based on what he saw, he concluded that these little kids eat only few times a week. They consumed almost the whole thing, that there was almost nothing left for Mr. Hopkins. Also, that he cleaned up and dried up the children in his comfy and sweet-smelling bathroom. When the golden moonlight spread in the crimson sky, Mr. Hopkins showed the children their own beds in their own rooms--- rooms painted with deep rich red tinged with purple, covered with elegant curtains that could surely attract anyone who would enter, decorated with antiques from farfetched countries. As Mr. Hopkins lain on his bed, he reflected and thought, Oh, this is a new experience for me. This is the first time that I opened my hands to other people. Actually, I was that big-boned guy with an enormous pouch which I usually swing backward and forward, showing my wealth and arrogance. But, that was I before. I dont know, something really made me change. And, I wish that Suddenly, the children appeared in front of him. With their innocent and unknowledgeable visage, they jumped over Mr. Hopkinss bed, sat on his chest, hugged him tightly then kissed him dearly. Hey, stop it. Im not your dad, Mr. Hopkins said with his watery eyes, which seem that tears would pop out anytime. The children smiled and said, Thank you. We love you. Mr. Hopkins embraced them so much with his eyes spilling water all over like a faucet. Then, he said, I love both of you, too. You changed my life. You changed everything in me. For a day, I found the beauty of contentment and happiness. It is a by-product of helping others. I proved that no man would ever find happiness by just thinking of himself.