Smile It's Conatgious | Teen Ink

Smile It's Conatgious

January 20, 2010
By Brookee! BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
Brookee! BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Her grip was tight on my wrist as she pulled me along at a swift pace. My sister’s idea of fun was a little different than my own. As soon as she let me loose, I dragged my feet up the stairs of the bus and angrily took a seat. “You’re going to have fun Brooke,” my sister assured. I had a feeling I was being a bit selfish, but I knew nothing of the people I was about to help. I didn’t care. However, I soon discovered that just a thankful smile would change my former opinion on community service altogether.
I walked through the doors of Home Base Youth Shelter closely following behind my sister, not knowing what to expect. I was informed we were going to be cooking meals for homeless teenagers. I light up when I learned the people I would be helping were my own age. I had something to relate to. The head cook assigned me a job and I got to work right away. Although I was still hesitant about being there, I kept it to myself.
My assignment wasn’t the best. It only led to puffed out bloodshot eyes. Tears almost escaped when I chopped the onion in half. Everyone around me was left with a less painful and more enjoyable job. Baking a pumpkin cheesecake, grilling seasoned meat and steaming rice were much more intriguing than slicing through layers of a very juicy onion.
My sister decided to help me out once she realized the whites of my eyes had transformed to a scarlet red. She picked up a knife and began chopping away. Before we knew it, we couldn’t hold back our laughter. I was having fun! Our eyes were stinging but I had to admit I was enjoying doing something for someone, even if I had no idea about them.
We finished slicing through what seemed like a million onions and ran to rinse our eyes in the faucet. “You were right about this, it is fun and I can see why you’re so willing to help out.” My sister smiled back at me, and I felt as if I had found a way to make not only myself happy, but another. Once dinner was complete, I packed plates full of the delicious meal we had all made together. I waited, excitedly, for the teens to arrive. I wonder what they will be like, how they will act, will they like it?
The door opened and about forty teenagers piled through. They looked tough. But to my surprise, each and every one of them greeted me with the most thankful smile on their faces. I couldn’t help but smile right back, it was contagious. This truly made my day. From now on, I will always be up to helping out others in need.

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