(Edited with BeFunky)
When I was in 3rd grade, I was in ESL, a class for people that supposedly spoke English as a second language. At the time, I had a higher vocabulary than most of my classmates, had no accent, and had already learned English from preschool, although it was my second language after Chinese (I had forgotten all of my Chinese anyways). My good friend Alvee was in ESL too. Anyways, in 3rd grade, we went on a field trip for ESL.
Our ESL class went on a field trip to a swamp habitat place in Milford. We studied wildlife there and had a lot of fun. Anyways, there was a gift shop there. In it, I found something really cool. There was a pencil made of wood. Well, all pencils are obviously made of wood, but this pencil was lead jammed into a twig/small tree trunk. It was only a dollar, so I decided to buy it. I put it in the pocket of my jacket. Afterwards, we went to one of our ESL sister schools. We were going to each lunch there, then head back to school.
When we got to the school, I had to use the bathroom. All my friends got their lunches from a big box that had all the brown paper bags in it. I came out of the bathroom and there was just one bag left. I took it, thinking it was mine. I hurried outside so I could join all my friends while eating. As soon as I opened my lunchbag, I noticed I had Kool-Aid. I thought my mom bought CapriSun, not Kool-Aid, so I had some doubt. Then, I saw the sandwich. It looked just like the one I had packed. I unzipped the sandwich from the bag and took a bite.
I’m allergic to peanuts. I have been since I was 5. Whenever I eat them, I throw up. Every time I ate them during my childhood, my allergic reactions would get worse and worse. Eventually, I would throw up and my lips would swell and my breathing would get harder. I’m still allergic to peanuts today although I’m much more cautious and haven’t eaten them for a while. Needless to say, the lunch bag wasn’t mine and I took a bite of a peanut butter and jelly fluff sandwich.
My teacher immediately called 911. The ambulance came within 10 minutes. After I threw up, I felt fine and the only thing that troubled me was my breathing. It felt like I couldn’t get enough air at times. I was very scared. When the ambulance came, paramedics immediately got out and put me in a stretcher. I told them I could walk, but they made me lie down in it anyways. During the ride to the hospital, I noticed I still had my souvenir pencil in my pocket. It was comforting because it gave me something to concentrate on while the paramedic stabbed a huge needle into my arm. If I didn’t, I would be a lot more fearful. Finally, we arrived at the hospital.
At the hospital, things were a blur. I was fine after the paramedic gave me a shot, so I basically stayed in the hospital while my ESL teacher ran into the hospital, panicked. In 10 minutes, I was out of the hospital and the bus was waiting for me outside. My tuna fish sandwich that I originally was supposed to eat was offered to me by the person that accidentally took it. When tuna gets warm, it isn’t very appetizing. Besides, I was still traumatized by the incident. We went back to my school, answering questions the whole way.
The pencil is still in my room today. I haven’t even written more than a few words with it and have never sharpened it. Occasionally, I peek into my drawer to look at it and admire it’s craft. I wonder how the lead was somehow put into the pencil. More than anything, I think about what happened to me in 3rd grade. I think about the fear, the comfort of its texture in my hand, and the memories it brings. If I were to lose my pencil, I could easily replace it but it wouldn’t be the same. The pencil has a lot of sentimental value and you can’t buy that. When I grow up, I might pass it down to my children if it doesn’t decay. I’ll share the story it contains and I hope it becomes a family heirloom. This pencil is one of the most valuable objects I own.