I know I'm not a paid member, but I wanted to write this story anyway. Thanks for reading!
I could tell he had a difficult life.
I could tell he had not heard a kind word in far too long.
I could tell he was stuck in a constant loop, an endless merry-go-round of wake up, come here to work, and then leave, with no variation and no respite.
I could tell by the way he sat during break, away from anyone else, always on his phone, never actually talking to anyone.
Here, our job was to go out into the fields and take down the tassels on the long cornstalks that grew here in northern Indiana. I knew he still had some life in him, I could tell by the energy he applied to his work. So he was not completely broken yet. But he was close.
And so, one day, I decided to sit with him on lunch break. He looked up, turned away, and said nothing. So I just ate.
After doing this repetition for few days, he finally asked me why I started sitting with him. I replied that it was for no reason, only because he looked lonely. Mitch just said that he was fine and turned away. But as he did so, his eyes gave a slight flash of relief, like a burden had been lifted off his shoulders.
From then on, I continued to sit and talk with him, and his mood steadily got better and better. I found out why he had looked so broken before. It was because his father had committed suicide after his mother left them, and him and his sister Whitney had been forced to live with their abusive grandparents. He only worked here to escape them during the day.
One year later, Mitch and Whitney had been released from their grandparents' custody, and had been adopted by a wealthy young couple in Chicago. Life for them was obviously never the same as others in more normal circumstances, and it still had the hardships of adjusting to a whole new family, but it was better.
So much better to Rise.
Like a phoenix from his dusty ashes, so came Mitch.
Like a slave writhing under his captor's chains, so came Mitch.
And like a young eagle, hopping from branch to branch, then one day Rising on the wind, on the thermals, to eventually touch the sky, so came Mitch.