There is a boy in his small room. His hair is short and neat. He's just gotten back from school, blue backpack in the corner. Every square inch of his room is covered in band posters- Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Floyd, any and everything. He stands in the middle of the room, playing an invisble electric guitar and screaming along to Under the Bridge, which is turned up as loud as it will go. The boy is happy. The boy is fourteen.
Do you think he knows that in two years he will have killed two men and one woman, living on the streets, desperate for food and money?
There is a girl lying on her bed with violet sheets. Her ceiling is covered in photos of Paris, the place she dreams of going. She's on the phone with her best friend, chatting excitedly about last night's episode and the new single and omgheissoHOT. The girl is happy. The girl is twelve.
Do you think she knows that in four years she will be selling her body to pay for food for the baby at "home", a tiny, dingy apartment in the dodgy end of town?
There is a boy at the library reading Sherlock Holmes and Jay-Z is rapping to him about his 99 problems through his earbuds. He can't hear him, though- all he can hear is Sherlock and Watson discussing the case of the speckled band. He doesn't know how long he's been there. He doesn't care. The boy is happy. The boy is fourteen.
Do you think he knows that in three years he will be standing in alleys, twitchy, afraid of the wind, waiting for his dealer, desperate for his fix?
There is a girl holding hands with a boy in the park by the lake. The boy's jacket is draped around her shoulders to defend her against the wind. They've been throwing stones across the water, watching them skip. The boy leans in and kisses the girl, who smiles against his lips. The girl is happy. The girl is thirteen.
Do you think she knows that in three years she'll be alone after she finds out the boy was sleeping with her older sister, that she's never sober and her parents don't even know how she gets the alcohol anymore?
Stop this madness.
Help save them.