I stormed out of the house after a huge argument with my parents. I had demanded the latest gaming console for my birthday whereas they had chosen to gift me a bicycle. For a 14-year-old boy a gaming console held more charm than a bicycle. I had received a new bicycle on every other birthday since I was five. I wondered why my parents didn’t listen to me. They just came up with logical answers. Exercise will be good for me or that a new bicycle would give me an excuse to stay away from television and weakening my eyesight.
I decided to go over to my friend’s house where I would be able to play video games without constant nagging. Salman welcomed me into his home as always. For the first time in my life I noticed that he had a paunch hiding behind his oversized shirt. I thought about the last time I had seen him play cricket with the rest of my friends. He had barely been able to run without getting short of breath. We had just laughed it off. Salman’s father was a bigger version of him; hiding his extra pounds behind layers of extra clothing. We had our backs turned to him, intently absorbed in our video game when he cried out in pain and collapsed.
Salman rushed to help his father who seemed to be clutching his chest. I feared he might be suffering from a heart attack like he did last year. I quickly ran to get Salman’s mother who turned as pale as ice when I told her the news. However, she managed to stay calm and call the local ambulance for help. Within the next few minutes the whirring siren of an ambulance could be heard in the distance. Salman’s father was soon on his way to a local hospital. The paramedics had suspected a heart attack.
I slowly trudged back home shaken up by the turn of events. I had never seen a person collapse before me like that. He could’ve died and it would’ve happened in front of my eyes. Before this experience, I had never realized that life was so fragile. A few minutes could change everything. Later on, I found out that Salman’s father had, fortunately, survived the heart attack. I thought of my own parents and knew that I would be torn apart if anything ever happened to them. I went back home and hugged both my parents. I told them that I had thought about what they had said earlier and I would be happy to get a new bicycle instead of a gaming console. My parents were surprised but happy with my sudden change of heart but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them what I had just witnessed at Salman’s house.