By Bre'l Elam, Great Falls Academy
One evening I woke up and didn't know where I was.
I didn't know how to get to my house, I had no money in
my pocket, and to be honest, I couldn't even figure out
what town I was in. As I sat there wondering what was going on, all of a sud-
den I see guns and the United States Army soldiers grabbed me and knocked me out of the way as
a bullet whizzed past and just missed my head by a couple of inches. While I still wasn't sure, I was
starting to think I was in Iraq.
Next thing I know, I am walking the streets with no destination in mind, just trying to find a place to
get something to eat. I also wanted to see if anybody might recognize me so I started going into
stores and asking, "Do I look familiar to you? Does anyone in here know me?" After going in and
out of these stores, with no results, I began to get very tired and very hungry. I had no other option
but to knock on strangers doors and beg for something to eat. Finally, one kind woman helped me
out. "Yes, honey, I can give you something to eat. You look like you need a place to stay too, is that
"Yes, I do. Thank you so much," I said to the lady who let me in. She was so nice, but I didn't even
know her name. "Excuse me, but what's your name?" I asked.
"Honey, my name is Denise. I'm sorry if I didn't tel you my name. And if I can ask, what is your
name?" she asked me.
I was shocked. Until then, I hadn't realized that I had no idea what my name was. But I thought that
might make me sound crazy so I just said, "Uh, how about for now you just give me a name that
you like," I told her.
She looked at me kind of funny but all she said was, "Ummm, ok. How about Michael? Yes, Michael.
That's a nice name." She paused. "Michael.... Can I ask you what happened to you? No food, no
shelter, no name?"
I looked right at her and admitted, "I don't know. I just woke up with a bunch of soldiers firing
weapons around me. I have no money, I have no memory of where I live or where I come from or
even my name."
"Oh! Honey!" she interrupted me. "You're bleeding from your head! Hold on a second, let me get a
rag so I can clean it up." She brought over a clean, soft rag and started to clean me up. "To me it
looks like you got mugged. Maybe you got hit in the head with something. And that might explain
why you can't remember anything. Let's call the cops and see if they can help."
When the cops came, I thanked Denise as best I could and told her I would never forget how kind
she was. I took her name and address so I could contact her later and tell her what happened.
I was only at the police station for a short time because as soon I walked in we saw a picture of
me on the wall listed as a missing person. I had been lost for over a week when I finally found
Denise. The police immediately took me home and we explained my story to my mother who
hugged me and cried, "Thank God you are alive!"