|Yellow Country (standard:Psychological fiction, 930 words)|
|Author: Aubrey Carter||Added: Nov 19 2004||Views/Reads: 1940/1124||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A young girl who has been dreaming of the day she will receive her wedding ring her entire life finds out the truth about diamond mining.|
Yesterday she found out where diamonds come from. She had always assumed that some day she would have a diamond on her finger. It was just a fact. When a girl got engaged, her boyfriend knelt down and put a glittering diamond ring on her finger. She had imagined it a thousand times. He would have dark hair and be a little shy as he looked into her eyes and asked her to marry him. The ring would be perfect and she would say yes and he would smile and tell her how much he loves her. When she turned 14, she had found an advertisement for her future wedding ring. Nestled in sparkling white gold was a princess cut diamond that was shaped perfectly. She tore out the page, folded it carefully and tucked it away in her diary, which she kept hidden under her mattress. Every day she would sit by her curtained window and daydream about that wonderful moment when a handsome young man would kneel at her feet and present her with a beautiful diamond ring. It was an accident, really. Graduation was only a month away, and she was working on the last paper she would have to write as a high school student. The teacher had shown a map of Africa and instructed the students to pick the country they knew the least about. The students were then told to research the country and find something interesting to write about. She had never heard of most of these countries, and decided to pick one of the yellow ones because it had always been her favorite color. Sierra Leone was a bright yellow blob on the multi-colored map. It was squished between a purple country and a green one, and bordered the ocean. It looked small and had a funny shape. She didn't imagine many people lived there. The night before the paper was due, she found herself at the library, trying to decide what to write about. Teachers usually assigned a specific subject. She wasn't used to choosing a topic. After reading for a few minutes about the country's exports, she found that it contained vast diamond mines. Her interest quickly perked. Diamonds, she thought. Now that's interesting. It was only minutes before she stumbled across an article with gruesome pictures of a deathly frail body. The skeletal body belonged to a 15-year-old boy in Sierra Leone named Jusu Lahia. The article said he was a lieutenant in Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front, and was wounded by an exploding rocket-propelled grenade. As she read on, she was shocked to discover the violence and bloodshed that had been rampant in this little yellow country. Children worked as slaves in the mines, and were forced to be soldiers in the tribal wars, fighting for control of the mines and the sparkling gems contained within. She found other news clippings which stated that profits from diamond mines had been funding the actions of many of the world's terrorists for years. Her mind felt numb. People should know this, she thought. Why doesn't anyone know this? She read everything she could find about the diamond mines in Africa. She researched the cartel that had managed to monopolize the industry and drove prices far above what diamonds are actually worth. She read all about the bloodshed and violence, the political scandals. She read about the inflated prices and the impossibility of selling a diamond once purchased. She felt stupid and foolish as she read about the immense advertising campaigns which had successfully convinced the world that you aren't truly loved until you have a diamond on your finger. We've all been brainwashed, she thought. She quickly left the library and headed down the school's hallway. She saw a biology teacher and glanced at the woman's left hand. Though she wasn't surprised to see a large diamond ring attached to a carefully manicured finger, she was surprised to realize that she felt disgust for the woman. She has no idea where that diamond came from, she thought. Click here to read the rest of this story (26 more lines)
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