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By Naveen, Karachi, Pakistan

I wasn’t prepared at what was going to happen. It hit me like a tsunami and bruised me all over. I saw my own friends change color like a chameleon. One experience was enough to make me live the entire life with caution.

It started the day when I enter the room filled with kids. Some friendly faces, some completely new to me. It was the first day of school. Snickers and unfriendly stares welcomed me. Even the teacher snorted the way I entered. Unsure of how to react, I took place besides my best friend. She’s quiet and shy and doesn’t speak up much, except when we both are alone. I like that exclusivity about her. It felt like she only opened up to me, and it felt good. I used to do the same. But my bubbly nature erupted out of proportions and I made a mistake of mingling with other kids.

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