I have always enjoyed reading people and have, in fact, spent the majority of my life doing just that. I like long novels about interesting people with some mystery in the pages, which tempts me to go to the final chapter to find out how it ends… but I don’t, because I know that if I did that I would most likely lose interest in the book. I am most interested in true stories about abnormal people. People who come from difficult circumstances and have had to struggle through life, just to get to a place of normalcy. Life can be cruel for some and their stories evoke in me an admiration for their courage and determination to fight for their right to be considered equal to all others. 

I picked up a good book a few years back and immediately got interested in it. The character in the story was an orphan and unfortunately born with HIV. He struggled with an inferiority complex and wasn’t doing good in school but had a very likable disposition. He was a practical joker and eventually found his way into the hearts of all who met him.

In time he felt ready to take on Life and found work in the big city. He did well at first but then came down with drug-resistant TB and it almost did him in… however, he made a remarkable recovery and went back to work, only to have it come back to him a second time… and from this, he also recovered.

He was doing well and in every chapter, it looked like the book would have a happy ending. I was content to read a chapter now and then in my leisure time… but a few days ago I picked up the book again and to my surprise, it seemed that I was reading the closing chapter. Although I knew it was possible that the Author of Life could, in just a few words, change the ending of the story and write more chapters, I had to prepare myself for the possibility of an unhappy ending. I turned the page to go to the next chapter but instead found that the story had ended.

Somnang’s death was a wake up call for me and for many of his friends who had stopped taking their medicines because they felt they too could beat the odds… however, Somnang taught us that the odds are hard to beat.

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