Under Water

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This story is in participation in #PlanetOrPlastic which a writing contest by National Geographic. Make sure to enter the contest. Check out the hashtag or the National Geographic profile here on Wattpad for more details.

I am a Bangladeshi, and this is a story that comes directly from the heart that has witnessed countless of these situations and victims.

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A mosquito buzzed around his ears, as he tried to hit it in the dark. He wriggled, throwing off the soft quilt his family could save before the last of the houses were swept off by the floods, along with a few pots and pans, and his younger sister's books, or at least what was left of them.

He sighed. It would be sunrise soon. His parents hadn't woken up for the morning prayers; there was no local mosque on top of water-houses. He sat up, before he creaked open the tin windows and stared out.

The water lapped gently against their boat-house, the moon glistening upon it, creating a silvery pathway, that disappeared into pinkish hues highlighting the horizon. It was a magnificent sight to behold, and yet, he couldn't help but remember what his teacher told him in school.

Apparently, the entire country of Bangladesh was going to be underwater in 2050, much faster even! Kumrul Sir had also told them that the new news was, that within only twelve years, there would be drought, and famine, and storms, and, and, so many other things, which he couldn't remember now, but he was sure they were bad. He himself was only twelve years of age, what would he be then? But, his father thought that Kumrul Sir was talking nonsense.

According to his father, Nurul shouldn't even be going to school, instead help him out, but mother was strict about all three of them attending school, even when they lost their home, and father could never talk back to mother.

What shocked Nurul even more was how nobody in school much less cared. Sure, they knew first hand about famine and floods, but they weren't concerned about what they could do. The truth was, Kumrul Sir said that there wasn't much the children could do, it was up to the government. But, the lack of interest in all of these facts and information, which, according Kumrul Sir, came directly from scientists and doctors. They, like Nurul's parents, cared more about money, and their education.

Nurul knew that without a good education, people will look down upon him in the future. His mother always reminded all three of them. Those were the times he thought of his mother unhappy, but she would always try to lighten up their mood. She especially loved it when Nurul told her about everything he learned in school. The future she imagined for herself was much different than the one she was living, she once told him. Perhaps, that is why she wanted Nurul to be a teacher. Not only would he be respected, unlike his father, he wouldn't have to bear the brunt of natural disaster consequences, for he was, after all, a fisherman with no background in education, and no respect from society.

Nurul smiled. Will he be able to marry someone as sweet, and bossy, and smart, and capable, like his own mother? Will he become a teacher like his mother wants him to be? What will the future be like, for a child who can't afford out of poverty, with no control over the natural disasters, while most of the world denies the existence of climate change? Who will be responsible?

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