Chance at Life


Second place, fiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Center writing contest, August 2021

Chance is a 13 year old boy from Arlington, VA. Growing up, Chance always wanted to [be] someone great, somebody who makes a difference in the world. He wanted to be known as someone other than the Fairwell family’s odd ball, that wouldn’t amount t[o] anything. The other members of the Fairwell family all had something they were known for. They were always showing up in the county paper for their accomplishments.

Chance’s older brother, Tommy (16) was known for his athleticism. He’s one of the top best football players and track and field stars in the Northern VA region.  Along with 2 other guys from our rival school. Tommy’s won so many metals, trophies and awards that his mother ran out of space on their many bookshelves that line there living room walls.  He gets calls from scouts from all over offering him all kinds of stuff for him to join there team.

Zion (14), Chance’s second oldest brother, is a science wiz. At just 14, he is already known for creating a model of a human brain that showed which parts of the brain effects the different parts of the body, [which] parts effect emotion and if damaged (say in a car crash) how it effect the persons behavers.  Zion has studied under some of the world’s top [neuroscientists] who he still considers his mentors and close friends to this day.

Chances brother weren’t the only ones in the family with a [passion] and drive to do and be something great.  There parents David and Karla Fairwell were also very talented and driven people. Mr. Fairwill [is] known as a no nonsense lawyer.  With his track record of an almost 95% [conviction] rate speak from itself. As for Miss. Fairwill, shes known for not only her beauty but also for her delicious pies. Her number one being apple. That has numerous blue ribbon over the years.

Always finding joy in helping others, Chance would volunteer at the local homeless shelter.  Almost every day after school and sometimes even on weekends. They was one person in particular that he was drawn to and that person was Chuck.

Chuck was a 62 year old Vietnam vet who everyone swor was crazy and had lost his mind because of the war and years of drug and alcohol abuse. Chance found him to be very sane and actually very smart. They would sit, talk and play chess for hours. Chuck shared with Chance how he was once married to a beautiful woman named Nancy. Nancy unfortunately passed away almost ten years ago.

That is when Chuck started going downhill. The loss of his beautiful wife put Chuck in a dark depressed place. He would drink until he passed out and then he would wake up and drink some more. This cycle continued untill he lost his job and the house that he shared with his wife [which] is how he ended up on the streets.

Since meeting Chance something changed in Chuck. He began to clean himself up. With help from Chance Chuck got into therapy. Found some NA/AA meeting in the area. Chance gave Chuck in his future. He motivated him to change for the better and get clean and on his feet to want better out of life.

Chance would go on to help others in the shelter get there lives back. By the time he graduated from high school Chance had help over 30 people get out of the selter and liveing better lives.  He started a nonprofit to help people with finding the help that they needed. From mental health, substance abuse, or even housing. He would even help supply thing like food, toiletries, blankets shoes and socks and other clothings.

Chance had finally found his calling and went on to help many more. Always with a smile on his face, open mind and ear for anyone who needed to talk. He has touch the hearts of so many people over the year. The number one thing he would always let them know was that its never to late for a second chance at life…

The End