Trail of Breadcrumbs

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My eyes were greeted by the luminous glow of fluorescent lights and sterile white walls of Rumah Sakit Bunda (Bunda Hospital). This was a stark contrast to the escalating chaos and barbarity in the dilapidated Indonesian streets. In due time, the quagmire of rape and murder that pullulated the streets, spawned the notorious 1998 Indonesian Reformation. These white walls did not shelter me for long. I could not hide behind my own race. I was born a Chinese Indonesian, the ultimate scapegoat for the devastation to come. In 1998, this heated pocket of conflict finally burst, bludgeoning my homeland. Amidst death, life was thrust upon me in the form of a shrieking wrinkled baby girl, my sister. In an instant, if possible, the one-year-old me felt a moment of pure and raw happiness.

Almost half a decade later, the happiness I reveled in was dashed by so called 'disagreements'. The unfortunate differences between my parents had slowly ruptured their love. One cannot be a squabbling child in the midst of crossfire. It was not a premeditated decision but a necessity for me to then become my own parent. I was orphaned on that day. I was abandoned. I was thus obliged to be the father and mother to my sister and myself. I learned to...

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