My name's Jesse Alcorn. I am 11 years old; I live with my family in Conyers, Georgia. My family consists of my mama and poppa, my older sister Heather (she's 15), and my two younger brothers Richard (9) and Tanner (6). We also have a dog, an English sheepdog we named "Harry".
When you look at me from a distance, I look like any other boy: brown hair, slim build, usually dressed in tee shirt or shorts during the warmer months (or sweatshirts or jeans in the colder ones).
However, when you get up close, you will see that I have serious scars on my face and neck. I was burned when a firecracker exploded in my face three years ago.
It was the fourth of July. Like any other kid, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the firecrackers, get the celebrations started early. We were at the park, my family and me, and we were having a grand old time, eating junk food, drinkin' up all the soda, running around, just acting like typical kids.
Then my cousin Shelton found a box of firecrackers. I asked mama if I could go shoot off firecrackers; she said as long as I was careful, it'd be okay with her. Whereupon, we started shootin', making sure we didn't aim them at anybody or anything, particularly near the grills or fires. Wel, a gust of wind came up; as I went to throw the lit firecracker away, it blew up.
All I remember was a very bright, blinding light, a loud BANG!, and then pain, incredible pain. I then sank into a sea of blackness. I don't remmber much after that.
When I came to later on (I don't know how long I was out), I heard beeping and hissing noises, and the soft murmur of voices. I couldn't see anything, and I got scared, very scared. That's when I heard a man's voice (it wasn't my dad's) saying, "It's okay, son. You're safe now. You're going to be okay. Don't worry." I then heard my mom's voice, and at the sound of it, I began to cry.
Eventually I found out that I'd been injured. I had a firecracker explode in my face; I suffered terrible burns to my face and neck. The pain was intense; it was the worst pain I'd ever felt in my life.
For what seemed like forever, I stayed in that hospital; eventually, though, came the happy day when I got to go home. I hadn't seen my face, so I didn't know how badly I was scarred. I tried to be brave, and I wanted to see my face, but my parents decided against it; they said maybe it'd be better if I didn't see my face.
I guess I must have looked pretty bad. Well, one day, curiosity got the better of me; I picked up a mirror, and what I saw changed my life forever. I was missing an eye, and I had heavy, discolored scars all over the middle of my face. Pieces of my hair were missing; I looked like a Frankenstein's monster.
At the sight of my messed-up face, I screamed. I then began to cry uncontrollably.
"I look like a monster!!" I sobbed. "I look--horrible!!"
"Son", poppa said, "We still love you. You are still our son, and we think you are beautiful! You've had some serious surgeries on your face; compared to what you used to look like just after the accident, you look much better now".
I couldn't believe it. You mean I actually looked worse?? I remember thinking. Gosh, if I'm this ugly now, I must have been hideous when this accident happened!
I tried to accept my heavily-scarred face, but it wasn't easy. When people saw me, they either looked away in horror or said hurtful things. I became very self conscious of how I looked. I wanted nothing more than to put a paper sack over my head and go around with my head hidden from view. I was ashamed of my ugly, frightful appearance.
I became something of a loner. Then one day I was invited to go to church by a friend. What happened next would change my life forever, in ways I couldn't even imagine!
~End of part one.~