"Childhood Remembrances," Anabel Lopez, 10th Grade, Marta Valle Secondary School

I remember being with my best friend, my mom. (I never even met my father.)

I remember the fun we had when she first taught me how to cook rice and beans.

I remember when my mom got sick.

I remember when she died. I was eight years old.

I remember how much I missed her.

I remember when my life became a disaster.

I remember when my aunt took my mp3 away from me

because I hadn’t cleaned the kitchen by 8:00.

I remember feeling like a slave — stripped of all rights.

I couldn’t listen to my radio or play any video games.

I was expected to just clean, clean, clean.

I remember all the teachers who helped me. They were my real friends.

I remember changing and acting mean. “This is not me,” I thought.

“If only I could find someone who likes me and wants to be with me…”

I remember trying to do what I needed to do,

so I wouldn’t have to hear, “Blah, Blah, Blah.”

I remember trying to avoid confrontations.

I remember acting like a drama queen back in the day.

I remember deciding that no matter what happens, everything will work out

if I believe in myself.