Set me free from this cage! The cage I call my miserable life... Tears run down my cheeks with nothing to stop their descend. My legs hurt, I feel my calves going numb and my lungs burn but I can’t bring myself to stop. I run… I have to run, or I’ll crumble. I push myself up the hill on eleventh street by the public children’s park. My destination? The woods… My purpose? Get lost… End game? Die… I have lost everything that I have ever loved in this world. Including my folks… My parents died by the hands of a negligent driver.
A teenage stupid, idiot of a kid that thought that texting her boyfriend was more important than to pay attention to the road she was driving on. She hit both my parents that were trying to protect me from meeting that fate. Like any five-year-old I wanted to chase the pigeons on the sidewalk. I loved to feel the flap of their wings as they took off to the air. We weren’t even in the middle of the road; my parents were purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables from the sidewalk vendors in ‘Jardines de Carolina PR.’
The pigeons loved to be close to the vendor since he fed them. She was driving over the limit of speed for that street, I was on the sidewalk chasing the pigeons when I heard my parents petrified scream. They both yelled my name in panic as they saw the car coming straight for me. They ran trying to see who could make it to me first and get me out of dangers way. I smiled at them thinking they were just trying to get my attention. My father made it to me first, I giggle when he lifts me in his arms and scream in fear when I feel as I’m thrown to the freshly cut grass of the home in the corner.
The people that were by the vendor came running towards me to inspect me and the others ran towards my parent’s bodies. My left arm and leg had broken from me landing roughly on them. My small body was covered in bruises and my mouth was bleeding from the impact against the ground. My parents had died on impact and so had she. The girl had decapitated herself with the steering wheel on impact and cut my parents bodies in half when she slammed into them pinching them against the concrete fence.
I screamed in pain and panic when I didn’t see my parents come towards me to check on me. A lady had pulled me into her arms and held me tight until the paramedics and forensic team arrived. I was taken to the hospital to be checked and ended up with two casts. I was discharged from the hospital the next day and taken by children protective services until they found a relative that could take me in. Two days later my grandfather had flown from New Holland, PA to come retrieve me and take me home with him.
My parent’s funeral was a week later, my grandfather waited patiently in my parents’ home until he got legal custody of me then sold my parents place. He sold their home, cars and furniture leaving nothing behind. We flew to his home in PA once everything was sold. I didn’t know any English and it was very difficult for me since I had already started kindergarten. I had to relearn everything; I was made fun of for not knowing how to communicate in English and for my creamy dark mocha skin tone.
Till the day I graduated high school I was still the laughingstock in school because they couldn’t explain why my prominent Spanish accent hasn’t changed after all these years. I never cared to try, I love being Puerto Rican and am not ashamed of my Latina roots. I was taught to love my rich creamy mocha complexion that I took from my father’s side of the family. I was the perfect mix between them, they always said and taught me to never be ashamed of it. I got my skin color and crazy curly black hair from my daddy.
I got my body figure, hazel colored eyes and face features from my mother. The years went by and it got harder for me in school. I started getting in fights, all though it was always in self-defense. My grandpa never got mad, just laughed at the principal’s face every time he came to retrieve me. He knew I was not one for starting problems and he believed me whole heartedly. He’s saw what the kids would say or do to me just to get rise, when he use to take me to the park as a child.
He was the one that insisted I start defending myself from my bullies or things would get worse as I got older. He didn’t lie there; my first fight was in the fourth grade. After that time, I had to fight almost every day. My relationship with my grandfather’s wife has always been a rocky road. It was hard for me to pretend to like her, she hated my guts and I couldn’t stand the site of her. I can’t for the life of me understand why my grandfather married that wretched witch. I only tolerated her for my grandpa’s sake.
He hated when I lost my temper and put her in her place. I got my short fuse temper from him and he hated it when his wife was the one in the receiving end of my tongue. I started adopting the hobby of running and exercising to clear my head. I needed a distraction, or I would snap at her in a second flat and she knew it. I started taking Kraft Maga training to burn through my anger.