Chapter 1 - Making Friends Is Hard
“Ana, wake up,” it’s time to go to school my mother yells from downstairs. I just turned eleven and I’m in my last year of primary school.
I don’t like to go to school. I don’t have many friends there; my mother and I have a ritual every morning. Well, one that is exhausting for her and annoying for me. I pretend that I can’t wake up and she just keeps yelling and when that isn’t effective enough, she comes into my room opens the curtains and pulls off my sheets.
“Ana, if you want to be in time for school, you should get up now!” she yells at me.
Well, I don’t want to be in time for school!
“Yeah, mom! I’m up already!” I say while throwing my hands in the air. My eyes still hurt from the sudden light that entered my room. I open the door of the bathroom and stand in front of the mirror. I look back at my reflection, my skin is light brown, I have long black hair, brown eyes, I have freckles on my round nose and small full lips. I have a slim posture and haven’t got breast yet. All the girls in school already have but I think it’s not my time yet. The girls in school are talking about their periods and that when you bleed you become a woman.
There’s a contest of who gets their period first like you win a price when you do. I’m still not so I get teased a lot. Well, I don’t have many friends because I aren’t allowed to play with them after school. Friends can stay over at our house, but they only do when my mother cooks something delicious. Making them only come for the food and not for me. We aren’t rich but richer than the average people living here. I’m the only child making my mother and father very protective of me. They couldn’t have any kids after my mother gave birth to me. Making me their only center of attention. I don’t mind but I feel very suffocated sometimes. Like I can’t breathe but the only thing that helps is writing in my diary. I do that often writing all my feelings down.
It’s like someone is listening if I write..
“Breakfast is ready!” my father yells from downstairs. My father is a very sweet but crazy man. He loves to joke around and I’m the center of his life. He does everything for me and making breakfast is one of those things. My father does everything with me especially things you suppose to do with friends. Like going to the movies or going to a fair. I love to have a friend but I don’t know why it’s so hard to have one. I try very hard to be nice and do everything to keep my friendships. But somehow my classmates keep ignoring me or just pretend I don’t exist all of sudden.
I walk downstairs and see that dad made my favorite breakfast! American pancakes with fruit and maple syrup! I grab a plate and 3 pancakes and eat fast. Because of my procrastination in bed, I have to hurry to be in time for school!
“Are they any good?” my father asks me referring to the pancakes. Every time my father cooks something for me he always wants to know if I like it. And he will keep asking me more than once. My father loves to cook and especially for me!
“Perfect dad!” I tell him making him smile like a small child who got a sticker. “You sure?” he asks again.
“Yes dad, thank you!” I say with a mouth full of pancakes. I need to eat fast or else I’ll miss my bus. Every morning there’s a school bus that stops in front of my house picking me up to go to school. That’s where hell starts for me every day except for the weekends. My father always walks me to the bus stop making sure I get on safely. “Do your best in school Ana.” my dad tells me while giving me a kiss on my cheek.
I walk into the bus and it’s half full already “Hey daddy’s girl is here” Dylan says to me in a condescending tone. I ignore him like I do every morning bus sometimes it’s just hard. Other kids sometimes join him and I always asked myself what have I done to hurt them? What have I done to make them treat me this way? I always sit in the back of the bus, knowing that’s where nobody can see me. And it’s the best place where I can hide. Nobody notices me anyway so it’s better not to be seen. I sit down and thank god today is a good day. Because it’s only Dylan and nobody is joining in with him. I wipe my tear from my cheek in the back of the bus hoping this is the day that I finally make a friend.
I sit in class next to Emma. Emma is a sweet girl that everyone loves. She’s friends with everyone except for me. She doesn’t talk to me that often. She only talks to me when she needs my pencil sharpener which I like to give to her. It makes me feel that I can help her. Emma is good friends with Olivia. They are inseparable, I wish I had a friendship like that. They always play together on the schoolyard and are always happy. I always sit on the bench when we have breaks looking at the kids that play together. Last week I had the courage to ask if I could play along with Emma and Olivia. Olivia looked at me and laughed hard. Emma didn’t like Olivia’s reaction but she laughed along. They went back to playing and ignoring me completely. The week before I brought cupcakes hoping someone would like me if I gave them one. And I thought it actually worked because everyone loved them and sit with me. And someone truly asked me a question! “Did you make these cupcakes yourself?” Emma asked. I told her I did but I don’t know why because my mother did. I just wanted her to like me, I guess. Emma smiled at me I thought that I finally made a friend. My mother made them for my aunt’s birthday and I stole a few making her mad when I came home. She had to make more because of me.
But now I’m sitting here next to Emma knowing it was all in my head again. That she and I aren’t friends and that it’s still going to be me alone, during the school break on that bench looking at the kids that are playing.
I’m sitting at the dining table with my parents. These are my favorite moments of the day. Mom always cooks delicious food and dad helps her in the kitchen. We sit together and I pretend I had the best day in school. My parents talk about their day at work. My father works in construction and is a supervisor. He doesn’t talk about work much but he tells me sometimes that he struggles when it becomes to his staff but he never goes into details. But he always tells me that you have to respect everyone and treat them equal. My mother is a nurse in the hospital and she is the best in it. My mother is a very caring person who does anything for anyone. We all have a big family and there isn’t a sister or brother my mother hasn’t helped. When my mother sisters are sick or in need of something my parents are always there to help. They don’t ask for anything back but always give anything. Sometimes they get hurt in the process but they don’t care.
They always told me to give and be genuine to anyone around you. And if you do good things for people around you, good things will follow in your path. My mother got 6 sisters and 3 brothers. My father had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. So, we have big family and we are close as well. My father’s parents were very young when they had kids. They had a child 5 years before me that was an accident. He’s my uncle but he’s only five years older than me. My grandparents are sick and can’t take care of him so my parents are going to take him in. He’s going to be living with us and will be here next week. His name is Ryan and he’s seventeen years old. I don’t know him well but he’s nice to me all the time.
Today I felt a bit normal. I wasn’t all alone in school. Jennifer came to sit next to me. She was crying and I rubbed her back hoping she would stop crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that her parents had an argue. She told me that she’s scared when they yell. I told her that she has to go to her room when that happens again. And that they are her parents and that they never would hurt her. I had a first normal conversation with someone. Jennifer told me that I wasn’t as bad as she thought. I don’t know what that means? But I was happy that someone actually liked me! She asked me to come and play afterwards and I smiled playing tag with her on the school yard.
Maybe today is the day that I finally made a friend! She asked me if she could come and play at my house next week and I agreed. Jennifer’s favorite color is red and she loves to paint. I told her that I have a lot of painting stuff at home and that we can paint together. I can’t wait for it to be Tuesday.
I’m scared though. Scared that I’m reading this wrong because that happened before. I thought I had a friend. What happened with Roxy was one of the hardest things in my life. Roxy and I were best friends when I were 8 years old. She came over a lot but she got annoyed in time because I could never come over at her place. And my parents kept telling me that Roxy was not a good girl. Well, not when she was around but when she left. They kept telling me that her parents aren’t good people so Roxy wouldn’t be either. That’s what my parents do, they always control my life. Roxy doesn’t look at me anymore because she overheard my parents.
I begged Roxy to forgive me and be my friend again. I told her that I didn’t think the same things that my parents did. But Roxy told me that I was too intense anyway. That I always was hanging to much around her and that she felt suffocated from my friendship. She told me that I was a spoiled little brat and that no one ever would be friends with me and she would tell everyone that I have psycho parents. She did and I’m dealing with it ever since. She’s right my parents weren’t allowed to say those things. But what was I supposed to do? They are my parents can’t run away from them, can I?
And they always have the best interest in me, I have to trust them.