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The Untitled Story of Zoey Cruz
Later that night after going out to eat Zoey got to the one place she had been putting off all day. Home. Her parents greeted her by saying that she needed to fix them dinner. So even though she had already eaten, she got in the kitchen and cooked them fettuccini Alfredo to protect her name of a “good child”. Then, she sat through them eating dinner, and listened to her mother telling her that she should start wearing make-up, and her father telling her to lose a few pounds. “You know,” Her father, Jonas Cruz, started to say, “Your mother is right, If you wore some make-up, I bet those guys at school would be all over you. I know you’re having some trouble getting dates, isn’t that right? That’s what I heard you saying on the phone the other night, at least.”
“Yeah, and losing a few pounds wouldn’t help. We could finally get you out of that size 7.” Camryn Cruz, my mother was no better than my father. They were both always too busy to pay much attention to me or Sky, but when they did pay attention to us, they paid attention to the negatives. We had too many blemishes on our faces. Or we were too “fat”. We had never been good enough. Even though they don’t like paying attention, they love controlling us. I was finally sick of this. This time I would let them know.
“¿Sabes qué, estoy harto de esta mierda! He puesto en contacto con usted y usted desde que era pequeña, y así ha Sky! Los dos estamos harto de eso! Estoy bastante suficiente y no necesitan perder peso, la! Ya he terminado con esto!” I ran off.
“Sweetie, what did she say?” I heard my mother say when I got to the top of the stairs. She was the one out of my parents that didn’t have a Latino background, so I knew she wouldn’t know what I was saying.
“She said, ‘You know what, I'm sick of this crap! I've put up with you and you since I was little, and so has Sky! We're both sick of it! I am pretty enough and I don't need to loose ANY weight! I'm done with this!’.”
“Hm, well, she’ll get over it and realize that we’re right soon enough. By the way, remind me to start taking a Spanish class online. I want to know what she’s saying with her smart mouth all of the time.” This is when I slammed my door. I went and looked in the mirror. I didn’t think I was incredibly gorgeous, but my parents have no reason to demean the way I look every time they see me. I’m not ugly. I have a dark complexion, and long, curly, dark brown hair. I’m very tall, even though that doesn’t run in my family. I only have one thing that really pops out. My eyes are ice blue. That’s the one thing I get from my mother, along with being tall. She’s blonde, and has no breath-taking features. Sky got nothing from our mother, besides being tall. And as far as being fat, I’m nowhere close. Cal and Sky helped me realize that about a few years ago when my parents started doing this to me. I remember when I was younger, and they targeted Sky. I always asked him, “Bubby, will they treat me like that when I’m older?” He would tell me the truth, but say that he would come to my rescue, and he does, but sKylar can’t hang out at the house to protect me all the time. He has his own life.
*2 months later*
“Just one second, Cal, I’m going to go check the mail.” Cal was staying at my house because his parents were out of town. I’m the only one of Cal’s friends that his parents really trust.
“Hurry back, pretty lady!”
“Did I ever tell you…”
“That I’m the weirdest guy in the entire universe? Yes, ma’am, you have.” I closed the door and walked out. I swear, Cal can be delusional sometimes. I looked through the mail. Junk. Junk. Junk. Bill. Berklee College of Music…for Zoey Malia Cruz. I opened it.
“Ms. Zoey Cruz, we received your audition tape a few months back, and we are delighted to say that you have been accepted into Berklee College of Music. You are among the best young women that we have accepted into our college, and we would be pleased to give you a scholarship.”
“What the…”What audition tape could they be talking about? I never sent anything in. I started running back to my house. “Calvin! Skylar! You will never believe this! Berklee sent me an acceptance paper! How did I get in?” What’s going on?”
“Zoey, we have to tell you something,” Cal and Sky sat me down on my couch, “You know that video I’ve been recording of you for the past few months? That was my tape I sent into Berklee for the Film Scoring Major. That was also your audition tape for Berklee. I got you on tape singing and playing instruments and they thought you were great, just like it says on this paper. I guess they thought I was pretty great too.” He handed me and yellow packet that was addressed to Calvin Matthew Reid. There was another paper from Berklee in the packet, and it said that Cal had been accepted into the college as well.
“How is it possible that we both made it in…statistics say that on only…”
“We know, we know Zoey,” Sky started to say, “Statistics say that not many applicants make it in. A lot of applicants don’t even come close. But you and Cal did. You both made it. You and Calvin are getting your dream.”
“Well, here comes the fun part. Mom and dad just pulled up.” My parents had never thought much about letting me follow my dream. They never thought I could get close enough to be able to touch my dream, and now here I am, holding my dream in my hands. When the reached the front door I run to open it.
“Mom, dad, I need to talk to you. Now.” I pulled them over to the couch where Cal and Sky were and made them sit. I handed them the acceptance packet. “Open it, please.” I watched them pull at the sticky flap, and pull out a white piece of paper that was addressed to Zoey Malia Cruz.
“Ms. Zoey Cruz, you have been accepted into Berklee College of Music…” I heard my father say out loud.
“Why did you never tell us you applied to this college? You told us about every other college accept this one.” My mother started to get angry. Did they not understand? This is my dream.
“Mom, It was a surprise to me too. Cal did this for me, and I’m glad he did. Please mom, this is my dream.”
“You’re a liar! You told us all of the colleges that you applied to. I don’t like liars, Zoey. This is not the college you’ll be going to this fall, that’s final.” My father always got the last word, I knew this was final, or it was final in their minds. I had a different view of how things were going to go. I ran up the stairs with my acceptance form, and Cal and Sky shortly followed. When they got to my room I was rattling around my entire room. They spent 5 minutes trying to piece together what I was doing, until I found a pen. I opened my acceptance form and sat down at my desk.
“Kid,” Sky started, “Are you really going to do this?”
“I have to. I got accepted, I can’t deny. I have plenty of money to get myself started off. I can do this on my own.” I was sure of this. I will be at Berklee for the next four, five, or how many years it takes to get my degree in music therapy.
“Well Zoe, can I have a pen?” I gave my best friend a pen and smiled at him, knowing I wouldn’t have to say goodbye for a very longtime.
*The end of May*
This was the night. Tonight I would take a bus to Boston, Massachusetts, and Calvin would be by my side. Skylar would be outside of the bus, almost in tears, because he knows that he wont be able to see me until either I can come to New York, or he can come to Boston. Mom and dad won’t be funding a plane ticket for me; in fact they will probably never have contact with me again. This is graduation day, and it is my last day in New York.
“Zoey Malia Cruz, honor student.” There was applause coming from everywhere, but I saw no one clapping, no one important anyway. I saw friends from the past, distant family members, Sky and Cal, but mom and dad, they were sitting there with a blank stare on their face, hands on their laps. They had no idea about me sending in my acceptance form into Berklee. They thought I would be going to NYU this fall. I guess they will realize tomorrow. Or tonight. However long it takes for them to find a note from me in my room. A note that holds all answers to anything they might ask. Every why is explained. I tell them why I’ve been depressed since I was 12. It’s because of them. Now they’ll know. I finally got up to the podium and received my diploma. It’s officially over now. As soon as I got a firm handshake from our principle that I’m sure hardly knows who I am, I knew it was over. It seems like ever letter from C to p flew by, and now they were calling Cal up to the podium. Before I knew it we were all turning our tassels to the left, and then we were throwing our caps in the air shouting. There was shouting everywhere. Cal came up to me and picked me up and put me on his shoulders. I brought my arms up and shouted, “Here we are Berklee!” Zoey couldn’t hear, but Cal was also shouting. Shouting as loud as he could. “I love Zoey Malia Cruz!” He knew that now was the time. He had to tell her. He started walking out of the gym with her on his shoulders. Calvin was determined. He loved this girl, and she had to know. He reached a point where it was quiet, and he shook her off his back. “Cal, what are we doing?”
“Zoey Cruz, I love you! I’m not leaving this spot until you know that! I think about you all the time, and every time I see you It takes me forever to get you out of my mind. When I finally get you off my mind I see you again! It’s on going. I need to know what you think of me! What are you thinking Zoey? Tell me!” Cal is crying. I got up and looked at him. There was only half an inch between us. I slowly closed that half an inch.
“I think you know what I think, Cal.” I smiled at him. I grabbed his hand and ran outside. Sky spotted us.
“Hey guys, I’ve been looking all over for you,” he saw Cal’s arm around me, “And you couldn’t have waited until you go to Berklee to tell her? I don’t wanna see the crap.” He smiled. “I’m really going to miss you guys.” That’s when I started to think about what all I was going to miss. I would miss how the studio in Sky’s store looked. I would miss those slow days when we all sat around singing songs and playing piano while Cal recorded me. In a weird, twisted way, I would miss this school. I know I’ll miss my parents, but I don’t think it’s my parents that I’ll be missing. I think I’ll miss what my parents could have been for me and Sky. They could have helped Sky with Algebra, and helped me with Physics. They could have helped us follow our dreams, instead of us helping ourselves. They could have loved us just a little more, instead of loving themselves. This is what they will read at midnight when they realize me and most of my belongings in my room are missing, except for one picture of Jonas and Camryn Cruz sitting on my bed, that I decided not to take so I’m not reminded of what didn’t get me into Berklee.
Sky’s back seat was full of mine and Cal’s belongings. We couldn’t bring a bunch of boxes onto the bus, so we put stuff in duffel bags and book bags. We only took one box, which was full of breakable things. We we’re only 5 minutes away from the bus station. 5 minutes away from our dream. 5 minutes later we said our goodbyes and me and Cal got onto the bus of our dreams.
“Boston.” Cal said. We were on our way to Boston. For good.
*3 months later*
“Dear mom and dad, Did you find the picture in my room? I didn't forget it, I left it on purpose. I didn't want to be reminded of everything that has kept me from what I love. I'm sorry I can't be who you want me to be, but this is my life.