November 29, 2011
By Anonymous

I swallowed a rice sandwich into my stomach and then realized those kids who had been staring at me moved their attention to something else. Fine. I guess they get tired of watching this pale skinny girl biting her cold sandwich while crying. Tired of watching her swallow up her tears mixed with the mayonnaise smeared on her mouth. It’s not going to hold their interest for too long. In the meantime, I just sit on my chair and look around.

Telling the nun who passes through, I’m going to stay in this canteen for as long as I can, would be a nice way to get back at them. But she gives me an mean look, and I think I better not. At the table opposite me, there is a boy in a dirty white shirt who I remember was also in the office, who got into trouble for doing something in English class.

He’s not eating. He’s not doing anything. Nobody sits with him. But everybody looks at him. He suddenly turns his head toward me, stands up and rushes at me. But why? I don’t understand why we’re face to face. Loudly he says, hello, I’m Ricky. His face is so red, like a big shiny apple.

Hello. I say quietly, I’m Esperanza. I am always shy to talk to strangers.

The canteen soon raised its voice. I probably can figure out what they are so loudly whispering. Two poor, troubled kids might just hook up.

What did you get into trouble for? I ate at the small dining room where I shouldn’t eat. Okay okay... He says, if you aren’t eating at the small dining room anymore, would you like to join me for lunch? This is such an unpredictable attack that it puts tears in my throat.

You just said you want me to eat lunch with you? Isn’t it our first conversation at all? I feel my face is burning and the fire also split on my ears. He isn’t looking at me. His sight is distributed somewhere into the air and isn’t interacting with me at all. This causes me unreasonable anger.

I say no just for revenge of his absent-mindedness, even though I don’t know why I should want revenge. One, two, three, I count. And I jump up off of the chair as hard as I can and run. I can hear him yelling at me. Some words are bad, some aren’t bad. Tears are totally surrounding my eye balls. Finally, it becomes uncontrollable and the tears rush out on my face and everywhere else.

The next day, he doesn’t come.

The author's comments:
It's a continuation from "A Rice Sandwich" in "Mango Street".

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!