Journey to the States | Teen Ink

Journey to the States

March 21, 2018
By Anonymous

Mexico. One of the hardest places to live on Earth. No resources. No food. No jobs. life doesn’t get any harder than this. For mexicans, our only hope is going to El Norte but the journey lasting at least 5 days may wear you down it might even kill you. But even then, is it worth staying and struggling for all your life? Is it worth dying with nothing to your name or even unhappy?

Me, my Father, my 7 brothers, my 7 sisters, no Mother. My dad tried his hardest to help us all grow up, but he had no idea about raising teenagers and babies. Life was very very difficult for us back home. Often times we wondered what our meal for the day would be. There was no breakfast, lunch or dinner. There was no money to buy food, so we usually stole from markets or grew our own. Terrible. But one day my oldest brother hit us with an idea. El Norte. “Think about it dad.” He said. “Some of us can get work there. You can find a home big enough for all of us and the kids can get a better chance at life with education”. “I said NO.” my father yelled to him. No matter how hard we tried to convince him, the man just wouldn’t budge. I believe the thought of leaving home, leaving mother, stuck him in the heart.

“I’m out of here tonight”… The one bedroom shared by all fourteen of us remained quiet as my oldest brother Greg spoke those words. “Life here is unpleasant, mother struggles to care of all of us, we have little to no food, and we don’t have money to buy diapers or clothing for all of us and the babies.” The thought of him leaving may of scared us. He was the eldest and he was the leader of our pack, but he had a point, life here was tragic. “If you leave then we’re coming with you.” Said the two oldest girls Sia and Veronica. “So will I”.said my brother Carl, the middle of the bunch. “You guys make a decision to leave where right with ya”. As my brother Shawn added speaking for him, my sister Tanisha, and my sister Totty-ana. There were now seven of us left. Tj and Donald, the babies, Leo and Taniyah, 6 and 7 year olds, our cousin Lya who was 10, and me and my twin sister Keonna, both 15. Lya was the leader of the children. Already making great decisions and becoming a young women. She  the daughter of our dads sister, her parents had been arrested 2 years after her birth as they tried to make their way to the states. She’s been living with us ever since. Me and keonna were a pair. Whatever she did, we did together and vise versa. There was no way if she went, she would go alone. “You can count us in”. she said speaking for the both of us. “That makes it official”… said greg “We leave at sunrise”.

We had decided to leave Lya back with pops to help him take care of the kids. She was ready and we all agreed on that much. Pops was going to be angry with our decision making but we had to do what was best for us right now. As we left the 2 bedroom home with broke down windows, we all took a peep into fathers room. Asleep he was. Beer cans everywhere. This was not a life meant for us. “ the plan was to go north, for the older kids to get jobs, for me and Keonna to get and education, and eventually send back for our family. Eventually… “lya wake up.” veronica and tanisha shook her awake “what’s going on she she shouted”. “Listen lya you are incharge now”. They told her. “It’s up to you to help out around the house when dads gone and help with your little cousins”. Tears dropped from her eyes. They explained to her how she was ready and how she could do it, but in reality she was scared. “Can you handle this lya?” “yes”. They all broke down into tears. Hugging her and kissing her forehead. And off we were.

We didn’t know how we were going to make it all the way through, we were young the thought of that never touched our brains. All we can do was pray for the best on our journey to the States.

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