October 7, 2008
By Mylena Gilkes, Queens Village, Queens, NY

“Hurry up, you guys! We don’t have time to waste!” My mother called, her dark brown eyes betraying nothing of what was happening. Shuffling our feet, my sister and I reluctantly grabbed the last of our belongings and made our way to the awaiting car. A tame, dreary blue, it did not look the part. One would expect a car that was so cruelly dragging them away from their birthplace and everyone they loved to at least be a bit more dramatic in coloring. Slamming the trunk shut, my father looked at us pointedly, his face struggling to remain stoic. “Get in” he called, his voice stern and expecting. My sister took the first step, poised as if she were heading off to her own funeral. Solemnly, I followed.

The engine roared to life like a beast awakening from slumber. Its piercing scream broke through the thick awkward silence that was slowly building. In a desperate attempt to take in the last bits of my hometown, I rolled down my window and stuck my head out. The sight I met was beautiful. Waves of blue-green paradise crashed against each other, in earnest desire to overpower the other. The Sun’s golden beams splayed out against the battling ocean, effortlessly changing their colors to a hue somewhere between perfection and flawlessness. Small emerald and violet fruits lined the coast, a delicacy contributed to its rarity. Just looking at the sea grapes brought a rush of hunger over me, my mouth watering and eyes tearing. Sweet, yet first immensely sour, a perfect blend.

All of a sudden, the ocean began to get smaller. Frantically, I squinted my eyes and pushed my head further, trying to hold onto what little I could see until it was no longer in eye view. Turning in my seat, everything before me became a blur. The reality of what was happening descended and crushed my shoulders. Tears leaping to my eyes, hands clenching and unclenching, I gritted my teeth. At this point, I hated reality.

The big, luminous airport shined before me, its intimidating size causing me to cower a little. A lump formed in my throat, and I struggled to swallow it. I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry anymore. I inhaled, took a deep breath, and opened the car door. This was the beginning of my new life.

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