Portrait of a Friend | Teen Ink

Portrait of a Friend

December 8, 2014
By Awqin SILVER, Ventura, California
Awqin SILVER, Ventura, California
9 articles 0 photos 4 comments

As a girl in Santa Ana she’d fall into a shaky sleep broken by gunshots and sirens in a crowded one-bedroom apartment. Now she breathes the clear air of a quiet boarding school, because she found a way to escape that slum; determinedly and wearily she stacked books into a staircase so she could climb over the wall that America built to keep those “damn immigrants” out. She laughs now at the time when little boys and girls would throw paper at her bushy hair and distort her name, but it’s a glassy laugh, like she still doesn’t think she’s worthy of kindness, respect, friendship. That’s why she clumsily tries to help everyone. She’s always worrying. There are still nights when her dreams echo and clang with her father’s pleas as he’s deported again her mother’s wail as she lies dying and her brothers’ hoarse cries as they’re begging on the streets and she can only stand and watch because she failed them all. But in the daylight, she dreams of shaping America into the land of equal opportunity it claims to be.

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