Dear Diary | Teen Ink

Dear Diary

June 11, 2018
By Anonymous

September 29th, 1832

Dear Diary,  

My little sister and I were tightly squeezed into the bottom of this vessel. I don’t get why we get not as much room and comfort as the first classers do, because the boat is big enough for everyone to have a reasonable amount of space. As we walked pass all the sick looking people, we got propelled into a small corner near a polluted bucket of rags. We sat down side by side, squished in a row. We could hear the loud repulsive screams of little children that were in a tremendous amount of pain. As I went to pick up one of the rags out of the bucket, all the people near me started to screech at me in diverse languages. But I didn’t want to get in trouble on the first day we were on the boat, so I just went to go sit back down. When night came, the horror began. We couldn’t even lay down without having to touch one another. I looked around the shadowy room and watched people moan in dismay because of the contagious diseases that were being spreaded. I tried not to stay near them because some might even be sent back home as a result of their sickness. This was the only chance I had to immigrate to America and find new opportunities. I thought about what Ma told me at home, “You will be in a safe place when you arrive to the U.S.A. and you will find more freedom.”

After a dreadful week later, I went to check on my youngest sister, Maria and I noticed her face was swelling up. I asked a woman nearby if there was anyone who could help, but she wistfully said no. I knew that Maria could’ve caught a disease or sickness from one of the other immigrants on the ship. I prayed and prayed that she would feel better by the time we got to Ellis Island. I knew there was help somewhere close by, so I asked the same young woman a couple seats down if she would watch Maria while I was gone -  she was the only one that knew Swedish. I patted Maria on the head and whispered in her ear, “Feel better, little sis. I will be back shortly.” Then, I carefully traipsed over the other immigrants as I watched mice scatter across the lumber floor. Why do we not get as much room and comfort as the travelers in first class? The boat is big enough for everyone to have a reasonable amount of space. It took me almost the whole rest of the day to find a doctor or someone to help on the ship, but I never found one. “Hjälp mig,” I cried into the dark. Help me now. I was supposed to be responsible and take care of Maria but instead, I let her get sick. When I came back from searching, her face looked even more swollen. I told her that everything will be okay by the time we arrive, and her face will heal by the next day.

October 8th, 1832… My Birthday

I woke up at 4:30 that morning with barely any sleep. I turned to face Maria even though the smell was a horrid scent as I turned. I shook her awake again and again and again but she still wouldn’t wake up. After 6 hours of trying to sleep, I finally shook her for the last time. She didn’t wake up. I screamed in horror, but no one woke up. I had a theory in mind, but I just wasn’t sure. Has Maria died? I checked her heart and my heart stopped. Sorry, Diary. There is so much to be done that I will have to write later. Hjälp mig.

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