The Indian Girl
“Papi, are you working late tonight? What about Mami is she working late?” I asked.
My face was deep into my bowl of Froot Loops.
“Dani calm down. Yes, we are both working late, but you’ll be fine it’s not your first time staying home alone.” answered Papi.
10 years old is no age for me to be home alone, no matter how much my parents work.
“Dani apurate. Hurry up! You’re gonna be late again. The school called and complained about your tardiness ,Daniella.” said Mami picking up my bowl of cereal.
I was never actually late to school i just got to class late. I hung out with Amira in the morning and she was a huge distraction. We could laugh and talk with each other hours. We were best friends without the title. I also hated going to school. People were so mean to me because of the way I looked. My tan skin and wavy hair they called me Moana and “The indian girl”.
“Okay geez i’ll go get dressed.” i replied.
“And i can’t drop you off to school today you’re gonna have to take the bus.” Mami said.
I loved taking the bus it was perfect alone time. Alone time that i wouldn’t have had at home. The bus was always quiet and I could relax all I wanted.
It was Monday and just as everyone else I dreaded Mondays. School started way too early in my opinion and it’s unnecessary.
When i got to school Amira was sitting there waiting on a bench.
“Finally, you’re here it’s been so bored.” said Amira walking over to hug me.
We walked into the bathroom and talked.
“So are you going?” asked Amira assuming i knew what she meant.
“Going where?” I asked.
Amira nodded her hand and twirled her hand.
“You know, Elise’s party. Are you gonna go?” Amira asked again.
“You know i’m not allowed to go to parties yet. Besides my parents are working late tonight.”
We heard keys jiggling so we stood up and tried to run to a stall quickly.
“You guys aren’t fooling anyone get out!” we heard a voice say. This voice sounded like our teacher but we were unsure. we stayed silent hoping to not get caught.
“Seriously, come out.” The voice said calmly.
We walked out in shame. Slowly Amira walked up behind me.
“Come on guys get to class. This is ridiculous.” said the guard.
By then an hour had passed so we weren’t sure whether we should go to class or wait for the bell to ring.
“So what do we do now?” Amira asked.
We looked at each other and chuckled. I shrugged and we began to walk to class.
We walked in and sat down Ms.Artura was our teacher. She looked at us in disappointment and continued to teach.
The end of the day approached and I was extremely tired. I began walking home and I stared at the floor with my drowsiness.
“Hey baby girl where you off to?” I heard a deep voice say.
Of course, I was terrified. I’ve walked this path everyday now for years and i’ve never heard this particular voice. Who was this? Should i look? Should I ignore him? I was stuck and I didn’t know what to do.
I continued walking and pretended I didn’t hear the voice.
Then once again I heard “Hey, I know you hear me.”
“I know you hear me!”
This time I stopped. I turned around and i was shocked by the appearance of this guy. He’d had a long freshly trimmed beard. Must’ve took years to grow out. He was tall and skinny. He didn’t look homeless but he was pretty old.
“Heeeyyy there what’s up?”
He’d talked to me like he knew me. Did he? Was this someone I am supposed to remember?
“Uh- I’m sorry. You are?” I asked trying to be as polite as possible. Even though he hadn’t approached me in the most polite way.
“I’m Dan. You’re a very pretty girl.” Dan said.
“Thank you.” I said speeding up my strut.
“Why you walking so fast?”
I continued to walk by now he was way behind me because he’d slowed down.
“Pfft. No big deal you’re just a little indian girl.” Dan said flailing his arm up at me.
I’ve never felt so determined to turn around and slap someone in my life. I was sure i’d do it i was sure of it this time. And the moments continued to pass and I was sure i’d do it.
I ended at home I started to cry. I thought about my culture and realized how it’s not my fault I was born into this family. Not gonna lie i’ve wished i was born into a different family before. Many time actually. When my parents are struggling. When my parents or friends are mean to me. Maybe i’m not the only one. I’m sure there are others who’ve wished they weren’t who they were.
I cried and I cried until the sun came up. There’s no way I was going to school that day. I couldn’t. I felt attacked and I couldn’t have done it again. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I would’ve seen Dan again.
Mami walked into my room and my eyes were bloodshot red so I threw the blanket over my face.
“Don’t pretend you’re asleep Daniii! Now get up you’re going to be late. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.” said Mami .
“I’m not going-”
“And why is that Daniella.” Mami asked.
“Mami i’m just tired.”
She pulled the sheets off of my face and her eyes became worried.
“What’s wrong nena are you okay?”
Clearly I wasn’t. Mami just liked to ask questions that have obvious answers.
“I’m fine.” I replied.
My eyes started to water again.
“It’s just- I don’t know.” I cried.
“People have been judging and being extremely mean to me because of my race. But mami it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault i was born this way. I did not choose to be like this.”
“Okay nena I can barely understand your words take a deep breath. Calm down. Relax my love. Breath.”
I took a deep breath and I still cried lightly.
“People are always going to be mean. Either because they are jealous or they just have nothing better to do. But trust me nena you are special. You are different. You are special because you are different. I love you. Papi loves you and trust me Dani many other people do. You’re beautiful in my eyes. Even in Amira’s eyes she loves you. Don’t let one little incident take over your world.” Mami said.
I felt a blanket of relief cover my body and I smiled.
She smiled back at me.
“Dani i’m off to work we’ll talk later. Okay? I love you.”
Still sniffling I shook my head and mami walked out. Since that day i’ve never doubted myself for a second. I know who I really am and who I can potentially be. The rest of the world will just have to wait and see.