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Being in school.
Besides the homework, the studying, the tests, the cliques, the peer pressure, and all of the annoying things that come with school, I think that there are many benefits to still being a teenager that studies.
You learn every day. And learning is fun. And I honestly believe it will be fun to anyone with an open mind that doesn't allow details such as the pressure of good grades get in between this entertainment value in learning.
Also, you get to write.
The short story unit in our Language Arts class has been over for a long time now, however, and although this is a unit that is repeated (ie, redundated) every year, I have extracted some conclusions this year:
- Short stories are interesting to read.
- Short stories teach you more about literature than novels.
- Short stories are not something you can read one after the other after the other. ("No" to anthologies.)
- Short stories are a neat writing assignment.
And I wrote a story.
And I liked it.
And I am sharing it:
Name and Beliefs
I’m not called by my true name. Few have ever called me Monica, for on the streets I am Mona. For all they know, I’m just Mona.
Which is why I hardly reacted when the judge called “Monica Caballeros” on the 17th. My friends turned around, bewildered, searching for this unknown Monica. Who is she? For all of my tough looks, this hurt. Whether it hurt that I was still “Monica,” or that they only knew “Mona,” who knows? I don’t care anymore.
And now I observe the dank gray walls of my cell, as I think of my name. I’ve been in this prison cell for a couple of days now. God knows that this boredom could make my claw my eyes out. I’m so bored, that I think. I’ve never had time to think before.
I grew up in a good, communist family. I had all of my basic needs, and my parents were there, which is more than I can say for most of my friends. And I learned how to defend myself; otherwise my brothers would have chewed my flesh off. I grew up strong, partly because of my defense mechanism and partly because my parents always taught me to have strong opinions. Yes, they taught me, wise old guys. They gave me books to read. And after a while, I realized what garbage all of their beliefs were. I realized that government was all there to wash what little brains we had out, and I began to resent my parents.
And I met Rofo and Pablito. They became my best friends, and taught me the ways. Knowing all we knew about violence and beliefs, we started fighting, for people had to know what they were up against.
Time and again we were spit on by society. Which was, of course, the government’s fault. Or so we thought.
And then we got our hands on a box of TNT. The rest is history.
The light still flickers in my cell. It’s annoying me even harder than this rummage into my past.
What I’m wondering now is where this anarchy junk came from. All of my brothers have grown up die-hard socialists, and they don’t even care for what I do anymore. Why was I different?
Yet I do know the truth. It started in seventh grade when a dangerous-looking boy called Rodolfo came into my class. He had been expelled from several schools. Rodolfo sat next to me, and how joyous I was! He started talking to me.
He began convincing me.
And I was a fool! I believed him! I fell for every one of his tricks! I tagged along, scared yet determined, to become part of the bombing. How smart and influential I felt then. And I’m still a fool! I will still stand up for Rofo! He introduced me to his crowd, which is now basically my crowd. I owe him the years of my adolescence. Or the lack of adolescence.
I don’t know! I don’t know! Here I am, in a cell, and I wonder, why did I set off those bombs? How, when… did I even realize how many lives I was endangering! What a waste of time it was! Do I even believe in my reasons for doing it? When the judge asked “why did you do it?” and I answered “my beliefs,” was I being truthful? What do I really care about? What is that is left for me now?
My cheeks are salty with tears, and my whole face hurts. I get tortuously to my feet, clinging to the wall. Nock, nock… without even thinking, I realize I’m banging my head against the cold wall. Through my tears, through the tormenting headache, I see glitters of red. Which makes me bang harder.
I fall to the floor, salty water mixing with red paint. My sobs seem loud and uncontrolled, yet I hardly realize they are mine.
I don’t know what I believe in anymore!
And then, tasting the salt and metal on my lips, consciousness drifts away.
Thank you for reading!