When I was ten years old I started fifth grade in the United States with my first and only language being Spanish and knowing only my cousin, but when the time came she denied she knew who I was. This was the most traumatizing moment of my life. Since then I have not been able to trust her or any other family member for that matter. I don’t think I will ever be able to trust her. That day has been the most horrible day I’ve ever had, because I got denied by a family member and I couldn’t say anything to defend myself because I didn’t know English. But because of this I pushed myself to learn English faster.
When I walked in the classroom I was petrified because everything was new and different from how it was in Mexico. The room was cool, there was carpet on the floor, there were colorful posters all over the walls, white boards, and a podium. I had never seen a classroom like that in my life. In Mexico the classrooms didn’t have carpets or posters they just have concrete floors, big windows, plain walls and chalkboards. There were many kids inside the classroom already. They were all from different ethnicities, so many different faces, so many different styles. There were African American, Caucasian, Asian, Mexican Americans and then there was me.
Then, Mr. Silva walked in. He was a medium height, older guy. To me he resembled “Mr. Bean”, maybe it was the way he dressed or the way his nose looked. He started talking but I couldn’t understand any word that came out of his mouth. Then he looked at me, I freaked out but I listened carefully with tears almost coming out of my eyes.
“Cual es tu nombre? What’s your name?” he asked me.
“Yahaira Mejia”, I answered.
Then he continued talking to the class and again I couldn’t understand.
“Tu… hmm… sabes a una persona aquí? Do you know anyone here?” he said this in a funny way but I didn’t laugh, I was too nervous.
“Si, ella es mi prima. Yes, she is my cousin.” I said pointing at my cousin.
He then walked over to her to ask her if she knew me. She’s a tall, guerita, with medium length, dirty blond hair girl. He was talking to her for about three minutes. He kept pointing at me, and he looked frustrated. She didn’t even look my way. I just saw her shaking her head. After what seemed like an eternity he came back to my desk.
“Ella dice no sabe tu. She said she doesn’t know you.” he said. “Que? Pero ella es mi prima, Paloma. What? But she’s my cousin, Paloma.”
“Sorry, No sé. I don’t know.”
After he said that I was powerless. I couldn’t move and I could feel the tears streaming down my face. It hurt, it really did. Everything was…