I couldn't believe my eyes, but I knew it was true. Everyone knew it was true. I just thought it was a rumor. I guess Rafael's nice, well to me at least.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You are my love
But what about you?
That's what the note said. Oh, what would my parents say? They always were very clear about no boyfriends until I was a teenager. Nada. I'd tried explaining that almost everyone of the kids in my high school had a guy. Pendejos. Excuse my language, but most of the kids at the school brag about what a hot culata their boyfriend has. But I'm not going to be able to intimidate my parents that easily for him. I could say they have a good reason. They don't want me to be some teen mom like my older sister. She had a kid at 17. But I'm not her. That's why I hate adults. They think you'll always be like your older sibling. Nobody understands us kids these days. It makes me so giddy.
My sister was definitely not outright. My 'rents gave Thalia the option of liberated her from their watch or to stay with the rules when she was 13. She instantly left and got a boyfriend. Not logical. Of course they broke up years ago. She got a new boyfriend when she was 16. They broke up a few months ago. Now she and her baby live somewhere in Las Vegas. I've been told she takes drugs. My mamá doesn't consider her part of our family anymore. I don't quite blame my mamá though.
I took another close look at the note and then went on to trying to pry my locker door open.
“You 'kay Carmen?” my best friend Arela asked me.
I nodded. Of course I wasn't but I wasn't gonna make her cheer me up. Rafael wanted to date me. Nothing was okay.
“Oh no. Miss Little Perfecta is coming our way” Arela groaned.
Of course I could't blame her. Tiffany was the most popular (and unerring) girl in the grade. Blond hair, blue eyes, perfect body, and of course, like the stereotypes, a football playing boyfriend. Her BFF, Broke, was chatting with her. When they pass us, the white kids look at us like mentally ill people. So what if I was mexican? So what if Tiffany lived in some great home and was white? I might be subordinate, but I'm not
“OMG! I can't believe what James, like, told you! That is, like, so romantic, Tiff! I wish Drake was like that. Your BF is so loyal!” She squealed excitedly. She could have been mistaken for someone who just won the lottery.
I covered a laugh under a cough. Brooke was the most typical valley girl. With her “like” and abbreviations, she probably will win the “lowest IQ award” this year. She could have almost been mistaken for someone who just won the lottery. She had caramel hair, and her eye color varied on her mood, but at a moment like this, they were blue. She, like her BFF, was super skinny and super popular.
Tiffany and Brooke went quiet and glared at us on their way to class. “Hoods,” Tiffany sneered.
Of course, I shrugged my shoulders. It happens. Not my problem, but maybe she's just used to perfect snow girls around town. I don't care for them. They might as well chose death over a stained shirt or chipped nail. At least I wasn't them. My life would have been way over when I learned to walk.
I watched as Arela picked up her books. “What cha doing? I didn't know you were the kind who ditched class.”
I shook out of my trance. Where am I? Right. School. Not my ideal wake up scene… “I'm fine. Just been thinking. You know me,”
Arela raised an eyebrow. “Is it about Rafael? Por favor. Don't go with him. I don't trust gang members. They give me the creeps. You remember Daniela? I had a magnífico relationship with her. But I haven't seen her without the gang colors on her since she started dating Diego.” She shook her head and walked to her class. “Trust me! I'm the best amiga you got!”
I quickly grabbed my books and left for biology class.
I got into the biology room when the bell rang. I crept over to an empty seat and plopped myself down. “I hope y'all like your seats, 'cause this is where y'all will be sitting at for the rest of the year,” I groaned. A southern accent and doesn't let me pick my seat? Ugh.
I looked to the person at the other side of my table. Skinny, caramel hair, blue eyes. I groaned again. Brooke? You've got to be kidding me. Brooke's eyes were now tinted green. Annoyance? Probably. “You know, if you, like, want to get a good grade, you have, like, got to be way more cool. 'Kay? I don't like working with someone who's likely to drop out,” she sneered. I just hate this school. “I'm not happy with this spot either!” she waved her hands in a sarcastic hello.
“Why aren't you sitting with your 'popular' amigos?” I asked. I said popular with sarcastic finger quotation marks.
Brooke wasn't gonna get any nicer. “'Cause Gabrielle is to stubborn to move any closer from her ex! Duh! And Tiffany isn't in this class.”
“So… no more popular kids in this class?” I questioned, glad that her life wasn't all that perfect. I mean, what could be worse than sitting with me, the horrible, terrifying, Carmen Rodriguez? I'm not all that scary, am I?
Brooke shook her head. “Well, Jessica is in, like, our class, but I, like, totally hate that girl. She called me some, like, super mean names last year. She's a nonconformist anyway.
I turned my attention toward my teacher. She was giving the class a lecture “-and there will be consequences if you do not do your part of the work. Understood? Okay, let me start with your first lesson! Open your books to page 13 and I would like someone to read the text,” She paused for a bit, “Anyone would like to volunteer?” I looked around the class.
No one raised the hand. I snickered and Brooke glared at me. “We'll get our grade lowered if you don't quit it.”
“Fine then, I'll have to pick someone. How about… Carmen?” The whole entire class stared at me. Brooke snickered. Talk about estupendo bad luck.
“Um… let's see. The population of the world is growing at an alarming rate. What do say of future, even today there is struggle for food and space. The three greatest and most challengeable problems of today, are population, pollution and food. No doubt that the law of Malthus for over reproduction is true but there are little struggles for existence, besides natural calamities, the extinction is checked by medical achievements. Under these circumstances the population is growing. It is estimated that up to 2000 the world human population. If not sincerely checked, will be doubled. It will definitely lead to population explosion. Family planning is the best answer to this population problem if it is not carried in true sense, what end we are going to see, we should know. New sources of food, better yield of plant food etc would not solve the purpose. For Biologists, the topic on population is now a challenge which they have to accept and win.
I hate texts like that. Long. Boring. Meaningless. A panorama of nothing. Nada. It's not my fault that people try to bore me to death. “We will be doing a new project for the end of the end of the semester. I would like you to make a poster and describe how we can change this problem. We will be doing in class sessions, but since we only have this class twice a week, I would like you to work outside with your group,” the bell rang and I left class.
So much for life, I told myself. Wait until tomorrow and it will be over right? I met up with my neighbor Cristo so he could take me home on his motorcycle. I just couldn't wait for my tarea.