Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Tough Life in New Mexico

By Destiny Hernandez, age 11, Colorado

 

It all started when a girl named Flor was born in New Mexico. Before she was born, her father was a very bad person and he never thought about his actions. He often stayed at the bar too long, buying his friend’s endless drinks. He’d yell at his wife, saying bad words or screaming at her to get a job. But on the other hand, her mother was voted la mas bonita y la más linda persona in town. Flor always told her friends that her mother was voted the most beautiful person in town because her mom always looked flawless and pretty. She also never wore makeup so she wouldn’t damage or ruin her face.

But when Flor was born, her father always came home late. And when Flor was in 1st grade she had to start paying for her food, so she started doing chores in order to earn money. But no matter how hard she worked, she only got around two dollars because her parents really needed their money. Soon, her money would end up running out faster than expected because her siblings would steal her money if they didn’t have any. So Flor would ask her dad for money so she could eat, but he would always let her down and tell her no. Even though he always refused, he did earn a lot of dinero or mula and when her siblings would ask for money he would fish it out of his wallet without thinking twice.

Flor always sat by herself at the lunch tables in the cafeteria. She was so lonely that sometimes she would cry and some people would call her la llorona. A person in her same grade level began noticing how Flor always came to the lunch table without anything to eat and soon they became best friends. Linda was her name, and she started to ask her mom if she could bring more food for lunch and her mother, without asking questions, always agreed. Then one day, Linda’s mother realized that they were running low on food.

“Why have you been taking two lunches every single day?” she asked.

“It’s because I made a new friend at school. Her father never gives her money to eat and she can’t ask her mama because her mom doesn’t work,” Linda explained.

“I didn’t realize that you have been doing such a good deed. I agree with your decision and I am happy to help you pack two lunches every day.”

When Linda brought food to Flor, Flor said, “Gracias, I hope God will help you just the same way you helped me out especially through my tough times like now.” While she was talking, Flor started to cry because she’d never had a good friend like Linda.

Linda was so nice that sometimes, Flor didn’t know how to be a friend. It was like she was treating Linda badly because she got treated badly in her life. When Flor hurt Linda’s feelings, Linda asked her, “Why are you being mean to me?” Flor couldn’t respond but it did keep her thinking. She noticed that she was acting like the evil witch from “Snow White.” She knew she had someone nice to be there for her, but she pushed Linda away. She needed some time to relax and think about her actions. Flor knew she had something to eat which was a very good thing, and she had a good friend, which was also was a very good thing.

Despite this, when Flor went home she would stand up for her mother. Mostly Flor would tell her mother move away from her father because he used his words and his hands to hurt her.  Flor’s mother would never listen to what she said.

One hot afternoon, Flor’s father wanted help moving some pieces of metal in the storage room.  “Come help me now!” He yelled to Flor’s mother. But she ignored him. “Listen to me!!” yelled Flor’s father one more time. Still, she ignored him. She was busy helping Flor with her homework and she didn’t want to talk to him at that moment.

Flor’s father’s face turned red as he came into the room. “I’m gonna teach you a lesson about ignoring me,” he hollered. “I asked you nicely the first time and you disobeyed me,” he grunted as he grabbed her arm and pulled her to go and help him.

“You leave my mother alone or I will… I will call the cops on you!” Flor spoke up.

“Oh you’re gonna regret saying that! I will show you who is boss around here!”

The tool Flor’s father used to teach lessons was a belt.  But the lesson Flor learned was different:  she learned that even though he hurt her, she would still have the courage to help her mother. She had to stand up for her mother because in the family’s religion the wife couldn’t divorce the husband. They had to stay together until one died or they both died together.

Months later, from all the bruises and cuts, Flor’s mother ended up having a stroke. Yes, she did survive, but her family couldn’t keep on taking risks. Not long from then, la mas bonita persona died from another stroke. It was like in Sleeping Beauty when she falls asleep and the other characters try to find a way to save her. When Flor’s mother died, she went into a sleep that she could never be awoken from, just as Sleeping Beauty couldn’t be awoken from her sleep unless she received a true love’s kiss.

From then on Flor went to go live with her grandma on her father’s side of the family. Flor told her grandma everything that happened when she was with her father. Her father tried to defend himself and told his mother that it was Flor’s fault while she was away at school. But Flor’s grandma said, “Well I don’t blame her because you were always away from home and you treated her very badly.”  Her father got so mad when he heard this that he exploded and stormed out of the house. Later on, the family heard that he had been arrested and they were happy to live together without fearing that someone would come to hurt them.


Epilogue

Later on in my life I worked hard and went to all my classes. I was a straight A student so I was able to become a teacher. That wasn’t my dream, but I thought maybe I could make a good living. When I started my first day I remembered the day my friend Linda first gave me lunch, which changed my whole life. Linda’s kindness taught me how to treat other people.

When I look back at my childhood, it reminds me of all the mistakes that I made and all the problems I had. My tough life made me stronger. If you were wondering, Linda and I are still friends, even though we live far apart and can’t see each other very often.