Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Problem of Luciana’s Second Language

By Ivette Cardenas Alvarado, age 12, California


On a warm, smoggy Monday morning in East Los Angeles, California, a teenage girl named Luciana woke up in her room, smelling burnt pancakes her mom had made. Her mom was still struggling with the stove; she didn’t know how it functioned since they had been in America for only five days and in Mexico they had to get wood to make an open fire. You see, Luciana wasn’t any American girl; she was a Mexican girl with curly, brown hair; peachy, pink lips; smooth, tan skin; and amber eyes. She always wore a red bandana around her wrist and a 12-carat golden necklace of the Virgin Mary.

Ma, tengo miedo de ir a la secundaria,” said Luciana, which means “Mom, I am scared to go to middle school” in Spanish.

Porque?” asked her mom. “Why?”

Luciana didn’t answer the question and helped her mother clean the pan in which her mother had burnt the pancakes.

On her way to school, Luciana kept on having bad thoughts about how bad the kids at her new middle school could react when they find out that she didn’t and couldn’t speak English. She thought maybe they would laugh at her; maybe the kids in her class didn’t speak Spanish at all. She was getting really worried.

Once Luciana made it to her new school, she went to the office and asked the secretary the classes or periods she was taking. Luckily for Luciana, the lady spoke Spanish.

Luciana, estas son las clases que vas a tener,” said the woman. “Luciana, these are the classes you will take.”

Gracias,” said Luciana. “Thank you.”

Luciana looked at her list of periods:

  1. Math
  2. Science
  3. History
  4. English
  5. Lunch
  6. P.E.
  7. Technology

Luciana headed to her locker to put her books in. As she walked down, she saw people staring at her bandana, then at her, then at her bandana, then at her. All this staring at her then staring at her bandana went on forever. She was getting scared about the fact that they stared at her, but then she thought maybe they liked her bandana, so she kept walking, just this time with confidence.

Once Luciana got to her locker, she saw that the locker of the most popular girl called Fabiola was right next to hers. She had black hair with brown extensions, amber eyes, and red pumped-up lips.

“So you must be the new girl?” asked Fabiola.

Que?” replied Luciana without knowing what Fabiola had said.

Fabiola laughed and yelled, “The new girl doesn’t understand English.”

Everyone laughed at her. Then Luciana knew that Fabiola had said something bad about her. Luciana ran as the bell rang. She ran as fast as a cheetah.

Luciana went to each of her classes, but unluckily for her, Fabiola was in all of them. That whole year was terrible for Luciana. As days passed, everything got worse and worse for Luciana.

Once seven years passed, Luciana was all grown up. She was graduating from med school, and she wanted to be a surgeon. She was the best and worked for a hospital called Highland Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

One day Fabiola came to the hospital with a big open cut in her head from a car accident. Luciana didn’t know if she wanted to take care of her since Fabiola treated her badly. Luciana thought positive: She thought, This is a person I need to save like all the others. Yeah, she mistreated me, but I am different, and I need to do what is right.

So, Luciana got straight to work and took her to the surgery room. The operation was tough. Sadly, Fabiola had a coma. The day after the surgery, Fabiola’s eyes were closed, and she had a pale face. Luciana grabbed a book and started to read to Fabiola, sing to her, and talk to her about the surgeries she had done to others.

After three months of Fabiola having a coma, she finally awoke. When Luciana realized she was awake, she went up to her and asked her some questions.

“How do you feel? Are you okay?” said Luciana.

“Yes, I am fine. Did my friends come visit me?” said Fabiola.

Luciana realized that while Fabiola was in the hospital hurt and in a coma, nobody came to visit her, so Luciana didn’t reply.

“Are you hungry?” Luciana said, bringing instead of hospital food the food she made with her own hands.

“Yes, I am,” Fabiola said, but as she spoke, she noticed that the nurse looked familiar. “Luciana, is it you?” she asked, confused.

“Um…” Luciana said. “Yes, it is me.”

“Really, Luciana, I am really sorry,” Fabiola said. “I have been so dumb. You are here making me food, caring about me, and all I did was bully you.”

Luciana told Fabiola everything about Fabiola’s surgery, how she had read and sung to her. Fabiola didn’t believe it, but all the doctors said it was true. Fabiola felt sad about what she had done, but she knew it was the problem of the second language.