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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

What Else Could I Ask of Life?

By Norma  |   From : El Salvador  |   School : East Boston High School

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My name is Norma. I’m 17 years old and I’m from El Salvador. When I was in El Salvador, I lived with my grandparents, my aunt and my little brother. Living with them was really amazing because we really enjoyed every moment. They took care of me as their daughter and we went out to many places. We saw many parts of our country, and every time we talked they told stories of my life when I was little. They always tried to be the best thing for my brother and me.

Well, now I going to tell you a little about my best moment in my life. The best moment of my life was when I saw my mom after 8 years of being apart. We were separated because I was not the only daughter, my brother was born. Neither my father nor my brother’s father ever helped us. They only helped when my mother was with us. She just wanted to give us a better life and future. She did not want anything to be missing. Now she tells us that she did not want to leave but she had to leave. She had to make that decision just so that my brother and I could be well. She knew that she left us with the best people to take care of us, my grandparents.
I decided to come to the U.S because it was time to be together with my mom. El Salvador started to be dangerous with gangs. I was going to start going to high school and in some streets there were almost always dead people. Gangs asked for money and shoes from students, just because they were brand names. If the students did not give them what they wanted, they killed them. The better option was to be here in the United States. It was a lot time to be so far away from my mom. My feelings were sad because only one day before I was leaving for the United States, a special person in my life died. He was my first boyfriend, he died on his birthday. He drowned. I hurt a lot because he was a person who never stopped smiling and making other people happy. I could not go to celebrate his birthday so I decided to make a surprise for him. I was waiting for hours but he never arrived. I felt very desperate and strange because I did not know what had happened to him. At 8PM, I received a text saying Erick dead. Oh my God. My mind was blank. I had no words. I felt that a moment had disappeared from the earth because I couldn’t be at his burial. I couldn’t say goodbye for the last time, because one day later I had to come to the U.S. I still feel guilty about that. I also was sad because I was leaving my country, my house where I lived all my childhood, and I was leaving people that are important to me. But I always said one thing, “everything happens for something” and he left me something. It does not matter what happens, we have to always smile at life. And that’s what I always do it, in every problem I always go out and kept a smile because no matter how painful we always have to smile.
My first day in the U.S was super special and great. My mom picked me up in the Washington airport. I saw her coming down the steps and it was so beautiful to feel that sensation and those nerves. I felt it was dream. It was so beautiful running to her arms and I cried of happiness to know that finally all of my family was together. Then we went to visit some of my family from Maryland. When we were on our way, I felt so excited and happy I saw every thing that I could, big buildings, amazing streets, big clothing shops that I loved. We arrived where my family lives and they were all happy to see us. We talked little, because we had to travel that same day to Boston. That was 8 hours of driving. We went out to boston and all the way I talked a lot with my mom about my family, my country and a lot about me. She had a big smile in her face, I remember that she said, Thanks my God finally we are together. After 8 hours of driving, finally, we came to Boston. She said here is where we are going to live. I said is beautiful, I like it.
We entered the home and all my aunts and cousins were there. When they saw us they were so happy, they hugged us. It was a cute moment. They had cooked for us. We ate and talked a lot with my grandmother, my little brother and my aunt. After that I went to sleep. I was so tired. I heard them say that they were so happy and emotional. I slept and the next day we went out with my mom and my brother to buy clothes. The weather was very nice. It was summer we already were enjoying it. Every day that was passing was more beautiful and happy.
My worst moment was when my grandfather had to leave the U.S to go back to El Salvador. He returned to El Salvador because he was tired of being here. He has traveled to the United States about 5 times and was here for many years. He left El Salvador when he brought all his children to the United States. He said that in El Salvador he was fine, he was already tired of being here, he wanted to rest and where he wanted to be was El Salvador. It was really painful for me and for my family. He saw me grow up. He helped me in everything, like a father, but I am also happy because he is happy in El Salvador. No matter where he is, I will always love him. My grandfather and my grandmother are the most beautiful people. Thanks to them I am who I am, because my mom was here in the United States and they were the ones who were there helping me to be a good person and not to fall. He is the man who knows me very well. He is the only man that never hurt me. Now my dream is see him again, no matter what. I just want to see his smile again.
My dream was always to be with my mom, but at beginning it was a little complicated with my mom. I didn’t feel comfortable talking with her about my personal things. As time passed, things were changing for the better. Little by little our relationship was better, she was and is really cute. She is also like my sister. She always treats me like her baby. I will love and be proud of her always. Finally my dream is fulfilled, being together with all of my family. What else could I ask of life?