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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

This is me

By Kaylah Quintero  |   From : Dominican/Cuban-American  |   School : Everglades High School

We all have a story and your story defines you. Although my story may not be the most exciting, you are about to witness what my life has consisted of for the past 16 years. So, hi, my name is Kaylah Aliz Quintero. I am 16 years old and was born on July 23rd 2002. I was born in Palmetto Hospital in Hialeah, Florida and I’m Dominican, Cuban, and American. After I was born my mom went on maternity leave because of her pregnancy with me. She was originally supposed to leave the hospital to take care of me but she formed a blood clot. The blood clot was traveling through her bloodstream so the doctors had to watch her carefully to make sure the blood clot wouldn’t end up traveling to her heart. While my mom was in the hospital, the doctors decided it was best if i were to go home, so my dad and grandma took me home and they were the ones who took care of me right when I was a newborn. Once I turned 2, my parents put me in daycare since both my parents had to work. I would mostly spend my time with my grandparents since they would pick me up from daycare and take me to their house. At 5 years old, I heard the best news any child could hear. My mom was pregnant with my little sister. At first I didn’t know what to think or do. When my little sister, Angelina was born, I knew as a big sister it was my responsibility to always take care of her. We became inseparable the minute she came out of the womb, it was just Angelina and I against the world. As the both of us became older we would learn together and I was always the bigger example for her. Once she was 5 years old, and I was 10 years old, the both of us began to realize that our parents started to have some disagreements about money. They were constantly having arguments about their financial situation. My little sister was too young to understand and comprehend what they were always arguing about but I was able to piece the puzzle pieces together. My dad ended up moving out of our house to his mom’s house. I was completely heartbroken, because I wasn’t old enough to truly understand what was happening. After around a year of my parents being separated, they wanted to try making their matrimony work. They once again got back together and around after six months of attempting to restore the matrimony, it just didn’t work out. At this period of time I was already in seventh grade and Angelina was in first grade, our parents officially got divorced and signed the papers. My dad had moved out back into my grandmas house. Fast forwarding to Elementary, I was always a quiet little girl and kept things to herself. I didn’t have many friends growing up since I was always that shy girl in the corner. In the beginning of 1st grade, this new student transferred to our school and ended up in my class. At first, he was quiet but he then quickly became friends with the other boys, and one day he decided to start calling me names. I’m not too sure why that day forward he decided to start bullying me but I guess everything happens for a reason. As time went by, it progressed and would become more worse and worse. Next thing I know I’m in fifth grade still getting bullied by the same kid. In the beginning I didn’t really understand what bullying was until one day in fifth grade, I was sitting in my class and the whole class was watching a bullying awareness video and I remember clearly hearing my teacher telling the rest of the class, “if you are someone that is getting bullied please come talk to me after class, all I want to do is help” and something just hit me like “wow this isn’t okay, you need to speak up, you have a voice for a reason”. After hearing my teacher say that, I quickly got up and stormed to the bathroom. I couldn’t stop crying, my teacher even began to become concerned. Once the video ended I decided to talk to my teacher and long story short, the cops got involved and did a lie detector test on the kid that was bullying me. In the end the bullying stopped but it has always stuck with me since then, to always treat other with kindness. Continuing, after 5th grade, I went into middle school. Middle school had its moments. I began to notice that all the friends I had were all fake. They would always end up back stabbing me in some way. After middle school, high school rolled around and let’s say freshman year was pretty fun. I continued to lose fake friends that I was friends with since middle school. High school makes you realize that some of the friendships you may have walking into high school may not be there till the end. Many people switch up on you, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I have trust issues. As freshman year finished. Sophomore year came along. Tenth grade was probably the worst year I could ever go through. In the beginning of sophomore year, my sister and I got some unexpected news from my mom. My mom tells my sister and I that she may have a brain tumor and that the doctors weren’t sure if it was true or not. In that moment I lost all complete control of my world. The thought of losing my mom scared me so much. My grades began to drop and my life became a mess. This lasted for around a month, of not being sure if my mom could have possibly had a brain tumor. After the doctors confirmed that she didn’t have a brain tumor, I was the happiest person on the planet. After that, I once again experienced having my best friend back stab me. That was already on friendship number 3. It completely broke my heart that someone so close to my heart did something like that to me. In all, you seriously can’t trust anyone. You may think that they got your back and will be your friend forever, but then reality hits you- That person will most likely not be your friend forever. Forever is too big of a number. My story may have not been the most interesting but I’m hoping it teaches you a lesson.

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