The following are excerpts from an English class assignment at Boston Community Leadership Academy. The students were instructed to recount a childhood memory, using descriptive and literary devices. These are their stories:
As I looked out the window my eyes were like a camera trying to capture the beautiful landscape that was a few feet away from the truck. We passed by vast luscious green mountains that even the Discovery Channel couldn’t compete with. We drove through towns filled with love, family values and children who played baseball with a bottle cap and a stick in a dirt field. This goes to show that us Dominicans make the best of what we have, and of our current situation. We make lemonade out of the lemons life throws at us because that is what we are raised to do. It wouldn’t be like us not to. -Arvin Villar
I really wanted some cupcakes, so I went to the cash register and stole two cupcakes. Heading out, I felt badly because I had just done something I knew was wrong. Also, I knew if my mother found out she would be furious and would think negatively of me. As I was walking back home, I took a bite of the warm cupcake and it melted in my mouth. But, there was still an awkward feeling in my stomach that took away some of the joy of eating it. I was a thief. How could I live with that?
As I went inside and gave my mom the two loaves of bread, I saw the cupcake wrapper fall to the floor and my heart began to beat faster and my mouth was dry. This was it, the moment I had been dreading. -Casselia Dossantos
The thing is, I hated the rain, and I still do. Rain meant I couldn't stay outside with my dolls. I couldn’t make cakes out of mud. Rain meant I had to stay inside and do nothing but sit and listen to the adults talk about problems that nine year old me found boring.
So imagine how happy I was when it stopped raining later that day. As soon as I heard people talking, I was instantly out the door and looking for my cousins. We went on to search for the best rocks. You may be wondering why we were searching for rocks, and it’s because we had to wrap them in blankets and pretend they were babies. Of course, we had dolls, but our parents kept them on the highest shelf where we couldn’t reach them. Why? Well, because they knew we would rip them apart to the point where they would be missing most of their limbs, or we would lose them. After finding a rock that was round, smooth, and the right size, we looked for the best spot where we could play without being bullied by the older kids. -Daisy Correia
I was playing my Playstation 3 at the time. I was playing, “Call Of Duty Black Ops 2,” to be exact. I was playing with my red and black Turtle Beaches, so I could hear everything that was going on in the game. I always had my mic muted, so I could hear people talking trash, but they could never hear me with my ‘squeaker’ self. Everyone in the game lobby was talking to each other and cutting each other off. After two matches with the same people, I decided I wanted to talk too. I un-muted my mic when the next game started and said, “Hi guys.”
Conversations sparked up in the game chat, people trying to figure out who just said that and why this person sound so young. I heard someone shout out, “Who’s squeaker is this?” My heart drops and I mute my mic as one of the people in the game calls out everyone’s name one by one, trying to see who was the squeaky little boy. I hit the middle button on my controller and quickly made my way to the playstation mic settings and straight to the voice changer. I made my voice deeper and returned to the chat, where this guy was still listing out names. When he finally got to my name I un-muted my mic and said, “Yo?” Everyone was dying of laughter and told me that my voice changer was super noticeable and that I was the squeaker from earlier. I didn’t deny it, but only because I was pretending I didn’t care about what they were saying, as I switched my voice back to normal. -Joshua Ward
I fumbled my phone as I looked through my recent calls to call my mother. Ring….ring...ring…”you have reached the num-” CLICK.
Something is definitely wrong. My guts are telling my brain and heart right now, and I can feel it all over my body. She doesn't take long to answer my calls. She especially doesn't miss them.
¨Ma, where are you?¨ I say, trying not to sound worried.
¨Baby, something happened to Angel. Baby, Angel was shot.¨
Suddenly, I hear my brother’s sobs and his voice overlaps my mother’s from the passenger’s side of the car.
¨He's dead! Mami, he’s dead!¨ My brother screams from the top of his lungs, “He's dead.¨ I hear a loud thud over the screams and cries.
Did I just lose my cousin, brother, and mother in one night? Later I realized what I thought to be a car accident was just my brother punching the windshield. I could hear the faint screams from outside the car. My mother screaming and my brother huffing and puffing. They had gotten out of the car hysterically.
My mother just lost her nephew who she loves as her own, as if she carried him nine months in her own womb. My brother lost his best friend, the only person that could talk some sense into him and guide him. My family broke into a million pieces that night. The pain and sadness was unbearable, it almost felt physical. It almost felt like at any second I could die from a broken heart.
On the way to the hospital I couldn't cry anymore. My eyes were experiencing a drought. My thoughts were blank as if I was in a deep sleep and my whole body was put on anesthesia. I felt a tingle through my body like television static. It felt like a million years had gone by and I was still in that car. We pulled up to the emergency room entrance where the lights blinded my dry eyes. It was like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel. My family stood outside in the humid air. I could tell we all had a million thoughts and emotions running through our minds. We were all so close, yet so distant in our own little worlds. In that moment I realized how it took something so tragic to happen to bring us all together. -Jeilyn Ortega
Where did the ball go? I checked under the cabinets, table and chairs. My cousin pointed towards the bed and I started to crawl towards it. I wanted to climb the bed and even though it looked like a skyscraper, I knew how to get up there. I needed to find something that was like a box, that I could push next to the bed. I couldn’t find one, but I found what my mom puts on the bed all the time, the iron. Little did I know that it was a torch compared to my soft baby hands. I took no mind and decided to push. I put my left hand first, hisss, I immediately felt the pain. My hand felt like bacon frying on a skillet. My hand couldn't move my because it was glued to the iron, so I sat there for a few seconds until my sister came and took my hand off. When she seperated my hand from the iron it was like a grilled cheese, and my hand was as pink as raw beef. Oddly, it didn't hurt at all. I'm guessing my nerves were burnt right off. The last thing I remember was smelling bleach and a whole lot of cleaning supplies. -Manny DePina
It was a Friday afternoon: May 24, 2013. It was pretty chilly out, so I throw on my Nike sweater to wear around the house. As soon as I put it on, I hear a scream from my sister’s room. At the time, my sister was pregnant. Immediately I knew what it was: her water broke. My mom comes rushing down the hall and screams, “WHAT HAPPENED’” in Viet. She gets the keys to her car and brings my sister to the car. My mom, sister, and I all head to the closest hospital. My sister’s heartbeat was out of control. As we arrived at Boston Medical Center we enter through security and find the closest spot possible. I text my sister’s boyfriend at that time, “Yo Bro, Shelly is giving birth.” -Jason Huynh