Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jasmine, Meet Little Jas!

By Jasmine Abreu

As I walk into a darkened hallway, I see a bright light at the end of the hall. I keep walking towards the light, slowly, as if I am walking towards my death.

I pass a bedroom with a man inside smoking cigars while throwing back one Corona after another. He's listening to that familiar country Spanish music.

I keep walking until I reach the kitchen. I stop because I hear a little girl crying. I don’t know where she is.

I look inside the kitchen and it’s very pure and white with shiny brown tiles on the floor as if no one has been in there cooking in a really long time. I finally reach the end of the hallway and the bright white light and then it dims. I’m left with the little girl crying, sitting in the lap of a little boy. I sneak behind the tall brown dresser that has a huge television on its shoulders so the kids won't see me.

“I don’t understand why she left me?” mumbles the little girl with watery brown eyes, still on the boy's lap.

This to me seems like a deja vu moment. I feel like I’ve been here before or at least have felt the same way this little girl has.

“She has her reason Jas, we just have to be strong and look out for each other till she comes back,” the boy says.

Suddenly I see it! It’s me! I’m the little girl, I remember now, this is when our mom left us for the first time and my brother was trying to console me.

“But I hate it here, with all these strangers and bad people, and I’m so hungry, I haven’t eaten in days,” Little Jas says while picking up her head from his lap. I see myself mumbling the words just as she did because I know exactly what she is going to say.

“C’mon Jas, you have to be strong, you can’t show people your weakness, that’s how they take advantage of you, C’mon lets go find something to eat.”

Oh no, they’re coming my way now, what do I do? I get entangled in the wiring of the television cable and trip foolishly. They definitely hear me.

“Hey! Who goes there?” the boy asks.

I emerge and show my face in the light. Little Jas says “hey, don’t I know you?”

“This may sound strange Little Jas, but I’m…I’m…. I’m you from the future.” I hesitate and look down immediately after I say it because I know they are going to look at me as if I am some weird alien or something.

“Really!” She says excitedly. “How cool.”

Well I really underestimated myself; I should have known that I was into supernatural things even when I was growing up.

“Well yeah, and I know why you’re crying, too, I think I know why I’m here at this given moment as well. I’m here to tell you that you will get past this, it may feel horrible and like your world is crushing down on top of you but you have to push through it.”

“But I can't do that, Big Me, I can’t handle this on my own.” Little Jas is looking at me as if I am going to save her. She wants a miracle in the snap of my fingers.

“I’m not going to lie to you Little Jas. I'm not going to tell you that your life will get better and you’ll be magically happy, because you will end up going through some tough stuff with your mom and it will scar you for life, but what I will say is that you will meet friends and people who love you as you grow older and eventually go to college.”

“Wait, what? What am I gonna go through with my ma?”

“I can’t tell you that, you will find out later on in your life, all I can tell you is to be strong, OK?” At this point I kneel before her and hold her hand. As I do, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. I didn’t want her to go through what I went through. I wish I could save her. I surrender to the tears that already fill my eyes. Little Jas tucks her hand in her long sleeve shirt and wipes my tears away slowly and gently.

“I’ll be alright,” she says, still hopeful. “Will you visit me again?”

At that very second I knew she was definitely me because she could face a hardship and still be hopeful and optimistic no matter how hard life was or what brought her down. At that point I knew she would be alright. Of course she would make it through, I know, because I do.

Jasmine Abreu is a sophomore at the University at Albany, SUNY, where she is majoring in English.

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