Stories For Liberation: My Most Melancholic Day

(Painting/"My Most Melancholic Day"/Gwynne Duncan)

As the landscape for young immigrants and their families darkens, we take heart from the reception that our new book, Brave Journeys, has garnered from the community. In particular,  Patchogue-Medford High School will be bringing the book to 60 pre-AP students next semester and Hofstra University is ordering 50 books, as well.

We invite you to join us at the Touro College Law Center (225 Eastview Drive, Central Islip) on Wednesday, May 2, from 6-7:30 p.m. to meet the young author of the following story and nine other contributors from Central Islip High School.

My Most Melancholic Day

Ring, ring is how my phone rang that sunny morning. Despite this, you could feel a cool breeze. Turning off my cell phone, I began to get dressed to go to school. It was like any ordinary day, but with the difference that at that moment I felt a sea of emotions: sadness, fear, joy, anger, frustration, and more.

Once in uniform with my white shirt with its panther logo on the heart, my blue pants, and, of course, my black shoes, I began my way to school. Once at El Liceo, where I went to school, I noticed things were normal and easy going: “Little Ani,” the woman who sold us pupusas in El Liceo, was beginning to make her delicious pupusas that were flooding the place with its smell. The guard was checking that everyone had a uniform on. And, I was walking to my classroom.

Walking into my classroom, I noticed some people talking about yesterday’s soccer match, and others copying homework.

My best friend, standing in front of me, said, “So, tonight is the night, right?”

I responded with a head nod.

He answered back with a pat on the back and by saying,

“Cheer up. Hold your head up high ’cause you’re a guy capable of doing anything, you’ll even do more than what you can do here. Also, you’re going to be with your parents and, you’ll see, you’ll make your dream a reality.”  

To which I responded with a smile and by saying, “Yeah, you’re right, but it makes me sad that I won’t see any of you.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be here waiting for you. Just be sure to be great so I won’t be embarrassed to say you’re my friend,” he said jokingly.

“Ha, ha, ha, yeah, I’ll try,” I answered laughing.

Everything said, I look over to the door and realize my other best friend has just arrived, but I’m not the only one who noticed. My friend tells me somewhat seriously, “Well, I’m off. I have to finish some homework.”

“OK, see you later,” I say with a half smile, knowing my two friends are like black and white, like oil and water, since they both had very different points of view.

I turn to her with a smile, which she meets with a hug and by saying in a soft voice, “I don’t want you to go. I’m going to miss you. After all, you changed my life.”

“Yes, you also mean the world to me,” I replied with sadness.

After that, the bell rang signaling the start of classes. The rest of the day was like any other, except that at that moment, my best friends were the only ones who knew of my departure for the United States. The reason being, my family doesn’t like other people making drama.

That night, terrified and sad, I understood I had to do something. “Why do people immigrate to another country?,” I asked myself disheartened. I also asked myself, what can I do to change this country? Is there more outside this place? How far can I go outside of here? With melancholy, I thought I could answer all these questions if I managed to get to the United States, and with the hope of finding a solution.

I got off my bed anxiously and still feeling fearful. I opened the door to a new perception of the world. In other words, I blasted my bubble of comfort.