"He counts the stars and calls them by name."~ Psalm 147:4
Entonces esto comienza
And this begins...
This starts in the memory of the breeze, in a careless day no one remembers, not even the girl herself. This begins when the days drifted away faster than the flowers in the field, which are soon cast away. It is in these beautiful buds and sweet smells of a time long past. A still remembrance in every autumn when years fly by. For her heart to yearn and yet not understand what was love because it was so long lost its way to her life until it came back to her in the shape of a voice, a shape of a sun, and the voice of a Father...
A tiny body she never thought about, was now hung loosely in her blue dress. A lion's mane she never thought about until she realized it had to be dressed, tied, stretched, into neat, ebony braids. And now, a face that kept her constantly looking into the mirror of sleepy eyes.
And so the cereal was brought to her, her lunch bag in her hands, and kiss in the face, and a pat in her back, and before she knew, there was a place unrecognizable, called school.
This was a girl named, Dulce. Uniquely. Predictably, Maria Sanchez. There were already so many in her school, but none of them were her, so on her first day of school she screeched at every single one of them for wearing her name, and declared herself the one and only, "Dulce Maria Sanchez!"
Maria Sanchez, the one with the tall ponytail, took no notice and continued to scribble all over hand with markers (the poor girl's eyes were watery). The other Maria Sanchez, this one with one single braid down her back, (she actually cried) blubbered to her mother that she wanted to go home. And the third Maria Sanchez (this time with -Ramirez, but this time it didn't fit in her name card), the one with two curly pigtails, placed her lunch carefully on the corner, seized the moment to take a cup of chocolate pudding and smash it across her face. The mother soon peeled her daughter away, scratching herself accidentally in the process, and strongly rebuking the girl before leaving her there. This girl, being taller, and stronger in stature, taunted Dulce from the corner in a glance of "this means war," before settling down. There should've been fear in those eyes, and trembling in those twiggy arms, but to her annoyance, she took her seat and sank heavily into the chair, staring off into the hallway where her own mother should have been to pull her away as well.
And so they called her Dulce, never Maria. Maria was their name. She was"Sweet" although, from that day on, the other Maria's (and everyone else in school) never thought of her that way. She was selfish, she was prideful; frosty in solitude, yet fiery in rage; but she was and continued to be, a child. Her sweetness came through like a paleta well licked from its spicy, rough surface; an exercise continued to finally taste the vibrant flavor of hot chile with sweet mango. But when you are that small no one finds it special or rewarding to finally get that golden core.
One day, there was a new girl who arrived in school named Clio. Not "Cleo" with an "e", no, no, no, she was "Clio" with an "i". Her expressive z's and lofty r's floated speech everywhere she went. Talking to her was a wandering daydream, a white-shaped cloud, that made everyone fall asleep, and her teachers struggling to catch her soft words. Despite all the trouble, Clio was well-loved by all the people in the classroom that longingly gazed outside the window, except for one person: Dulce.
First, for the way she dared to pronounce her name, Dul-CH-e. Second, in the way, her sad eyes seemed unfazed. And the third, how much she was hated in contrast. She tried to love and be loved, but only cold gazes were met. She tried to bring gifts and successfully brought some for the whole classroom, but her rude and annoying demeanor only held their interests for so long. Once they left, her pride kept her apart, cold, dark, and further sinking into her shadow.
The sun was so beautiful that day, even though everyone could barely see it. All the students were asleep and the teacher tipping their cup of coffee again. The school had its first-ever event of watching the sunrise, early breakfast, and extra-long nap time in their pj's.
"You're going to have to go to school today honey, I'm sorry," said Dulce's mother not very sorry, sinking back into her bed after another fit of coughs.
But it didn't matter that now she was so alone. No one bothered to sit at the best seat; in front.
As the rising sun only seemed to draw more sleep unto the land of children and adults, Dulce watched as the glowing circle burst into the dark horizon in a pink, purple, and green soup of colors; it tasted so warm.
Long before the others went back into school for classes, the teachers murmured among themselves of how pleasant and odd it was for Dulce to be the last one to come back. Or so they imagined only she was left behind.
Clio, being the most popular among her classmates and teachers, had the reputation of also being aloof. Like a cloud in a periwinkle blue day, at first, it was clearly there, resting motionlessly on the edge of her desk, and then it was gone, no cloud in sight, its mind lost in its own wanderings. In the beginning, everyone would frantically search for her; around the classroom, around the school, even at the playground, only to find her talking to herself, unaware of her surroundings.
"Thank you, God,
cause the teacher was nice to me.
Please keep me up in class,
I can't help falling asleep. It's soo boring.
(the teacher who found her no longer talked so much in class)
And I know I have to be nice,
but what do I do when her breath stinks?
If I can't say anything, can I pinch my nose?"
(the teacher always had a massive display of breath mints at her table too).
After hearing all this revelation, the teacher decided the truth was too much and popped out of her hiding spot to fetch Clio. Having been quickly caught, she forgot to finish her prayer and joined her back into the classroom. "I didn't mean for you to hear Ms...but I got to be honest when talking to God you know?". Mrs. March, being a Christian herself, knew she couldn't say no, and replied, "It would be dumb," through tight lips, "I guess I'll brush my teeth 3 times a day," hoping this time the girl would quit. But Clio, having forgotten to finish her prayer, quickly added with a gasp, "Amen!". Tomato, tomato, was the nickname for Mrs. March from then on, and Clio was no longer the favorite student. It was a harmless event.
The tale was recounted at the teacher's lounge on multiple coffee-stained couches through sweet-smelling cinnamon apple candles. The bells at the door were swung ferociously back and forth, almost fogged the laughs of teachers teary-eyed over this brazen child. The part of the prayer was a minor detail overshadowed by other staff members, but once heard by the students, was the main focus. Rumors began to spread, and the people's eyes darkened when their ears heard the voices of her vastly quirky reputation.
Clio didn't realize voices began to hush around her, our backs were turned towards her, until weeks, months, when her silent speech was being unheard by no one but God. It was a lonely time.
On that day when Dulce and Clio were left behind, both watched the sun rise up into the sky. In Dulce's mind, the rippling sun rays were amazing, but to Clio, the grand limitless sky in all its speckled lights took more admiration. Only she wondered how much more beautiful and warm was the One who created it, remembering that awe-filling satisfaction.