Catalina hesitated when she spoke, causing the kids around her to stare with confusion.
“I-I come from Sparrow. I am,er,Spanish. I am twelve years.”
A boy with a green T-shirt yawned and kicked a girl in front of him just for his enjoyment. Mild giggles filled the room as Catalina’s legs shook with fear. The children were indeed different from the ones from Sparrows Island, and unmistakably mischievous and immature.
“Wayne, not again! Keep your feet to yourself. You may sit down, Catalina.” cracked the voice of Mr. Cherny. The young girl didn’t move. She shivered with goosebumps and had small tears in her tender eyes. The children all around her were just staring, as though they were expecting a show in front of the classroom.
“Catalina, sit down.” muttered the teacher with a stern voice. He had meant it,but it seemed as though he did not understand the depression Catalina was having, who had no interest in being in America at all, especially not an American school. Catalina all of a sudden started sobbing with her hands covering her face. Her head shook as tears started rolling down her eyes.
She felt a combination of fear, anger, and sadness rush down her body. Her head was filled with stares beaming down at her. “Come on now.” Mr Cherny said with empathy in his voice. He put his hand on her back, signaling her to move. Catalina stepped out of the classroom, wishing that she had her mother right by her side, to comfort her like she always had.
When the sensitive child removed her hands from her face, she saw a woman with black hair and a calm face. She didn’t look upset,nor was she smiling,but she still motioned Catalina to sit down. Catalina shook her head and refused with an angry look on her face. Her mother would’ve done the same, for she had told Catalina when she was very young “Rechazar en una situación difícil. Tienes que tomar tus propias decisiones en un problema. Sé independiente, querido.”
Refuse in a difficult situation. You have to make your own decisions in a problem. Be independent, dearest.
Catalina chose to stand still, while the lady waited,twiddling her thumbs, with patience. When Catalina still did not sit after 5 minutes, the woman spoke.
“I know you are worried. It is hard not to. Catalina, you can trust me. I am here to help.” Catalina looked around the room, searching for evidence. Right in front of her, a green poster read, “Be sympathetic in any situation!” with a picture of two girls hugging each other very tightly, as though one of them might explode. The brown desk the woman was sitting behind had a name tag labeled “Ms. Ryland”.
The lady smiled when Catalina pulled up a chair to sit on, though Catalina still turned her head away to show Ms. Ryland that she didn’t depend on her advice, and she did not need to hear her words at all.
“Don’t worry. Fear is inside all of us, Catalina.”