6. One From Afar

Christiana. She had skin as dark as a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar. Her hair was jet black and unkempt. She wasn’t skinny, but she wasn’t anywhere near fat. She had a sweet smile and a soft disposition. She wore the same as every other girl there, a white button down shirt with a dark red and green plaid skirt. Her white high socks stood out in contrast with her dark skin and black shoes. She wore a gold cross and chain that was tight against her collar. She struck me as different. I was right.
She lived with her grandma and after attending school she would go to work to help support her younger siblings. Her grandma was sick and she just wanted her to get better. We talked through the translator and I felt more connected with her than any person who shared my life. She looked me straight in the eyes when she spoke as if there were no translator.
She was strong, she was confident, and beautiful, but she was also vulnerable and nervous about what her future may hold if something were to happen to her grandmother. She left a print on my heart that will never go away.
She was a beautiful Guatemalan who taught me that no matter how strong you appear there can always be something trying to tear you apart.

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