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Are We Really Free?

September 23, Monday- Late night

Ok even though we are in the United States, things have been different for me. When going to school I'm not the one to make friends but Lucinda and my cousins do. This Diary is the only thing keeping me together. Without my writing it wouldn't be the same. When I go to school kids make fun of me. They make fun of how I talk and how I’m always writing in my diary when we have free time. They joke with me by trying to grab my diary and start reading it but I start going crazy. They think I’m a freak for protecting something that I think is really serious and expressive. They should know not to touch my Diary! Anyways, at home my family members are all happy but, how could they be? I ask myself. I know they consider us to be free but the United States to me is not all that people say it is. At home in DR is where I really belong. DR is where I fit in. I miss being with the whole family and not having to worry about any of the things that have been happening lately. But I’m thankful.

September 24, Tuesday- Thoughts are strong, feeling is sad and depressed In addition to having a hard time getting used to life in America, there’s still something that bothers me every night: the fact that Papi, Tio Toni and their friends risked their lives so we can be free. Sometimes I just think to myself, it should’ve been me because Papi already always sacrificed for us. But each day I pray that they are in a better place. Things have been different. I don't know if I actually like Oscar or if it was just a very good friendship going on. I actually thought about how it would be if I was with Oscar at this moment. Would it be different not seeing him for so long? Would things change between us? Does he look the same? How does it feel not having me around? I don’t think that he thinks about me so why should I? Ok, if he was to think of me or miss me, wouldn’t he call me and see how I’m doing? You know what? I’m not going to worry about it.

September 25, Wednesday- Feeling happy but wondering what's going on in DR Today I talked to Oscar. It made me happy to hear that he missed me and that things were not the same without me. He said that there would come a day that we would see each other again face to face. Oscar told me that El Jefe's henchman were looking for us and asking Chucha where we were. Chucha didn't say anything. Are the henchman looking to kill us because of the killing of El Jefe? Maybe, El Jefe's son is really upset and killing my Papi, Tio Toni and their friends wasn't enough revenge. I think he wants to kill us too.

September 29, Sunday- Refreshing and writing things I feel Things haven’t been the same lately. Mami has tried to find a job. Lucinda has been with me. Lately Lucinda and I have gotten closer ever since she had to leave before us to come to the United States. At that moment, I was depressed knowing I wouldn't have her around. But now that we're together, there's nothing that can ever separate us. It’s weird how I don't actually share out my feelings the way I express my writing here. I wasn't happy when Mami read it and made me take some pages out about what was going on at the time. But it’s ok because there will always be more of my writing. I appreciate the sacrifice that Papi,Tio Toni, and their friends made so we could be free, but lately America hasn't been the best.

October 4, Friday- In hideout Ok so I haven't heard from Oscar in a while but things have been strange. Today there were strange men in black, who came in the house. All of us went to a hideout where we were sure they wouldn't find us. They broke the door and destroyed everything like in our house in DR. They ruined everything. I was confused about how they knew where we were, and what apartment number we were in. Things were just very strange. I don't think Oscar or Chucha could've told them. So who would have told them?! I'M SCARED! WHAT I THOUGHT WAS RIGHT: EL JEFE'S SON WANTS TO KILL ALL OF US!!!! Maybe I'm just over exaggerating, but I don’t think so because why else would men dressed in black break in?

October 24, Thursday- Feeling worried Oscar hasn't called, mailed, or emailed me. I haven't heard from Chucha either. “Are they ok?” I think to myself. Maybe something happened and there alright or, are they? I don't know what I should do. I have no more words, but to write about how worried I am feeling at this moment.

October 5, Saturday night time- The phone call Ok, so it was dark, and everyone in the house was asleep. I wasn't thinking about if Oscar and Chucha were ok. I then heard the phone ring. I think maybe it's them, and they’re ok. Maybe they just went some place, or did they? I ask myself, but enough with questioning myself. I pick up the phone. In the background it’s Oscar and Chucha screaming. When El Jefe picks up the phone and says, “If your family isn’t going to die, then the rest of the people you love are going to die.” I scream, “Nooooo!!!!!!!” But then he hangs up. My mom comes running into the kitchen when she sees me crying. She asks what happened. I tell her, “I want to go back to DR, but I know we will get killed.” I don't know what to do. Suddenly I faint. Lights out for me.

October 7, Monday what happened! I wake up with ice on my head, and Mami yelling. “Que vamos hacer?” I say we can’t do anything because if we go, we're gonna die too.

October 9, Wednesday- Oscar called Oscar says to me, “El Jefe’s son let me talk to you. Anita don’t worry. I’m going to risk my life for you. Because that’s how much I really care about you. Every moment I spent with you was amazing. Think of those memories every time you miss me.” I start to cry. He says to me, “You would do it for me, wouldn't you?” I say, “Of course, Oscar.” He says that he wants me to enjoy life while I'm living. He will always be watching after me. He said that El Jefe said it was either him and Chucha or me and my family. “We have told him that this time it will be us. He won’t be coming after you anymore.” There was relief. But not really...then we hear gunshots. I yell “Oscar noooo!!!!!!” And burst out crying. Then a second and third gunshot and that was Chucha. Mami starts crying and so does everyone in the house. Lucinda hugs me and says, “Do you still have mixed emotions?” I say, “No! Oscar was the best boy that has ever entered into my life, and I will never ever forget him.” And from that point on, we didn't live in fear.

October 22- Thinking about what to do next Well, I have stayed in my room crying and not eating. My mom and my family are worried if I’m even alive right now. I am outside, but not inside. Since Oscar, the love of my life, and Chucha died. I have been miserable. Before this all happened, I was enjoying being free and now I'm doubting, wondering are we really free? I was thinking about the henchman and how they broke into the house. I recognized a face, and I’m definite that it was Mr. Mancini. But how could it be? He's the one that let us hide in his closet, that helped us come to the United States. Why would he want to hurt us? Oscar, his son, died. Why didn't he protect him? I want to know why. Mr. Mancini was such a good man. Should I tell my family or figure things out on my own before someone else gets hurt?

October 24- I know what I should do Well, I’ve thought about my decision. I’m going to DR to save Mr. Mancini. We talked on a secret phone yesterday, and he told me that he was caught by one of the henchman. The henchman saw everything he was doing for us. They saw how Mr. Mancini had hid us and helped us get to the United States. Mr. Mancini had no idea that they had killed Oscar and if he didn't work for the henchman, they would kill him and his wife. Mr. Mancini said, “I had to give them your address” while on the phone. I told Mr. Mancini that I want to help him. I want to go to DR and kill the henchman. Mr. Mancini said, he would have a plane ready for me in two days and I said, “Ok, don’t worry I’m coming to save you.” Suddenly the phone hung up. What do I tell my mom? They sacrificed for us to be here, and me going there is just a huge disappointment. But maybe it wouldn't be if I come back alright and alive. I’m going to tell my mom, and I’m going no matter what she says. Somebody close to me could lose their life.

October 25- Telling my mom was the worst decision My mom said I’m not going, but I am. Why won't she let me go? I’m being braver than she ever was. I tell her I'm going to be alright. Why is she being so overprotective? I’m going to survive. El Jefe’s henchmen aren't going to get the best of me.

October 27- It’s time I’m sneaking out. It’s late at night and everyone is sleeping. The plane is waiting just outside my door. I pack all my belongings and head out the door. I leave a note saying: I’m going to be ok. I will contact you as soon I get there. Don’t worry about how I am. I’m going to be just fine. I love you guys and appreciate all the things you have done for me, but now this is my time to step up and show you guys that I have grown and am capable of making my own decisions. I love you guys and I will be back shortly. And when I come back we will be free.

October 29- Arriving at DR Ok I’m here in DR and I arrive at my old house. It’s in the afternoon, and I’m getting ready to go to the place that El Jefe’s son and the henchmen are living. I put my black clothes on and head out the door. I make sure I don’t look too suspicious. When I arrive at their house, I climb up a ladder that brings me to the roof. Then I go down the chimney. I see the henchmen and El Jefe’s son. I don’t see Mr. Mancini. When I go in, the henchmen soon see me. They all attack me. They tie me up and bring me to where Mr. Mancini is. Mr. Mancini asked me to get the pocketknife out of his pocket and cut his rope that was around his arms and feet. Then he cut mine. When we were both free Mr. Mancini showed me the gun that they used to kill my Papi, Tio Toni and Oscar and Chucha with. He said “ We are going to kill them now with this. They have done us enough harm and damage and now it’s their time to feel what each and everyone of the people we love felt.” I start to cry, but he wipes my tears and says, “You're brave and I know you can do it.” We open the door and Mr. Mancini start to shoot all I hear is boom boom boom boom……………... Mr. Mancini yells, “Come on we have to go!!!!!!” I stand there for a while then he picks me up and brings me to where a plane is waiting and Mrs. Mancini is in there.

October 30- We are free I arrive in the United States, and when I enter I yell, “We are free and we don’t ever have to live in fear. Neither do the people in DR.” My family hugs us and I feel happy and brave. I accomplished something that would’ve made everyone that died proud of me.

November 2- United States is better than it ever was I am now enjoying the United States and being closer to my family. It is just like we were in DR. I will always miss Papi, Tio Toni, their friends, Oscar, and Chucha. But I know they are in a better place now, and they would be proud of me. WE ARE FREE, and being free has never felt better.


Anissa Baptiste -- winner of the Breakwater Review Student Fiction Contest

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