Chapter One

I consider myself a Caribbean girl because I was raised in the bush piles of it so to speak. Being born in New York means nothing to me, except for the 2–4 years that I lived there back and forth. I was able to have spent a solid year in Brooklyn’s Hebron School which will forever be an colorful memory in my book. Exciting things happened within that one year. As a six year old I started to embrace my identity as a female who wore purses and pretty girly things. As I six year old I begged my mother for the beauty kit I saw in the store and the shoes with 1/2 inch heels. As a 6 year old, slipped a 100 dollar bill off the dressing table into my back and carried them to show off to my classmates. That’s when I began to discover true self. Who taught me to steal? Who told me my friends would be impressed with my pearly white church bag and lip gloss and my mother’s cash? I was adventurous, a risk taker. Someone who cared what other people thought of her. I was …in trouble.

In the long halls of the school I felt so little, but walking down the remainder of it to my younger brother’s birthday party, I felt big. I was the big sister enjoying a privileged I didn’t have for my own. To all the July borns out there, you can attest to not being able to share your parties with your classmates simply because school is out for summer. My brother’s birthday comes around and it is the beginning of the year and we all celebrate. My mom takes pictures. I was the big sister and I had a little brother, but my mom was pregnant again. All because my brother and I prayed.

I was 5, he was 4. My dad and mom finished praying and was preparing to stand up from their kneeling position but neither of us children were ready. My brother prayed, then I, like a pendulum on a swing we took turns conversing with God. We wanted another sibling. A girl for me, I said. Or a little brother, he begged. Either way, we wanted one and we wanted one now.

My parents were amazed and smiled, hoping our foolish notions would go away. In our separate rooms we would pray. In the dark, kneeling by our beds we would ask, pleading for a younger sibling. My brother’s reasoning was simple — he was tired of me. I wanted a sister, someone not so rambunctious and energetic, but someone I could control. Little did we know what would happen next…

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