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California DREAMin’

California Tower in Balboa Park. Photo by Public Domain Images

California DREAMin’

“The California DREAM Act is a package of California State Laws that allow children who were brought into the US under the age of 16 without proper visas/immigration documentation who have attended school on a regular basis and otherwise meet in-state tuition and GPA requirements to apply for student financial aid benefits.”

Entry #5: January 14th, 2012

“You. You are the reason for my life, you know that? Do you realize that?”  Whenever I get down I remember those words, and whenever I get too optimistic I remember soon these echoes will not haunt me any longer. I am sure they’ll dissipate into the air and I’ll never hear them again.

Those warm utterances once coexisted with a reality that was tangible to me, and I feel guilty for not clutching more tightly onto it while I had the chance. That reality is gone now, and in the spaces in between the clouds I can see where these echoes will go next.

I know I am five admissions essays, hundreds of words and thousands of letters overdue, but I never meant to leave Mami. I just meant to be the brave one who applied. The thing is, nobody comforts the brave, and nobody helps the winner up. Everybody forgets to check up on the victor after the finish line. Five months after I won my golden ticket of an acceptance letter, I am still waiting for my cash prize of a good college experience. The result has been cold and disappointing.

“Thanks to Mr. Brown, you can leave us now. Go become a real good part of America and become American and then you can leave us then… for good!! Forget Espanol, mija. You go learn your perfect English and be good American girl.”

“I love you too, Mami. Adios.”

From my empty dorm room on a Friday night I watch as the Senate roots for “my people,” but where are any people or friends rooting for me here? I walk the campus every evening late when all the white kids have gone inside, too proud to call home and too defiant to give up.

Before Mami found out I was actually leaving, she said to me that I was brighter than the cinnamon candle that burnt on the veranda on Sundays, and there is a part of my heart where I suspend all reality so that I will still believe that. I want to believe that I am better than this role of accidental college student. I applied for a reason.

Mami wrote me yesterday on an outdated Arizona postcard that was lying around the house. She must really miss me. Her handwriting was light and fluffy because Mr. Governor is going to fulfill her wish and bring her baby back home to her. I have always been life’s stowaway, but now I’m looking to catch another train.