Olivia

Thursday

29 of August

This morning I had artes again, and for the first time since I downloaded music to my phone, I forgot my IPod Ears- or headphones, whatever you call them- so the lovely girl Sally in my class let me borrow hers. I belted out Fleetwood Mac in my head, but it came out of my mouth as a whisper. Luckily no one was watching me as my nose scrunched up with the emotion and high pitch of Never Going Back Again.

That morning, I kissed Alma hello and was just turning around to put my bag on my desk when she told me she had something to tell me. “Ok, say it,” I responded enthusiastically.

“No, outside,” she rolled her eyes dramatically towards the door; we gathered our things to walk to the artes room and on the way she explained to me her news: Frida, a girl in my class with a totally wicked name, and apparently a bisexual, had a crush on me. Now, I have no problem with same-sex relationships- I think women are very beautiful and I love to draw the curve of their hips or the slant of their eye- but I don’t have any desire to be romantically involved with one. Ever. The night before I learned she liked me, Frida facebooked me asking what the homework was and then asking me to do a favor for her and draw something wonderful for one of her friends as a birthday gift. I had kindly told her I had no idea what the homework was, maybe she should ask someone  who speaks Spanish, and I of course had obliged to drawing something without any thought on the matter. Well, today she handed me folded graph paper with a whole thought out list of all the people she wanted me to “draw something” for. The girl was on a roll, the list basically went from one person to twenty. I didn’t explain it to her, but the thing about me is that I have to be inspired by an idea I had or an interesting subject to do great art. Maybe I’ll choose ONE of the names on her list and do a drawing for that person.

I skipped most of my classes today again to work on the Papalote basketball backboards, and with lots of bystanders and some help from Talon, I finished the job. The lines were perfectly placed, straight, and gorgeously sprayed, if I do say so myself, but Omar told me I was taking too long and wouldn’t have enough time to stencil on the finishing touch: the Papalote name. The only thing I could do was free-hand the letters with the left over spray paint, so Talon did one of the boards, and I did the other, and it looked awful. It saddens me, I had taken such painstaking care in completing the project to the best of my abilities. Anyways, the project took up over half of the school day, and when the backboards were done, Alma and I decided to stay outside instead of going to the last class. (Which was Quimica, a terribly boring class with the teacher who looks like a monkey, or an orangutan. Whichever.) So I played tetherball- taking it back to fourth grade- with Albert and beat him three times; then with Leandro, who I couldn’t beat but once. After, Lucas, one of the coaches, but considered one of the kids, set up a volleyball game which I played in for a bit, mostly teasing Leandro and him teasing me. I told Alma we had better go to class eventually, and by some miracle, when we showed up to our room the teacher wasn’t in, so we quietly slipped into our seats. Everything fell into place perfectly at school this marvelous day.

Each night, we talk to Papa over Skype, and it makes me so sad not to have him here with us- I now understand what it would be like living without a dad, and it’s almost depressing when I think of how much our family misses him.

Mum called a family meeting tonight, and for the first time, I heard of my aunt’s miscarriage. She had gotten pregnant again under bad circumstances and had told Mum about it four days before we boarded the airplane to come to Playa. But today when she went to the doctor for a checkup, they said, “Your baby does not have a heartbeat.” She underwent surgery to take the dead baby away at some hospital in Wisconsin today, and all the way on the southern tip of Mexico, I named the baby Olivia. Mum said my aunt had recently been very pregnant and with sickness, and all I can imagine is her frail body, bent over the bathroom sink and silhouetted by soft lights in the early hours of dawn, sick with Olivia. Slow trickles of water from the faucet run down the drain, mixed with salty tears of pain and done-ness. I can see the barely visible lines in my beautiful Mum’s face crease and her eyes catch as she tells us about her sister. My aunt didn’t need another burden to carry, but, even as it hurts my  heart to say it, this miscarriage was for the best.

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