By: Hasu Leal
There was once a little girl named Lily Allen. She had big, brown eyes like her father, thick, brown curls like her mother and beautiful, brown skin like her peers. Every night, her mother would tuck her in and sing a lullaby before going to sleep and every morning, her father would kiss her smooth forehead and tickle her before going to work. Every day, Lily would smile whenever her mother tuck her in and laugh when her father tickled her. Oh, and she loved to laugh!
One day, at the breakfast table, Lily’s mother made an announcement,
“Lily, it’s time for you to enter Kindergarten!”
“What does that mean mommy?” she giggled in confusion,
“That means you’re going to school!”
Even though she didn’t know what ‘school’ meant, she still laughed.
The week after, Lily entered Kindergarten with her mother holding her hand,
“Bye mommy!” she giggled and went to her classroom. However, no one wanted to get close to her. No one liked her and Lily couldn’t understand why. Regardless, she went to school the next day and the day after with giggles.
During circle time, she smiled as the teacher was beside her. During lunch time, she smiled even though she was alone. However, as days passed, her smile faded even in the teacher’s presence,
“Is everything alright in school?” her mother asked her during dinner,
“Yes mommy!” Lily smiled, forcefully.
Eventually, as days passed, she stopped smiling during dinner.
“Did something happen?” her father asked her during breakfast,
“Nothing daddy!” she cheered, forcefully.
Her voice was high, bright, and loud but it only resembled her pain and after much confusion, she asked her classmates,
“Why don’t you like me?”
And they answered,
“Because you’re different!”
“How am I different?” Lily’s brown eyes twinkled, “I’m the same age as you! I’m the same height as you! I wear the same clothes as you! So how am I different?”
“Your skin is different!”
But Lily couldn’t understand why that should matter. Why should her peers matter to anyone? That night, during dinner, Lily asked her mother,
“Mom why am I different from the people in school?”
Her mother answered,
“Because you’re our child Lily and the people in school are other people’s children.”
The next day, Lily came to school with a smile,
“Why are you so happy today Lily?” her teacher asked,
“Because I’m mommy’s and daddy’s child!”
Her teacher was confused, “And why are you so happy about that?”
“Because I know now!”
“You know what?”
“I know that I have a home to be in even after a lonely day!”
“Well,” the teacher laughed, impressed by the little girl’s optimism, “it’s important to know that no matter what happens, there’s always someone, who loves you.”
“Yes teacher!” Lily smiled, unforcefully.