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Martha Vazquez
Martha Vazquez President of Mogul at Tarrant County College
over 2 years Fort Worth, TX, United States Story
You Want to Know a Secret? (TCC Script Submission)

It is a poorly hidden secret, for even though I have tried, it is still highly

exposed. "Don't you tell anyone for if you do—to them—you will not matter," I

heard once or twice but in my head a few more times. As a five-year-old, feeling

free and happy, I was told, "We are moving somewhere new." I soon said goodbye

to the land that I played on and to the friends who saw me laugh and cry over a

broken dollhouse that wasn't even mine. All of my family is "over there" and we

do not want to be left behind, that is the reason why we are moving north.

Hi father, hi brothers, how have you been? We are here now, let us celebrate!

I'm happy to be here and happy to see you, shall we stay? My five-year-old

mind danced around.

Before tucking me into bed that night, my mother tells me her plans, "We

will start out here in this little place until we save enough for the nice little house

I saw the other day. Make some room for your sister too." I lay on my side. Full of

delight—with my eyes staring into the dark—my child mind acknowledges that

this is something new. Without too much effort, I notice how this place is four

times smaller than where we used to live. However, my mother tells me we will

be out of this one room house before the year.

Finally, a two bedroom house for our seven-member group. Now I have

the space to get in trouble for running around the house—a luxury the last house

was missing. My mother told me I'll be starting school soon and it does not matter

that I have missed preschool. I ask one of my older brothers to say casa in English

so that I can learn. "House," he pronounces twice. I am proud to have learned my

first English word.

As I run around the yard on a summer evening, I spot something high

above my head that seems to want to play. Full of amazement, I rush inside to brag

to my younger sister that the full moon will not stop following me. "No way that

could be true," my sister doubts.

"Come, and you will see. Watch, I'll start to run towards our left neighbor's

house and when you look up you'll see the moon moving towards me, but it will

stay just a little bit behind."

My little sister starts to run towards the house and shouts, "You are a liar

because the moon is following me!"

Just how can that be? I swear I see it moving left with me, but she sees it

moving south towards her? "Well I think you are the liar," she hears me say back.

We switched places and my mouth swings open, for indeed, the moon

wants me even as I move south.

We walk inside the house and, for the next three years, this piece of sky is

my favorite. I often dream of being a bird so that I can fly up to the clouds every

night and sleep on the white cotton candy fluff. I long to feel, on the surface of

my palms, the unreachable softness of the velvety fibers that make up a cloud in

the sky. 

Soon all my new friends move. I had no idea what they said half of the

time, but they wanted to be my friend despite being three to six years older than I

was. And now, it is our turn to say goodbye to this beige wooden house and to the

new neighbors who never come out. I like this new, sophisticated, blush brick

house with its hints of atmospheric blues that hold peace to my experiencing


The new school tells me with sympathetic eyes, "Oh honey, you can't

stay." I'll have a hard time, they try to explain, but I do not understand.

Tears spill from my eyes. I'll do my homework from now on and I promise

I know English, my old friends only spoke English—I swear I can understand.

They give me two weeks to prove myself, and finally, the decision is made—I

cannot stay. 

I fight hard to learn everything, just so that I can stay. My family tells me

that by the time I turn 18, I will be American. All I have to do is wait. I should

not worry at all, I'll be lucky enough.

In the meantime, a secret is to be kept. I will not tell anyone I am undocumented,

not even my best friend. "They are taking our jobs," "We do not want you

here," I hear for the first time. I had no idea someone feels this way. Sadness that

rarely visited is planning on moving in. Immediately, I take my dreams and throw

them away. They are unrealistic and I wonder why I wanted to stay when I am

not meant to stay. Just hang on there—I affirm to myself—soon I will be 18. I

keep this so-called secret because I have no other place to go.

When I finally turned 18 many things had changed, but the one thing I have

been waiting to change is still much the same. It has been 15 years since my feet

last walked around Mexico. The footprints my shoes once left on the Jalisco soil

have long-since been faded. How much longer must I wait? My dull smile is weary;

in my heart, this feels unfair.

I hear you, you say, "One day." 

This submission, written by a fellow Mogul, beautifully depicts the excitement, confusion, fear, and courage that comes with being an immigrant child. The author highlights the main thing immigrant children are taught; to hide, to blend in, and to strive to be their best. As an immigrant myself, this essay hit home in many ways. 

To the author, thank you for giving DREAMERS a voice.

- M.G.V.  Script · "A Journal of Literature and Art." . Page 15. Web. 23 May 2017. 

cover image: 

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Martha Vazquez
President of Mogul at Tarrant County College

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