I moved here when I was eight. In Mrs. Fleck’s third grade class, nobody talked to me. Nobody but Maricela, that is. The moment I came here, she was the one I always talked to. We were best friends. She practically lived at my house! But then my little brother Evan was born. He had autism. I was afraid she wouldn’t like me anymore. Despite my thoughts, she stuck by my side. But that was eight years ago, and now I dropped out, and so did Mari. She’s also nine months pregnant! She tells me she had to go to this garden thing and she would be so happy if I came so she wouldn’t have to talk to Dolores, this stuck-up pretty girl. So I agreed to visit, but on one condition. I had to bring Evan.
Evan was eight now. Nothing was going well for him. He just didn’t get anything. This was his third time in the first grade! In Puerto Rico, where we used to live, we had a special children’s class for kids who didn’t understand things as well. My parents died of illegal drugs so I’m supposed to be in an orphanage with my brother, but mom and dad were always high anyway. I was used to caring for my family by then. Even when I was little I was the responsible adult in the family. So I was the one to go and talk to the school about it. They said that the school couldn’t afford a class like that. But I kept trying to help my brother. He may’ve seemed dull and a nuisance to some people, but to me, and anyone else who understands him, he is just a sweet, caring, polite little kid trying to have some fun.
One day, I decided to visit Mari at the garden. So I took Evan’s hand and we walked to the garden. Some Korean woman who I’ve never seen started speaking to us. “Hello I Sae young, you no come here often. I have raspberry seeds, you want?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, “we can’t.”
“Angie!!”Evan cried, “I want seeds, please?!”
Oh all right,” I said. So we went in to the garden looking for Mari. When I finally found her, we talked things over and hugged and stuff like...