I Believe in New Beginnings

Sarah Penaloza - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on January 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Growing up, I went through many friends, but the one person that was always there for me was my cousin Michelle. Even though she lived across the country, in Alaska, every summer she would come down to Texas and stay with us for a couple of months. We are only three years apart and have always gotten along like sisters. Although when she came down last year, the circumstances surrounding her visit were quite different.

Some very dramatic events had occurred to her within the past four months. I never realized the extent and harm of what the internet can to do a person. It allows one to meet people that they would have never met otherwise. This is what happened to Michelle. She met a man on the internet and they started dating. My aunt said that her behavior was instantaneously altered. She began cursing more often and moved out within the month that she had met him. Mind you, she just turned nineteen and felt that she was on top of the world. This man was not good for her, in fact he was involved in criminal activities, such as drug dealing. Despite that fact, she was “in love.” So instead of listening to everyone telling her to leave him and come home, she got married to him. She comes from a very strong Christian family and felt that because she was pregnant, marrying him would make things better. In fact, it made it worse.

They did not have any money because Michelle kept giving him more and more and he would use up on drugs, rather on necessities. She had hit her all time low, she was homeless. During all this time, my aunt and uncle were involved in their moving to Houston and searching for houses. They kept begging Michelle to come home but she refused. Instead she agreed to stay with my family.

Seeing her coming down the airport elevators was one of the strangest sights. It’s remarkable how a person can change so much in such a short period of time. She was pregnant, she dressed as if she did not care, and she was rude. She was constantly on the phone with her husband, and spoke of nothing else. Our relationship really changed and those two months were like having a stranger in my house.

When she had the baby, everything changed. She had become happy again and was ready to go home. She no longer wanted to talk to her husband and wanted a divorce because she did not want that man to be the father of her baby. This revelation came at the perfect time, because her family was moving into their new house, in a new state. It was like starting a new life. She is now back to herself and is completely in love with her baby. I believe in new beginnings, making what one has done wrong, right.