War of the worlds

Aylana - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on October 15, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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War of the worlds

As I exit and awake from my dull math class I enter a hallway, which is filled with students , rushing to get to a place where they don’t even want to go. There is the small freshmen pushing through the crowd fiercely because he cant afford to be late (his reputation would be too damaged), then there is the group of blonde haired, blue eyed, Barbie dolls(metaphor) who say “like” every two seconds as they try to explain how their world is ending because the boy that they like hadn’t texted them, the jocks who are always going through their infamous handshakes, the outsiders walking alone and putting forward a tough skin in order to avoid even more rejection. And then there is me.(Imagery). Within all of this chaos I am trying to push my way out of my class, when suddenly I see one of the girls from the class approaching me. Other than the casual “hi” we have never spoken before.

She walks towards me like a hunter chasing its prey, (Simile) looks me straight in the eye and says “I was just wondering where are you from?” I would rather have had her insult me than ask me this in front of everyone standing around me. But she doesn’t know what I’ve been through. She could never understand the embarrassment that this question causes me. She could never understand that I have been worn down by people constantly asking me where I am from. She could never (repetition)understand me. All I can think is: Does it really matter where I’m from? And does that truly change the person that I am? Before letting this anger get to me I realize that as human beings, curiosity tends to get the better of us. But Every time someone asks that question I feel like another layer of me is peeled off. By answering the question I am unwillingly giving a part of myself to a stranger. Why do I have to give a part of myself to someone when others don’t? I don’t even know how to answer her, because all I know is that I am a universal person; I was born in Bosnia, lived in Germany, moved to the U.S. when I was five, and have traveled to most of the continents. I stand still completely shocked.

When she asked me “where are you from?” I simply found myself at a loss for words. I was tempted to say ( as I usually do say) “Bosnia” even though I feel like that is not the part of me she will eventually get to know. She will get to know the “Americanized” Aylana. She will understand only one part of my life, if even that.

She will get to know the normal careless American teenager who goes to school, drives, and goes to the mall with her friends on the weekends. She won’t see the girl who is the only fluent English speaker in her family, the girl who is expected to stick to morals and values that conflict with the 21st century, the girl who is expected to grow up much faster than the majority of her American friends, and yet is still expected to live at home until marriage. I go through this thought process as I am explaining to her who I am; she is getting to know me while at the same time I find myself losing sight of who I really am. At this moment I feel like I am two different people living in one body.

At school I’m seen as the girl who has seen the seven wonders of the world just because I have traveled so much, but at home that is just not a big deal. I’m simply visiting my family every summer which is part of my “duty”. My true friends know me

as someone who always has a smile on my face. Surprisingly enough I‘m the one who always breaks away from the norm. Yet at home I’m the girl that does what she is expected to do in order to be a proper young woman. The Bosnian girl is an expert when it comes to taking care of children; she can calm a baby with just her gentle touch. She is a great cook who can make a big pot of Sarma in less than an hour. She is a great housekeeper who vacuums the mattresses and cleans the windows every Sunday. She is simply another Bosnian girl too afraid to break away from the norms of her culture. The Americanized girl is the dare devil while the Bosnian girl is the angel.

I finally find a answer to give to my classmate, “I was born in Bosnia, but I moved here when I was five.” Her response is not at all surprising, “Is that in Russia?” (humor) While my friends chuckle at her comment, disappointedly, I say “No, its close to Croatia and Germany.” When I finally finish explaining my confusing life the response I get from her is “That’s so cool! Say something in your language.” with a shy smile on my face my response is “No, not right now.” while deep down I am almost disgusted at myself for being embarrassed of a big part of me. But even more embarrassed of the fact that I have no idea who the real Aylana is. When the conversation is over I go back to my “normal” life, standing around with my friends surrounded by the chaos of high school. Being viewed in one way, but living two completely different lives. Suddenly I return to the war of the worlds(Metaphor), the war that exists within me, a war that only I can bring peace to.