Did I Get COVID-19?
During the last week of March, my older brother came home from work one day a little sneezy. The following day I began to sneeze. I hoped it was seasonal allergies. I did not want to assume the worst. My brother works as a supermarket clerk, delivering groceries. Our family is practicing social distancing and […]Read More
I Was a Second Mother to My Baby Sister
Names have been changed. “Valentina, stop crying!” I said, frustrated. I was trying to do my homework, but my newborn sister was fussing. “I don’t know what to do with you anymore!” I was 12 years old, and it was my job to take care of her, even though I didn’t know anything about babies. […]Read More
Saving Myself—and My Sister
Names have been changed. When my sister Kimberly was born, I promised her that I would never let anyone hurt her. Four years later, when I was 11, I was changing Kimberly’s diaper when my mother said, “Jasmine, come over here, we need to talk.” Scared that I was in trouble, I asked, “What’s wrong […]Read More
Pregnant at 13: What I Wish I’d Heard
Names have been changed. Growing up, most of what I knew about sex I learned from TV or heard about from friends. We didn’t know from experience: None of us had had sex. We called ourselves the virgin crew. My Aunt Gina, who I lived with when I was 12, never talked about sex or […]Read More