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April 9, 2019
By gia-peixoto BRONZE, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
gia-peixoto BRONZE, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A house is a house and you can live in it all you want. Home is where you're happy. Home is a feeling, it’s where you know you truly belong. I can live here and I can live there but where am I really feeling right? It doesn't matter where you are born, you could be born in India and live in Italy and Italy could be your home. You can move away from home and always have that hole in your heart. Home is where you feel safe, welcome, home is where you truly are you.

I left my home. I had to, what else could I have done when it was falling apart? I was born in South Africa. I had friends who were like me, we played in the dirt and got our white dresses dirty. We weren't afraid of tomorrow and we forgot yesterday. We lived in peace and were always happy. That was my home. I had friends, I had family, and I belonged. I was taught in that society, and I was that society. I was part of the future generation and nothing could get in my way.

A man, tall, dark-skinned, no smile. I was around eight when I realized him. I had many people working at my home but I never noticed. I never noticed where my laundry went, where I got breakfast from, and who lived in the bedrooms downstairs. It all hit me. I was trapped. This man was my security guard and he kept my family safe from the outside world. I never noticed that I had to be protected in my home. I didn’t know of the dangerous people, of the struggles people went through. I was too young.

My mom was in tears, my dad comforting her. They told my sister and me that mommy had been followed home and that they took her watch. They told my sister and me that mommy had a gun held up to her head. Tears streamed down my mom’s cheek, I felt as if I was one of those tears. Falling down slowly but surely until suddenly I fell off the edge of her chin and onto the floor.

My parents owned a supermarket. That too had gotten robbed a few times. South Africa had become dangerous. The walls in my home got higher, then barbed wire was put on top. I felt like a princess only trapped and wanting to break free.

I loved my home and I didn’t want to listen when my parent’s sat my sister and I down and told us that we were moving to America in a year. I screamed I cried, I fell to the floor. Why would I leave the place I knew as home? I loved it there. I wanted it to be a joke, I wanted my parents to turn around and tell us it was a joke, I wanted them to laugh and then I would laugh too and we could go on living in our castle locked away.

A year flew by and I sat on the plane. I kept pinching myself hoping it was in a nightmare and any moment I would wake up and see my pink bedroom walls again. Instead, I fell asleep. I woke up the next day, still in the air, I ate the horrible airplane food and looked at the movies on my tiny screen. I kept looking over at my mom, her broken smile as she pretended it was all going to be okay. We landed in New York and my eyes filled with tears. “Mom please get me out of here, I promise I will behave,” We got our bags and left for the next flight.

Florida. I never thought I could've hated a word so much. I hated the smell, I hated the temperature, and I hated the people. Everything was wrong. I felt more trapped than I did when I was in my castle. All I saw was a blur of advertisements about Big Macs. It wasn’t my home, and it would never be. I tried to fight the feeling that maybe it was better, maybe this trapped feeling I felt was just a little bit free.

It’s been almost 5 years living among everything that, at first, I hated. Florida is becoming my home. I will never forget that I came from a different place, that I was brought up with different people. I will never forget the trapped feeling I felt. I feel free here and I never thought that was a better feeling than I was there.

I now know I left my home for the better, for the best of me and my family. That if I hadn't left I would've still been trapped, I would've still been locked away in that castle. Now I’m free, I can be and do what I want without having to worry about coming home to my mom in tears or worse. I thank my parents for all they have sacrificed to get me into the position I am in right now. We did sacrifice a whole lot and could’ve failed miserably and gone back to that caged up country, but we fought and fought and we finally made it. Home.

The author's comments:

This article is about me moving from South Africa, home, to a foreign place, America.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Apr. 30 2019 at 10:31 pm
paolapeixoto1969, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Gia, you wrote from your heart well done.

Vergilio1969 said...
on Apr. 30 2019 at 7:27 am
Vergilio1969, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Wow that really moving well done girl.