My mother named me Gabriella after my
grandmother who coincidentally didn’t want to meet me when I was born
because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom
has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed
to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her.
BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual
education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re
married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom
says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s
as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I
don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap,
though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one
hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she
will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.
Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: Cindy’s
pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth
habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps
forge her identity. Download and start listening now!