As a child I had big dreams. By nature I had a big imagination, and dreaming was part of my daily living. I dreamed about becoming so many things. But my biggest dream was to become a physician. Soon, however, I found out that some dreams do come true, while others do not.

I remember one particular afternoon. I was working on my homework when I heard the song “Massachusetts” on the radio. I stop what I was doing and, for a strange reason, I became very nostalgic. The song made me feel weird. Somehow I had the feeling that I belonged there. “Strange”, I though, and I kept dreaming. My main goal then it was to be accepted at the medical school in San Salvador. I needed to study diligently. I knew that it was not going to be easy to get in. But I was determined to achieve my dream. How gullible I was to think that my life was going to run exactly as I was planning it! My life changed drastically. Months later After I heard the song, I found myself with my family on the way to Guatemala. Two days prior to my trip, on a Friday night, to be exact, one of my two best friends, Rosa Fidelina García Hernández, a brainwashed teen by the terrorist groups, was taken by the salvadoran army and found raped and killed the next day. To make thing worse, that Saturday night, around eight o’clock, terrorist men climbed the roof of our house, and from there, they fired bullets on the air. They must had lasted hours shooting. The only agonizing idea in my mind at that moment it was, “they are going to kill me the same way they killed my friend!” I imagined them breaking our front door, like they did on her house, entering my room and grab me, like they did to her. The terror took over my body. I was trembling and hallucinating. I believe I lost my sanity for awhile. My parents were trying to calm me down since we had the Martial Law and we had to keep complete silence and the lights off. I must had fell sleep because I woke up next morning alive, and ready to pack our suitcases. My parents decided that it was best for us to leave El Salvador. They feared that I could be the next to be killed. That Sunday morning we left everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. Incidentally, when we opened our front door, we were welcomed by hundreds of bullet casings all over the ground. What we experienced the night before it was not a nightmare. It was a frantic reality. My loving country was destroyed. Then it hit me. My dream of becoming a physician was also destroyed. I could not be a physician after witnessing violent attacks between the government and guerrillas on a daily basis, seeing mutilated bodies splashed on the streets and sidewalks just about every day, and almost losing my life in dozens of occasions. I developed a phobia toward blood and dead bodies. For the longest time I could not attend funerals. The week that we left El Salvador, had been considered the worse week of the civil war. Hundreds of lives were lost. Among them: teens, university students , government soldiers , and the true victims of the war, people who never got involved in politics. We were safe.

The next ten months I spent them in Guatemala City doing practically nothing. Play basketball and write poetry helped me to slowly heal my wounded soul. It was not easy. On June, 1981, my life took another turn. I left Guatemala. ¿Destination? Puerto Rico. There, I completed my last year of high school. A year later, I flew Massachusetts to pursue college. My dream about Massachusetts came true!

For the past thirty- two years, I have belonged to the beautiful Massachusetts I foresaw one afternoon, at age sixteen, when I was doing my homework in San Salvador, and I heard the song “Massachusetts” on the radio.

Categories: FREE WRITING



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