• I am a dreamer, an imaginer of sorts. An artist whose job it is to just think and dream up things that will be etched into the minds of all. And no, I did not cut off my ear like Van Gough, or paint on the ceilings of some grand building like Michelangelo. I did not paint a portrait of a woman whose name is known across the world like Da Vinci. I am not adept with a brush or a pencil or any other art related objects. I simply imagine and dream, because it seems like no one else will. I imagine long white pathways and spectacular places where posh families roam the streets and the night sky is filled to the horizon with twinkling stars. Of sandy beaches and rose hued sunsets with palm trees lining the edge between the sand and the beach grass. Of knights in shining armor and beautiful maidens held captive by dragons and giants in some obnoxiously tall tower. Of things that I could not begin to name, but I tell you this now, my dreams are my own and the wishes my heart desires are my dreams, and I ask that you listen closely. This is probably the only story I will tell to you all, and I don’t want to be just another pile of ash in some forgotten mausoleum, or stuck slowly decomposing in a wooden box in the earth. I want to be remembered as me, Mila Jalowitz, because people deserve to be remembered for all time. I am telling you this now, because there is not much time left…

    I looked out the window of the fourth floor, staring blankly at the graffiti walls and cracked sidewalks. I was fourteen then, and I didn’t much care for anything a normal girl would. I had no interest in boys, of fashion or cosmetics. I was just simply me. And that was what I was content with.
    “Ms. Jalowitz!” A deep voice called from the front of the classroom. I sighed.
    Shut up, you fat tub of lard. I can’t stand you, go away. Don’t even dare to call my name.’ I thought to myself, ‘I never wanted to be here in the first place, why don’t you just go make some other kids lives miserable?’ I ignored the teacher. I heard heavy footsteps coming from the aisle, and steeled myself.
    “Ms. Jalowitz, if you would please turn to the front, I will be happy to go on with my lessons. Of course, if you don’t want to, I could assign the class extra homework to do instead.” The teacher’s deep voice yelled so the whole class would hear. Hisses of protest came from the crowd of students in front of me. I glanced at him. Hair like the stalactites of a dark cavern, belly as round and hefty as a ripe pumpkin, cheeks as large as a chipmunks and to top it off, eyes as small as peas, but his glasses emphasized them a bit. Kudos to him on that, you deserve two thumbs up.
    “Like I care…” I whispered under my breath. Even I could barely hear it. I looked about the classroom, and locked gazes with every angry stare. Slowly, an evil smile crept across my face. Once again, I zoomed out of reality. Off to a far away place, where the air smelled faintly of roses and Cherry Blossom Trees grew in the emerald green grasses of a pink and red filled garden. Far away where there were no walls with graffiti, or cracked side walks. No trash in the streets or the constant honking of impatient car horns down the long narrow streets. Where there weren’t any malicious stares from the shadows, or broken down buildings and flickering lights in the hall ways. No, any place would be better than this heap of metal and smog they called a city.
    Far away where my widowed black mother would reunite with my white father, where they would cry and laugh and hold me as tightly as they did eight years ago. Far away where there was no pain or suffering… where I could sit on the window sill and daydream all the time. But this was reality, and reality just sucks, bet you didn’t know that did you? A loud bell from the intercom echoed through the classroom. Chairs screeched against the floor as students slowly walked to their next class. I began to gather my books when Mr. Pumpkin-pea leered over me. His tiny pea-sized eyes glared into my big brown ones, and slowly he opened his mouth to speak.
    “Ms. Jalowitz, you need to pay attention more in class. Your future is everything; you can’t keep going on like this. You already failing all you’re other classes, have you no concern for your future?” There was a big chunk of spinach stuck between his teeth, and it sort of dangled and danced around when he talked. I stared at that, not paying attention at all to what ever he was saying. I imagined the piece of spinach on a stage, in a top hat and an old red and white striped petty coat, tap dancing while smiling stupidly at the cheering crowd. I chuckled softly; Mr. Pumpkin-pea didn’t look as pleased as I did. I quickly grabbed my books, attempting to stand up when his massive hands clamped onto my shoulders.
    “O.K Mila, this is your last chance. You gonna do Th’ homework I assigned, or you gonna fail my class. I don’t think your momma is gonna be too happy with that.” Mr. Pumpkin-pea snarled threateningly. I flinched at the mention of my mom. The last time I failed a class, she yelled and screamed so loudly the neighbors called the landlord to see what was going on. After that, she made me sit at the table and finish every last assignment for the past three weeks, all the while glaring at me with her sharp eagle eyes that could look right through you. I shuddered, nodded, and left the room.