I was living in Colorado at the time, in a small beautiful city known as Colorado Springs just an hour south of Denver. I was fourteen years old just getting out of junior high school and transitioning on to the next big chapter of my life. Cheyenne Mountain High School. Many people either have an incredible time playing sports or going out with friends, partying and drinking or the complete opposite. For me, it was a dreaded experience I hoped to get over quickly with my closest friends by my side. Everyone had money and dressed fancy with Gucci purses. But for 14 year old me, I would throw on an oversized hoodie and wear my black Vans sneakers. This school belongs to District 12, the most expensive and richest district there is. Enormous mansions with multiple garages and nice cars surround the area. I wasn’t old enough to drive yet and people would pass by me in Mercedes Benz or Camaros on ten degree snowy days.
Me at 14 years old, and an example of a mansion surrounding the area
Except for one person. A 17 year old, handsome junior from Colombia named Fabio. He would give me a ride home every day in his dark green Toyota Tacoma, even though it was just five minutes away. My crush on him grew bigger every day, but my chances of being with him became slim because before I finished my freshman year, I had moved 3,000 miles away to Peru.
I had moved to Peru in the summer of 2013 and resumed my high school studies. I met many new friends and lived with my family. A year later in 2014, Fabio graduated from high school and shortly after moved to Germany. We were even further apart now than ever. We occasionally talked on Facebook, but it wasn’t the same. We had also Skyped one time, and he was amazed at how much I changed and grew up from what he remembered me. My style was evolving and seeing him face to face was an amazing yet awkward feeling. He looked the same, but it felt as if we were meeting again for the first time. During our catching up with each other, there was a small earthquake, and I had to end the call abruptly. We didn’t talk again.
Me with friends in Peru in the first picture and Fabio on the day of his graduation in the second picture
A few months later, Halloween of 2015, I had messaged him back after ten unread “Hey” messages. I was going to a party, and I was excited to show him my pin-up girl costume. I had spent hours doing my subtle, but fierce makeup and wavy hair with some curls on top. He showered me with compliments and gave me a billion butterflies in my stomach. I knew my crush for him was still there even though he had no idea. I was bummed out I couldn’t spend the night with him, but I hoped to have fun with my friends anyway. Both of our nights went awful, and we talked the next day for hours about it. I had gotten a headache and wanted to go home since no one dressed up, and he had gotten into a bit of trouble with the police. He kept talking to me for days about his ex from our high school, and it honestly just irritated me. I decided to cut off all contact with him because I knew he wasn’t interested in me and I didn’t want to get my feelings hurt or get let down. I never told him how I felt and never dated anyone while living in Peru.
A few months passed by and I graduated high school in December of 2015. I was so relieved. For three years, I had to follow the school’s strict rules of no makeup, no other color hair dye nor nail polish, no piercings, no cell phones nor gum. The uniform was horrendous. It consisted of a white polo shirt with an unusually long, gray and blue plaid skirt that reached my knees followed by dark navy blue knee high socks and polished black shoes. About eight out of the twelve months in Lima, Peru it is down-to-the-bone cold with 90% humidity. There are no heaters in that country, so going to school in this uniform was hell for me. I would shiver all day and be stuck with the same, annoying classmates in one classroom. The day of my graduation, I had gotten ready quickly and threw on my aunt’s large black dress with a funky yellow belt because I wasn’t planning on spending $100 on a dress I would wear once. After the ceremony, I took a few pictures with friends and family and proceeded with joy on the way to my house. Not even two hours later, I was packing two suitcases for a midnight flight to go to Orlando and stay with my dad for a month.
Last day at school with this uniform
I was very excited to visit my dad and spend Christmas with him and my 24-year-old half-brother visiting from Connecticut. I had a lovely time eating Chinese takeout on Christmas day just the three of us and playing cards with groovy Latin music in the background. We spent New Years together and ate BBQ on fancy plastic plates. About three days into 2016, my dad was explaining to me about how much he would love to Skype me when I returned to Peru and asked if I could set up an account for him. I clicked on the little blue Skype logo and logged into my account, and the first contact that pops up is Fabio. I thought to myself, “ I haven’t talked to him in a while, I’ll see how he's doing.” He replied back instantly and asked me if we could video chat. We talked for 8 hours non-stop. We caught up with each other’s lives and talked about our memories. My favorite memory I recall was when I was having a horrible day, and instead of him dropping me off at home, we went to a nearby park and just talked for hours, then went and ate foot-long egg, potato, bacon and cheese breakfast burritos at Alfonso’s Mexican restaurant.