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BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

canttuBy Emilio Carrero

On a soccer field I met my childhood best friend. Our elementary school was mostly white, and we were the only Spanish kids standing on the field that day. We were the last two picked.

As a kid I never realized this fact: the two of us were oddities, a brown Puerto Rican and a white Mexican roaming the hallways. We were familiar to each—the both of us quiet, hardworking, and stumbling to navigate between our Spanish cultures and American culture. But we were also different. I was better than Pepe at soccer and I spoke better English. I knew this, as a kid, because the white kids were nicer to me. They eventually picked me regularly to be on their team.

I remember resenting Pepe for not speaking better English, for embarrassing me around the other kids to the point that I distanced myself from him…

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