SECOND PLACE: Time

Jun 28, 2021 By Danica Arrington, 13
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TIME

by Danica Arrington, 13

Coronavirus was a give and take. It took lives, homes, jobs...but it gave me one thing.

Time.

I didn't have to get up at 6:00 in the morning to get ready for school anymore. “How should I do my hair?” Should I spend 2 hours straightening it just to get called “white-washed” by the black kids? Or should I spend 2 hours braiding my hair just to get called “ghetto” by the white kids? Should I wear my Jordans I spent months saving up for to get called “spoiled” by some random kid in the hall? Or should I wear my Vans to school to get called “Basic” by some chick in Math class?

Once the pandemic hit I was left with a blank slate. I wasn't going to see anyone for months. I lost sleep, friends, and most of all...myself. I didn't think I could lose myself so easily but somehow I still managed to slip from my own grasp just like everything else in my life. I’m always in between...never on one side.

For I'm not confident enough to raise my hand to answer the teacher's question...but I know the answer.

For I'm not white enough to hang out with the white kids...but I'm too white to hang out with the black kids.

For I'm not worthy enough of my elders' attention...but my siblings are.

The coronavirus left me with too much time while other people had little time left. I found myself crying on the bathroom floor at 4 AM thinking about Breonna Taylor. Then again but this time about Ahmaud Arbury. Then again but this time about George Floyd. Then again but this time about Desmond Franklin. Then again but this time about Donald Ward. Then again but this time about Brandon Gardner. Until the point where I was crying every single night for these people I didn't even know. Although I didn't know them, I felt them because I got that “talk” when I was 7 years old in my dad's old Nissan Altima. . “Put your hands on the dashboard” … “make sure the cops can see your hands at all times'' … “Never talk back” … “Always do exactly what the officer asks” … “Don't move an inch when they're talking to you”

Coronavirus gave me time to find out who I didn't want to be. I was going down that path as well and I fixed myself. For you see people on social media struggling and think “I can't imagine what it's like to go through that” But really you are...you're just blind. All of these people's time is running out but my sentence keeps getting longer. Sure at the beginning, you miss your friends and outside but eventually, time swallows you, and every minute an ounce of the old you is gone.

The Coronavirus was a give and take. It took lives, homes, jobs...but it gave me one thing.

Time. ​