The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


No Estoy Solo

A peek into my dreams, into my past and present and into me

The classroom boomed with noise, peers all around me talk about their day, their weekend and their life. All while I sit there silently in my seat, staring into the emptiness ahead. 

Somewhere deep inside I wish to be among them talking, laughing and living. The thought of even socializing with them makes my heart pound. I haven’t even said a word and my face has already turned red.

Slowly, I fade in and out of reality. From the classroom to the place where dreams live. 

I can’t keep my eyes from closing. I try to keep the sky from falling. Sandman blows dust into my eyes. Blinding and binding me to his realm of dreams. My chair turns to smoke beneath me and the earth opens up to a void.

Dreams are special, like nothing else. They can take you anywhere, anytime. Today my dream takes me to the past.


Snow slowly fell to the ground, its cold touch chills my skin. My phone is frozen, it sticks to my hands. Tears slowly rolled down my face. 

He’s gone.

All it took was one phone call to break me down into pieces. 

All I wanted to do today was crawl into a hole and cry. But the constant messages from people break me down even further.

“He was a great man. He will be missed.” They say to me. “It’s okay, just cry, let it all


On Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, I got a phone call from my older sister, Yuridia Lara. Thirty or so days before, he had gone missing somewhere on the border between the United States of America and Mexico. They found him.

“Jesus – lo encontramos,” Yuridia said, sobbing through the phone.

Three years without him, three years alone and in a void. His face, his smell, his voice, his laugh has disappeared from my mind. Yet I have a phantom somewhere in my head, like a police sketch I see him.

The big game plays in my mind. The day that my papa promised would come, the day we watched a big game. The Royals are playing, we sit high in the stadium looking down as they throw the ball.


The ball hits the bat and rings throughout the stadium. My papa’s smile is bigger and wider than I had seen it before.

He’s gone and I will never see that smile again.

Tears slowly roll down my face like a river, I can’t stop them. I don’t want to.


I awake suddenly, a tear rolling down my face.

Alone, surrounded by people, I sit there, just staring. By now the teacher has done and finished the lesson. I pull out my phone, I want to talk to them, I want to talk to my friends. I tap on instagram, the infinite circle of boredom appears on the screen. No service.

I get lost in thought and with each passing moment I go deeper and deeper into my mind.

The room seems too steady, their voices become slow and distorted. I zone into the emptiness, I fade in and out. Everything seems to fade away from me.

The smell of my mom’s cooking is all around me. The smell of fresh chicken stock mixed with garlic and onion, of freshly made rice, chopped cilantro, onion, and jalapenos. It makes me feel at home. 

I’m in a room. The sun is shining in the windows. A couch and a TV at its center.

My cousin and my friends sit around the couch. I sat with them on the couch, hours pass, we kept talking and I never questioned why.

The sun slowly went down and one by one they left. Why? I don’t know, they just did. Even the smell of my mom’s cooking has disappeared. Soon enough I sat there all alone, staring at nothing, talking to nothing, doing nothing. Even here in my dreams I am alone. 

There’s a knock at the door. A familiar knock, I hadn’t heard for years. As I walk closer the smell of perfume gets stronger. I open the door slowly. He’s just standing there as if he never left. I jump on him and as I hug him I squeeze him, as maybe if I do he may never leave again. Tears rolled down my face. 

“No estás solo mi gordo. –  No estás solo.”


The bell rings and the floor rumbles like a drum. The sound pulls me up and on my feet. The smell of perfume lingers in the air like a dream in the back of my head.

“No estoy solo.”

The words weigh themselves in my head, until they feel right. Until they feel like they belong there.

I’m alone, I’m not alone. I have my mom, I don’t have my dad. I have friends, who I don’t talk to. I have a cousin who’s like my brother, but he’s far away. For every positive there’s a negative in its shadow. 

How can I find peace?

Sometimes balance is easier to gain, sometimes it takes time. Today it takes too long and so I put on a smile and walk away and continue with my day. Maybe tomorrow I will gain balance but not today.

“No estoy solo.”

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