Christmas Through The Eyes of My Characters: Maria Hernandez


This is my last Christmas in Spain–well for a while at least. In the new year, my family is moving to Canada because my father got a job with Altec, some engineering company based in Peach Valley, British Columbia. I’m sad and excited at once. It’s my grad year and I’ve made some good friends along the way, so I’m really going to miss them. I’m also going to miss my grandparents and my relatives.

I’m not going to miss my boyfriend, though. Ex-boyfriend that is. Last week, I found out that he two-timed me with some sixteen-year-old dancer. All of my friends think she’s a total slut and I had the honour of telling her that to her face. It felt so good to see the pitiful look on her face. She didn’t argue with me because she knows it’s the truth. And the truth hurts. Hopefully this Christmas she will either change her ways or switch schools. Frankly, I think it would be best for her to go to another school because no one likes her.

As for my guy, I dumped his ass the moment I found out that he was a cheating, lying, son-of-a bitch. But, I didn’t realize how much I actually loved him until I broke up with him. I cried for several hours. All of my friends tell me that I’m better off without him, but it took me a while to believe them.

I love my friends, but my family doesn’t. My parents keep telling me they’re no good for me, that I need to make better choices in terms of friends and that I need to start thinking about my future. I’m seventeen. I have my whole life ahead of me. Why should I have to hurry to make a ton of money? I don’t want what my parents have. I really want to be a hairstylist. That’s what I want the most in my life. But, my parents seem to think otherwise.

I also love my friends. Okay, they like to party and they’re not from rich families. We’ve snuck into night clubs a few times to many this year and we’ve skipped classes so many times to hang out at the mall or to play soccer in the park. We’ve also smoked cigarettes in the girls’ washroom. One time, we were caught by the grade eight socials teacher and the principle suspended us for two days. I had to stay away from home during school hours because god forbid what my parents would have done to me if they found out.

You can guess by now, we’re not high achievers. I flunked eleventh grade science, so I was forced to take it again this semester. My parents were quite pissed at me, they grounded me for, like a month. But, I just don’t care what they think about that. My friends have been there for me through everything and I’m really going to miss them.

Yet, I’m one to embrace a new adventure. I’ve always been that way. Meeting people is always exciting. Besides, I’ve moved twice before I entered high school and I’ve had no problem making friends the two times I was the new kid on the block. So, this should be no different. I heard from several people that Canadians are really nice. That gives me a lot of hope.

Every early December, my family, grandparents and relatives make the long pilgrimage to Seville. We rent a house, large enough for everyone to live inside for the entire month of December. On Christmas Eve, we attend the great cathedral and watch a group of choir boys perform. Later, several actors play out the nativity story. Then, we all go carolling through the streets of Seville. We stay in Seville until January 6th and then we make the long journey back to Madrid.

Christmas has a special place in my heart. There is no school, no useless homework, but it’s also the only time of year when I truly get along with my parents. I love the lights, the carolling, the joy and the togetherness. I wish it could be this way all year long.

This Christmas, I’m determined to forget about my ex-boyfriend and I’m not going to think about moving away. I’m going to live for the moment, like there will be no tomorrow.

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