Once upon a time, I lived far, far away.
In this place where I lived, it was summer all year long. There was no such thing as snow or public libraries. This far place had coconut trees everywhere and the air was thick with the smell of salt. The people were like hyenas, they always had a smile on their faces.
This paradise had a stunning amount of poverty, but the poor people were the happiest. They never complained about how life treated them. They never became green with jealousy. No, they kept their head up and a smile their faces. As if they were made of sunshine, they glowed.
Even though the place had a ton of flaws, I still loved it.
I left a lot of things behind when I left that paradise. I left friends and family. But it was about time I left.
When I arrived, I was speechless. It was so different. The trees were a darker green and the roads were so clean. There were kids walking freely on the street. There were mothers who held there babies close while swinging on a swing in a park. People were organized and proper. The leaves changed color and fell. I couldn’t bring myself to think this was in the same world as my paradise. It was like an alien planet. It was like I got on a spaceship rather than a plane.
This place I have arrived was called Dearborn. Everyone spoke English. They had garage sales. This did not exist in the far place I came from. The temperature dropped and I froze. I never imagined it would be that cold outside.
But what made me laugh were the squirrels. The faraway place did not have squirrels, but it did have small monkeys that acted like squirrels. When I saw the first squirrel at the airport, I became so fascinated with it. I was so use to the idea of monkeys walking everywhere. But when I saw the squirrel, I couldn’t help but smile. They were adorable.
Even though I miss my paradise, I knew I could make it. It would take some getting used to. But I knew one day I will feel like this is my paradise. Though that day has never come yet, I am sure it will come one day.
One day I might say, “This place, Dearborn, is where I am from.”
14-year-old Dearborn resident