Being 18

To be honest I'm typing this up at 12:04 AM and still going, and I'm eighteen as of right now, well I mean I was eighteen 4 minutes ago when I started typing this thing out.

There were a lot of things I wanted to do before I turned 18, like getting a car, or maybe a motorcycle considering I don't want to have to drive people around, plus the idea of a bicycle like vehicle always intrigued me since I was a kid.

I always thought by this age I would have freedom, like say going to the mall with my friends on the bus. I tried doing that a week before my birthday and well things didn't go to well considering my mom threw a tiny bitch fit about the dangerous of riding alone on the bus, even if I was with my best friend. Being a girl in this day and age can be a bit of a hassle, but come on if you saw me down the street you wouldn't even give me a glance but I guess there are some sick people out there.

Or maybe having a long term boyfriend, that was something I wanted before I turned 18. To be honest I could have had one, could being the key word in this sentence. You see I was, and still am in a way the ugly duckling out of all my friends. Back in eighth grade a best friend of mine had a crush on me, but I didn't like him like that considering I always had a crush on another guy that did in fact have a crush on me as well, but he left before I could tell him my feelings, and it was obvious that even as we said our goodbyes he was too shy to tell me how he felt.

Anyway I ended up saying yes, to that oh so repetitive question, 'will you be my girlfriend?' He was the first one to say 'I love you' on the phone, but I couldn't really bring myself to say it back. And I dumped him, shortly afterwards after my birthday considering he was going to a co-ed high school and I was going to an all girl's high school. Though I didn't tell him in person, and I should have, but when my guy friends told me he was crying, in a way I was glad that I didn't see him, it would've been to much. The relationship was 9 months long and I was happy with in the timeframe of those 9 months.

I went to high school and stuck to one girl like glue, since she asked openly if anyone liked anime. We grew to know each other and I told her afterwards of what happened with me and my ex, and well she didn't see me as a bad person, no one really did considering we were still kids. I met another girl there by the name of Diana, and Brittney, we all came from Hispanic backgrounds.

Freshmen year went by quickly, and things started to change in our sophomore year, a girl from our little group moved out and started rumors about my first friend Monica saying that she was doing something, what that something was I'll never know.

Anyway, Monica decided to try and get me and my ex back together.

It was a mistake I wish I said no to.

She convinced him somehow, and before long within two weeks after November he was my boyfriend again, after I had to tell him for the umpteenth time why I dumped him the first time we were dating. It was really annoying. Somehow he started calling me less and less, and Monica started spending more time with him, and from the first time I heard that they were talking I started to prepare my mind with the worst possible scenario.

December came around, and we were still together somehow, even though there was almost no communication. I confronted Monica, but she denied it and I decided not to press it anymore. I asked my ex, who was currently my boyfriend at the time, and he didn't deny it as much.

"Can we break up?" he asked, there was a little bit of hesitance in his voice.

"Yeah…" I said nodding with the phone to my ear, as if he could even see the expression on my face.

"What? Just like that?" he didn't seem relieved, but he asked just to be a polite I guess. "You're not mad at me?"

"Fuck that, I know you and Monica have been seeing each other behind my back, I don't care if you fucking date her… just… well don't be stupid and hurt her feelings." I said, I wanted to yell at him but I let it go. I felt bad considering Monica never had a boyfriend, but that wasn't the way to get one.

"Thanks, Leila…"

"No problem, Brandon…" I said and sighed. "You doing anything this weekend?"

Monica asked me the week after if it was all right if she and Brandon went out. I told her it really wasn't any of my fucking business if they went out, so long as she didn't hurt his feelings. Diana on the other hand went crazy saying that if she were my friend she would dump him on the spot, considering a stupid rule that states amongst friends, 'friends don't date another friend's ex'.

"Just let it go, if Monica wants to date him, let her." I said dully and walked off through the hallway from the top floor of the catholic high school.

"Thanks, Leila…" I heard Monica say, she seemed happy enough.

That relationship went down the drain, fast, at least they were happy for 3 months.

Now here I am 18 years old, and lonely, with no one to talk to about stupid stuff. Sure I have my friends and all but I mean, I want someone to hold me once in a while, or just punk on me. Hell, I want to have a videogame match playing Halo on an Xbox and distract the winner by kissing him… though a gamer girl can dream it's not going to happen.

Last Halloween, when I was still 17 my friend Diana set me up with some guy named Aaron. Only an idiot, and a creep would agree to a blind date on Halloween. He meant well, but you know how some guys show their true colors after the first couple of dates? Well this one didn't bother doing that, he was clingy, 24/7 that cell phone of mine would ring, and if I didn't pick it up he would call my house. Sometimes he would drive to my house, unexpectedly… Just because he bought my mom tacos doesn't mean I'd like him. If anything he was making my life a living hell.

I couldn't break up with him because that would mean we were together, and I couldn't be with him because, well first of all he was 20 going to 21. The second reason was because I wanted someone educated, someone who went to school, he dropped out of high school and worked in a bakery. He wasn't someone I would find attractive anyway, no physical attraction on my part.

If anything he was interested in me because I told him once I wanted a white wedding, even to this day I haven't given it up, and I'm glad I haven't. I told my friend David, and Brandon about this, about the Aaron guy and they were kind enough to let me go over their homes once in a while to get away from him.

In the end I told him the truth, that I didn't love him, and he didn't believe it. He had given me a present the week before saying I always had a piece of him with me, which from my point of view is cheesy and disgusting. Should the little heart break that meant I didn't love him, that stupid thing still hasn't broken, but that also means bad luck, so I don't want it breaking anytime soon. He cussed me out the week after New Years calling me a bitch, saying that I wasted his time and the only reason he went back to get his GED was because of me.

"I'm going to Sacramento…" he said.

"Then go, no one's stopping you here. You have a friend over there who's ready to have you move in, take advantage of it." I said trying hard not to smile.

He didn't go, it was all a lie.

"You want me to say, no don't go Aaron, because I do love you, is that what you want, huh? Is that what you want?" I asked, he was like a child.

"You know that, saying that would've proved that you do love me…" he said.

"But I don't, Aaron how many times do I have to tell you." I tried to relax himself as best as I could. "I'm not stupid; I wasn't raised by 13 guys for nothing... Listen I have to go, someone's on the other line, so…" we said our goodbyes.

Diana always thought that my parents were to blame, but that was never the case. My parents didn't like him because he smelled like an ashtray, my dog didn't like him either. My dad said he had the face of a liar, but it takes a liar to know a liar. I didn't like him because the first day he sat n my living room he made me uncomfortable, I knew right there that this was better off as a friendship. But try telling Diana that, oh no God that woman can't keep her damn mouth shut, she's one of those people. You know which ones, my way or the highway.

Being 18 now I'm looking back at some of the things I did, like internet dating. I spoke with a guy from Enid, Oklahoma who went by the name of Matthew. That was last year, and the sad part was he was two years younger than me. He was really nice, and he went out of his way to call me whenever his mom wasn't home, considering she didn't like Hispanic people, or the fact that we were dating. My dad was okay with it, and my mom just told me not to do anything stupid.

Mother's day rolled around on 2007 and he didn't call me, I guess he was going to tell his mom about us. Another day went by and still no answer from him, not even his e-mail. I assumed that his mother wanted him to break off the relationship…

He did, but I didn't cry. I felt horrible though, as if someone just punched me in the gut, but I dealt with it. Sure May was a horrible month for me after that, but I don't remember much of it, and I did end up having a good cry with finals right around the corner. I wasted 4 months with a long distance relationship only to have an adult women break the trust we had tried hard to develop. I don't blame her, I would've done the same thing if I were in her shoes.

After May I found out I was picked to host this retreat for our upcoming senior class in November of 2007.

Sure, I may not have gotten raped by some guy I dated, or found out I was adopted. I'm not the girl who became anorexic because she thought she was fat, or the girl who joined sports to try and get some self esteem back because of the huge acne problem she had. I'm not the girl who's father is an alcoholic, I'm not the girl who had her love interest die. I'm just the kid who almost died right after I was born. Being born three months early you really aren't given a chance to live, but here I am.

I realized something though, hearing the talks given the fellow girls who would be going to host the retreat, one thing echoed through me. We were lonely, not physically like having physical people there, but emotionally. We never talked with people about our problems until that day, and somehow we felt better.

I'm called Gandhi by a lot of the people in my school because I look Indian, and somehow I think they're right, probably my dad's side of the family migrated from India to El Salvador. I'm almost known as a sympathetic ear by my friends and classmates, they talk to me and I just listen, that's all they want, someone to listen to them.

Even with Brittney my true best friend in the world, screw Diana and Monica, she's the only on that can understand me.

Brittney's bisexual, and her ex girlfriend Raquel was just basically a bitch to her, she used her and manipulated Brittney distancing herself from her other friends. Thought because of Raquel our bond became stronger, after Monica had an internet dating fiasco with some guy named Tim, we both hated him so that made us closer as friends, me and Brittney of course.

Back to what I was saying, Raquel didn't see me as a threat, and let me talk to her and see her, and just basically hang out. She would call me on the weekends or days we didn't have school and I would meet up at her house, and we would vent, making quesadillas with green salsa.

This year they finally broke it off for good, and I'm glad to say that Brittney is slowly but surely getting over that dumb bitch. She's happier now, and we've been hanging out with my ex, who still wants me to move in with him if I ever decide to go to the same university as him, I might take him up on the offer though considering A.P.U. is being a bitch and I haven't even started the classes. He also wants Brittney to go with me to his university, so of course I can't say no to that.

Being 18 really isn't all it's cracked up to be, sure I can buy cigarettes and porn, but where's the fun in that?

Cigarettes are bad for me because I have weak lungs due to the premature birth.

Porn? Don't make me laugh, yeah all right I won't lie and say I haven't watched it, but the soundtracks on there are horrible, they're better being for some sort of horror or suspense movie. Plus the lesbian scenes on there are exaggerated, but the moaning is a bit enticing…

Being 18 you'd think you'd get freedom, but you're always limited by the fear you have within you as a human being, it's natural and slowly you get over it.

I still haven't, considering I'm taking psychology against my will when I really want to major in graphic design, probably do some animation or an illustrator, plus I love writing so I want to combine both.

It's 1:23 in the morning and I'm still not sleepy… I should sleep at least considering in a couple of hours I'm going to get a lot of birthday calls, pfft, I wish that were true. My mom's side of the family is scattered across the damn United States, and my dad's side of the family is within El Salvador, but they're in a rut and I really wish we could help them, but my aunt and uncles, my dad's bother's and one sister aren't doing shit to help out my grandma and grandpa.

Speaking of those two, my step grandpa and my grandma on my mom's side are really nosy and love to gossip, but it's not good gossip. My grandma use to be rich in Nicaragua before the earthquake took place and before the whole idea of socialism came into effect with the Satinistas, I think that's how you spell it. My step grandpa was a mail carrier f\or something like that during the Nicaraguan civil war but he was married when he met my grandma.

My real grandpa, Cale-cale, as is his nickname is a physician in a way and a minister of some sort that deals with the Eucharist considering he decided to find God after his wife left him. He's a better man now, and always apologizes to my mother for giving her a beating when she was a kid. My mom lived with 4 stepmoms, the last one being Amanda, she's nice though, but I don't know whether to call her grandma, or Amanda, but my mom calls her Amanda so I think I should do that next time we go over there.

Still I'm typing and I don't know what to do, 18 feels like just another number and it's already 1:31 and counting.

Being 18 I thought I would have a boyfriend, but considering what I did to my ex I don't know if I deserved what I got afterwards.

I'm not the best looking girl, I don't have big boobs, they're only 34A, nor do I have an ass. The only thing that defines me as a girl are the hips I have, if anything that's what I'm kinda proud of, my hips. I look good in skirts, but I don't wear them as often as I should, and all the push-up bras my mom's taken upon herself to buy me, just remind me of the imperfections I have.

That and well some guys are really shallow who won't even talk unless your tits were trying to pop out of your shirt. My ex is a boob man, and instead of an eighteenth birthday party my mom probably would've wanted me to get plastic surgery. I know she means well, not for my face or anything, but to at least have a size B or something, frankly I don't care, I like my body. I told my ex about that, and I still think he has a thing for me, but I can't care for him like that, the third time is not the charm for me.

18 is just another lousy number in life, like 30, or 55 or 80, it reminds us that we aren't getting any younger, unless if you're are 'come años' like me, which means literally 'eat years'. I look like I'm around 16 or, but that's because of the fast metabolism on my dad's side and I'm around 98 pounds, again because of the premature birth and I have braces, and glasses. Even then you only look two years younger so that's not really a plus.

Happy 18th birthday to me, I guess, but I can't believe I spent an hour or so typing this up, I'm bored on my 18th birthday.