Holy Mother of God.

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Virgencita, maybe you been busy, but I still believe in you. I know you have to listen to everybody, but I believe more than a lot of people. Definitely more than Graciela, and she got a bicycle for her tenth birthday. I wasn’t there, but Natalie told me it was new and not the ugly, on-sale color nobody wants, but pink with sparkle streamers. Everybody at the party got to ride. You know because you must see everything from heaven.

So you heard what that stupid Sister Grace said today in front of the whole fourth grade when we was all in the library. She was talking about that story we had to read, and Peter Davey asked what the word ghetto means. She said it’s the bad part of town, where the projects are. People on welfare and drugs live in the projects, so the ghetto is dangerous.

I wanted to tell her we’re not on welfare. The only crack lady in my building is the one on the fifth floor, whose baby fell out the window. It landed on the community garden, but it’s just dirt where the dogs pee, so the baby died. Mami said, “Ese pobre angelito,” so I think maybe he’s with all the other angels and you in heaven.

But I didn’t say anything because then the whole class would look at me bad. They think Sister Grace knows everything because she’s the librarian, but she doesn’t know. I looked at your picture on the wall between the two windows, Virgencita, and I believed you would make her take it back, or say there’s nice people in the projects. Maybe you didn’t hear me because Sister Grace yelled at me for looking out the window. I didn’t tell her I was praying to you because the class would laugh at me again, and it was private anyways.

I said I didn’t feel good at lunch. You know I really didn’t, so it wasn’t a lie. I didn’t want to find out if no one wanted to sit with me. I snuck my sandwich in my pocket, and ate it in the bathroom. It’s okay because I went to the handicap stall nobody uses, so it’s not nasty. But I got mad when I walked home because NO BICYCLE RIDING is painted on the sidewalks around the projects. Mami and Papi wouldn’t let me ride a bike anyways because some titeres might take it like they took Mrs. Ramo’s pocketbook right in front of our building.

So Virgencita, maybe you could make things better because I really believe in you. I do good in school, and try not to make trouble for Mami and Papi, and do almost everything they say. I don’t want to be greedy and take too many turns, so it’s okay for you to listen to Papi when he prays to you. He believes in you maybe more than me because every day he says a lot “¡Ave Maria purisima!”

So Virgencita, maybe your pure, purest heart can make it so Papi hits the number. Then we can have the house he promises Mami. Then they would stop fighting because Mami would believe him. I’d believe him, too. He’d buy me a bicycle, brand new, and I could ride anywhere I want. Oh pure, purest Mary, holy mother, can’t you talk to God and make it all come true because I ask so nice?

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