The Code for Life: DNA

When people look at me, they see my tanned skin. They see my arched brows, the width of my hips, my dark eyes, and my dark hair. What people think about when they first see me is how short I am. They wonder what race I come from.

When people look at me, they see mystery. They wonder what secrets lie behind my red-brown eyes that turn black when I’m mad. I tell them the truth and I don’t hold back. They ask me how I say my name how do I spell it? I say,

Just call me Juli. It’s much easier that way.

Because of my DNA, I’ve been called a spik, a nigger, a border jumper, etc. It was two in the morning when Jackie came out of her room, threatening to beat me to death and then beat my mother and pull all her hair out because I was a nigger and a spik. My mom isn’t Mexican like me, instead she’s black Irish, German, and Scottish. I guess Jackie just wanted to beat her for giving birth to a mixed breed like me.

Instead of being what my mother said my entire family was like, violent, I was passive and walked all the way home on my own. I refuse to be the stereotypical Mexican. Doing drugs, drinking, “packing,” and jumping borders are not in a human’s DNA. I don’t do any of those things, so there’s your proof that we’re not all bad. I may not be that smart, but I do manage to work hard enough to get all As and Bs. I eat and cook German food most of the time instead of something spicy. I might have been born in a ghetto, but I left that place for PA a long time ago.

I’m a senior in high school and I still can’t fit in because of my skin. I don’t have a pointed nose like everyone else. My hair is full of large curls and waves; everyone else’s hair is straight. Exciting news, though, I met a kid named Raymond whose like me. He’s got darker skin, curlier hair, and he’s short like me. Oh, wait, Ray-Ray is a Puerto Rican, not a Mexican. Around here, Puerto Ricans are more popular than Mexicans because there’s more of them than there is of us.

Them and us? What am I saying? We’re all the same underneath. Guanine, thymine, cytosine, and adenine? We’ve all got those inside of us. We’ve all got a double helix. We’re made of the same materials. So why does it matter that the pigment granules in my hair are darker than all the Germans, Irishmen, and various other people of European descent that I’m surrounded by?

I worked hard to show people that we’re not all the same.

Bad people are bad because they’re bad.

Good people are good because they’re good.

It’s as simple as that.

I’m an honest, clean-cut kid that’s been through hell and back because of my ethnicity. Every time someone tries to bring out the worst in me, I bring out my best. I’ve made a lot of choices in my 17 years. Some choices were bad but most were good.

When people look at me, they see my smile. They can sense my strength, the wisdom I’ve learned, the beauty I am, and the tender heart that lies inside. What people think when they first see me now is still that I’m unusually short, but now, I just laugh along with them.

Hope you liked my first attempt at a weekly challenge, here’s a link to try it for yourself:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/writing-challenge-dna/

Thank you!