In twelve years I have traveled the world. My journey started in Eritrea. On June 26, 1998 at 6:30 pm Mikal K. Fikremariam was born in Asmara, Eritrea. I was 3.5 Kg. I was born with a thick mass of pitch black hair that lay mattered on my pink skin. My eyes closed hiding deep chocolate brown irises. All ten fingers clenched tightly into a fist and bright red lips open ready to breath in my first mouthful of breath. I grew up in Asmara for three years. My favorite toy growing up was a teddy bear named Fanu that I got when I was one years old. His fur was a rich cream color and he wore a beautiful red jacket. His fur was soft and reminded me of cotton candy. His eyes were black and glassy; tiny, beady and unseeing. Fanu had a long white tail that swished behind him. Fanu and I were inseparable, he was the sibling I never had.
When I was two years old my father, Fikremariam, won a scholarship and went to Delft, the Netherlands to attend IHE University. My mom, Fanu, and I moved to Delft, to join my father, when I was three years old. We lived in Delft for one year, during that year I attended preschool and became fluent in Dutch. Fanu was there as I learned Dutch, went to school for the first time, and learned to ride a bike. He was there the day my father graduated graduate school. Fanu’s little beady eyes saw the tulips, windmills, and the dreary weather of Holland.
In 2002, after my father got his masters in sanitary engineering, my family and I moved to Denver, Colorado. I had to learn a whole new language, culture, and attend a new school. The Dutch I was once fluent in become a faded memory and was replaced with English. My first English word was “ball”. The days of biking along a canal, endle...
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...ort girl, only 5 feet and 3 inches. I have long black hair that falls in a wavy mess down my back, light brown skin the color of Cafe Mocha, Acne scars, like stars, that dust my cheeks forming constellations for those who take the time to connect them, and eyes so dark they almost seem black which rest upon dark bags that signify nights spent reading dull textbooks and completing endless worksheets. Fanu now sits on top of my dresser always there when I need a hug, some time alone, or something to keep the monsters in the dark at bay. Fanu has always been there for me. He has traveled to three continents and three states with me. He holds all of my memories from when I was a baby until now. Fanu’s fur is now tattered, stitches grace his body, his tail is dislodged from his frame. But to me he is still that beautiful cream colored bear I got when I was one year old.
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