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I had always been able to control my dreams. I don’t know how, I just could. I would take myself to beautiful far off places. I could relax by a pond or lay surrounded by buttercup shaped flowers. My favorite was the poppy field. The golden sun was always warm and perfect on the crimson horizon. I felt at one with nature. That ended the day a stalker took over my dreams. Nowadays, I hardly sleep. Today I didn’t have the energy to doll myself up so much. I lined my green eyes with black eye liner, followed by black mascara. My long light brown hair was ironed and ready to go. It was hot and muggy this March morning as I made my way to school by foot. I started walking to school shortly after the dreams started, so I could be alert—coffee in hand, Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams blaring on my IPod. As I crossed the intersection of the main street, I was tempted to stop for a refill of coffee at the gasoline station, but decided against it. My five-foot frame could only hold so much caffeine before my leg started shaking frantically. Los Fresnos, Texas is your typical small town with a scant population of roughly 5000 inhabitants. It’s the type of town where everyone knows everyone. It’s located at the southernmost tip of Texas, bordering Mexico. The weather is humid, hot and sunny practically all year round. I wasn’t a fan of either the heat or the humidity, but I had forcefully grown accustomed to it, having lived here my whole life. The town is peaceful, reserved and only a few miles from several small surrounding cities—that’s where the town’s people do their shopping. All in all, it’s a pretty monotonous place. It’s a safe little town to walk around in, even at night. My best friend, Andy, waits for me at our usual table in the cafeteria with her boyfriend, Bill. I don’t have one of those anymore. My memory recalled a three-year high school relationship with the guy I thought was destined to be my husband. His name was Gabriel Betancourt. Gabriel was now a freshman at Florida State University. He graduated early from high school, having been in an advanced program, and left immediately after his prerequisites were met. With an academic scholarship, he jumped right into the spring semester. I was so proud of him. Gabriel’s older brother, also in college, had a place of his own in Florida. It was not a surprise that he would consider leaving right after high school. “Isis,” he had said to me before he left, “I’ll be back every chance I get, I promise. You won’t even miss me. We’ll talk on the phone every day—we’ll chat, we’ll text. It’ll be like I never left!” I was completely and moronically blinded by what lay ahead. I remember looking into his brown eyes, believing every word he said. “Whatever!” I said to myself, remembering the day of his departure. I felt the tears start to slowly emit from my eyes and onto my round cheeks, but I quickly wiped them away. I wondered exactly how important I had really been to him. I was dumped via text message, mind you. What a cruel way to have broken up with me. The insomnia had already started. He hadn’t visited once after leaving to Florida State. He had made excuses to evade conversations with me. I had attributed his distancing to his heavy load of classes. I was dumbfounded. I examined every detail of the last three years wondering the reasons behind this sudden change. I guess things happened for a reason, as my mother always told me. My mother had warned me not to get too serious and persuaded me to continue having friends. Gabriel consumed all my time and my friends slowly started to dissipate from my life at one point. “You need time for girly things,” she had said, “and friends will always be there when boyfriends aren’t.”