((Note: Real names have been changed for privacy reasons, of course. In addition, some facts have been altered with due to some gaps in my memory. ))
Chapter One: The Blanc Family
William Blanc, a boy that I've known for my entire life, is one who will forever be with me, in my heart or otherwise. When it all started exactly, I do not remember. Perhaps it was from the very day of our birth. Maybe it was afterward. Nonetheless, I remember vividly the times we shared and the bond we had formed during our years together as playmates.
I believe I recall my mother telling me once of how our two families had come to know each other. My mother, who is Filipino, had met with another Filipino women that surprisingly lived down the street. Both women, carrying a baby of half Caucasian ethnicity, plus that of Pacific Islander, had grown to know each other, as my mother was relatively new to the nation of the United States.
As fate would have it, William and I were born the same year, I being first. Being neighbors, we got together often at his house and played as children do. It was strange, however, that everyday I would arrive at his house, I would be hesitant and nervous to enter. Then I would see the boy I had grown to know as 'Willy Boy', his brown hair and eyes, his face happy to see me, and I would reflect this emotion. I was always happy to be with him, it seemed.
I would enter his house, cautiously walking on the pretty wooden floors before entering the kitchen, greeted by the warm smiles of his nanny and sisters. I loved his sisters too, as if they were my own. Caroline, the oldest, I looked up to quite a bit. Her dark skin and almond-shaped eyes I thought were so pretty, and so unlike that of her fair skinned sister, Sarah. Little did I know, the man they all called 'Dad', did not share any blood with Caroline. Though the two were hardly ever separated, the younger sister, Sarah, I saw as more of a playmate. Her large eyes and large front teeth would follow Caroline, but I guess as she was closer in age, I would talk to her more often.
Then, there was the third child, Willy Boy's older brother who was a year younger than Sarah, John. Strangely I had come to know him as J.J. How I despised him and his teases. Walking into their house in the morning, he would sit there on the kitchen stool with his cereal in front of him, and in his face I could already see that he would treat me no kinder than usual. Still quiet, I would timidly take a seat on the couch located a little away from the kitchen stools and look upon the family, waiting for them to finish their breakfast to begin a day of play. Their Filipino nanny would smile at me from behind the counter like a bartender, her bright yellow shirt catching my eye, before I quickly switched my view to the TV screen suspended in the corner of the room by the stools.
I remember the screen would normally view some kid show that we all liked, such as Care Bears or the Power Rangers. The bright colors, happy voices, and exaggerated movements made us all smile as the day began. The sun shone in through the glass sliding door that revealed the backyard of grass, swings and slides, and cages full of furry rabbits. Eventually, the bowls of cereal emptied and we would all make our way to their backyard, where I felt I was free to finally speak to them as I wished.