My family arrived in New York and checked in a luxury hotel. I was ten years old and excited about the words on a cruise to Italy. I was overwhelmed by the charm of the hotel.
I embraced the elegance and beauty of the luxury hotel as I ran my fingers along every textile delight of marble, brocade and polished wood. I was wearing a pink velvet suit, black caps, stacked white socks and carrying a small black patent leather wallet. My long chestnut hair was obstructed by a pink ribbon.
My dear mother used to dress me and treat me like a doll and rarely loosen my grip tightly on her. A seizure of cerebral meningitis in six months has shocked her. With the help of Dr. Gillespie, I recovered, but was advised not to go out publicly during the first three years of my life. After that, it never allowed me out of sight except to go to school and play in the backyard. Frankly, I didn't get out much.
Here at the hotel, the "mother" must be distracted by the organizational work of obtaining luggage for six people and four children, all in one hotel room. My father, who had the charm of Gary Grant, may have been lost in a thrilling debate with a new global friend. I took this opportunity to stand on top of a wide, long stairway preparing like a movie star waiting for photographers to lift their cameras. Like kings, I began my style knowing that all eyes were upon me (few congested city dwellers already noticed). My fingers hardly graze the wooden handrails. With one step in a perfect position after another, I got stuck down the stairs, and fully expecting to come back as an adult to stay in this cozy hotel. I was very satisfied with my grades, I felt very far. Knowing that I was far from seeing my father, I got icy cold. I felt a bit nervous because "lonely in New York City" flashed my mind, and I completed a seemingly invisible pirate in the lower step. Then, a very familiar feeling came.
At home, I often kept awake for a late movie, enjoying all the nuances and incorporating gestures, words, and emotion into my already vast repertoire of imagination. On those late nights after the movie, when everyone was on the top floor, I had to turn off the lights. Every time in the dark, downstairs alone, I definitely knew one chilling fact. When I turned to the last light, a lion was eating the baby behind me about to bend my eyes. I would like to suppress the panic for as long as possible and walk vigorously to the stairs. No matter how hard it is to calm down, walk slowly or think about other things, by the third step of the stairs, you are dead from this lion. If you foolishly stop looking, you will definitely get it. I would reach the top of the stairs, wide-eyed and breathing hard. I could turn around and look after that, but the Devil's lion was always hiding himself. Family members stared at me as strange as they saw my panic running. However, I thought it was wise not to share the black part with my three older siblings who were always looking for an Achilles heel.
In this very public place, full of upscale New York City kids and potential designers, I can feel the secret fear as it escalates into a panic that pumps out panic. Unfortunately, I felt a hot, wet lion on my naked slender calves and realized I had to run on the marble stairs. As hard as possible, I lifted the two steps each time, carefully watching my feet. Suddenly, in my oceanic vision, I saw a tall person straight my way. I tried to stop but I was moving very fast. I lifted my eyes up and saw a huge man with a full black beard in uniform. Inevitably, I was about to hit a man wearing combat boots. As eighty-five pounds of pink velvet bombs rushed forward, large arms reached the man in the middle to stop my approach. Surprisingly, this pink runner was entering his personal space, as the man stopped falling and starred strongly in my wide eyes. You managed to storm his palace. I smiled victorious. He didn't smile back. His body guards gesture for me to stand aside. The three men moved on the stairs in unison. Near the front desk, I found my dad angry and looking for me.
Later that night, I heard that my father was telling my mother that Fidel Castro was in New York. It seems to be my mom's problem. I was overburdened by the positive attention I might get because of my meeting with the Cuban pirates in exchange for the trouble I will face because I have admitted that I wandered by myself. I decided to remain silent.
Funny, then, I no longer feared the secret lion and never came back. Instead, I learned how fast a young girl can become weak and unprotected. I knew I had to be smarter and protect myself from the risk around me. Sometimes, even in the most beautiful places.