It’s not the first time I saw a teenage girl get hit by a teenage boy/boys at the train station. On my way home from work today it was 2 teenage boys. 1 young teenage girl. I followed them until the boys turned around startled that I got so close. I saw their school uniform shirts. Their khaki pants. The very thin hair above their lips. Not even close to being a men. This very young looking girl ran away as I stared at the boys. They looked right at me. As the girl ran away one of them shouted “slut.” She got on the train going the opposite way. I didn’t cry until I got home. At home, I put my laptop bag in my closet. Took my evening meds. I text my husband who wasn’t quite home yet. I grabbed my teddy bear which I’ve had since I was 10 and started to cry. I cried for the young girl. I cried because I missed my mom who was diagnosed with dementia in December 2016. She’s alive. Just not my mom anymore. I cried remembering when I was a teenage girl. It didn’t matter that I was smart. A virgin. A rule follower at that age. I was called a slut too. I cried because I thought the world would have gotten kinder to girls. To moms. To women in the workplace. I cried because the only place I want to be is with my mom. And I can’t stop crying because I’m 160 miles away.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

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