The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop


by Lucy Beltramo


I am standing in the bathroom, staring at my reflection. I’m wearing a cream-coloured mid-length dress with a pink silk belt. I’ve put on eyeliner, pink eyeshadow, and pink
lipstick. My hair is half up, half loose. My mom is behind me, placing small flowers in my hair. They have sparkles. 

Today is my Quinceañera, my fifteenth birthday. It’s a special celebration in my country, Argentina. A Quinceañera honors the end of girlhood and the start of becoming a woman.

The house is ready for the party: music, a DJ, and colorful lights. My mom, dad and Abuela Titina prepared everything. There’s even a dance floor set up in the living room.

I’m ready to be a woman, but I still like girly things. So I also have pink balloons.

There is a table set up for my two-tier Quinceañera cake. It is—like my balloons—light pink. It has meringue, dulce de leche, and strawberries in the middle. Small flowers
decorate the border. On top, there are pink ribbons with little surprises that my girlfriends will pull out once I blow the fifteen candles. 

My friends are here. My family is here.

Everything is perfect.

Uncle Alfredito is the DJ in charge of the music: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Los enanitos verdes, Calamaro, Celeste Carvallo, Charly García.

I can hear a song drifting in from the living room to the bathroom as my mother does my hair. I am suddenly nervous. Will I be able to dance the waltz? Before blowing out the candles, a waltz will be played and I will dance with my Dad, my grandfather, my uncle, and my brother. 

As I am staring at the mirror with these thoughts, my Aunt Haydee comes in and looks at my mom. 

“I have heard the news,” she says. “Congratulations, Silvia!”

I look at my mom. She looks back at me, surprised, very surprised, and a little unsure.

“Yes, Lucy,” she says nervously to me, “you are having a baby brother or sister in October. I am pregnant.”

I think my mother was worried that I would be unhappy or jealous. But I’m not. Not at all. I’m so happy that my nervous feelings about the waltz have disappeared. 

 This is the best fifteenth birthday gift in the whole world.  

It’s a gift I didn’t know I wanted until it was given to me. This baby will be a girl and we will call her Yanina; and two years later another sister, Carolina, will come.

And they will let me dance in my girlhood a little longer.