The air felt so cold against my damp skin that it burned. I heaved myself through the icy water. Why did my useless younger brother throw my book? He was probably jealous I could read and he couldn’t. Literacy was a luxury that my father had bestowed me when he had been alive. I could hear him snorting from the side of the lake. I hissed at him to shut up. If my mother found me waist deep in the lake searching for a book she’d scour my bedroom and burn the few books I had hidden. She hated my incessant reading, she would remind me time and time again that I needed to work on my ability to cook and not my ability to read. ‘A man wouldn’t marry you for your mind, Dorothea.’ My trembling fingers clasped onto the wet book which floated with its pages open, thirsting to be read. This story of mine, of the drowned.
– Ermisenda Alvarez