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Aliena Alive
Sofia, Age 12, Basque Country, Spain

That day she woke up and decided that she was going to be who she WAS, not what people WANTED HER TO BE.

Aliena walked into the bathroom, washed her face and began brushing her long brownish-blond hair. Then she automatically started twisting it into a strange and "funky" ponytail to have the usual "cool" hairstyle the girls in her school wore. But she stopped in mid-twisting and simply allowed her beautiful hair to be free.

Thrilled and excited with what was going to be her new life, Aliena played with the tips of her long hair and then ran downstairs to have breakfast. She was hungry, hungrier than ever. And today it was no longer going to be a sour low-fat yoghurt with half a sugar-free wheat biscuit and a mini-glass of mineral water that kept her stomach rumbling and moaning all day. The girl opened the fridge and pulled out the carton of milk, butter and a box of eggs.

While she left the frying pan warming up on the cooker, she filled right up her mug with milk and sprinkled honey cereal on it. Then she stuck a piece of bread in the pop-up toaster and returned to the frying pan, which was hot and steamy with the olive oil burbling. Aliena quickly mixed in a bowl an egg, milk and a big spoonful of flour and after mixing and adding sugar she poured it into the pan.

Her mother couldn't believe her eyes when she walked past and saw her twelve year old daughter stuffing her face with yummy sweet pancake covered in chocolate spread. Aliena smiled, and her mother smiled back.

The girl opened her cupboard and carefully chose the clothes she REALLY wanted to wear: black top, grey skirt with stars and black Doc Marten boots. Then she grabbed the black finger-nail varnish she had used last Hallowe'en and painted her nails black. She shivered, and suddenly screamed, feeling for the first time in her whole life, ALIVE.

'Who CARES what other people think?' she yelled.

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