I am sorry.
I am sorry that they never appreciated all the gifts you bring to the world.
I am sorry that they corrupted your innocence, like crumpling a brilliant white sheet of paper.
I am sorry that they made you so bitter that sometimes even the sweetest pleasures of life taste like metal now.
I am sorry that you had to face every battle yourself because they would not fight for you.
I am sorry that they lifted others up onto a platform and left you in quicksand to sink when you deserved to fly.
I am sorry that they muted you when you begged for just one fair chance.
I am sorry that they always had daggers of envy plunged into your back.
I am sorry that they never gave you the shot you deserved.
But you will get that shot, and it will ring a beautiful tune, for it will be entirely your own.
The shackles on your heart will break and release all of the glorious, beautiful colors onto the canvas of boundless opportunity,
and your hard work will not be fogged by their wrongs.
Our ancestors knew hardship, too.
They were strangers in a strange land.
They were beat down, refused, and used.
They wandered for years,
but sometimes you must wander to find freedom.
You will see what freedom is
when those who matter appreciate your gifts,
your innocent, trusting soul, and your iron strength.
Those who matter will support you with wings
as you soar to new heights.
When you take flight,
you will remember what it is to breathe, to be unforgivably yourself.
And they will be sorry,
for it will be you who leaves them behind.
Abigail Yadegar is a junior at Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles. She is a Staff Writer for Fresh Ink for Teens.