Author Cynthia Marcano: Hood Girl, Good Girl

Hood Girl, Good Girl

Lives collide between two young women. Different with the same connection. Will they be strong enough to take their power back from their past trauma?

I'm Bianca. People call me B for short. I can't tell you how many times they call me that for a different reason altogether. It's annoying and kinda pisses me off. But I ain't letting nobody have power over me like that. If there is one thing I learned growing up in North Camden, is having tough skin. Can't let them see you sweatin' the small stuff. Can't show weakness or you'll get eaten up alive out here. Yet, a big, soft heart beats within me. I can't let it become hardened like these cold, crime-filled streets. I have dreams and goals. My dad doesn't know it, but he needs me. I need to make my Mom proud. Don't get me wrong, I will throw hands up real quick because I ain't scared of nothing and nobody. Well, nothing except being alone. That is a fear that a hood mentality can't seem to take away. Even still, I wanna be loved and feel safe. I am a hood girl. I am a good girl.

My name is Christianna Faith Leonard. I am named after a man of great honor. Yet, how deep I fall short from my namesake is immeasurable. From a distance, my life is a dream. My house in the suburbs is beautiful. Our picturesque family photo sits on the mantle of a fireplace looking as if it were ripped straight out of a magazine. I never miss choir rehearsal. My grades and volunteer work have earned me a scholarship to college. My polite manners are impeccable; quick to say please and thank you. But behind the facade of a good girl, I am a young woman covered in guilt, sin, and secrets. Shame is my childhood friend, never too far away like a loyal companion. Even still, my biggest dream is to just be loved and accepted for who I really am. You can call me Tianna. I am a good girl. I am a hood girl.

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