Juan de Silva sat in the back of the classroom, mercifully forgotten. After the label of the foreigner had lost its luster in the eyes of his less tactful peers, Juan found solace in sinking into the woodwork. It was nice there; the echoes of “Joo-on? What the hell kinda name is that?” still rung in his ears.
His abuelo had told him that the surname came from the latin word for “forest”. Juan of the forest; he liked that. Taking out his sketchbook, he began to draw a forest full of tall, sturdy trees. Trees that had gone through centuries of pain, yet survived. Los árboles de fuerza. Trees of strength.
“Timothy Brooks!” The shout broke through his revery, almost causing his hand to jerk across the page. Almost. He glanced at the boy, but his eyes drifted where they always did: to Elizabeth Jones, slouching in her seat. She seemed as determined to disappear as he was.
Turning back to his drawing, he began to sketch in a few rays of sunlight. Even the strongest trees needed light to grow.