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"I. Am. Me."

   “Brothers do what brothers do. The life of a ZaZa sister can only be great if those around her give her permission to a great life.” A young black stood in front of her body length mirror.

   “Fuck ‘em,” she said out loud. “I am Zo. I am what I am and I will not be torn down.”

Zo raised her hands and ripped the scarf she had wrapped around her head. The sides of her head were shaved replaced fresh ZaZa tribal tattoos in black. The rest of her hair grown into a mohawk. A tear rolled down her face.

   “I will not allow myself to controlled by the insecurity of another’s emotions.” She pulled on the jade necklace around, breaking the chains of bondage she wore. “I will not bend my knee to those who demand respect but in return control you by fear.” She stripped her ceremonial clothing of red and black ZaZa tribal designs that matched her. She stood naked in front of the mirror, her eyes welling up with emotion.

   “I am brave and not fearless. I am wounded but not broken,” she bite her lip to ease the pain, knowing what she needed to do for to be free.

   “I will be free from the struggles of everyone,” she slipped on a sports bra and black tank top. Underwear and her military style pants. “I am free to explore the my own mind, but I want to see the world. They will no longer let them suffocate my greatness.” She sat on the edge of her bed, pulling up her boots and tying them.

   “I will not sacrifice myself for the sake of tradition.” Determination was etched on her face. She knew what she needed to do. She bit her lip again, this time drawing blood and closing her eyes.

   A loud crash came from her front door.

   Her brothers.

   Zo knew there was no going back now. It was time. Time for her to set herself free. Opening her eyes they were filled with blood. “Good,” she said. “Let me come see me. Come see my greatness. Fear the magic that I was inherently born with.”

   Zo turned from her mirror and began to march out of her bedroom towards her brothers who were rushing upstairs, her hands outstretched, glowing a faint red. “I will be free.”