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This story is part of Lit Mag: The UNTOLD Issue.
I was hanging out with my friends when I felt something in my panties. My first thought was I peed from laughing too much or that it was sweat because it was hot. The moment of truth came when I went to bathroom… RED EVERYWHERE. I called my mom and told her what happened, she gave me the longest talk about how I’m a young lady and I need to carry pads with me because I never know when a time like this would happen. Not helpful. She was nowhere in the city and couldn’t help. I thought long and hard about my next move.
My friend had panty liners but that doesn’t help my underwear. My best friend lived next to a Walgreens and I knew what I had to do. I pulled myself together and started to walk planning my heist. It was a hard store to steal from because the top mirrors are also cameras. As I walked in I got greeted “Welcome to Walgreens” they said. I asked where would your pads be? “Aisle 6.”
Quickly I walked to the pads and found the ones I used. I slowly tried the plastic and slipped three in my purse. Now I would have to move fast because I was getting paranoid and I started to get hot. Without asking I searched for the underwear myself. I knew this would be really hard knowing the pack of underwear are in a glued bag. I just poked my nail though and took a pair out and quickly left the store.
It felt amazing to be clean but it was a dirty feeling to know I stole. My mom told me never to steal and I hold that myself to a higher standard, to try not to disobey my mother. After that day I made a vow to never steal again.
Many women worldwide go through the same problem. I’m speaking about this because women menstruate from as young as 12 to as old as 60. Men should understand that woman go through this and is not gross it is life. Every month, homeless women are especially impacted by menstruated . According to Bustle.com there are 50,000 women living on the streets nationwide, and with limited access to pads and tampons, and no steady, comfortable place to shower, they are forced to get creative with ways to keep clean when they have their periods.
After my experience, I have more sympathy for homeless women. It’s awful to not have a stable place to have a clean period.
Aayala Farrior Is a freshman at College Of Alameda. She has come a long way since high school. With her extra time she is a project associate at Youth Radio in Downtown Oakland; most recently as a voicing coach. She is very passionate about music, broadcasting, hosting and promoting events. Her most important thing to her is her family and making them and herself happy. School Is the one thing they always tell her to stay on top of. She is inspired by her family, friends and the people that are paving the way for her. She sees herself as a sports broadcaster and the host of her own show. Youth Radio has given Aayala the opportunity to focus on herself, helped her find a path to a successful career and full life. She will make something out of herself.