Study Guide

Gloria Martinez in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Gloria Martinez

Gloria walks through high school with a giant label hanging over her head that announces her teen-mom status. Maybe in another life she'd have her own reality show on MTV, but here and now, things are tough.

I was stupid to think I could do this on my own. Even with Mami's help, I hardly have time to study or do my homework. Last week, Lupe asked if I could hang out with her after school and I just about laughed in her face. "Chica," I wanted to say, "them days are over for me." I go straight home now, except for maybe stopping at the grocery. It's no more Gloria Loca, party girl. Fun ain't even in my vocabulary anymore.

Once you have a kid, everything changes.

If I could go back, do things over... but I can't. No sense dreaming about it. (20.4-6)

Lupe might see Gloria's life as glamorous and full of fun, but it's really anything but. Sure, babies are adorable and they love you to pieces, but taking care of them is really hard work. Gloria tells us about the struggles she goes through just to make it through high school each day. Even with all this responsibility on her shoulders, Gloria is determined to make it to college and give her son a better life.

The lesson here is clear: Babies are adorable… from a distance. Well, in high school, anyway.