Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Leaf (8)

"Next stop! Salinas de Hidalgo, San Luis Potosi!" The train attendant yelled. Mauricia started gathering her belongings over one shoulder and propped a sleeping Teresa over the other. Once again, Mauricia had to figure out how she would locate her way to the address she had in her hand. Mauricia asked the woman at the ticket window, at the train station, the direction she should be heading. The woman told her to go through the main doors and there would be buses that could take her where she needed to go. Mauricia heads out the front doors but is perplexed by the commotion in the streets. She feels disoriented and stops a fruit vendor to ask which bus can she take that will drop her off closer to her father's home. The fruit vendor tells her to catch the bus named "La Novia", which translates to "the girlfriend", and to let the driver know her destination so he can drop her off at the right place.

"La Novia" comes around the corner and the bus driver starts honking to warn passengers of its arrival. Mauricia hurries to get in line. As Mauricia gets in to sit down, she tells the driver her father's address and he assures her he knows where to go and have a seat. "I'll yell at you when we get close by, ok?" as the bus driver confirms with Mauricia. Ten blocks into the drive the bus driver says, "Lady! The colonia is right over there to the left passing this church. Once you walk two blocks down that street, Calle Ordon should be on your right." "Thank you sir for your help!" Mauricia says as she gets off.

By now Teresa is awake and fussy but luckily Mauricia split the sweet bread into pieces for her to eat in intervals. Mauricia pulls out another piece of sweet bread and hands it over to Teresa telling her, "Please Teresa, wait a little bit longer and I'll feed you, can you wait?" "Si mama." Teresa responds as she shoves the bread in her mouth. When they turn the corner to get to Calle Ordon, Mauricia notices a grocery store at the corner with the name Delgado on top. Mauricia smiles at Teresa and says, "Teresa, we must be rich!"

Mauricia walks into the grocery store as that is the location of the address Cipriana gave her. A tall, heavy set, man walks to the front of the store and asks what she needed. Mauricia responds to him, "My name is Mauricia Delgado and I am looking for Leopoldo Delgado, I am his daughter." The man's eyes widen as he comes around the counter and hugs Mauricia while telling her he is Leopoldo Delgado. In Leopoldo's elation he tells Mauricia, "I never thought I would see you! I would have personally picked you up myself if I knew where you were when your mother died." Mauricia pushes him away slightly and says, "I am sorry Mr. Delgado, I need some space. A couple of days ago I found out the man I thought was my father was not. I was then told about your relationship with my mother and your identity. I do not mean to disrespect you in any way, I am getting used to this situation and I appreciate you taking my daughter and myself into your home. I hope I do not cause any problems within your household." Mr. Delgado guarantees there is no problem as he tells her a little about his home life. "Mauricia, let me tell you, I loved your mother and did not intend to hurt her. My marriage was never a true relationship, and my wife always had lovers. I was always busy with work, as a distributor, and when I found out about her secrets, I knew I deserved to be with someone that loved me. I met your mother and intended to divorce Carmela, due to infidelity, but when your mother found out I was still married, she cut all communication with me and moved to another area. Now that I have said my piece, I hope we can establish some kind of relationship." Mauricia responded, "Of course, we'll have more than enough time to talk about things." Mr. Delgado informed Mauricia she had two half brothers and half sisters. Their names were, Maria Guadalupe, Maria Del Carmen, Andres, and Miguel.

Mr. Delgado tells Mauricia to stay in the store with him until it is time to shut down so he can introduce her appropriately to the family. Mr. Delgado makes Mauricia and Teresa sandwiches. While they are eating Mauricia asked, "Do they know I exist?" Mr. Delgado responded, "They know about you. I told everyone about you when we had our last child, Maria del Carmen, a year after your birth. I was tired of living a lie and I promised to stay in this marriage for the children. Now that they are older, and beginning to lead their own paths, Carmela and I live separate lives. Carmela has never changed and she doesn't have any say so about you staying with us. If she bothers you, tell me Mauricia." The chime on the clock goes off as it is 9:00 p.m. Mr. Delgado turns off the lights and begins to walk Mauricia to the front of the store to lock the door and says, "It's time for us to go home, can I carry my granddaughter?"

Around the corner of the family grocery store was the house. The house was two stories and a beautiful shade of blue, dark, and striking. Mauricia was holding her breath wondering what was awaiting her behind the front doors. Mr. Delgado announces he is home and within a couple of minutes her half brothers and sisters run out to see the stranger that arrived with their father. I would like for you to meet your sister, Mauricia and your niece, Teresa. Everyone cordially shake her hand and greet Teresa. Mauricia's half brother's are more distant but observant through the whole situation. Maria Guadalupe the eldest daughter seems more aloof. She tells Mauricia, "Oh hello, how are you? So your the daughter father had in that town somewhere in the mountains? Hmmm, interesting, as she inspects Mauricia's attire from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Maria Del Carmen pushes her sister out of the way and immediately offers to take Mauricia's things to their room when their eyes meet. Mauricia says, "We look alike." "So we do", laughs Ma. del Carmen. Mauricia is astounded at the similarities and happily walks with Ma. del Carmen back to her room for a good nights rest.

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