Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waking Up (7)

"Mama, mama, wake up!" Teresa said as she poked Mauricia from under the covers. Mauricia tugs back at the covers hiding her face from the sunlight. "Stop Teresa, un momento", Mauricia responds in a groggy voice. She starts to regain her thoughts and musters the courage to get out of bed. Teresa whined "I'm hungry". "Alright, mi niƱa." Mauricia lovingly responded. Mauricia tidied up the room and dressed Teresa and herself before heading out to the kitchen.

Cipriana and Eduardo sat in the kitchen finishing breakfast when Mauricia and Teresa walk in. "Good morning Mauricia," Cipriana announces and gives Teresa a kiss on the cheek as she reaches over to hug her. Cipriana informs Mauricia, "Lucia left early this morning to San Juan, she told me what happened last night. My dear God, Mauricia, I am so sorry." Mauricia stopped Cipriana before she went any further into the conversation and said, "I have felt sorry for myself too long and I do not want any more pity. Please Cipriana, let's not discuss this topic any further." Cipriana agreed, "As you wish Mauricia, just convince Eduardo not to attack Francisco for hurting your pride." Eduardo exclaims, "Don't let me see him alone in the streets! He deserves a good beating for the humiliation he's put you through!" Mauricia responds, "You won't do such a thing! Not one of us will act as depraved as he or his family did. What's done is done, I am hurt, yes but today is another day and Francisco is a married man. Whatever happened was a horrible nightmare, but now I am awake and ready to move on. Beating Francisco will only get you or the family into problems." "That's true Eduardo." Cipriana interjects as she puts her arm on his shoulder to calm him down.

As Mauricia is washing dishes after breakfast, she begins to tell Cipriana what she is planning. "Cipriana, I am not a coward, nor do I run away from my problems. I left this town before because it reminded me of how much pain I had gone through. Now that Francisco is married, and the humiliation of seeing him or any of his family anywhere in town will only hurt me more. Cipriana, I am tired of fighting the world, I am tired, I want to leave." Cipriana said, "I knew you might say that, and now is a better time to tell you what I was intending to inform you the night of your dilemma. Mauricia, your father, Manuel, was not your real father." Mauricia in shock asks, "What are you talking about? Why did my mother not say anything? Why?" Cipriana puts her hand up and says, "Stop asking questions and listen! Let me finish." Cipriana proceeded to tell Mauricia, "Manuel married your mother after you were born, and Delgado is not his grandmother's family name as they told you. Delgado is your true father's last name, his name is Leopoldo Delgado. Your mother met your father as he traveled for business, as a distributor, and she fell in love with him. One of his co-workers told her he was married and she cut off the relationship while she was pregnant with you. Your mother was very hurt that he lied but proceeded to go on with her life when she met Manuel. Manuel could never have children and he recognized you as his child, in his eye's you were his child. That is why, Mauricia, there were no other children until after his death." Mauricia was speechless, Cipriana continued to say, "Recently, your real father has inquired about your whereabouts when he heard you were in town. He found out about your mother's death but was not aware about what happened to you. I have corresponded with him about you and Teresa, and he is very interested in meeting you both. Mauricia, think about this and let me know if you would like to go to Salinas." Cipriana gets up and goes back to her room to rest as the sun and the conversation had physically and emotionally tired her.

Mauricia paces back and forth in her room as Teresa is playing with her stuffed doll on the bed. "Should I go see this man that I've never known, who is my real father or should I go to a new town to look for a better life alone?" Mauricia thought about it over and over, as Teresa is very young. The risks she would take to go to a new town alone outweighed the risks of her meeting her father and any family she has in Salinas. Mauricia prayed about it and made up her mind, "Teresa, we're going to Salinas."

That night Mauricia talked to Cipriana and Eduardo about her decision. Cipriana provided the information she needed to find her father in Salinas. Mauricia thanked them for helping her and Teresa and accepting them into their family. Cipriana gave Mauricia some money and prepared some tacos and put sweet bread in a pail for her to take on the trip.

Early Monday morning everyone is at the train station. Mauricia is anxiously waiting for the train to arrive as the morning breeze is too cool for Cipriana and Teresa to tolerate. "The train is here!" Eduardo yells out and hurries Mauricia and Teresa, with their belongings, to the train. Mauricia gives Cipriana a hug as Cipriana blesses both of them and Mauricia promises to keep in touch. As Mauricia gets on the train and sits down, she looks back and wonders if this will be the last time she sees Cipriana. Mauricia begins to cry as she is leaving behind the only family life she ever experienced. She hugs Teresa tightly, and buries her head in her small torso, praying that the decision she has made is the correct one.

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