Monday, October 5, 2009

Tell Her I Love Her (15)

Carmela ran into Maria del Carmen's room, "What is going on? What is it?" Carmela grabbed Maria del Carmen's body and shook her vigorously. "Wake up Maria del Carmen! Wake up! Oh my God, no! Please God, please." Andres pulled her away and yelled at Carmela, "Do you see what you did mother? You insulted Maria del Carmen's dignity in front of Mario and forbade her to marry! You knew she has never given you a reason to doubt her or to deny her the one thing she dreamed of." Carmela responded, "I never thought she would do this! I only wanted her to stay home longer to help me with the house!" Teresa ran into the room crying from the commotion. She latched onto Mauricia's skirt and she picked her up. Miguel jumped in front of Carmela, "Well mother, are you happy? You always looked after your needs before your own children's. Look at her! Look! This is the way we will remember Maria del Carmen; heartbroken and dead!

Dr. Lazaro came into the house after Mauricia asked Juanito to find him. "Please, excuse me, I need some space!" Dr. Lazaro commanded everyone in the room to step away. Dr. Lazaro checked Maria del Carmen's vitals and noticed she had liquid coming out of her mouth. He asked everyone to look in the room for anything that may look suspicious. Dr. Lazaro felt Maria del Carmen ingested something that killed her. Miguel and Andres looked under the bed, and other furniture. Mauricia looked under her covers, in the closet, at that moment she remembered where Maria del Carmen kept the rat poison. Mauricia scrambled her way on top of the roof to find an empty can of rat poison and a small cup thrown to the far corner of the rooftop. "I found it!" Mauricia announced. Dr. Lazaro asked, "why was the rat poison on the roof?" Mauricia responded, "I do not know, the bottle was usually in a hole in the wall next to the ladder. Maria del Carmen felt it was a good place to keep out of Teresa's reach. Dr. Lazaro accompanied Carmela to her room to give her a tranquilizer. Miguel and Andres placed a sheet over Maria del Carmen's body and stayed in the room sitting next to her bed. Dr. Lazaro came by moments later and advised them he would contact the appropriate authorities to document her death and for the family to start making funeral preparations.

Mauricia walked over to Maria del Carmen's body and said, "Why Maria del Carmen, why?! She pulls the sheet down to Maria del Carmen's chest and strokes her hair. Mauricia whispers, "We would have been able to work through this. Why didn't you come to me? I know I had no authority over your parents but love is stronger than any evil. I know you had a lot of love in you and now your gone. I will never forget you Maria del Carmen, never." Mauricia hugs Maria del Carmen and buries her head crying uncontrollably. At that moment, Maria Guadalupe walks into the room after being notified. "Oh my sister, my sister! Oh my God!" Maria Guadalupe falls to her knees in front of Maria del Carmen's body. For the first time since they have known each other Maria Guadalupe does not say anything to Mauricia. She and Mauricia both grieved over Maria del Carmen's body without any argument.

Mario arrived later on that same day. He is surprised to see everyone there as he was not aware what had transpired. Andres opened the door and Mario asked for Maria del Carmen. Andres brought him into the hallway and told him she had committed suicide. Mario stood dumbfounded, "What? That is a lie! A lie! Maria del Carmen would not do that! Take me to her! Please." Mario walked into Maria del Carmen's room. He slowly made his way to her body and saw Mauricia and Maria Guadalupe over her body. "Maria del Carmen?" asked Mario. Both women move out of his way. Mario leans over and cannot believe what he is seeing. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I did not open my mouth to defend you. I am sorry I doubted you! Maria del Carmen, I should have never questioned you. If I could take this all back I would, God please, help me! I love you Maria del Carmen, God tell her that I love her!" Father Eduardo appeared at the door and told Mario, "Don't cry for her anymore, she no longer suffers. We need to cry for ourselves for we will still experience pain and suffering. At this moment, we need to pray that God accepts her into his kingdom for taking her own life. Please, let us gather together and pray for her soul." Everyone stood together and prayed over Maria del Carmen's body and asked for God's forgiveness for her sins.

The next day everyone was dressed and ready for Maria del Carmen's rosary. Carmela walked in the parlor and asked Maria Guadalupe and Mauricia to help her dress Maria del Carmen. Carmela chose the dress Maria del Carmen wore to Maria Guadalupe's wedding. Mario walked into the parlor holding a large box. Mario's face was pale and swollen from crying. Carmela asked him to come back later as they were going to dress Maria del Carmen. Mario told Carmela, "I will come back later, but I needed you to have this first before you prepare her body. This is my wedding gift for Maria del Carmen. Several months ago when I knew I wanted her as my wife, I asked her to marry me and she agreed. She was secretly fitted for her dress and I have it right here. It arrived yesterday morning and once I saw her dress I remembered everything we had gone through and the love we professed for each other. Everything else you told me about Maria del Carmen and any doubts drifted away. I looked at the dress and my heart beat from elation. Elation that I wanted to make her happy. When I arrived yesterday I found out about her death. I was too late. I regret not standing up for Maria del Carmen, she might have been alive today if I did. Nonetheless, even in death I will love Maria del Carmen. I want her to be buried in her wedding dress, since I could not give her anything else." Mario broke down and fell to his knees as the contents fell out of the box. He sobbed profusely as he tried to gather the items. Mauricia and Maria Guadalupe assisted in picking up her dress. Maria Guadalupe pulled out the dress and exclaimed, "Mother, let's put this on Maria del Carmen instead." Maria Guadalupe stood in silence admiring the dress, "Oh Mario, this is beautiful! The beading, the workmanship on the train is elaborate but classy. My sister deserves this." Everyone agreed Maria del Carmen would be buried in her wedding dress.

Many of the townspeople came to Maria del Carmen's funeral. No one could believe this family had suffered two deaths in such a short time span. The wedding dress fit Maria del Carmen perfectly. No alterations were needed. Carmela continued to take tranquilizers and spent most of her days in her room. If she came out of her room she looked terrible, she did not care about her appearance. Within time, Don Leopoldo and Maria del Carmen's deaths took a toll on the household as nothing there would ever be the same.

1 comment:

  1. New blog. Interesting story, interestingly told. Thank you.

    Me? I am at

    Stop by sometime.