Friday, February 26, 2010

Enough is Enough! (Ch. 21)

The guard announces, "Delgado Alvarez!" "Present!" Mauricia yells.

"You've made bail, get out." as the guard motions Mauricia to exit.

Mauricia gathers her children including a new addition, Maria de Jesus. A year and a half had passed since several encarcerations and by now Mauricia was at her wits end. Francisco stood outside the building waiting for her to come out.

"Francisco, we need to do something!" as she hands over Teresa and Leopoldo to Francisco. "We have no money from paying bail here at El Charco Verde and I cannot live like this any longer! Ana has put us both in jail one too many times! She is evil, pure evil! I cannot get groceries without her seeing me in the street and screaming obscenities at me forcing me to run away! I have to look behind my back everywhere I go! What hurts me more is that my children are involved! How can a person have this much hate? What did I do to her?"

Pleading Francisco explains, "Mauricia, what more can I do? The attorney I hired has drafted a letter protecting us from harassment and that should end this situation."

Crying Mauricia says, "Our children are starving, and we have nothing left! Ana has made it clear she does not want us to be happy! She has clearly said, "I hope nothing but the worst for you and your children! May you never be content!"

A man that was standing against the wall of the jail overheard the commotion and walked over to Mauricia and Francisco. He nudges at Francisco and says, "Hey, why don't you sign up for the Bracero Program? They are contracting Mexicans to work across the border, that's the truth! There is so much work some of the Ranchers are crossing over picking us up across the border promising shelter and good pay!"

Francisco eyes Mauricia and he motions with his head, "Vamonos Mauricia!" (Let's go, Mauricia)

Mauricia can hardly speak from emotion, "They are n n not contracting wo women, Francisco. They need me men!" Francisco looks at her and says, "Dammit! I am not going anywhere without my family! I told you this a long time ago woman do you not understand? I am not Francisco, without Mauricia and my children! Are you ready to go to jail again?"

Mauricia looks away as she says, "No! My God you are crazy but I have to agree. I will start packing when we get home. I would not make it by myself with the children and Ana lurking behind."

As soon as Francisco and Mauricia made it to their house, they began to pack the little belongings they had left. Francisco discussed his decision with his cousin and told him to look after the house while they were away. His cousin agreed to his request and bid him farewell and good luck.

Night fell and Francisco and Mauricia toted their children and bags to the bus station. Francisco placed most of his earnings on the counter and ordered tickets to Matamoros, Mexico. Within time of staying in Matamoros, Francisco hoped he would collect enough money to get his family and himself across the border. Mauricia silently prayed as their bus departed. She prayed that they could lead a normal family life and watch their children grow up. Nothing else mattered to her at this point, living close to "normal" was her dream.

During the ride Francisco whispered to Mauricia, "I'm sorry you had to go through all this Mauricia. Would you ever leave me?" Mauricia was rocking Maria de Jesus with her eyes slightly shut and said, "I've finally realized we were meant to be together. God knew I could handle your problems and you could handle mine. He knew what he was doing. Even if I left I think life would make us come back together." Francisco grins and laughs quietly, "then we are stuck with each other, are we not?" Mauricia nudged him and smiled. Francisco said, "I love you gorda." Mauricia nudged him again and whispered, "I love you too and stop calling me fat. Now let me sleep."

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