Monday, July 11, 2011

Changing Directions (Again) (Ch. 24)

The cool breeze in the early morning was a welcome surprise from the heat permeating from the sun.  Francisco, Mauricia and the children continued their journey after they trekked their way out of the River.  Mauricia had trouble regaining her balance after tackling the waves of the Rio Grande.  Francisco kept a steady pace as he visualized a better life in Texas.  Francisco remembered the comments some of his friends mentioned about the money they made working in the fields as they returned home to Mexico to their families. With time a handful came back but after a while some men never returned.   Nonetheless, Francisco visioned just enough to be happy for his family.  He always prayed he could win the lottery or maybe just maybe discover silver, gold, or gems in the old mines around San Luis.  By going to Texas he and Mauricia could work twice as hard and make more money for a better future.  Francisco took in a breath, he was elated just being on his way to a new life.  Francisco thought to himself, "The air even has a different scent or was that just his excitement?  Oh well, let it be; whatever it is let it be." 

As they continued their course into Texas, Mauricia yelled, "Wait a minute, Wait!"  She runs to the closest bush and throws up.  Francisco frowns and says, "Mauricia, are you sure you want to continue, the river really gave you a beating and you are slowing us down." 

"Francisco, where are we now?"  asked Mauricia as she cleaned her mouth.  Looking around the area Francisco responded, "Brownsville".  Mauricia looked up at Francisco and said, "Brownsville it will have to be."  "What are you talking about woman!  We are going to San Benito!"  Francisco answered sternly.  "I'm in no mood for games and the weather is making you sick."  "The weather s not making me sick, I'm pregnant!"  Francisco dropped the rope he was pulling for the sled and races towards Mauricia.  "Why did you not tell me about this before we began the journey?  You almost died in the river!"  Mauricia looked at the ground and said, "I'm sorry Francisco, by the time I figured I was with child we had sold all of our belongings for the trip; enough said, I felt guilty and knew this was good for the family." as Mauricia shrugged her shoulders. 

Both Francisco and Mauricia stood in silence gazing into different directions until Teresa gets off the sled and walks over to them.  "Mama, I'm hungry."  Mauricia starts to cry and hands over a piece of bread from the tin to Teresa and she walks back to the sled to share with Leopoldo.  "I know what this means to you but do you know what this means for me?  We have little money to eat and to have another baby is not what I expected but I can only do so much."  Francisco walks over to Mauricia and hugs her and tells her "You are my family Mauricia.  What is one more?  You are not in this alone.  You had Teresa when I met you and I had my three children and you took me back.  We are together for a reason and I will do what I can to make this work.  Brownsville it will be woman!  Now let us keep on our way to get to town and see where we can stay the night."  Francisco walks back to the sled and continues to pull it towards Brownsville. 

"Mauricia?"  Francisco asks aloud as he walks ahead of everyone.  "Why bother in having one child at a time and go for three or four at once?  Dogs do it all the time.",  as he chuckles.  Francisco feels a sharp pain in the back of his head and turns around.  Mauricia had thrown a rock to threaten his comment but accidentally hit him instead. She forces a smile and he asks, "how far along are you?"  "I am finishing my fifth month!"  Mauricia yells back.  Francisco sighs and says, "I forgot how dangerous you females are the later you get in your pregnancies."  Francisco turns back around and continues to pull forward. 

Francisco's mind begins to race with thoughts, "This is MY family, in the middle of the fields or in a house, we are a family.  No one can take that from us, No one."  As they continue their quest Francisco's smile does not falter and his heart beats stronger. 
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