Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sra. Garcia's second serving

Two children were born and Aniceta was pregnant with her third baby. How many dinners she had cooked for some other woman and how many times she had been hit by Dionisio were things she no longer counted. To keep track of the times he came home reeking of perfume and cheap liquor would have been too exhausting. She was in some sort of neutral spot: neither hating nor hurting.

She was as tired from the baby she carried as she was from the life she was living. How do you when know when too much is enough?

That night he came back to the house - drunk again. Angry and ready to hit her; to call her names that used to make her blush and make her cringe at the harshness of their sounds. Names too painful to share with anyone. And suddenly she realized his being drunk offered an opportunity. Somehow a bit of the young woman who walked behind the wagon resurfaced.

He came toward Aniceta and raised his hand as he had done so many times before. Without thinking she grabbed his wrist. He lost his balance. The next thing she knew she was holding both wrists behind him. Her belly huge with her unborn child found the small of his back. Her desire to not be hit, to not have her child be hit, filled her. Her breathing slowed.

And somehow she held him until his slurry hateful speech was more than matched by his slurred thoughts. She held him until she wanted to cry from the slow pain that flowed throughout her body. A lightness filled her head that made her want to pass out and wake up refreshed and happy. She was so tired but held him until his adrenaline was weaker than the drink in his system.

He passed out.

And that was when she made the choice.

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