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La Gringa De Tabasco

You left Villahermosa because your father lost his job and was in debt. You, your

siblings, and your mom applied for Visas because your father said, “Go ahead of me, I’ll meet up

with you in the States when I’ve paid off my debt.” Your visa is denied. You are denied of the

Dream, but it didn’t stop you and your family. You all leave Villahermosa, take a plane to D.F

and then to Tijuana.

You and your mom are in Tijuana now, but Fanny and Jesus aren’t. Two strangers, a

man and a woman pick you up in a grey van and they tell you, “Your name is Jazmin” or

Jacqueline. You were four when this happened so you don’t remember what name these Tijuas

had given you. You arrive at a house; it’s brown or tan. You don’t know. You become scared,

because along the way you seemed to have lost your mother to Rumorosa’s burning roads.

You’re alone now. And let me remind you, you’re only four years old. In Tijuana.

With 

strangers. Celebrating a stranger’s birthday party.Instead of participating, you creep over to a long brown couch and sit on it. You don’t

lay down. You don’t take off your shoes. You just sit there until you fall asleep. You fall asleep

sitting in the same area, at the end of a couch with your head resting on the arms rest.

You’re awakened, to the view of a man and a woman putting you back in the car;

confused but you go with it. They both sit in the front, but the man in the driver’s seat and the woman in the passenger’s.

You stay awake as they begin to drive off with you.

The man turns around and says, “go back to sleep,”

and you do so because you are afraid of a higher authority,

especially if they are men.

You’re in San Diego now. Fanny’s there.

You feel relieved but stressed because you’ve never been 

separated from your family.

Two weeks go by and your mom arrives. So does Jesus.

*

Fifteen years later and your father never met with you

here in the States. 

You tell yourself it’s because he hasn’t paid off his debts.

But only your distressed memories know why. 

By Isabel J. Figueroa

 

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