The task of writing this story is becoming harder every time I go deeper in my memories and closer to the ones I have with my mother. Those are the ones that are going to drain me dry and actually those are the ones I fear the most.
I´m trying to focus my mind in better things for the future. Knowing that the only way to those dreams is to go all the way through the pain and rocks in the path. But, eventhough life has taught me all about pain I still refuse to add more scars to the ones I already have.
It feels unhealthy to always have a heartache that bearly lets me breath but the sense of solitude and social extraction is comforting in some way -in a very sick sodomic way- now that I think about it. I got used to the voices claiming their momentum in my everday charade. If I lose my self while dealing with my demons at least I will know that I tried. I really tried.
I´m getting used to be like this and now that I´m here in this house with my mother, facing my own old fears that keep me agonizing, this feels like going into the deep blue knowing that there is no coming back. No salvation. No U-turn for my mind nor redemption for my heart.
It all happened so fast. Twenty one years away from home. Away from her rules and away from her world. Away from her heart. Twenty one years of struggeling with my own life all by my self and then, catastrophe. The banks came and took everything. They didn´t leave a single thing so I have to run away from that city for they were actually trying to take my pride too. I grabbed my bags, my clothes and the pride I was trying to protect and left. Didn´t turn back. Just left.
The airplane lands in my hometown. Cali. It is hot and still. The wind is taking a breather. I step off the plane, walk to the baggage tapeline, grab my only two suitcases, walk out the airport, get a taxi and twenty one minutes later I´m in front of my mother´s house. They; mom, my sisters and my stepdad are waiting for me, even the dog´s there at the porche waiting next to Mom. My head is spining. My temperature is high. The heat makes me sweat. Then, I see her, and they all become a blur to my eyes. All I see is my mother and her smile.
She is smaller, bigger, her hands are nervously trying to comb her now very short grey hair, her eyes are dropping tears... my heart feels hers racing. We are about to explode. Together again after so many years and after so many battles and conflicts. Together again because I got my wings broken. Together again because I didn´t have anywhere else to go, or anyone else to turn to.Together again after all the pain. It had been a long time since I felt all these emotions when seeing her. There was this one time before that I recall feeling like this. Too many years before, but I still remember how I felt then... it was just like this now.
I´m seven or eight years old. I´m walking a sidewalk next to my dad, he has my hand in his. I recognize this sidewalk. It is close to my aunt´s house. We are going to my aunt Betty´s house. Though I used to enjoy coming here, this time is different. According to Dad, my mom was not coming home ever again because she was dead. So, I knew he was leaving me here at my aunt´s. But, that wasn´t what was about to happen. Days before he and I had a talk in which he said:
You will never see your mother again because she is dead -My father said to me to make me cry- She is in hell because she is a whore. She is dead you hear me you faggot?
He smackes my head and even though it hurts I wasn´t crying for that. I was crying for mom.
Do not cry now faggot... I will teach you to cry over something real if you don´t stop this whinning you hear? Stop crying now. I´m telling you. I will punch you in the face you faggot.
Little I knew about the evil and wickedness of adults. Little I knew about dad´s capacity to do hurm to his own kid. Little I knew about the truth on adults lifes. I was just a kid with a very soft personality who was taking life as it came. But, though I didn´t know then, all those things happening to me were just giving me the means to be on my own years later.
As I wrote above, we were walking toward my aunt´s. We got to the door, my dad rang the bell and when the door opened I just couldn´t believe my eyes. My heart was bursting from my chest. I smiled and jumped to her arms. It was mom. She wasn´t dead. But with all the innocence I had back then, I asked her:
Are you an angel now? Did God give you permission to come and see me mommy? (I don´t remember saying those words, but Mom does. She says that everyone cried when they heard me saying that)
Mom started to cry and talk, but I don´t remember her words. I was just happy to be in her arms again. I remember that she was hugging me tight. She was talking to my dad in the normal way they always talked. Screaming at eachother. And then...
Sir, are you XXX XXX XXX? (I will avoid his name)
Yes, I am
Sir, you are under arrest for the kidnapping and endangerment of a minor. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney during interrogation; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you... do you understand your rights Sir?
Yes, I do
And they took him away. I looked at my dad while they were taking him away in the Police car. Mom was taking me inside the house and I stared at my dad and he did the same back at me. I waved my hand. The door closed.
My mom ran to the bathroom with me, my aunts came after her and they all five started to undress me. They took off all my clothes and got me naked and then started to scan my body and skin with their eyes. They found what they were looking for. Bruises.
But those weren´t the regular bruises gotten from a punch. There were bite bruises. All over my back and legs and buttocks. Mom hugged me and told me that I was to forget what happened with my dad. That my dad was a bad person and that he was going to be punished for doing those things to me. Then...
... a Police lady came into the bathroom with all of us. She saw me and saw the bruises. She reaches for me. Mom screams. My aunts scream. The Police lady grabbed my clothes and didn´t care that I was naked. She took me with her and handled me to another lady who got into a car with me, naked, in her arms. I was screaming and crying. I was watching mom crying in despair. I was crying my lungs out. I just got her back and they were taking me away again. What was happening? What did I do? My dad told me that I needed to take my clothes off for I have been a very bad boy. It was all my fault. My dad told me to do bad things, because I needed to be punished. I am sorry. I am sorry.
I wil be good. I will be good. I want mommy. I´m sorry. I want my mommy. Please Señora. I don´t want to go Señora please. I´m sorry.
They took me away with them. They snatched me from my mother´s arms. My father was sent to detention while his trial took place. I was placed at a foster care for I don´t know how much time. My mother wasn´t allow to see me. My faith was now in Government´s discretion.
But, I didn´t suffer much there. I made friends. The ladies taking care of us were caring and one of them was always wearing funny customes. They made us laugh. Gave us great food and treats. They were always saying that we all were there on vacation. So, I figured that if I was on a vacation I should be ok. Mom was going to get me anytime. Soon.
My father was charged and convicted for child molestation. They gave him 5 years. He was a model inmate and started to study and quit alcohol and drugs. They made him do just 3 years.
My mother and I were living alone in a new house. He found us...he came inside the house while we were sleeping and got into my mother´s bed. I heard the racket in my mother´s room. I got off the bed and walked the corridor. Got in front of her door and put my ear at the door so I can hear the noise and voices inside. I heard my dad saying:
You´ve been bad hu? Puta?. I am going to punish you for being a bad whore you puta. I am going to make you beg for my forgiveness you bitch
When I heard all of that, I got so scared I fainted. When I woke up again, she was next to me. Crying and hugging me. He´d rapped her. She was shaking like she was freezing to death. I didn´t understand what was happening then; she told me the story many years after. In an "I am sorry for everthing" letter she sent to me.
We were in my room and we could hear him in the living room listening to music and singing. Getting drunk.
Don´t fall sleep mi amor ok? Look at me. We can not fall sleep ok principito?
I nodded and listened to dad having his own party in the living room. We got too exhausted. She was totally worn out. I was falling asleep. We felt asleep.
Then I felt something pulling me off my mother´s arms. She wakes up and screams. He hits her in the face and she faints. He takes me to the other room. He slaps me. Orders me to get undressed. He takes his clothes off. He grabbes me from my hair and throws me to the bed. His teeth are biting my backside. That is all I remember, the pain from the bites. I don´t remember anything else.
When he was finished he dashed out the room naked. Minutes later my mother came and took me to the bathroom. We both were naked under the shower. She was cleaning my body and hers. We both were watching at eachother´s bruises. We had the same bruises at the same spots. She was crying. I was just mute. I didn´t feel like talking. From that day after I decided that I was not to talk more than required.
Time after, one night, she came into my bedroom. She wasn´t scared or crying or anything alike. She woke me up and said:
Baby, wake up. Come on my amor. Wake up. We need to go to the kitchen and make some coffe for Papi ok? Wake up amor. Come on.
I woke up. Got off the bed and took off my pajamas. Kept the underware. We went to the kitchen. She made the coffee. Set the usual tears before she handles me the cup. She lowers her face and says:
Now honey you take this to your Papi ok? And remember that I love you.
I walked the corridor to his room. I knocked twice. I hear his heavy footsteps. He opens the door and lets me in. The door closes behind me.
I´m here in front of her again twenty one years later. Hugging her. Feeling her. Smelling her hair again. She doesn´t smell like she used to. Her hands feel diferent. Her embrace feel diferent. She even walks different. They all show me their smiling faces. I belive them. I believe they are happy to have me here. But we are strangers now. They don´t know what happens to a broken soul. They don´t have a clue of what to do with a broken soul. We will have to reintroduce ourselve to eachother again. Learn to be together. I just hope that in the meantime, the hurt calms down a bit. We need to take a breath. We need a break.
By Mauricio Betancourt 2010 ©