La Mariposa en la Pared

The everyday experiences of latino immigrants through the eyes of an outsider. Las vidas típicas de unos inmigrantes latinos a través de los ojos de una forastera.

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Location: Upstate NY, United States

"To me it’s always interesting when you get accepted somewhere you don’t really belong. It’s interesting when people open up and let you in their world." - Gilles Mingasson

Friday, November 26, 2010

La Despedida

He sat alone in the dining area of the convenience store, waiting for the Greyhound bus. Beside him leaned two big black suitcases bulging with everything he had decided to take back with him to Guatemala. For ten years he had worked en los estados unidos. When he asked her to come see him before he left, she asked instead when he'd be back. "Nunca," he said.

That was unusual. Most who go home admit before they even leave that it's unlikely they'll be able to avoid having to return eventually to work en el norte.

Three hours were all that remained of his time here. After that, a bus would take him to Houston, and a plane would fly him to the land of eternal spring. It was a lonesome end to a lonesome long time. He had spent the last few months watching her work, blurting out "buenos dias" a little louder than he intended, smiling when he caught her eye, waiting for her to walk by. She had mostly ignored his calls and messages, after many polite no's, doubting his sincere I love yous in spite of his pleas in English.


He looked up from his clasped hands on the table. She looked into his surprised chocolate eyes and smiled. They just looked at each other for a long moment before she began to explain. "No pude dejarte salir sin decirte adios." The truth was that she knew she could go say goodbye, it was a short drive to where he was waiting, so why not? Why not give him a warm send off? Why not, when this simple kindness could make him happy? She felt compelled, and she knew that she wouldn't regret it.

"Estas sola?" he asked hopefully. "No.. I gave someone a ride.. he's waiting in the car." She hadn't wanted to put herself in a compromising position, and she was pretty sure that the man in the car would understand if she ended up having to explain herself.

They spoke for several minutes, looking into each others eyes, committing one others faces to memory.

"I wish I could kiss you."

She pulled up a chair and sat opposite him, and leaned forward, and smiled. "You can."

It was their first and last kiss, and it was the kind that she wished she could repeat again, and often.

She stood and hugged him, and they hugged ever tighter, and then she kissed his forehead - feliz viaje - and his cheek - y que te cuides - and his other cheek - mucho.

"This is the best gift you could have given me," he said softly. The tears in his eyes reflected her own, and it was she who felt she had received a gift.



Blogger Laura said...

This leaves me wanting more... bella!

1/30/2011 12:57 PM  

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