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Family is Everywhere
They busted through the doors. Pinned my father and mother against the wall and took them away. I saw him in the eye. They were blue. Coldhearted. Me and my brothers were crying in the kitchen corner. The door closed and so did my connection with my parents . It’s been 3 years since then. We live in fear of surviving everyday. Everymeal.
It’s now 3 years later and we still live in the same beaten up home with the stove burnt to a crust and the roof leaking every winter. We kill ourselves trying to get through the days with our what seems to be jobs but in reality it’s a way the gringos make more money off of us and make us stay at the bottom of the social caste. Luis is the youngest of us, he’s 18, and as much as he likes to say it doesn’t bother him that he can’t go out with his friends to help us I can see it in his face that he doesn’t want to live like this. None of us do. No one does. I’ve been thinking and I remembered my dad telling me about an old friend of his that can take us across the desert and into the U.S. I still have his number. In fact it’s my bookmark for my journal. I’ve always been too scared to call ,mainly because I know that would mean risking our jobs ,our home ,and our lives. We already lost 2 of the most important people in our lives ,we don’t want to lose eachother. Eleazar ,the oldest, is always talking to us and motivating us to keep going and to try to fight the pain and tears and to never show weakness. To basically shut off all emotions that make us seem weak. At first it was easy , I had the mindset to get a job and save money to at least get out of the neighborhood but it’s been years and the only thing thats changed is the price for our home and the years we had left to live. One night when Eleazar came from work I was sitting on the table writing in my journal and asked him,
“Aren’t you tired of this shit”.
‘What are you talking about”, he asked with an annoyed look on his face.
“You know what I mean ,we bust our ass for hours and get treated like scum. We ain’t nothin but a pair of arms to these foos cant you see !”
“OF COURSE I SEE !” He slams the fridge door. I’ve angered him.But part of me sees he’s been wanting to release it for a while.
“Then what are we waiting for. We can’t live like this ,we have to do something”.
“And what is that. Huh! You got some typa miracle that you’ve been hiding,We can’t do anything but work ok and you’re just going to have to live with it”.
“I DON’T WANT TO ! I’m not bouta waste my time doing something that doesn’t give me shit but a pile of bills.”I started thinking of my dads friend and if he can take us across the border. I kept hesitating because I knew Eleazar would think I’m crazy.
“Look you think your’e so grown but your’e not .You can’t just suddenly wake up and take us out of this mess we in so just drop it and go to sleep>”
“Dad gave me a phone number to one of his old friends.He’s a coyote and said if we wanted change ,to ask him if he can take us across border”
He looked at me as if i told him the dumbest thing ever.
“Just stop talking ok and even if we call him where we gonna get the lana from ehh? “
“Dad said he owes him a favor so he won’t charge us .C’mon bro we need to get out before we die breathing instead if living. I want to have a life where I don’t live in fear of losing my job or la migra comes for you guys and I end up alone.
It got quiet for a few minutes
“Call him in the morning.Ill tell luis .”
The next morning we were eating rice and beans and tortilla with queso and nopal. After breakfast I called him ,his name is Aldo ,surprisingly he wasvery excited to hear my voice.After we talked for a while and he was more than happy to cross us especially because he was my dads bestfriend and he wanted us to be safe. We were lucky to have someone be this generouse. I went back into the house and told Luis and Eleazar to start packing and be ready for the hardest journey we will ever take. A couple hours passed and a guy with a big ram truck pulled up.I didn’t understand what was happening. I saw a glimpse of his face and suddenly all these memories came back and my body ran to him and gave him the biggest hug. He was family.
“Tan listos,” he said with a smile and his hands on our shoulders, “amonos mijos”.
We got off the truck after a couple stops and our walking journey began.It was very hot and very dry. The sun was trying to weigh us down but we proceeded for a few hours. Aldo said the desert is quiet which is good but also bad so we should keep a look out for la migra and the carteles. He talked so much about the cartels I started to wonder if he was in one because he seemed to know alot of information.I wanted to ask but I never did,it seemed rude.It was our 3rd and last day out here.Finally.
“ACA ESTAN !”
I jumped.The cartels.THEY FOUND US!
We left everything and started running like it was our last thing to do because if they caught us we were dead meat.
POW POW POW
They killed Aldo.They grabbed us and beat us till we were purple and coughed out blood. They took us back to the ranch.
“Where are you taking us? Don’t you usually have to kill us by now?”I was curious and that’s what I learned from the many stories Aldo told us.
“DUDE shut up”, Luis was scarred and Eleazar was enraged.You can see the veins on his arms coming out.
“Ha if i wanted to kill you I would’ve by now “
“So why didn’t you?”
“You are just like your father.Always want to be in charge .”
My father?How did he know my father.
“How do you know my dad?”
He adjusted the mirror in the front of the truck and looked at me in the eyes, “you’ll see”.
I kept asking questions to see if i can get any type of answer. Nothing. AS we got to the gate of the ranch they put bags over our heads.
“Is this really necessary?”
The guys with big guns laughed.
“Glad our pain amusses you guys”
“Seriously tho where are you taking us?And how do you know my dad? What are you goig t do with us?What do you need us for?
They started to walk us and then we stopped.
My hands were tied so i couldn’t do much.I heard someone walking towards me and Luis and Eleazar started to come closer to me .
“Ahh thats no way to treat my family. Take off thier masks.” He laughed
HOLD ON. That voice.That laugh.I remember it.They took off our masks and my heart dropped .I froze .I couldn’t believe who it was .After all these years he’s right here infront of us.