I am not your perfect Mexican daughter
The following is a piece of short fiction inspired by the novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.
Whenever I hold Ogla’s ultrasound in my hands, I remember her. I remember her smell, her voice, her touch-NO, no I remind myself. It’s time for me to let go of my past and move on. It's been two hours since I boarded the plane. I still have three hours to go before I reach New York.
After that, I have a five-hour bus ride to NYU. I still can’t believe it. NYU accepted me. I took deep breaths to calm myself down. This excitement was too much for me. I tried to distract myself by thinking about boys. But thinking about Conners reminds me about the ‘New lady in his life. That’s not what I like to call ‘calming’. Esteban makes me think of Mexico, my parents and their lives, and Ogla. It all circles back to her. I try to sleep but I can’t. For now, I close my eyes.
I open my eyes to find myself standing in the middle of nowhere. There is deep darkness surrounding me. Suddenly, a street light lights up. I squint my eyes and see mist everywhere. I see something move and hear the leaves rustling. I try to go toward the object, but just as I'm about to take my second step, I feel excruciating pain in my head, so severe that I collapse. I try to get up but I can’t. It's getting harder to breathe. And I can't feel my bones anymore. My head feels like it's about to explode. The voice I hear tells me to get up. Its voice is hoarse and faint as if it has been screaming for a long time. ‘‘Julia’’ it whispers. The sound sends chills down my spine, the pain in my body increasing by the second. My vision is blurred, I can't see anything-the voice haunts me yet again.
Trying to identify the creature, I turn around, but it whispers, “Julia”. The voice is a little louder and clearer now. It's as if it's moving closer to me. I muster up the courage and speak up trying to sound brave. “Who are you?” I say my breath shaky. “Oh, don’t you remember me, Julia? Did you forget about me because you moved into New York? I and my baby are very sad you didn’t come to my grave to say goodbye,” she says. It clicks my mind instantly. I forgot to say goodbye to Ogla. I feel a wave of guilt wash over me. A tear dropped from my eye, I felt really bad for not visiting her. Then, I see her. The skin on my sister's face is dangling half-perished. Her bones are visible. My eyes watch as she gets closer to me, telling me she will get revenge on me because she was killed because of me. I shout and scream in an effort to get up. Ogla comes near me and is about to grab my hand when- I wake up gasping for air.
The person sitting next to me asks if I’m okay. “I’m fine,” I say with a half-smile. I get out of my seat and go to the bathroom, trying to not think about my dream. When I reach the bathroom, I see a huge line there. I sigh and go to wait in line. While I wait there, I see someone coming out of the washroom. The man looks familiar. I try to remember where I saw him. As he was leaving, he made eye contact with me as his eyes widened. After a few mins of thinking, I remembered. He’s the guy that was at Ogla’s funeral. He was the guy that hit Ogla with a bus. Great- another person reminding me of Ogla. Taking a deep breath, I walk away.
It's been an hour since I met that man-whatever his name is. I can’t stop thinking about him. So much for leaving my past behind. I take a deep breath as the pilot announces our landing. After we land, I wait for the bus to come. While I was waiting for the bus, the ‘man’ walks past me, notices me standing there, and gives a half-smile. I dunno why, but I don’t smile back. I suspiciously eye him, making him uncomfortable. We make eye contact for a few seconds and look away.
After a few minutes, (which by the way seemed like hours) the man walked towards me. I wanted to take a step back, but my body won’t move. “Hello,” he says with an awkward smile. I don’t say anything. Then he asks me something I didn’t want to hear. “ I’m sorry about your sister” “I didn’t want to kill her”. “What do you mean, you didn’t ‘want’ to?” I snap. I have no idea why I was talking to him. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” He pauses for a second. Then responds “Do you know Dr.Castilio’s wife?” before I could respond, the bus comes by. “I can’t believe I’m doing this” I mumble to myself. I get on the bus.
After I go to my dorm and finish unpacking (which seemed like forever. It feels like Amá packed every unfashoinable clothing she could find in my luggage) I call Lorene and tell her about the man. “Hmm… It feels like there is more to your past than you think” She says with a sigh. “Ya, but I don’t really want to worry about that right now, I have an even bigger problem” “Bad roommate?” Lorena asks. “Worse. Bad wardrobe” I say with a sigh. “That’s something I can help you with,” Lorena says, with a smile. After about half an hour of recycling, my wardrobe is finally-likable.
After I hang up, I get another call. It’s unknown. I answer it “Hello?” “Hi” I recognize that voice instantly. “Oh. It’s you” I say. Before boarding the bus, I give the man that killed Ogla my number. “Ya,” He says, feeling sad. “What’s your name? And what do you have to do with Dr. Castillo?” I say, getting right to the point. “My name is Jacob. You see, my wife was very ill and needed immediate treatment to make her feel better. I was a bus driver, and I didn’t have that kind of money. So-” “Wait, what does this have to do with Dr. Castilio?” I say getting restless. “Well, Dr. Castillio’s wife was the doctor that said she would treat my wife for free if I killed the person her husband w-was cheating on” He takes a deep breath.
I panic and hang up the phone. Ogla was murdered.