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EL ARCORIS

DESPUS DE LA
ILUVIA
Juan Alonso
All Rights Reserved Juan
Alonso

The Spanish Reader


Series
The best way to learn a
foreign language is to start
reading it! Each book in the
'Spanish Reader' series
comprises three original
Spanish short stories, with
English translations placed
next to the Spanish text, so
that you can translate the
stories as you read. Perhaps
more importantly, all the

stories are page-turners that


are guaranteed to leave you
on the edge of your seat learning a foreign language
has never been so enjoyable!
This is a work of pure fiction.
Any resemblance to anyone,
living or dead is purely
coincidental. The characters
are fictional and of my own
creation. The place, time and
incidents are purely fictional.
Juan Alonso makes no

representations, warranties, or
assurances as to the accuracy,
currency or completeness of
the content contain in this
ebook.
Cover illustration: Minoru
Suzuki/Shutterstock.com

Table of Contents
The Spanish Reader Series
1. El Arcoris Despus de la
Iluvia
2. El Arcoris Despus de la
lluvia, II
3. El Arcoris Despus de la
lluvia, III

1. El Arcoris
Despus de la Iluvia
Tena miedo. Realmente tena
miedo. Escuch que las
sirenas se aproximaban, y
despus de un rato, los
chicos azules destrozaron la
puerta. De paso, los chicos
azules eran la polica. Mi
padre, quien result ser mi
padrastro, los odiaba y me
inculc el mismo odio.

I was afraid. Really afraid. I


heard sirens approaching and
after a while, the 'blue guys'
busted through the door. The
blue guys, by the way, were
the police. My dad, who
turned out to be my
stepfather, hated them and I
think he instilled that hate to
me too.
Pele entre los brazos y pate
a cada uno de los que me
agarr.

No recuerdo mucho de lo que


sucedi despus, lo que en
realidad sucedi despus de
la muerte de mi padre.
Supongo que estaba
demasiado asustada y
aterrorizada para comprender
la gravedad de la situacin.
Bueno, tena solo 14 aos.
Todo lo que saba era que
cada da era una tortura para
m. Luego del funeral, casi no
poda hablar, slo responda
con una palabra o una frase

corta, tartamudeando. No
poda pensar en otra cosa que
no fuera el cuerpo cubierto de
sangre de mi pap. Dorma
sabiendo que tendra
pesadillas.
Because I struggled in their
arms as I kicked every guy
who picked me up.
I didn't remember much what
happened afterwards what
happened after my dads

death. I guess I was too


scared and terrified to
understand the gravity of the
situation. Well, I was only 14
anyway. All I knew was that,
every day was a torture for
me. After the burial, I
couldn't talk straightly. I
could only reply with a word
or a phrase - stuttering. I
couldn't think of anything but
the bloody body of my dad. I
could only sleep anticipating
nightmares.

Estaba realmente aterrorizada


por lo que haba sucedido y
mi mam estaba tan
preocupada que hizo un
replanteo de nuestras vidas y
nos mudamos a San
Petersburgo.
I was really knocked up by
what had happen and my
mom was so worried that she
overhauled our lives and
moved us to St. Petersburg.

Me dej al cuidado de la ta
Alice y el to Dan. Mi
pequeo hermano termin en
la residencia de la ta Clara
que era viuda. Nuestra madre
nos dijo que volvera por
nosotros despus de tres
meses porque no tena trabajo
todava.
No te preocupes Shannon,
volver. Por favor,
esprame, me dijo como
despedida y me bes.

Y as esper, pero esa espera


fue de tres aos durante los
cuales viv como si fuera una
basura.
She left me to the care of my
Aunt Alice and Uncle Dan.
My little brother ended up to
our widowed Aunt Claras
residence. She told us shed
come back for us after three
months, because at that time
she havent got any job yet.

Dont worry Shannon, Ill


be back. Please wait for me,
she kissed me goodbye. And
so I waited, but it took her
three years three long years
which I spent living like
trash.
Al comienzo, tanto mi ta
como mi to fueron grandes
anfitriones. Satisfacan todas
mis necesidades, y me
dejaron tener mi propia
habitacin. Pero luego de solo

un mes, todo cambi, y


mostraron los motivos de tan
buen trato.
Y desde ese momento
comenc a vivir como una
criada.
Both my aunt and uncle
started as great,
accommodating couple. They
provided me with my needs
and let me have my own
room. But after only a month,

their true color and motive


started to show.
And I also started living like
a helper.
Saba que no tena derecho a
quejarme porque para ellos
yo era un parsito o una
vividora. Realmente haca
todo lo que estaba mi alcance
para complacerlos, hasta
guardaba los secretos
relacionados con sus

relaciones extramatrimoniales
para evitar confrontaciones.
Pero jams imagin que
tambin iba a haber golpes.
Despus del primer ao de
vivir con ellos, los golpes se
hicieron frecuentes, sucedan
todos los das. Nunca
terminaba el da sin haber
recibido una cachetada o una
patada en la espinilla por
haber sido demasiado lenta,
una idiota, y una bastarda
desagradecida, y la lista de

insultos se extenda an ms.


Pero soport todo esto por el
bien de mi madre, y todava
no haba llegado la peor
parte.
I know I didnt have any right
to complain as I was a
freeloader. I actually did my
best to please them even
keeping their extramarital
affairs just to avoid
confrontations. But it didnt
occur to me that beatings

would be in it too. After my


1st year under their roof, the
beatings turned daily from a
weekly basis. The day
wouldnt end without me
getting a slap or a kick in the
shin for being too slow,
an idiot, and an
ungrateful bastard and so
the list goes on. But I endured
it all for the sake of my
mother. And that wasnt even
the worst part yet.

Porque mi to casi abusa de


m.
Era una noche lluviosa y mi
ta no haba llegado an a
casa. Escuch los golpes
impacientes de mi to en la
puerta de mi cuarto.
Naturalmente, abr la puerta
para preguntarle que
necesitaba a esa hora, pero
antes de que pudiera abrir la
boca, me empuj adentro y
ca sobre mi espalda.

Because what my uncle did


almost made me loose myself.
It was a rainy evening and my
aunt has yet to come home. I
heard my uncles impatient
knocks on my door.
Naturally, I opened it to ask
what he would want at a late
hour, but before I could open
my mouth he pushed me
inside and I fell on my back.
Sucedi tan rpido que la

prxima cosa que supe es que


l estaba sobre m en el suelo.
Una de sus manos busc mi
pecho. Ola a alcohol y a
vmito. Estaba como
amordazada por aquel olor.
Trat de liberarme y grit tan
alto como pude, pero fue
intil porque todo lo que pude
hacer fue solo gritar.
It happened so fast that the
next thing I knew was that, he
was pinning me down on the

floor. His other hand was


groping my breast and he
reeked of alcohol and puke. I
gagged at the smell in his
closeness. I tried to break
free and I screamed as loud
as I can, but it was so useless
that all I did was cry.
Pude sentir sus manos por
todo mi cuerpo, y me besaba
la piel que haba quedado al
descubierto. Era tan
repulsivo, l era repulsivo.

Nunca me haba sentido tan


sucia en mi vida.
En ese momento lleg mi ta
quien estaba totalmente
descontrolada por el enojo al
ver la situacin. Me llam
ramera y prostituta por
haberle robado a mi to.
Llor desesperada. Mi to
estaba de pie, y trat de entrar
en razones con ella, pero
estaba demasiado enojada

para escuchar. Me gritaba con


su voz chillona, y me ara la
cara con sus uas filosas. Me
tir del pelo. Yo estaba tan
desorientada que no saba qu
hacer. Me sent como una
mueca de trapo cuando me
tir fuera de la casa bajo la
lluvia cubierta de saliva,
alcohol, lgrimas y sangre.
No tena adonde ir.
I could feel his hands all over

me and he repeatedly kissed


all the flesh in sight. It was so
repulsive he was repulsive.
And I never felt so dirty in my
life.
And what my aunt did when
she came home made me even
angrier. She called me a slut
and a whore for stealing my
uncle from him.
I cried in pure desperation.
My uncle stood up and tried

to reason with her, but she


was too angry to listen to
anything. She screamed at me
in her shrilly voice and
clawed my face with her filed
nails. She pulled my hair and
I was too disoriented inside
and out that I didnt know
what to do. It was as if I were
a ragdoll whom she easily
threw out of the door. She left
me soaked in saliva, alcohol,
tears, blood and rain.

And I had nowhere to go.


Fui hasta el parque ms
cercano, todava temblaba por
la experiencia. Me dola todo
el cuerpo. Encontr un mantel
tirado detrs de una especie
de cobertizo, y pas toda la
noche en esa cama
improvisada. Cuando me
despert, estaba cubierta con
vendajes y entre sbanas
limpias. Estaba tendida en
una cama suave, cubierta por

una chaqueta que me daba


calor. Cuando trat de
sentarme, not que tena una
toalla mojada sobre la frente.
I headed to the nearest park,
still trembling from the
experience. My body ached
all over. I found a discarded
mantel behind a shed and
spent the entire night on my
makeshift bed. When I woke
up, I was already wrapped
with bandages and had

changed into clean clothing. I


was lying in a soft bed and
tucked under a warm jacket.
A cold towel fell from my
forehead when I tried to sit
up.
Luego descubr que una
mujer de la zona me haba
encontrado sangrando y
temblando con alta
temperatura. La anciana me
llev de inmediato al hospital
ms cercano.

Afortunadamente, la doctora
que yo visitaba antes de la
muerte de mi pap, Dra.
Katherine Anderson, haba
sido transferida a ese hospital.
Ella personalmente me cuid,
y la habitacin en la que
despert era su propia
habitacin.
Cmo te sientes?,
pregunt. Estaba sentada en
una silla al lado de la cama.

Tienes hambre? Prepar


sopa para ti. La ir a buscar
abajo.
Agit mi cabeza y tuve ganas
de llorar. All estaba ella,
tomando el lugar de mi
madre. Gracias Dra.
Anderson.
Ella sonri. Eres bienvenida
querida. Y llmame solo
Katherine. Ya no soy tu
doctora, lo recuerdas?

Me cuid en su propio
apartamento hasta que
recobr las fuerzas.
Nunca pude estar ms
agradecida.
Y como se dice, siempre hay
un arcoris despus de la
lluvia.
La Dra. Katherine Anderson
era el arcoris.
Later on I found out that a

local found me bleeding and


shivering with a high
temperature. The old woman
rushed me to the nearest
hospital. Fortunately, the
psychiatrist whom I visited
before after my dad died was
newly transferred in that
hospital. Her name was Dr.
Katherine Anderson.
She personally took care of
me and the room that I woke
up in was hers.

How are you feeling? she


asked, sitting on a chair
beside the bed. Are you
hungry? I prepared a bowl of
soup for you. Ill get in
downstairs.
I shook my head and I felt like
crying. There she was,
tending me in the place of my
mother. Thank you, Dr.
Anderson.
She smiled. Youre most

welcome, darling. And just


call me Katherine. Im not
your doctor anymore,
remember?
She tended me in her own
apartment until I regained my
strength.
I could never be so thankful.
And as they say, theres
always a rainbow after the
rain.

Dr. Katherine Anderson was


that rainbow.

2. El Arcoris
Despus de la lluvia,
II
Pas el primer mes bajo los
cuidados de la Dra. Anderson
en Arcadia, Oak Street.
Altern sesiones de asistencia
psicolgica, tareas domsticas
livianas y tratando de
relajarme con la lectura de
libros y con algunas pelculas.
Pronto tuve una rutina y esto

realmente me consol.
Ella comenz a llamarme
Shan, la abreviatura de
Shannon. Luego, al segundo
mes de mi estada all,
apareci Lewis, su nico hijo.
Lewis tena cuatro aos ms
que yo. Haba estado
estudiando arte en Europa
como estudiante de
intercambio por casi dos
aos., y era la primera vez
que volva a casa despus de

su partida.
Aunque segn la Dra.
Anderson, se haban
comunicado constantemente
durante su estancia en el
extranjero, por eso, la
distancia entre ellos no haba
sido tan estresante.
I spent the first month under
Dr. Andersons care in
Arcadia Oak Street
alternating counseling

sessions, mild household


chores and relaxing through
books and movies. I soon
developed a routine and it
greatly comforted me.
She also started calling me
Shan, short for Shannon.
Then on the 2nd month of my
stay, Lewis, her only son
showed up. Lewis was 4 years
older than me. He was an Art
exchange student in Europe
for almost 2 years and it was

the first time he came home


since his departure. Though
according to Dr. Anderson,
they had a steady and open
communication during his
stay abroad. So the distance
between them didnt really
matter that much.
Lewis y yo nos hicimos
amigos al instante ya que
compartamos la pasin por el
dibujo. Su pintor favorito era
Van Gogh, mientras que el

mo era Salvador Dal.


Hablbamos mucho sobre
ellos, sus trabajos ms
famosos y sus tcnicas. Por
mi parte, no haba estado en
contacto con nada
relacionado al arte desde la
muerte de mi pap. Pero antes
de eso, fue l el que me
llevaba con frecuencia a las
galeras de arte. Gracias a
estas visitas, conoc a los
pintores ms famosos.

Despus de algunos das,


nuestra relacin se profundiz
y se hizo ms personal.
Lewis and I became instant
buddies as we shared the
same passion in sketching.
His favorite painter was Van
Gogh, while mines Salvador
Dali. We talked about them a
lot their famous works and
techniques. I may not have
been in touch in anything

related to art after my dad


died, but before, he would
often take me to art galleries.
Because of that, I got fairly
acquainted with famous
painters.
After a few days, we delved
into personal things already.
Me cont que sus padres se
haban separado cuando l
tena solo siete aos, pero que
admiraba a su madre por su

fortaleza. Ella haba actuado


como madre y como padre
mientras l creca, y eso que
l no haba sido un nio fcil
segn sus propias palabras.
Haba pasado por una poca
de rebelda y haba sido
demasiado emocional para su
propio bien. Pero su mam
fue siempre muy paciente con
l, y solo le tom algunos
meses darse cuenta de sus
errores, y apreciar lo
afortunado que era de tener

una madre como la Dra.


Anderson. Su pap nunca
regres, y no haba escuchado
nada de l desde entonces. Le
pregunt si el abandono le
haca sentir rencor hacia su
padre. Pero l solo movi su
cabeza y sonri.
He told me that his parents
separated when he was only
7, but he admired his mother
for her strength. She acted as
both mother and father as he

was growing and he wasnt


an easy kid to deal with, he
said. He had undergone the
rebellious phase and had
been too emotional for his
own good. But her mom had
always been patient with him
and it only took him a few
months to realize his mistakes
to appreciate how fortunate
he was to have a mom like
Dr. Anderson.
His dad never came back and

he hasnt heard anything


from him since then. I asked
him if his abandonment made
him hold a grudge against his
dad, but he just shook his
head and smiled.
Si guardas sentimientos
negativos en tu corazn,
permites que las personas que
los provocaron afecten tu
vida. No quiero que eso me
pase. He estado all, y no me
gust experimentarlo. Ahora

quiero que Dios sea el nico


que rija mi vida, nada ms.
Despus de decir esto, supe
que me senta atrada hacia l.
Sus ideales, su naturaleza
buena, y su espiritualidad me
encantaban.
Era la primera vez que
conoca un chico como l.
If you hold negativities in
your heart, youre letting
those people affect your life. I

dont want that to happen.


Ive been there, and I didnt
like how I felt. It was like, I
was always angry with
everything and everyone.
Now, I want God to be the
sole dictator of my life,
nothing and no one else.
After he said that, I knew I
was drawn. His ideals, kind
nature and spiritually-driven
view in life appealed to me.

It was the first time I met such


a guy.
Lewis tambin estuvo
conmigo, acompandome en
cada paso.
El me ense cmo asistir a
cursos intensivos online, y me
inscrib en varias clases sobre
roles relacionados al soporte
administrativo.
Despus de un ao, logr
obtener varios certificados

que me ayudaron a lograr un


puesto de secretaria en una
pequea firma de ropa. No
era una de esas grandes
boutiques, pero la paga era
buena. Era mucho mejor que
solo ser una vividora.
Adems, la gerente era
realmente muy buena
persona, me contrat aunque
no haba terminado la escuela
secundaria. No tena un
diploma del cual
enorgullecerme.

Lewis has also been there for


me all the step of the way.
He introduced me to crash
courses online and I got to
enroll in several classes
relating to administrative
support roles.
After a year, I have
accumulated a couple of
certificates that helped me to
land in a secretarial position
in a small clothing business

firm. It wasnt one of those


high-end boutiques, but the
pay was good. It was better
than just being a freeloader.
Besides, the manager was a
blessing. She hired me despite
the fact that I havent even
graduated from High School.
I had no diploma to be proud
of.
Pero la Dra. Anderson y
Lewis me mostraron que eso
no era lo ms importante.

Siempre ponan el nfasis en


el trabajo duro, la dedicacin
y la fe.
Esto me hizo pensar que la
gerente tena lo mismo en
mente, ya que cuando me
contrat dijo: Haz hecho un
buen trabajo para conseguir
estos certificados. Tienes que
estar orgullosa de ti misma.
Ahora debes continuar
creciendo. Te orientar
maana mismo al respecto

No llegues tarde!
But Dr. Anderson and Lewis
proved to me that it wasnt
the only important thing.
They always placed emphasis
on hard-work, dedication and
faith.
It made me think that the
manager might have the same
mind-set as them, as she said
after hiring me: Youve
done your best to come up

with those certificates. You


should be proud of yourself.
Now go on, Ill be orienting
you tomorrow. Dont be
late!
Tener la oportunidad de vivir
con la Dra. Anderson y con
Lewis fue un descanso. A
pesar de las diferencias de
crianza, de estatus y de
religin (ellos eran Cristianos
y yo una especie de atea),
hicimos lo mejor que

pudimos en nuestra situacin.


Lewis y yo nos hicimos muy
buenos amigos y ramos
inseparables. Llegamos a
conocer los secretos del otro
y hasta las manas. Siempre le
hacamos bromas a la Dra.
Anderson, y jugbamos al
solitario los sbados. Cada
domingo, traan varios tipos
de dulces y otras delicias
cuando volvan de misa
porque saban que a m me

encantaban. Era un gesto muy


amable de parte de ellos, por
eso, yo les preparaba la
comida antes de que llegaran.
Despus de decir una
pequea oracin de
agradecimiento,
comenzbamos a comer
juntos.
La Dra. Anderson me dio a
entender de una manera muy
sutil que me vea como una
hija. Me sent un poco rara,

pero despus de un tiempo


puede realmente sentir que
tena nuevamente una madre.
Living with Dr. Anderson and
Lewis was a breather.
Despite the differences in
upbringing, status and
religion (as they were
Christians and I was still an
atheist of sort), we got to
make the best out of our
situation.

Lewis and I also became best


friends and we were
inseparable. We got to know
each others secrets and even
mannerisms. Wed always
fool around to annoy Dr.
Anderson and we would play
solitaire on lazy Saturdays.
Every Sunday, theyd bring
home various sweets and
candies after mass because
they knew I had a sweettooth. It was a really nice
gesture on their part. So in

return, I would cook ahead so


that when they arrive,
everythings already set.
After saying a short grace for
the meal, wed start eating
together.
Dr. Anderson also dropped to
me in a subtle way that she
already saw me as a
daughter. I was giddy, and
after a long time I finally felt
how it was to have a mother
again.

Lewis fue realmente un


arcoris adicional en mi vida.
Siempre le estar agradecida
y tambin muy
especialmente a su madre.
Me hicieron sentir
bienvenida, amada y
diferente. Su manera simple
de vivir y sus lazos tan
estrechos me hicieron
considerar la posibilidad que
yo tambin podra tener algo
como eso en el futuro. De

alguna manera u otra, tendra


un final feliz para m.
Lewis was truly an added
rainbow in my life at that
time. Id be forever grateful
to him and his mother - most
especially.
They made me feel welcome,
loved and well, changed.
Their simplistic way of living
and undeniably close knitted
ties made me consider the

possibility that I could have


something like that in the
future too. That in one way or
another, Id have my own
happy ending.
Fue gradual, pero todava me
sorprende el momento en que
me di cuenta que ya no tena
que preocuparme por el dolor
y el temor, que en lugar de
estar contando ovejas para
dormir, contaba las
bendiciones que haba

recibido. Eso hizo que


realmente cambiara porque
cuando no tena nada, ellos
fueron los que me vistieron y
me cuidaron, los que me
devolvieron la salud. Ellos
fueron los que sostuvieron mi
mano cuando me despertaba
en el medio de la noche,
llorando y gritando de miedo
por las cosas que me haban
pasado, que aun me
perseguan en mis pesadillas.
Fueron los nicos a los que

realmente les import y que


me permitieron ser parte de
sus vidas.
It was gradual, but it still
surprised me as I realized
that I wasnt thinking of
cutting myself to bleed
without care anymore. That
instead of counting sheep, I
was already counting my
blessings to sleep. They
changed me to a better me, I
guess. And I let them do those

changes in me. Because when


I had nothing, they were the
ones who clothed and nursed
me back to health. They were
the ones who held my hand as
I woke up in the middle of the
night screaming and crying
in fear of the past that
continued to hunt me. They
were the only people who
cared enough to take me in
and let me be a part of their
circle.

Me dieron una oportunidad


de vivir.
No quera que mi pequeo
paraso fuera invadido por
personas del pasado, por eso,
dej de buscar a mi madre.
Mi pequeo hermano estaba
en buenas manos, por lo
tanto, no tena que
preocuparme.
Pero luego, ella entr en
escena.

Un da, cuando volva a casa


desde el trabajo, mi madre se
acerc a m rpidamente
desde una cafetera. Me
abraz con fuerza.
Lo primero que le pregunt
fue: Por qu volviste?
They gave me a chance to
live.
I didnt want my little
paradise to be intruded by
some people in my past, so I

ceased looking for my


mother. My little brother was
well-taken care of so I had
nothing to worry about.
But then, she came back to
the picture.
One day, as I was coming
home from work, my mother
came rushing to me from a
nearby coffee shop. She
tightly hugged me.
And the first thing I asked her

was, Why did you come


back?

3. El Arcoris
Despus de la lluvia,
III
Por qu volviste?
Saba que estaba siendo dura,
pero verla all me hizo sentir
rara. Mis emociones
rpidamente estaban
cambiando, y no saba si
deba sentirme enojada con
ella por haberme dejado con
esos manacos o estar feliz

por su vuelta.
En realidad, no saba si no
deba estar agradecida ya que
de no ser por su abandono no
hubiera encontrado a la Dra.
Anderson y a Lewis. Pero
aunque no quera admitirlo,
todava tena pesadillas sobre
mi to y mi ta. Sus gritos an
me obsesionaban. La verdad
es que a pesar de que haba
aprendido a contar mis
bendiciones en lugar de mis

ovejas, las pesadillas todava


existan.
Despus de cuatro aos, en
mi cumpleaos nmero
diecinueve, mi mam y yo
estbamos reunidas
nuevamente.
Why did you come back?
I knew it was harsh, but
seeing her made me stop cold
in the sidewalk. My emotions
were rapidly changing, and I

didnt know whether I should


be angry that she left me in
the care of those maniacs, or
I should be happy that she
finally came back. Should I
have been thankful instead
that, if not from her
abandonment, I would never
found Dr. Anderson and
Lewis, I asked myself then.
But as much as I didnt want
to admit it, I still had
nightmares about my uncle

and aunt. Their screams still


haunted me. True thing, I
already learned to count my
blessings instead of sheep,
but the nightmares were still
existent.
After 4 years, exactly on my
19th birthday, my mom and I
were reunited.
Shannon, querida, estoy tan
arrepentida, dijo llorando.
Contra mi propi instinto

inicial, la llev hasta la casa


de la Dra. Anderson. Era mi
madre biolgica, y haba
pasado malos momentos para
tratar de garantizar nuestra
existencia. Por eso, trat de
ser optimista sobre su
repentina aparicin. Trat de
mantener en mi mente las
circunstancias buenas en mi
vida, las que haban sucedido
los ltimos aos, a pesar de
las cosas anteriores.

Yo haba cambiado, pens.


Deba devolver lo que se me
haba dado, y eso era bondad.
Shannon, baby. Im so
sorry, she cried.
Against my initial instinct, I
brought her back to Dr.
Andersons home. She was
my biological mother still,
and she had tough times to
ensure our continued
existence. So I tried to be

optimistic about her sudden


appearance. I kept in mind
that circumstances have been
good to me for the past years,
despite what happened
previously.
I was changed, I thought to
myself, and I should give
back what was given to me.
And that what was kindness.
La Dra. Anderson era buena
anfitriona, le dio la

bienvenida a mi madre con un


abrazo y una gran sonrisa. La
hizo pasar mientras yo segua
en conflicto. Trat de buscar
a Lewis pero no lo encontr,
seguramente no haba vuelto
de su trabajo. Estaba
trabajando en la restauracin
de unas piezas chinas en el
museo local.
Pasamos la tarde charlando, y
observ la confianza que
haba nacido entre las dos

mujeres. Pero yo todava


senta que algo estaba mal,
que algo podra pasar que
cambiara el curso de nuestras
vidas para siempre.
Y realmente algo pas. Al
final del da, me encontr con
una valija en cada mano y
caminando junto a mi madre.
A pesar de esa sensacin
negativa que experimentaba,
puse mi mejor esfuerzo por

mantener una conversacin


durante todo el camino. Saba
que mi madre se haba
mudado a solo unas cuadras
una semana atrs, y que haba
hecho todo un camino desde
Texas. Tambin me cont que
me haba buscado, que se
haba tratado de comunicar
con mis tos pero que nadie
responda sus llamados
telefnicos. Despus de dos
das de bsqueda y de espera
en la puerta de la casa de mis

tos, una vecina se apiad de


ella y le cont lo que crea
que haba pasado. Para mi
sorpresa, lo que la vecina
cont era bastante similar a
los hechos que haban
acontecido.
Dr. Anderson was a good
host, welcoming my mother
with a hug and a bright smile.
She ushered her in while I
followed behind them, still
conflicted. I looked for any

sign of Lewis, but he mustnt


have arrived from work yet.
He was working to restore
some ancient Chinese cups in
the local museum.
We spent the afternoon
talking and I observed the
closeness forming between
the two. But I still felt like
something was amiss, that
something would happen that
could change the course of
our lives forever.

And something did happen.


By the end of the day, I found
myself with luggage in both
hands and walking side by
side with my mother.
Despite the negative feeling, I
tried my best to keep the
conversation alive as we go
along our way. I learned that
she started living a few blocks
down a week ago and that she
came all the way from Texas.
She also said that she came

looking for me at my aunt and


uncles home, but they never
answered her calls. After two
days of waiting and constant
visit, a neighbor took pity on
her and narrated to her what
they thought had happen. And
surprisingly, they were
actually pretty accurate about
almost everything.
La Sra. Berry, la vecina de al
lado, siemrpe supo que mis
tios me golpeaban. Por eso,

haba tratado de hacerlos


entrar en razn, y lo nico
que haba recibido como
respuesta haban sido
amenzas contra ella y su
familia. No poda
arriesgarlos, por lo tanto,
eligi callar. Ella expres su
arrepentimiento en una carta
que la haba enviado a mi
mam.
Mrs. Berry, the old woman
next door, had always known

that I was being beaten up by


the couple. So she once tried
to give her piece of mind, but
what she got in return were
threats to her and her family.
She couldnt risk her loved
ones, so she chose to stay
quiet. She expressed her
apology through the letter she
sent with my mom.
Eso me hizo sentir mal,
porque la haba odiado cada
vez que la vea cerrar su

ventana cuando yo estaba en


problemas. Yo haba pensado
que ella tena un corazn frio
y malvado. Tambin otros
vecinos me hicieron llegar
sus disculpas por no haber
hecho algo antes de que mis
tos me expulsaran a la calle.
And it made me feel bad in
a sense that I hated her
before because I would often
see her pulling her shutter
down whenever Id be in

trouble. I really thought that


she was a cold-hearted old
geezer.
The other neighbors also sent
their well-wishes and
apologies for they said they
shouldve done something
before I was kicked out.
Es duro vivir en los
suburbios. Aunque ests solo
a unos metros, no tienes el
privilegio de llamar a los

otros amigos. Debido a la


falta de relacin entre los
vecinos, prefieres dar la
espalda a los problemas antes
que involucrarte.
Involucrarse en esa zona del
infierno significa romper la
poca relacin que se tiene con
otras familias. Perdn
Shannon., no pudimos hacer
nada. Puede sonar egosta,
pero tenemos a nuestras
propias familias. No tenamos
armas para contrarrestar sus

amenazas, por eso no


pudimos rescatarte Cul
sera nuestra defensa?
Living in the suburbs is
hard. Even though you are
literally a few meters apart,
you still dont have the
privilege to call the other a
friend. Because of that lack
in relationship, you would
often choose to sit back than
to get involved. Involvement,
in that hell of an area means

broken smooth sailing


relationship with other
families. Sorry Shannon, we
just couldnt put our lives in
front of yours. It may sound
selfish, but we have our own
families to think of. We have
no guns and weapons to
counter their threats in the
first place, so if wed come to
your rescue, what would be
our source of defense?
Una de las amigas de mi

madre (cuya identidad no


quiso revelar) le dijo que me
haba visto en el Mercado
cerca de Oak Street, y que
haba hecho sus valijas y
haba venido desde Miami
inmediatamente. Ella pens
que realmente me haba
perdido para siempre, por
eso, cuando hubo una
oportunidad la tom, mientras
tuvo el dinero y el tiempo
para hacerlo. Aunque la
posibilidad hubiera sido muy

pequea, se habra
arrepentido toda la vida si la
dejaba pasar.
A friend of hers (whose
identity she chose not to
mention) told her that she
saw me in the Market near in
Oak Street and she
immediately packed up from
Miami and came right over.
She really thought shed lost
me forever, so when an
opportunity opened up, she

took it while she had the time


and money to do so. Even if it
was a slim chance, she said
she knew deep inside that
shed regret it up to her grave
if she passed it off.
Te amo tanto querida hija.
No poda dejar que mis
miedos me detuvieran y
dejara de buscarte.
Me desmoron y me hund en
el divn que estaba en la sala

de mi mam. Pude imaginar


el terror y el desamparo que
debe haber sentido en esos
momentos. Y mi madre, mi
mam, dej todo lo que haba
construido para ver si yo
realmente viva en esta
ciudad. Me sent culpable al
recordar la forma en la que le
haba hablado en nuestro
primer encuentro. Y de
alguna manera sent que la
decisin de haberme mudado
con ella era la correcta.

Mi mam se sent a mi lado y


me acarici la espalda. La
mir y sonre. Como en los
viejos tiempos, no es cierto
mam? Como en los viejos
tiempos
Con esto la dej entrar
oficialmente en mi vida
nuevamente.
I love you so much, baby. I
cant let my fear of
disappointment get to me and

stop me from checking out


your whereabouts.
I cracked up and sank down
to the sofa in my moms living
room. I could just imagine the
terror and helplessness that
they mustve felt at those
times. And my mother - my
mom just left everything she
had built up so far to just try
and see for herself if I was,
indeed, living here in this
city. My heart contracted in

guilt as I remembered the


way I talked to her on our
first meeting after a couple of
years.
And in a way, I felt that I did
the right decision in moving
in with her.
My mom took the empty space
beside me and rubbed my
back. I looked up to her and
smiled. Just like old times,
mom?

Just like old times.


And with that, I officially let
her in my life again.
Unos das despus, estaba
tratando de acomodar los
muebles de mi cuarto, cuando
recib un llamado de la Dra.
Anderson para contarme que
Lewis haba partido a
Florencia. Me qued
estupefacta.
No haba dicho nada sobre

Florencia o sobre irse del


pas. Justo estaba planeando
verlo nuevamente.
Habra sido porque no le dije
nada antes de partir y l haba
hecho lo mismo? Trat de
llamarlo por telfono los das
siguientes pero l siempre
tena alguna excusa. Tanto
lo haba lastimado? Esa era
la pregunta que me surga
todo el tiempo. A los quince
das me di por vencida. Sent

que haba perdido


nuevamente algo importante
en mi vida, y que esa falta de
respuesta haba hecho un
pequeo agujero en mi
corazn. Ese da decid darle
tiempo, quizs necesitaba
espacio para pensar las cosas.
Esperaba perdonara mi
impulsividad y mi falta de
comunicacin, por eso,
retroced y no nos volvimos a
ver.

A few days later, as I was


busy rearranging the
furniture inside my room, I
got a call from Dr. Anderson
saying that Lewis left for
Florence.
I was dumbfounded.
He didnt say anything about
Florence or about leaving for
that matter.
Just when I was planning to
show up again.

Was it because I didnt say a


word to him before I left that
he chose to do the same? I
tried talking to him over the
phone in the next days, but he
would always make excuses.
Did I hurt him that much?
That was the question that
bothered me for the following
days. But by the end of the
2nd week, I gave up. I felt like
Ive lost someone important

in my life again, and his


unresponsiveness ate my
heart little by little. That day I
decided to give him time, that
he might need some space to
think things over. I was
hoping that hed be able to
forgive my lack of tongue and
my impulsiveness, so I backed
off.
We never saw each other
again.

La prxima vez que lo volv a


ver fue un ao despus, y
estaba muerto.
Estuve al lado de la Dra.
Anderson durante el funeral,
y estaba lloviendo mucho. Me
cont que haban descubierto
que Lewis tena un tumor
cerebral justo una semana
antes que yo partiera. l
estaba feliz por lo que me
haba pasado, segn lo que
me cont la Dra. Anderson.

No quera que lo viera sufrir


porque saba que eso me hara
dao. l quera que lo
recordara como haba sido
durante los aos que
habamos compartido.
The next time I saw him was a
year later.
And he was already dead.
I stood close to Dr. Anderson
during the burial, and it was
raining heavily. Little did I

know, answer found out that


he had a brain tumor a week
before I left. He was happy
for me, Dr. Anderson said.
He didnt want me to see him
in pain because he knew it
would only break me again.
He wanted me to remember
the Lewis that I had been with
for the past years.
l te amaba, Shan.
Realmente te amaba, dijo la
Dra. Anderson mientras

lloraba silenciosamente, y
observaba como el fretro
bajaba hasta el hoyo en la
tierra.
Sonre amargamente. Y yo
tambin lo amaba. Todava lo
amo.
Mir hacia el cielo y me
sorprend. La lluvia se haba
detenido y all estaba, una
lnea de colores magistrales.
Haba un arcoris.

He loved you, Shan. He


did, Dr. Anderson said,
crying silently. She was
watching his coffin being
lowered down the hole.
I smiled bitterly. And I loved
him too. I still do.
I looked up and what I saw
surprised me. The rain had
stopped and there it was - a
majestic line of colors.
There was a rainbow.