Creative Writing Short Story
My name is Maria Sanchez. I am 42 years of age and am an immigrant from Mexico. The story of my life is very sad, but very intriguing. What most people don’t understand is that the struggle to get to this country is harder than most of life itself. The story of my immigration starts when I was just 15. I woke up to the sound of a car driving up to my house. At the time I lived with my mom and all of my sisters. My mom came to put me onto the bus. The exhaust from this vehicle made me extremely nauseated. It seemed like the bus was from the 1900s. It was old, rusty, and worked very hard. I was awake enough to notice the squeaking doors open and this dark shadow at the entrance.
He had on a hooded jacket and said one thing to me, “Get on now!” My knees were shaking. I didn’t know who this man was. He was very unfamiliar and secretive. He said it again, “Get on the bus now!” I wanted to but I couldn’t. I felt like someone glued my feet to the concrete, and my lips were shut. My mother shook me out of this state with a hard push towards the bus. I stepped onto the bus and as the doors were closing my mom handed me a backpack and an old brown envelope. She yelled over the noise in Spanish, “Don’t open the note until you’re safely in America!” I nodded and the bus moved. Slowly the wheels began to turn with a loud squeal. My mom moved with the door. She ran as far as she could and said to me, “Te amo!” Tears streaming down her face and mine I screamed, but the bus didn’t stop, and we drove onto the unknown road ahead.
That was the last thing she said to me, “I love you!” That’s the only other thing I remember of her. We were very poor, and it was hard for us to make a living in Mexico. The trip over was two days on a bus with a man I didn’t know. It was long and hot and I wasn’t sure where I was. The man didn’t speak much to me. He was very quiet, and looked very sad.
On the second day I was sleeping when the man came to us and yelled, “Get out of the bus now!” We didn’t know what was happening we got out and everything was blurry. There were flashes of light and brown. I couldn’t see anything. The light was a shock to my eyes. Before I know it the man is throwing this huge rope over a wall and I’m climbing up it to a new green country. I stood on the huge wall for a second. Looked back to everything I once knew. My mom, my sisters, my friends. And then I looked forward, to the terrible future that will become my present. The confusion, the frustration, and the struggle of coming to a new country. I am not quite sure what happened next. I heard a siren. A loud boom and I fell off the wall and ran.
There was a man chasing me for a while, but I got away. When I finally stopped I thought to myself, where am I? I decided I would go north and sure enough I went from the border all the way to Los Angeles. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know any English, and I didn’t know what to do. I had a small bag of water and an envelope that I was told not to open until I got to America. It was old and brown with what looked like blood stains, and on the back it said Maria. It was made of this rough kind of paper which felt like sandpaper. It was old, wet, and I was scared. I didn’t know whether I should open it. It was confusing to me why anyone would give their child a note like this. I closed my eyes, I slipped my finger through the sealed part of the note and in one quick motion I opened it, and then closed it again quickly. I couldn’t feel my fingers. They were numb and so were my feet. My heart was racing and finally I slipped open the note and brought out the papers inside.
I couldn’t open my eyes. I found a letter from my mom explaining why she sent me on the bus and where I was. Even after I took out the paper the envelope was heavy. I looked inside the note. My lip was shaking rapidly. Is it a knife? A gun? Anything that could kill? I peaked inside and found one-thousand dollars. Right there on the street I burst into tears. My mother put all of the money she saved for me and put it in this one envelope. I was so grateful and just sat there on the street.
Finally, I decided to look for a home. I was fortunate enough to find a very cheap apartment where I could spend a couple weeks. I was so confused and didn’t speak any English. I had roughly six hundred dollars left and wanted to take English classes. I didn’t know where to go or who to talk to. There was this man named Marcus Vargo who lived in the apartment next to me. He was very handsome and knew where I needed to go. He kindly offered to give me a ride. My stomach was cramping from nervousness and I had no sense of what to do. When we arrived the man surprisingly paid for the lessons. I was so grateful and didn’t know how to repay him. Little did I know, Marcus would remain a very influential person in my life.
English was very hard to learn. They started with simple phrases like, “Hello, my name is….” It took me very long to learn one simple sentence. When I was leaving my teacher came up to me and asked if I was an immigrant. I didn’t know what to say, I was sweating and my knees were literally knocking together. I finally said, “Yes, I just came from Mexico.” The woman seemed interested and curious. She asked me if I had a job. I responded with a simple no. We stood there for a very long time after. The shadows of the trees were waiving on the oak wood floor, which was creaking like an old door being opened for the first time.
“Would you like to be my housekeeper?” The silence ended with this one sentence. I thought to myself could this be where my life is going? I decided to say yes to her generosity to which she replied with, “Great I’ll see you tomorrow.” She handed me a slip of paper with her address. I thought to myself, so this is what I’m going to be. A lonely housemaid without a family. However, I could have never foreseen that this was only the beginning of my journey.
Flash forward 2 weeks…
“You want to marry me?!” I yelled at Marcus.
He replied with something I didn’t expect, “You don’t need to say yes. Just maybe go on a date with me?”
Ugh. I was so vulnerable and said yes. Before I know it I’m coming home from this lovely dinner and wishing I could stay with him for the rest of my life. With that jet black hair, those gorgeous brown eyes, and his gentle hands…I fell in love. I didn’t know how to tell him. I didn’t know what my parents would think, and I didn’t know if I would be happy with him.
Well it turned out that I had no choice because I found out six months later that I was pregnant. I was baffled! I was surprised! However, I was mostly scared. I told Marcus that I was pregnant. He had the same reaction I had. His face went white, his hands shook, and he didn’t know what to say. Finally, he squeaked out, “Well whatever we do, we need to do it together.” We got married right there. Well, I mean not really, but we became husband and wife right then.
I’m six months pregnant now. I’ve progressively gotten freaked out more. The only people I got comfort from was my new husband and my job. At this point I was working for fifteen different people. They were all very kind, and it was all thanks to my mom. She was the one who always cared for me and made sure I did the right things. So, I sent a note back home with some money that I had made. Before I know it I’m sending a note home every Saturday evening, checking in on the family. Three months later, as I put a U.S. stamp on the note, my water broke.
I was trembling. No one was home, not a sound, just the shaking of my own body. After what felt like a decade I called an ambulance. They were very fast, but truthfully not fast enough. Right as that front door opened I passed out seeing flashes of dark and white, and red colors bouncing around the room and down the hall. And then – all black.
The ride in the ambulance was all a blur. The fireman woke my up by splashing water on my face. It was nice and cold and wet. I was now in a medical bed. All of a sudden there was immediate pain flowing through my entire body. I didn’t know what was happing to me. I was crying because the pain was too great to stand, but then I saw my husband walk in the room, and everything just started to become more clear. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was confident that he could scare away the danger no matter when it came. Then abruptly the room started going dark again, the pain left my body like a cheetah leaping towards a gazelle. My sight and sound came back to me. Everything slowly started to make more sense, and then a woman who I didn’t’ know said to me.
“Okay Maria, here is your new born baby.”
I couldn’t move. I didn’t believe that that was the pain. I didn’t believe something this beautiful could cause such pain and desire to just end it all. Then the little baby boy was put in my arms. I looked at him, then my husband, and back to him. We sat there in silence forever just me and my newborn baby. Then finally my husband said ever so quietly,
“Welcome to the world Roberto.”
My life took a leap right then. Everything was clear. This was my new life. I’m going to be a mother, a wife, and a housekeeper. I was fine but all that mattered to me right then was that I had a wonderful life in this wonderful world.