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My mom, a gold digger brought form the pits of hell, is what I deal with everyday. I don't even remember when was the last time I said those three words to her. She claims she loves me but her actions speak other wise. She became a cokehead when I was 13, or at least I thought. At that age, I got to see her hard core. Funny, no one could tell. Her demeanor was as bright as a rich girls. A sophisticated cokehead. How can no one be able to tell? She slurred every word in her expensive Dolce & Gabbanas or BCBG's. It's what she wore the most with her hot mess. Her hallucinations were pretty funny though and me playing her role was even funnier.
I of everyone had to be the one to witness it. She wasn't alone though. See till this day she doesn't know I walked in to see her naked with some guy. She slouched on the dresser while her reflection played back at me. Her bony body sniffing all that white stuff. She would throw her head back like if she was getting ready to become the exorcist or something. How could this man encourage her? He saw me though. He had a cold stare. One that would burn your insides quicker than acid would. He grabbed his genitals as to tease me. That nasty fucker, its not often you see a grown mans penis at the age of 13.
I guess he didn't mention anything to my mom because I was expecting to hear it from her later. So much she cares. She's constantly nagging saying I snoop a lot, which isn't true. What is true is the fact that she's careless. How could dad not notice these random men? Why can't I say anything? A typical fucked up way to live. I know dad has his secrets too though. He work's at a large firm in Manhattan. I just don't know where. There were never any trips to see where my successful dad worked or those dad come to school days. I just always wondered why we sat on large amounts of money but lived in the ghetto Bronx.
I attended PS 28x. A typical elementary school, one where I would start walking to alone, at the age of seven. Grand Concourse was a big street to cross alone at such a young age. Goes to show I was much importance. I hated looking at other kids hold their mom's hands. At times I would stay close to them while we crossed so I can feel I was a part of a family. I was always scared of getting hit by a car but maybe the car would've saved my life from what was to come years ahead.
I wasn't the best student out there. What the hell am I suppose to be a genius so young? I wasn't dumb though, maybe I didn't have book smart everyone did but I had street credibility. I am great at observing everything. I learned a lot from my neighbors, they happen to be teens caught in the middle of a mafia. You don't usually hear that anymore, it's more of gangs now. They were always on some high level. They pulled in cash from every direction. Who knows how many guys they had to beat up for it. They were flashy and their clothes were all detailed in colors and expense. God they were beautiful. Who drives a Mercedes in the Bronx without anyone vandalizing it? I never even saw a Mercedes drive by Tremont. They pulled it off though.
We were close, Jonathan and I. He was this baby face, smooth talking sexy machine. My heart would melt every time I caught a glimpse of that Colgate smile. Not to mention that little wink he gives me as if he likes me. I hit puberty during the age I started to see things. Me, him and his twin all went to the same schools, except they were five years older than me. His mom let him drop out after he got into high school. She was greedy like the rest. Just like my mom. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew our moms were somehow related.
Jonathan and me got along. You can say he was more than a crush to me. He was my escape. His company meant to me like a dog means to a man. He was my leader. My love. He was always nice enough to fill my pocket for snacks at school. He took care of me and gave me more attention than Daisy did. At times, I tried giving him his money back so he didn't think I was like other girls I used to see chasing him around. He also had a habit of showing me everything. I mean everything. Ewe, what's wrong with men and their genitals. I would always run away.
High school was there but I wasn't. I couldn't speak to mom or dad about report cards or parent teacher conference because they were never there! Mom had created a habit of bringing different men to her room and I just never said anything when she said they were her friends and they needed to help her. What would they need to help her with? Hello, I was here! Even though I was close to Jonathan and I told him more than my diary, I would never tell him what Daisy was doing. I think he would go nuts and probably hurt her. I always wanted a clean image when it came to him so I chose to keep a few things secret. As they say, "La ropa sucia se deja en casa."
Mom had prepared us a special dinner for a so-called special occasion. There is not many times she can cook this much, or at all. She invited the neighbors as well. To me, that was even better. Our apartment was spacious and lavishly decorated. Mom always had decorators come in with the latest Ikea stuff and fresh new colors. It was her "thing'. Thank god for my own room. This apartment was a huge two bedroom that turned into three by dividing the living room in half. It had one bathroom and the kitchen was enormous with the table in it. I loved my home regardless of the things that went on. I loved my room. It was decorated with clouds on the ceilings. They also painted with glow in the dark stuff so that at night I could see a galaxy with lots of stars. Even though I was the only child, I had a bunk bed in case I ever had friends that would come over. I wont hold my breath on that one. I just don't get why we don't live closer to daddy's work.
They came on time, as always which was such a distraction when Jonathan would walk in. I could always tell him and his brother apart, just by the way they carried themselves. His dad, Carlos, was an asshole. He always looked at my developing breast. He creeped me out. Him and his rapist look. I would just turn away after a quick hello before I met his pedophile eyes. I never engage in any type of conversation with any one. I was always the outcast. Why bother? Jonathan tried to get me to talk much but I just ignore him.
"Everyone thanks for coming, as always your company's a pleasure to have." I scuff under my breath. "Oh look at me, I'm so formal. I'm the formal Coke whore." If only I could say it out loud. She always tries to sound so sophisticated when she made toasts. "I have some news to share with you all. I'm PREGNANT!" She said all excited. I think a nuclear bomb just hit me. I was Hiroshima at this moment. This is the shock of my 18-year life. Quick somebody hit me! Please tell me I'm dreaming. I got up and quickly said, "Yay, now we could be on the MAURY show." I made sure I emphasized his name. Everyone stood appalled but maybe more of the fact that this is the first time I ever spoke aloud. "Why bring someone else to suffer like what the hell is wrong with you?"
Jonathan quickly got up and motioned me out of the house. I just want to melt in his arms. We went into the hallway where he decided to play 21 questions. All I responded was," I don't want to talk about it." We just sat there looking at each other. Well I looked at the floor. A habit I have of giving no eye contact. The quiet broke with people approaching my door. I recognized a face. I caught chills once I looked at him dead in the eyes. I grabbed Jonathan as if the ground beneath me was shaking. I know I had dreams with this man. I can feel it creep in my subconscious. Jonathan asked me what's wrong. I told him I had a bad vibe.
"Come lets go inside." He said trying to get me to walk. "Please, can we just go somewhere else? I know I looked like Bambi or something because he looked pretty worried. He grabbed me pulling towards my door saying not to be rude. He promised he'd take me to the movies tomorrow if I go back in. That got my legs working pretty quickly. But I still wasn't at ease.
It became a party now instead of a dinner. We had Morena Ven by Los Hermanos Rosario's playing. Mom did have good taste in music. Everyone was congratulating her and touching her belly. It seemed nothing happened earlier. Again, I don't exist. These ignorant bastards! I just want to line them up and smack them one by one! I saw my mom and our eyes met. Her seems sad now, that worried me. Maybe I did cross the line and she has some feeling towards what I think about her. Maybe her guilt was eating her. She is a horrible mother. I hope I didn't forget to mention that. Just because I have a nice room with trees and stars doesn't mean shit! She tried treating me nicer and asked if I was ok. I ignored her until Jonathan pinched me. Mom knew we were close. I mean I knew him since I was two when we moved here.
It's 12:30 in the morning and I feel restless. I excused myself to head for the bathroom. Jonathan had drunk a little too much. I kind of liked it because he was a little cuddlier with me. He was saying things like he promised to help me get through this and always be there for me. I always took his words serious even when he was tipsy like this. Even his friends came to my surprise. They were funny and helped lighten my mood. I got up and Jonathan pinched my bottom and winked. That sent a splurge of unknown feelings down my body. I knew this is my savior, the only person I trust in this world. The only person I would ever let in.
I walked to the bathroom and as soon as I put my hand on the doorknob, the familiar face appeared. We locked eyes and my mouth went dry. I think I shitted on myself at that point. I said excuse me and he moved complementing me into the woman I become. As if he seen me growing up! I asked if he knew me then all the sudden he threw me inside against the wall and put his hand on my mouth. "Don't you remember me?" His eyes were so red, red as if he was high or maybe I met the devil in person. This is the moment I called for god. I tried shaking my head no but he banged it against the wall. As if I offended him for not remembering. He started to grope me in a hard way while he smelled my neck. "God please don't let this happen, please!" He started making his way up my thigh under my shorts. I tried moving from his grip but he slammed my head again. His hands became harder on my skin. "Jonathan!" was all I could cry in my head. I hate him as I picture him socializing. Tears began streaming down my face as I felt his hands rub my private. I could hear laughter as Anthony Santos came on. I looked out my window and pictured myself soaring out of there, like a free bird. I felt so disgusting. I decided to fight back but as soon as that force came, a flash back happened and I blacked out.
There were lights everywhere. There were these big tubes of lights and a tripod with a video camera in the middle of the room. I could see myself lying on a bed naked. I'm so young, baby young. This man is naked. "Why? Why is he naked?" Why am I here? I'm crying because I can feel his finger hurt me. I cry. That's all I can do. There's someone else but I can't see much because I'm crying too much. He's holding the camera now. I don't understand. This man has the devil in his eyes. He climbs on top and I scream.
I came back out of my dream. I found myself on my bathroom floor. My panties were in the tub somewhere. My shorts were off. My head aches, man. I stand and feel fluid rushed down my legs. I put on my panties and stumble to the door. I exit and there he is staring straight at me from across the room. The party was still going and no one noticed I was missing. I ran out of the house and into the hallway. I ran as fast as I could down the stairs crying and panting ask why! "Why me god, what did I do to you?" I fell to the floor. Someone came up to reach me and I threw myself back. Jonathan's eyes sobered up at that moment. He tried picking me up but I punched him.
"I hate you!" "I hate you, you left me alone. Get away from me!" was all I kept screaming. It was comforting seeing him care for me but at that moment I was so mad at him. He kept asking what was wrong. I get up but I start to feel heavier and my head aches so badly. I tried stumbling away from him but I knew I was going face first if Jonathan didn't grab me quick. I could hear his friends come close. He screamed something to mike about the house door as he rushed me up the stairs. I could smell the inside of his house even though my lids felt too heavy to open. I felt his bed and there I let go.
I'm back in the bright room. "Mommy? Daddy where are you?" my cries intensifies. There's blood everywhere but I don't understand. Why is everything so bright, even the sheets? I try moving my little body but it's as if I still feel him on top of me. The camera is still at my direction on the dresser. The room doesn't seem familiar. I hear voices approaching. My head aches so badly. The man. This man, who is he?
I awake, sweating with the image in my head. I look over to see Jonathan sleeping facing my way. I tried getting up slowly so I won't wake him but he opens his eyes a bit and asks if I'm ok. "I'm going home." I pout. I am still so mad at him. "Your mom says it's fine to stay with me," he says. "Of course it is. Guilt was probably eating her up. This woman would never get her hands dirty when it comes to me. I excused myself to go to the bathroom leaving him worried. I opened and closed the door as fast as I could, avoiding Carlos from creeping up anywhere. I don't need any male interaction right now. I threw myself back and let go everything. I still haven't told Jay what happened in the bathroom. I want death to kill me at this moment. I feel so dirty. I just want to die.
I sit for what feels like eternity. I start looking for a blade, Gillette blade, razor or whatever these people had in stock here. Does nobody believe in shaving here? I saw on TV how a girl cut her wrist easier with a Gillette blade than a razor. I was always a cutter. I would always say one day Daisy will see the marks and punish me or something. She pretended she didn't see them even though I made it so obvious! At this point, I know no one cares for me. Not even Jay. "Aha," todays my lucky day. No more tears.
I looked at it in amaze of what this little thing can do. It's my escape. No more nightmares and no more suffering. I feel so alone. I was alone. How can no one hear me scream? I was just in the other room! I feel so disgusting. I look at it and start rubbing it up and down my arm. I feel my skin tear and burn as it gets bright red. I can hear it open. I make a quick slash and everything stopped. I couldn't hear my surroundings, my thoughts or my pulse anymore. God this is peaceful. I envisioned myself far on an open meadow. Running from my own reflection. I was a wild sheep. I felt something wet on my lap but my lids were too heavy to open. I was in a river now, swimming with the waterfall behind me. It was so peaceful. I wasn't afraid of being alone anymore. Then I was gasping for air all the sudden.
I wake up with an IV in my arm, wondering what the hell I'm still doing here. I looked around but I couldn't move much. I feel paralyzed but above all empty. I'm a loner, always been and always will be. I looked around and noticed get well balloons. There were flowers too; beautiful ones and that must have come from Jay because who else would send me these. Why would anyone care I'm here anyways. I thought I died drowning. I can't remember anything. Fuck my life.
Jonathan walks in with his brother and friends. He's always with his friends. He rushes to my side and asks me what happened. I answered with the same question dumbfounded. Like for real what happened? He looks down towards my left arm in a way trying to avoid me noticing. I flush getting embarrassed as the bathroom comes into mind. I got nine stiches he said. I start to cry as everyone looks at me like I'm some kind of freak show! I feel the lump get bigger in my throat. I start hyperventilating and still these freaks stay looking at me! Jonathan calls for a nurse.
The nurse came in rushing like if I was dying. I still didn't understand what was going on. I felt the pain in my arm increase as it started to get moist. I saw the red imprint itself on the wrap. I screamed for my mom not knowing why. "She's outside speaking to a doctor" Jay says. Is she really here? The tears start to pour again as I am embarrassed that I'm here. I tried getting up pushing everyone away. I yanked the IV out of my arm with blood spilling everywhere. I'm such a freak show. "Stop! Mariah stop!" was all I heard. I felt the weakest out of my whole life. I thought all my life I was strong for holding things in but I knew it couldn't last forever. I got light headed and boom. I hit the ground hard. Or so I thought.
Excerpted from Mariah's Memoirs by Stolen Tears Copyright © 2012 by Madelaine Basulto Paredes. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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