Death is cruel. That's what we all say. Not for me. As I lay there in my bathtub, blood gushing from my chest, my life flashed before my eyes. My friends, my parents, my accomplishments, my failures.Everything seemed meaningless, my money, my clothes, my fame. I could hear footsteps rushing up the staircase. Mother must be hysterical, I thought as I pictured the look on her face when she found my lifeless body in my bathtub. Blood oozing from my gunshot wound. Who would she think killed me? I wondered as I took in what I felt were my last breaths. ''Oh my God, Velma...somebody call the ambulance... por favor ayuda,''my mother sniffled in between sobs. ''Que paso,quien hizo esto?'' What happened, who did this?
My father asked as he bust into my bathroom. He took me into his arms and raced down the staircase almost missing a step. I might make it.
I was a bubbling freshman at Columbia University New York. That was a huge deal, considering I was the first in the family to join university. I was Puerto Rican, with documents of course. I was born in the United States in a small clinic in one of the shanty neighborhoods of Brooklyn. My mother was an undocumented maid, and my father was a lowely assistant at a rundown law firm. He had always dreamed of being a lawyer, but his parents could not afford to put him through law school. He decided not to let that deter him and decided to work as an assistant in the rundown firm in our tiny town, and help in any way he could. He eventually saved up enough money to put him through law school, but went back to work for the same firm. Ambition was not one of my father's strong suits, something my mother had never come to terms with. My father seemed to be content working for minimum wage, handling mostly probono cases in the minor leagues.''It's about helping people Mary,'' I'd hear at the onstart of every arguement. '' Did you see the dress Ernesto got Calinda, a ten thousand dollar dress, we can't even afford the rent here''. ''Well it was your idea to move into this expensive estate, and for what, to impress your little botox squad? They're not really your friends Maria, they don't really care for you mi amor,'' ''Shut up,'' my mother would interrupt my father,'' you're the one who doesn't care for your daughter and I. If you did, you'd look for a job at a better firm''. A loud bang would follow. Dad's left again.
''Someone please help us,'' my father pleaded as he burst through the hospital doors. He was frantic. His shirt that was drenched with sweat clinged to his body. ''We've got a bullet wound here,'' the doctor told what seemed to be his team as they took me from my father's arms and placed me on the stretcher. ''Please take good care of her,'' my mother said, reluctantly letting go of my hand as the nurses wheeled me away.
My mother had always taken charge of my life. She wanted to achieve through me what she was unable to achieve herself. My mother had always wanted to live a batter life than the one she had. She had always thought that my father would finally start earning real money after getting his license, so when he decided to continue working as an assistant at his run-down firm, she was beyond disappointed. That was when the tiny cracks in their marriage became rifts. They argued more often, my dad would spend more late nights at the office, my mother would spend more money on herself in an attempt to push get my father's attention. Divorce was not an option for either. I don't think they could afford it.
They tolerated each other, trying to make things seem like they're working in front of people, but behind closed doors, everything fell apart. I majored in business, hoping that eventually I'd be able to work at a fortune five hundred company, and move my parents out of the shanty building we lived in . I wanted to earn enough money to make my mother happy and to buy my dad new suits.
''Baby...oh..she's opening her eyes...Maria call the nurses...the doctor'' ''Don't stress her, she's still in a very critical condition ,'' the doctor said as he checked my vitals. My head felt fuzzy and my abdomen hurt. Oh fuck, I'm still alive. Seemed like even death didn't want me. How am I still here...what will I say happened...I'm so fucked. ''Mi amor...who hurt you...you know you can tell us anything,'' my father said as he edged closer to my face. ''Velma, who hurt you?'' my mother added as she held my hand. What the fuck am I supposed to tell them.
''Velma Dilorentez, we'd like to ask you a few questions,'' a cop in a blue shirt that was far too tight said as he opened up a notebook. Thank God. ''You can't question her now...she's just from surgery,'' my mother said, giving the policeman the stink eye. '' It's fine...I'll talk to them, do you mind giving us a bit of privacy?'' I said, glad I wouldn't have to explain to them what really happened. I couldn't bare the thought of them knowing...they'd disown me.
''So someone came in to your house, went to your bathroom, shot you and left the gun in your hand, hoping you'd die and that it would look like a suicide...listen kid...not that I don't believe you...but why would anyone want you dead?'' ''I've told you...he wants me dead, the governor I ...'' '' You do know that a trick like this could land you in prison right...why would the state governor want you dead?'' The policeman interrupted, closing his notebook. He doesn't believe me...he was right, no one will believe me.