The first time I met Lucifer, he tried to choke me to death. Today, we have an unbreakable love as husband and wife. He’s actually kind and sweet, which many find hard to believe. We met many years ago and I thought I was going to spend a boring life speaking to dead people. So I’m happy Lucifer and I met the way we did. It was better than not meeting at all.
It all started in the city of New York, one of the biggest cities in the world. It had a boisterous attitude as always. People rushed to arrive at work on time. Mothers were pushing strollers with their kids crying. Music blared loudly from cars driving by and taxis honked at each other every few seconds. Shouting, undiscovered artists singing, and Christians on mics preaching about God. My earbuds barely drowned out all the roaring noise as I hummed along to my music.
With a kick in my steps and a smile on my lips, I walked down a flight of stairs into a train station. Guess who just got her license? Me, bitch! Mami is gonna be so proud, especially since the road test was horrible. But ya girl passed! Once I tell Mami the news in person she’s gonna want to celebrate and pop the family games out.
After purchasing a new MetroCard, I waited for the train. Hugging my purse closer, I leaned against a pillar, ignoring some cat-calls from two men who passed by me. Disgust fueled me and I mentally begged for the train to hurry up. I’m wearing the most basic oversized t-shirt with leggings, why the heck do guys still cat-call me?
Without looking at them directly, they continued eyeing me up and down. Typical. A fat, gray New York rat crawled up from the train tracks. It walked behind one of the men and started nibbling at the bottom hem of his pants. He let out a high pitched scream and I muffled back a giggle. Saved by a rat, that’s not something you hear every day. The train finally arrived no later after that.
Pushing back my hair, I waited for an elderly lady to walk outside first. Smiling kindly at her and receiving one back, I began walking inside. Suddenly, someone bumped into me, resulting in me falling on the stone platform.
I growled, looking behind me and cursed at the asinine man who left the train. “Hey, asshole, watch where you’re going!”
He continued to walk away as my jaw hung loose. Stumbling onto my feet, the train left me to deal with this stranger. I was too enraged to care. No one pushes me to the ground without apologizing!
“Hey! Can’t you hear me?!”
The man stopped in mid-stride. He turned, towering over my body. I found him more beautiful up close. Have I met him before? Jesus, this felt like a bad case of déjà vu. My brain went fuzzy as a slow headache crept upon me.
“Woman,” he growled, his dark voice vibrating my chest. “Leave me the fuck alone before I rip your tongue out.”
I gasped, discomfited by the way he treated me and watched him ascend the concrete stairs. What kind of person threatens to rip a stranger’s tongue out? He’s really handsome, it’s a shame he seems so uncivil. Mami was going to flip once I tell her what he said to me.
I wanted to pursue the man again, but I gripped my fingers into fists and twirled around. If there’s one thing I hate about living in New York, it’s the rude citizens.
The train ride back home was tiresome. I hate taking the train to travel, it smells like urine in here and it’s always crowded during the day. Luckily for me, Mami said I could take the family car. Now I don’t have to worry about being late to school or depending on someone else for a ride.
A bus ride later, I finally arrived home, announcing my arrival as I hung up my keys. Relief washed over me for arriving while the sun was still out.
The smell of Mami’s cooking whiffed in the air as I walked to the living room.
“Mami, I passed my road t–”
The enthusiasm melted away from my voice at the sight of my father. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Mami stood across from him, no emotion in sight, holding a pen in one hand and paperwork in the other.
“Virago,” he huffed, rolling his eyes. “I’m only here to sign the divorce papers.”
“Good. I can’t wait.”
Papi opened his mouth again, but I ran upstairs and stormed into my room. Slamming the door shut, I bit my tongue to keep me from crying. My father used to be my hero, my knight in shining armor. He was the only man I looked up to growing up, but temptation gets the best of us and the man downstairs was now dead to me.
I locked my bedroom door and threw myself on my bed. Unwanted memories of catching Papi cheating scrolled through my thoughts. It was a few months ago. I came back home early because I forgot something. Papi said he was going to be working that day, but when I came back I heard him and his co-worker in his study. The fighting between Mami, the late-night jobs, the strange calls on his phone, no wonder Mami was suspicious. It all made sense at that moment. Papi tried to make me keep it all to myself, but I was ready to divulge his direful secrets to Mami.
Minutes later, the sound of the front door opening and closing lightened up my mood. Papi’s noxious energy finally disappeared, goodbye and good riddance. I went back downstairs, finding Mami sitting on a stool by the kitchen island. I pulled back her black hair and tied it in a low ponytail.
“Are you okay?”
“I know I should be crying,” Mami sighed, red tired eyes on the signed divorce papers. "Pero no puedo." (But I can’t.)
So Papi really signed them. That was quick, he didn’t even try to atone for his mistakes. I sat next to her and gave her a hug.
“What’s going to happen now?” I asked.
“Vira, he’s done with us. He doesn’t want to continue in my life or yours. He doesn’t even want to help pay your tuition anymore.”
I gasped, pulling away from our hug. “Wait, what?!”
“He fell in love with that woman he works with. He said, ‘Why should I waste my money on a family I’m not part of anymore?’”
He...he really said that? Why would he say something like that? What did we do that made him hate us so much? Was I a bad daughter? Did I say something bad to him? I gripped my shirt. Hot tears fell from my chin and stained my clothes.
“We’ll be fine,” I reassured her. “We...we can survive without him.”
This time Mami pulled me in her trembling arms. “But your tuition, Virago, I can’t afford the entire thing.”
Determined to make her feel better, I promised to find an excellent job to help her pay my tuition. Mami y Papi helped each other pay for my college expenses, but now that he was officially gone, it’s all up to Mami.
“I’ll make things better for us,” I said, hugging her back. “I promise.”