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I am Emanuel Luis Sanchez, the son of Cornelio Felipe Sanchez. My father was once a great man, being one of the richest and most powerful men in Mexico. Like most of the rich men in Mexico, my father had a beautiful wife and, like most of the powerful men in Mexico, my father had a rival. I don’t know the full story behind it, but I knew my father hated his rival and wanted to see him dead. Unfortunately, it was my father’s rival that was victorious.
I was only eight years old when my father was murdered. My mother and I fled our estate that same night. My father’s rival, Don Julio, tried to hunt us down — he wanted me dead, afraid that one day I would take my revenge upon him. Thus, my mother and I moved from one Mexican region to another, unable to find real safety anywhere. We went from being very rich to begging people to let us stay with them for just one night. Some people took us in — who could refuse a young woman and her son in need — while others knew who we were and knew better than to help us.
Eventually there was nowhere left in Mexico where we could be safe, and thus, my mother arranged for us to be smuggled into the United States. I still remember that long, dark ride in the back of the cramped minibus. There were about twenty people shoved in there and for two days we rode in silence without food or drink. My mother kept her face covered the whole time, lest someone recognize her.
When we finally made it across the border, we were dropped off in a small border town. Not knowing anyone and not having any money, we were left to our fate. My mother knew only a handful of English words, but it was enough to ask for directions. She wanted to get to the closest city, where we could begin our new life. That city was Tucson, in the state of Arizona, and it was seventy miles away. Hungry and weak we could never make it on foot.
My mom began asking people for a ride, dragging me behind her by the hand. Most people weren’t even willing to stop and waved her away. However, eventually one man was willing to hear my mom out. He wore a straw hat and cowboy boots which made him look like a farmer. He pointed out his truck parked next to the gas station and agreed to help us. As we rode in this truck, I noticed that he behaved very strangely towards my mother. He seemed very annoyed when my mother and I quickly jumped out of his truck upon arriving to Tucson. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that he was making sexual advances on her that day. I sure am glad that I didn’t have to witness anything which could traumatize me at such a young age.
Life wasn’t easy for us in Tucson, but we tried our best to get used to it. Even though we were illegals, my mother was able to find a job. It was hard work and paid very little, but we were able to rent a room in an all-Mexican neighborhood. We ate very simple – mostly rice, beans and vegetables – but sometimes we could afford some meat.
Even though we had escaped to America and were relatively safe, my mother was never at ease. She knew that the news of my father’s death had traveled outside of Mexico. She also knew that Don Julio would never stop looking for us until we were dead. That is why, as soon as someone learned about who we were, we would be on the move again.
In the first few years we moved all around the state of Arizona. Getting a new job was always difficult for my mom, but somehow she always managed. I attended whatever school was willing to accept me and tried to learn as much as I could. I picked up English rather fast and began forgetting Spanish little by little. My mother encouraged that I speak English to her. She said it was because she needed practice, but I suspected that it was because she wanted to leave all of our past behind.
Despite my progress with English, my lack of proper education was becoming more and more apparent. Mom wanted me to have a proper life here in the United States and she felt helpless that she couldn’t offer that.
On day, my mother met a couple of Mexican women that were from Los Angeles. They told her that life out there was much easier for immigrants. There was a huge Mexican community where she could get a good job and I could get a decent education. Thus, when I turned ten we moved to Los Angeles; east Lost Angeles to be precise.
We took a liking to L.A. right away and we settled in fast. As an extra safety measure my mother changed her name to Maria and I was simply known as Manny. We were able to rent a whole apartment, small though it was, and I was properly enrolled in school. However, living in California was more expensive than Arizona, and my mother had to work two jobs. I think she was happy though, because we felt safe, and it finally seemed like we belonged somewhere.
I enjoyed school and even made some friends. However, my friends didn’t share my passion for education. They often skipped class and would ask me to join them. Some days I would give in, but I always felt bad about it. I don’t know how, but mom always knew if I skipped school and she would tell me how disappointed she was. That wasn’t why I felt bad though. I saw all the bursa escort other Mexican boys in my neighborhood growing up to join gangs, getting addicted to drugs or working low-wage jobs. That was not what I wanted for myself. Maybe it was my father’s ambition in me, but I wanted to make something out of myself, to be important, to be recognized.
As I grew into my teenage years, I grew further apart from my friends. They skipped school regularly and made fun of me for not joining them. A few of my friends joined a local gang and I never saw them around anymore. Others were doing drugs and spending their time getting into trouble.
When I turned fifteen, several local gang members approached me with a proposition to join their gang. They told me that it was time for me to think about my future. I guess making an honest living wasn’t much of a future to them. I declined their proposition, but they came back week after week, being more persuasive each time. I even began wondering what it would be like to be in a gang and make lots of money.
“The Loccos asked me to join them again,” I said one day to my mother. “They were pretty convincing. They said that I would get paid every week.”
My mom was cleaning the house. Upon hearing me say that, she immediately stopped what she was doing and came up to me. I was already a little taller than her, so she had to look up at me. She had a frightened look in her eyes, the kind of look I haven’t seen in a while.
“Don’t even think about it, Manny,” she said. She spoke English quite well now, though she still had a heavy Mexican accent.
“But mom, we could get a bigger apartment. Get some new clothes. Eat meat every day,” I argued.
My mom placed her palms on each one of my cheeks and squeezed my face.
“Listen to me, mijo. We live well. We have a roof and we don’t go hungry. We can have all that nice stuff once you graduate, go off to college and then get a good job.” She paused and let go of my face. “You are the only thing I have left in this word, Manny. You know I can’t lose you, not to some stupid gang. Be a good boy. Use your head. That’s not the life for you.” She gave me another meaningful look and shook her head in disappointment – a gesture she often used on me.
I knew mom was right. People said that nothing good ever came out of East L.A. I was going to prove them wrong. I was going to finish high school and get a college degree. I didn’t quite know how I would get into college or what degree I wanted to get, but right know I had to concentrate on the problem at hand – finishing high school.
It seemed like every month a new gang would invite me to join them. I would try my hardest to refuse the invitation without disrespecting anyone. Not everyone took kindly to my refusal and, more than once, I got a good beating by several thugs at once.
My mother was very distraught the first time I came home beaten up. She was very worried and anxious about what happened. I assured her that everything would be okay and she seemed to calm down. However, since that day she had changed and often looked at me with troubled eyes.
The gangs never left me alone and there was nowhere I could get away from them. When I was seventeen, I came home one day after I’ve been beaten pretty badly. One of my eyes was swollen shut and my lips were bleeding in more than one place.
“We are moving, Manny,” mom told me as she tended to my injured face.
“As far away from here as possible. I have been asking around and I spoke with one man from Kansas. He offered for us to live on his plantation.”
“They call them ranches here, mom,” I interrupted.
“Okay, on his ranch. He is looking for more servants for his estate. He told me that he would provide us with food and a place to live, in exchange for work.”
“But, mom,” I protested, “what about school? I only have half a year left before I graduate.”
“I told this man what a good student you are. He said that there is a nice school that would be happy to take you in and after you graduate he would be happy to help you get into a college. He is a very rich man, Manny.”
I was suddenly excited about this opportunity. My friends have all moved on to shady things and I hardly spoke to them any longer. The only thing I would be leaving behind in Los Angeles was Cecilia. Cecilia was a girl that I liked and we even kissed a few times. I didn’t want to leave her, but I wanted to go to college more.
Just like that, we gathered up what little possessions we owned and hit the road. After two days of traveling by bus we arrived at this ranch in Kansas. Mr. Roger Wilson was the owner of the ranch, and the man my mother spoke about. He was an elderly man with thinning gray hair. Upon meeting him, he struck me as a very pleasant gentleman, but I did notice him looking at me and my mom in a strange way.
“Here is where you will live,” said the ranch owner, after he showed us around.
“Thank you very, very much, Señor Wilson,” said my mom, sounding extremely sweet and polite.
“Don’t mention it,” Mr. Wilson smiled at my bursa escort bayan mom. “Make yourself at home.”
We were given a large room with two beds in the servants’ house. Several other Mexican servants lived in this house and we all had to share a kitchen and a bathroom. That didn’t bother us, because our new room was twice the size of our apartment back in L. A.
I quickly got used to my new life in Kansas. The school was much nicer and the teachers seemed to care more. I was the only Mexican kid in my class and at first kids stared at me in surprise. Eventually, I was just one of the students, though nobody seemed eager to befriend me. It didn’t matter much to me. Every day after school I would rush home and study hard.
My mom became one of Mr. Wilson’s maids. She seemed to take to her new work with great enthusiasm and she was even given a special uniform that she wore every day. Mr. Wilson would come visit us once in a while in the servants’ house and chat with me briefly. When he learned that I was turning eighteen soon, he offered to throw me a birthday party.
On the day I turned eighteen, all of the servants that lived on the ranch got together in the courtyard of the main estate. There was food and punch, and somebody brought out a guitar and played traditional Mexican tunes. I haven’t had a birthday party this big since we left Mexico and I was very pleased with Mr. Wilson’s friendly gesture.
After we cut the cake, Mr. Wilson came over to talk to me.
“So Manny, you are an adult now. How does it feel?” he asked.
“Doesn’t feel much different, Mr. Wilson.”
“Please, call me Roger.” Mr. Wilson smiled at me. “You certainly look like you’ve grown into a strong, young man. Your mother must be proud.”
I knew that I was very skinny, since we never could afford to eat well, but the compliment made me blush.
“Eh, I guess,” I replied shyly.
“How is school going? Do you like it?”
“Oh, yes! It’s great. I’m trying my hardest to get good grades.”
“I hear you’ve been doing very well at school. Your teachers speak highly of you. What are your plans after you graduate?”
“Well, I’m planning to apply at a few colleges. Though I’m not sure how we can manage to pay for it.”
“I see,” said Mr. Wilson and smoothed back his gray hair. “I may know someone at the town’s college. I can speak to them and see what they can do for you.”
“Really? That would be great, Mr. Wilson!” I exclaimed happily.
“Remember, call me Roger.” He smiled once again and walked off, before I could say anything else. I stood there, watching him walk away and couldn’t help but be amazed at the patronage of this man, who was practically a stranger to me.
Later that day, after we ate dinner in our living quarters, my mom began putting her maid’s uniform back on.
“What are you doing?” I asked. She never went to work this late.
“Señor Roger wants me to tend to him tonight,” mom replied.
I nodded, but wondered what the meaning of this was.
For the next couple of weeks, my mom went to tend to Mr. Wilson after work hours, returning late into the night afterwards. I was curious, but decided it would be best if I didn’t ask any questions.
One night, as I was looking over some math problems after dinner, my mom went to put her uniform on. I paid her no attention, until she came up and looked over my shoulder.
“Math?” she asked. “It looks difficult.”
“It’s not so bad once you understand it,” I replied. “I want to make sure I memorize the formulas we learned this week.”
Mom stood quietly for another moment and then said: “Señor Roger wants you to come with me tonight.”
I turned and looked her. “Come with you? Where?”
“To his study. Where I usually go,” she replied without meeting my eyes.
I hesitated for a moment, unsure of what to think. “Okay,” I said finally. I put away my textbook and followed mom out.
The sun had just dipped below the horizon and the night air was pleasantly warm. Mom led me through the courtyard and into Mr. Wilson’s mansion. We made our way through the main door, up a flight of stairs and into a large room that had big, plush, leather chairs and rows of books on wooden shelves. In the middle of the room, covering the floor, was a luxurious Persian rug. Right above it, hung a chandelier that threw just enough light to illuminate the room and give a mysterious ambiance. Mr. Wilson was seated in one of the chairs and faced us as we walked in.
“Close the door, Maria,” he said softly and my mom obeyed. “Ah Manny, nice to see you.”
“Hello,” I said plainly.
“Did you enjoy your birthday party?”
“Yes. It was very nice of you to do that. I am very grateful.”
He waved a hand dismissing my thanks. “It was my pleasure.”
“Would you like a drink? Scotch? Whisky?” Mr. Wilson asked me.
I looked at mom who came to stand by his chair. She didn’t look at me.
“I’m not old enough to drink, Señor,” I replied.
“Nonsense. You’re a man now. Have a drink.” He motioned with his hand and my mom poured some brown liquid escort bursa into a short glass. “Have a seat and please… just call me Roger.”
Roger indicated one of the leather chairs opposite from him and I settled into it, making the leather creak. Mom handed me a half-filled glass and went back to stand next to Roger.
I looked curiously at the glass that my mom handed me. I brought it up and sniffed the brown liquid inside – my nostrils filling with a potent alcoholic aroma. I brought the glass to my lips and noticed that Roger was watching me. I took a sip and my face twisted as the strong drink filled my mouth and burned my tongue.
“That’s twenty year old scotch there,” laughed Roger.
My eyes were watering, but I managed to swallow. I quickly looked at my mom to see her reaction, but her eyes were cast down in front of her. I did not like the look on her face — it was expressionless, apathetic.
I brought the glass to my lap, wondering what the meaning of all this was.
“Manny, I wanted to tell you that I was talking to my friend, who is a professor at the college, about you,” Roger said, as though guessing my thoughts. “He said he would be happy to help you get in, once you graduate from high school. Oh, and don’t worry about paying for it. It’s been taken care of.”
A smile spread across my lips as I looked up. This was the best news I’ve ever heard. Too excited to speak, I took another sip of the scotch and prepared for it burning my mouth. I was surprised that it went down easier this time and now I felt a warm sensation in my stomach.
“Thank you, Roger,” I finally said. “I don’t know how I will ever repay you.”
Roger smiled and waved his hand at me, dismissing me again. His eyes turned to my mother, who was standing with her hands clasped in front of her, wearing her work uniform which consisted of a white blouse, black mid-thigh skirt, stockings and black shoes with an elevated heel. She also wore a white headband that held her hair back.
“Your mom is quite a beautiful woman, isn’t she?” asked Mr. Wilson.
I nodded. I’ve heard him give my mom compliments like that before.
“She is a natural beauty. Your father had an exquisite taste in women — such shiny black hair, such mysteriously dark eyes and such smooth, brown skin; with such perfect, naturally large breasts and curvaceous body.”
I was absent-mindedly nodding my head until his last words. A touch of unease crept into my chest. My eyes flicked back and forth between her and him, my mind quickly trying to figure out where this was going.
“Manny, have you ever seen a woman more beautiful that your mom?” Roger asked, his blue, almost gray, eyes peering right into me.
I didn’t know what to say, but managed to croak “No.”
“Neither have I. Look at her, Manny.” That sounded almost like a command, so I obliged. “You see how her uniform is barely able to contain her big breasts?”
This was getting very uncomfortable for me, very fast. Somehow Roger’s tone of voice had changed and was no longer soft. I looked at my mom and indeed noticed that her breasts seemed to be straining against the thin material of her blouse. Several top buttons on her blouse were undone and I saw a glimpse of her bra. Not knowing how to act in this situation, I dropped my eyes and stared inside of the glass in my lap.
“Don’t be shy, Manny,” I heard the old man say. “Maria, come sit down here.” He indicated a leather chair right next to him and I heard mom take the seat.
I tried to make sense of everything. At first I thought this was going to be just a normal conversation about me going to college, but now it seemed that there was more to it. Was Roger having sex with my mom? Was he trying to tell me that he’s going to marry her?
“It’s hot in here, isn’t it? Maria, why don’t you undo a few more buttons?” I heard Roger say.
I began feeling a nervous tension building up in my stomach.
“Manny, do you like these uniforms? I was thinking that I need to improve them a little. Maybe make the skirts a little shorter. What do you think?”
I kept my head down.
“What do you think?” he asked again with a sharp edge in his voice.
Suddenly, I felt scared and lost. I felt my palms begin to sweat. Slowly I began raising my eyes, trying to think of something to say.
“Señor Wilson,” I began, my voice unsteady, “I’m really grateful for everything you’ve done for us. But I’m really not sure what you want…”
“I’ll tell you what I want!” Roger suddenly jumped out of his chair. For a brief moment he didn’t seem so old and frail and there was a fierce twinkle in his eye. He walked up to the bottle of scotch and poured himself a glass. He stood silent for a moment, swirling the scotch around.
“Your mother is a sexy woman,” he began, staring at a painting on the wall, “I’ve been to a lot of places in my life, but I’ve never seen the likes of her. Be it that I was younger I would marry her in a heartbeat. However, I’m not of that age anymore, and while I find your mother appealing, I am quite unable to do anything about it.” He turned to look at me as if daring me to speak. “That’s right! In my old age I’ve become impotent. Do you know what that means, Manny? Well, I’ll tell you what it means. It means that I’m unable to do anything about my sexual desires.”
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