All day the silent treatment? Really? He said, “Hi” and it was with clenched teeth.
I pack up Charlies backpack that she filled with muñecas that must go with her everywhere. I’m at the brink of tears. I don’t know why he is in a bad mood. Most would say I’m being drama, but I hate when he gives me the silent treatment. I hate it because this isn’t in his nature at all. I’m so excited about going to Chachi’s High school grad and I know Javie is to. But something set him off. I tried talking to him but nada.
Charlie places her princess crown on her head and runs wrapping her small little 4-year-old arms around him, “Papa, carry me?”
He swoops her up in his strong arms, “Si mama. Te quiero.” He starts biting at her neck softly and she laughs.
I stand their wanting to cry because I am not even being spoken to. Devin and Vanna are telling him what happened that day at school and he is asking them about a school event that’s about to happen. But nothing said to me. We make our way to the grad and every now and then I look over at him and he’s lost in his own world. Charlie has her dolls in her hand and they are talking about coctel de camarón. I laugh silently, her dolls are talking about coctel de camarón! If he wasn’t mad at me, we would be laughing together about this little person we love so much. We arrive to the graduation and in silence we get off. Not one word spoken to each other. He grabs Charlies hand and Vanna’s in the other. Devin walks next to him telling him about a nerf gun that has just come out. They make their way in front of me. I feel breathless because now the tears are about to spill over. He never leaves me walking alone. I’m always somehow glued to him even when there are no free arms of his.
We make our way to the stadium and we find our comadre. I fake a smile as he does the same and we hug and tell everyone hi. Now it gets tough here, he makes it a point to sit with ten people between us. Charlie looks at him then me, “Mama, why is papa so far?”
I fight back the tears, “Porque everyone just had to take a seat really fast.” Now I’m a liar to my 4-year-old. She stays staring at me with her huge brown eyes, she didn’t believe a word I said. Even she now knows something is wrong.
As the graduation is nearing its end Charlie jumps off my lap to run to her papa. She whispers something in his ear and he makes eye contact with me faintly as she runs back to me and Vanna is on his lap, “Mama I have to go to the bathroom. Papa said you would take me.”
He has never sent her back to me when she asks him. He takes her to the bathroom no questions asked but not today. Today he is making a stand of some sorts and has sent her back to me.
I stand from the bench and let my comadre know we are going to the bathroom.
Of course, we have to fight through the crown of people and bump shoulders and other body parts with everyone. But we finally find the bathroom and Charlie does her business.
Now this is where the plot thickens.
As me and Charlie walk out hand in hand I realize the crowd is even thicker now. There is no way I’m making it back up to the bleachers where everyone is. The graduation is almost over. So, I grab Charlies hand and pull her close, “Ok mamita we are going to wait down here for everyone.”
She looks up at me, “I want to go with papa.”
“No! He sent you with me cause he’s mad at me!” is what I want to say but I don’t. I let the crazy stay hidden away and say, “Its to hard to get back up the bleachers. We will see him in a few minutes.”
She nods her head but not happy at all.
As we are standing there I feel someone slightly touch my elbow and I know its Javie finally coming to make everything right. I turn to find this husband of mine and low and behold it’s a tall handsome green-eyed man. He has a black hat on and his green eyes just jump out at me. I try catching my breath instantly. But he obviously sees what he has done. And I obviously know what he has done. I turn immediately to face forward. What the hell is wrong with me? What the hell is wrong with me!!
He leans into me, “I like your tatts.”
I smile still facing forward, “Thanks.”
I look down to make sure Charlie hasn’t noticed anything. But guess what she is turned facing him! I want to crawl under a rock! No! I just want to die. This handsome man kneels to Charlies eye level, “Hey, your pretty. I like your chonguitos.” Charlie doesn’t budge, and my daughter is vain and loves compliments!
He tugs her chongo slightly and she stares him down. He laughs as he stands back up, “You from around here?”
I pull Charlie close to me turning her around but of course she is fighting the system, “No I’m not.”
I don’t turn to face him, I make sure I stay looking forward.
He comes to my shoulder now making sure I can see him and him me, “We should go out to dinner?”
I turn to look at him, “That’s not a good idea.”
At this point my heart is racing, I have horrible guilt and my heart is so heavy.
“Why isn’t it a good idea?”
I pick my hand up to my shoulder, “I’m married.”
He takes a deep breath and forces a smile, “Why are the good ones taken?”
I stare at him not smiling, “You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know if I’m good or not.”
He nods his head slowly, “I know your good cause you told me you were married.”
I just stare. I have nothing to say.
He kneels to Charlie again, “I wanted to take you to eat somewhere with your mami.”
Charlie stares him straight in the eye, “To where?”
He squints his eyes, “To McDonalds where they have a playland.”
Charlie twirls her ponytail in her fingers, “My papa doesn’t like McDonalds he likes frijoles and we have swings in our backyard and a tree house he made for us.”
He starts laughing, “Your papa sounds really cool.”
She rolls her 4-year-old eyes at him and turns around. Now I can’t stop laughing.
I shrug my shoulders at him and just then the graduation is over.
Me and Charlie make our way to the field and begin the search for everyone. Just as I see Javie walking to the field my heart is racing and tears once again fill my eyes. He hasn’t spoken to me since I got out of work and made it a point to stay clear from me. I feel like the world is going by us and all I can see is him.
Javie finally sees us and he stops dead in his tracks staring at me. I fight back the tears it’s the first time he looked at me today. In that very second Mr. Green eyes walks behind Javie and he drops his head slightly and smiles. Javie turns around to see what I’m looking at. But doesn’t see anything. He walks up to me as Charlie runs to him he picks her up in his arms and he walks over to me placing his hand on my lower back kissing my cheek. I know its just been since the morning that he kissed me, but it felt like years. I don’t respond back, and he knows something is wrong. Vanna and Devin are with our comadre and we all meet up.
On our drive home I can’t help but cry. I put my sunglasses on to make sure the kids don’t see anything. Javie tries grabbing my hand but I don’t let that happen. How dare he try to act like nothing now.
We got home, and he gets the kids settled as I sit in our room crying. I have guilt and feel like I have done something wrong, but mostly mad at him for ignoring me all day!
He walks into our bedroom and kneels in front of me, “Mija I’m sorry. Deveras I am. I had a long ass day today and dealt with a bunch of people being dumb. I don’t want to take it out on you and be rude, so I stayed away. I’m sorry.”
“You were rude to me since I got home! All day I just wanted to see you and you gave me the silent treatment. You are not allowed to treat me that way!”
He nods his head, “Ya se. I’m sorry.”
“Something happened when I took Charlie to the bathroom and I feel like I cheated on you. I feel so bad. And you were treating me bad and ugh! It was a horrible day!”
He sits next to me, “Was it that guy with the black hat?”
I look at him immediately, “How did you know?”
He grabs my hand kissing it and smiling, “I seen how he was looking at you and Charlie when we were on the field.”
“You did see him?” IM in complete shock.
“Si mija. I’m always watching what’s mine. You don’t have to feel guilty. You didn’t do anything. I was acting a fool all day. I know where I stand.”
I start crying again, “Well Charlie told him you liked frijoles and built her a tree house.”
He starts laughing, “I did! She always has my back!”
I tell this story because I believe this is how some marriages fall apart. In a moment everything can change with a choice. Its up to us to make the right choices and keep our eyes on the prize. What ran through my head was, “I could never cheat on the man that gave me my three babies. The man that woke up at night with them. The man that his son threw up in his mouth and he didn’t even gag! The man that makes me coffee every morning. The man that had to pack my wound after my c-section because I couldn’t heal. The man that has had my back when everyone else failed. The man that calls me to just tell me he loves me even after 19 years. Destroy all that for someone I know nothing about?” No one is perfect, everyone fights it’s how we handle all of it that shows us how strong we are.