Chapter forty-five

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"Mama?" I ask, as I listen to her silent cries.
She always hides in her room when she's sad, I don't know if it's because papá says that weakness isn't allowed in this house, or because she doesn't want me and Lorenzo to see her sad.
Mama always made sure to hide her emotions, especially the sad ones, "I'm fine amor, mama is just tired."

Her fragile voice barely reached past the wooden door standing between us,
"If you open the door, we can be tired together!" I tried to cheer, hoping that it would be enough for her to let me in, but the silence showed me how failed my attempt was, as I slid down the door making it known I wasn't leaving her.

"Just let her be" I look up, and my eyes meet Lorenzo's.
I don't know when, but one day his eyes just seemed to have gotten a shade darker.
"But she's sad" I whisper, to make sure mama doesn't hear and feel even worse.
Lorenzo's face is emotionless as he speaks, "she's always sad, if she listens to papá for once, maybe she'll stop being sad all the time" He speaks loud enough for mother to hear, ignoring me as I make hushing sounds.

"Why are you siding with papá?" I ask, my brows furrow at my brother.
Lorenzo should hate father for what he does to him, what he does to mother, to us.
He shakes his head as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, "because papá is always right, he's in charge!"

I stand up and face my brother, "even when he hits you? Even when he makes me sleep outside with the dogs? Even when he makes mama sad?" My voice is loud this time, as I feel the need to make him open his eyes and realize that this isn't right.

Lorenzo doesn't seem as affected by my words as I hoped,
his craving of father's approval makes him blind to his surroundings.
"Si" He answers, "even then."

The door to mama's room opens before I have the chance to answer,
"Please stop, he's going to hear" Mama says, I turn around and look at her.
Mama is really beautiful, even when her caramel eyes are puffy and bloodshot, even when there's dark circles forming around her eyes, even when her lips are bloody.
Mama will always be the prettiest woman in my eyes, but I have to admit that when she smiles, she gets even prettier.

"Mama!" I exclaim, hugging her tightly, afraid that if I let go, she'll lock me out again.
I ignore Lorenzo's voice in the back telling me to man up before he leaves.
"Mama please don't lock the door again"

I hear her snuffle, as she lets me enter the room with her.
"Mama did papá hurt you again?" I ask, looking at the blood on the corner of her lips before she wipes it away the second she noticed where I'm looking. "No amor, mama fell down the stairs, I'm fine."

I let out a sigh, she forgot that she fell down the stairs last week too when I asked her why there were bruises on her chest and arms.
"Okay" I say, instead of telling her that she's used this excuse too many times for me to believe it.

She wraps her arms around me, "don't worry about me amor, as long as you're fine, I'm fine."
She starts drawing hearts around my arm as I slowly drift asleep in her embrace.

And although I only fell asleep for what felt like a minute, that minute was enough for me to wake up to my heart wrenching, twisting and dropping.

"Mama!" I shout, wasting no second to jump out of bed. "Mama wake up!"
I lift her head up, and shake her, talk to her, hug her.
Nothing is working, "mama please answer me" I say as tears escape my fragile eyes at the sore sight of the most beautiful woman in the world laying there lifeless, her caramel eyes blank and empty and her olive skin paler than ever.

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