En Español

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"Me llamo Off...."

No" Senorita Hilda stamped her cane down on the ground. The carpeting of the newly refurbished O'Hare Airport dampened the effect.

"De!" She said "Me Llama De, why can't you remember?"

I had taken 4 years of Spanish in High School, I remembered going to Spain for a semester in college. I wondered if their churches still stood tall, if their art hung, unvandalized, in the museums.

I was one of five specially designated handmaids. We were leaving Gilead and going to Mexico. They looked at our records, how else would they have known about my Spanish classes? Somewhere, in the dark recesses of a government building, our identities still survived. Smothered in boxes, stamped out and made to reflect our new names, but there was a small shred of the truth out there. I took comfort in that. I had not been completely erased. Kristen Donaldson was somewhere, a sliver, barely recognizable, but she exists.

"I'm sorry Sentorita Hilda,"

She slapped me and I held back a shriek.

"En Español" Hilda said

"Lo siento" I said. It came out in a whisper. "Voy a hacer mejor en el future." I said. I saw a glimmer of confusion cross the Aunt's face. Did she know what I had said?

"Good...Bueno" Hilda said. "Remember, Girls, you have been given the tools you need to assimilate into your new country. You are all so special. Ambassadors of Gilead, what an honor to be in your shoes."

We were given a few phrases. That's it. The basics. 

I decided to test the bounds of Hilda's basic phrases. In Spanish, I muttered "I hope you rot in hell," as Hilda walked down the line of the five handmaidens. Clothes freshly pressed and everything we could call our own packed squarely away in a Gilead issued suitcase.

Hilda heard me and walked over to me. She had no idea what I had said. A warm feeling flooded my body. I saw two smartly dressed pilots walking in tandem down the airport to our gate.

"I was just saying that we are lucky to have been chosen to continue the great work of Gilead and bring it to the world," No, that was not what I had said.

"Under his eye," She said

 One of the girls, I think it was OfWendal let out a small gasp and giggle. She must also have been fluent in Spanish too.

Hilda looked amiss for a second, not sure if she should punish or reward. "Bueno, OfKEvin"

"De Kevin" I said

"Yes, Si, I mean" Hilda Said

Ofwendal called out a slew of insults in Spanish, but smiled and sweetly kept her gaze down. 

"I see you are starting to learn ladies. Well, that's enough of that for now. We will be boarding the plane soon" She walked away back to two other Aunts sitting by the loading doors.

We naturally congregated in a circle. I smiled to Ofwendal, she smiled back.


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