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“May 5th, 2011, finally we’re done with college for another three months!” I exclaimed to Aubrey.
“Dude, you don’t even know. You know, you have to tell your dad before September gets here so when you leave he won’t flip out. He needs to know,” Aubrey responded.
“I know Marilyn,” I said in a tone so she knows to shut her mouth. I only call her by her first name when she’s beginning to piss me off.
“Alright Harmony; Anyway, so tomorrow are you going home?”
“Yeah, Trey is acting up and Santiago wants me to talk to him and see what’s up with him.”
“He’s probably still trying to cope with-“
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to bring it up.”
“Whatever can we go now?”
I got lost in my thoughts as we drove toward the paved part of the campus, away from the bushes, the trees, and the daffodils gracing the perimeter of the dorm buildings. My mood, once serene and excited, was then like the cement we were driving on; cold and sad. She just had to bring up my mom. Although she was right, I didn’t need to hear it. It’s a shame Aubrey saw what was wrong with my brother and my own father couldn’t put two and two together. Tremaine was the epitome of a mama’s boy and he lost, well, we lost our mother. She died because of complications due to cervical cancer, caused by the virus HPV that Santiago, my father, gave to her. I blame Santiago for her death. All he had to do was keep it in his pants, or at least he could have invested seven dollars in the local CVS. All while she was going to chemo for four days a week, twice a day, he was cheating. The more her skin started to look paler and paler, the longer he stayed out with the other woman. One week after my mom’s funeral, Santiago, moved some transparent Ecuadorian girl, and yes I do mean girl, into the house to somehow try and fill the void my mother left. Two weeks after that, they married. Mariana is twenty-one years old and Santiago is forty-six. I hate her. I hate everything about her, her smile, her smell, her-
“Harmony, are you alright?” Aubrey asked me.
“Yeah, I must have zoned out” I said, wondering how deep into my thoughts I must have been.
“Okay, just making sure. I don’t want you to like stay mad at me this whole drive.”
“I won’t trust me. I’m over that. I just need to like go home and do this already.”
“Well, we’ll be in Manhattan in like ten minutes. You want me to drop you off tonight?”
“You know what, yeah. Do that and this will be the last time you have to get me from there.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m going to tell him.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I need to. My mom knew and she loved you. That’s enough for me. I don’t care what Santiago thinks anymore. I should have stopped caring a long time ago.
“I’m proud of you.”
“Thanks Aubrey.” I started to smile because I’ve only been told those four words from on other person. Her name was Carmen Marie Selene, my mother.
I got out of the car and watched Aubrey leave. My only support system left. So now how was I going to face Santiago on my own? I mean, my brother knew, but he doesn’t have the energy to deal with my problems. He has his own, like living with his donor and that monstrosity of a step-mother. I attempted to lift my right foot to move from the spot I was stuck in. The sun set almost perfectly in front of me. The different shades of pink and orange soothed my soul. They were Carmen’s favorite color. She was telling me I’d be okay. With reassurance from her, I walked my Ugg covered feet toward the front door.
When I walked inside I saw Mariana. The coldest sneer came on my face. I didn’t like her and she knew it; I didn’t even try to hide it anymore. I didn’t speak; I just went straight up to Trey’s room to see him. I felt this would be a very short visit, so I text Aubrey and told her to come back in an hour.
“Harmony, you don’t speak now a days?” Santiago asked me.
“Hi,” I responded.
“Look Nena, I know you don’t like this . . . situation but you need to respect Mariana,”
“Respect her? She’s my age. What do I look like?”
“You watch how you speak to me Harmony Marie.”
“All these hormones; what’s wrong with you?”
“Maybe she’s pregnant,” Mariana said with a smirk on her face. I gave her the dirtiest look. I wanted to punch her right in her face just for thinking that she had any kind of right to say anything when it came to a family situation.
“Mariana, you are not family so you have no business saying anything in regard to a family discussion. And for the record, I’m not pregnant, I’m gay,” I stated in a chilling calmness. I started up the stairs and saw Trey at the top. Immediately, I felt guilty. I always told him to respect Mariana even if he didn’t like her and I had just contradicted everything I told him.
“Harmony, you come down here right now!” Santiago exclaimed.
“Leave her alone Santiago!” Trey screamed.
“Tu me respetaras!” Santiago screamed to Trey.
“Te odio! I hate you so much. Mariana is the same age as Harmony and you bring her into this house one week after my mother died. You killed her! You murdered my mother with your infidelities and you don’t show any kind of remorse,” Trey said with tears in his eyes. Mariana looked down at her feet.
“Maybe I should go,” she whispered.
“No, you stay we’re leaving. Trey, go get your stuff, you’re coming with me,” I told my brother with resentment in my words . He went upstairs to pack some things like I told him, which left me alone with Santiago and Mariana. After what seemed like forever, I broke the silence.
“Santiago, when I was young, I thought you were the greatest father. I was such a Daddy’s girl. You were always around and you showed me the greatest love. But then I would hear Carmen, your wife, cry all through the night until you decided you were going to come home. You cheated on her and you infected her with your whorish ways. You killed my mother and you bring this sorry excuse for a woman into the house to try and take Carmen’s place like she’s ever going to come close. You always tell me I’m not grown but your new wife and I are the same age. You call my brother a punk because he’s still not over our mother, your wife’s, death. We loved her beyond words. It was obvious you don’t understand because you were over her as soon as she became infected with the HPV you gave her. I’m taking my bother and we are leaving. You and your new wife can live happily ever after. Goodbye Santiago.” After I let that out, Trey came down the stairs with a distressed look on his face, two bags in one hand and the other behind his back. I turned away from my brother to look into my father’s weeping eyes.
“Daddy, why couldn’t you just love her?” Trey whispered. He lifted his arm and BANG! I saw the blood spill from the side of Santiago’s head. Mariana screamed but I didn’t hear her. Everything was in slow motion. I just stood there looking at Santiago’s corpse. Trey pulled my arm and forced me out the door. We sat on the curb holding each other with waterfalls flooding our faces; because now, we really only had each other. No mother, no father, we were now orphans.