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End of the Trump Era: Chapter Three

Copyright J. S. Raynor 2017

Chapter Three : A hard life in Mexico

The blistering hot sun shone relentlessly on the tiny, ramshackle houses on the outskirts of Mexico City. In one of these houses, the familiar, creaking sound of the back, kitchen door being opened could be heard clearly from the small living area.

“Maria!”  The four young children, looked nervous as their angry father shouted for his wife.

“Maria!”  He repeated, the aggression in his voice increasing with each call. Enrico, an unkempt, unshaven man in his early forties, who was sitting in one of the few chairs in the house, kept his eyes firmly fixed on the live ball game being shown on the old television in the corner of the room. Even when the crowd at the televised game cheered loudly, his face showed neither excitement nor pleasure, yet his addiction to the game was evident.

At last, Maria, an anxious-looking woman in her mid-thirties, appeared in the doorway, clutching a bottle of beer.

Raffaele, the eldest of the children, gave his mother a reassuring smile. Timidly, she walked  over to her husband, who roughly grabbed the bottle without a word of thanks.

He still kept his eyes fixed firmly on the game. “Where are the rest?”  His tone was uncompromising and harsh.

Nervously, Maria answered, “I only had enough money for one bottle.”

“Liar!  I gave you enough for at least three bottles.”

Maria gave a nervous cough and, plucking up courage, replied, “I needed to buy medicine for Isabella. She has a bad fever.”

Enrico looked, through bloodshot eyes, at Isabella, the youngest of his  children.  The two-year old was curled up
in a rough blanket on the floor. Although it was unbearably hot, the tiny, under-nourished infant was shivering uncontrollably. “She looks alright to me. You spoil the girl.”

Maria walked over to her daughter. “She’s sick, Enrico!  Why can’t you see that?”  She picked up the infant and held her close in a loving embrace, trying to sooth the feverish infant.

“The child will be okay,” he growled. “You worry too much.”

Somehow, Maria summed up enough courage to take the child close to her husband, hoping that he would realise how ill Isabella was. “Look, Enrico!  She is sick and, if you can’t see that, then you must be blind!” She regretted these words as soon as they tumbled out of her mouth, but the damage was already done.

The other children looked nervously at each other, surprised that their mother was standing up to her bullying husband in a way they had never seen before.

Enrico snapped the top off the beer, took a gulp and put the bottle down hard. Without warning, he grabbed Maria’s long hair and pulled hard, bringing her head close to his. She screamed in pain, but clung on tightly to her crying daughter.

“Don’t you ever talk to me like that again, bitch!”  His mouth was so close to Maria’s face that she felt sickened by the smell of his foul breath.

Bravely, Raffaele ran beside his mother. “Leave Mama alone, Papa!”

Enrico released his hold on Maria’s hair, turned to face the fourteen-year old and laughed mockingly. “And just what do you intend to do, you little runt?”

“I…”  Raffaele’s initial courage had been broken by his father’s aggression.

Before he had chance to think of a suitable answer, Enrico glared angrily at him and shouted, “Get out of here! You and the others go in the kitchen and don’t come back until I tell you!”

His resolve broken, Raffaele, sister and two brothers walked, meekly, out of the room and shut the door behind them. Knowing what to expect, they each covered their ears, but the shouts from Enrico and the screams from their mother could still be clearly heard. Tears ran freely down the children’s’ faces as Enrico beat his wife yet again. None of them could understand why their father was so cruel to the woman he had married.

It seemed to take an eternity, but, eventually, their mother came to join them in the kitchen. Her lip was bleeding, fresh bruises had appeared on her tired face and no words were needed to be spoken as she, holding Isabella in one arm, used the other to comfort each of her children in turn.

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