ANGEL WITH A GUM

By Rosalva Ruiz

It was back in 1986 when my family was involved in a car accident. There was a bus full of people who helped us get out of our truck and laid us on the road. Although my vision was blurred by red stains, I saw her, my angel with a gum.

She may not know that she and it kept me mentally stable while watching my unconscious mom on my side covered in blood. On my other side, my sister trying to cover her pain with her arm on her eyes, biting her lower lip, laying there, as her legs were covered in blood as well. People surrounding us, whispering in disbelief as if we were some freak show from a roadside circus. And my red blurry eyesight that stung as I was watching it all.

She may not know that with this little piece of gum, she showed me the empathy from a stranger that I thought was long lost.

She may not know that thanks to this little piece of mint, I was able to breathe while my headache lessened and washed the iron taste in my mouth.

She may not know that it was thanks to her that I let the police officers take me and my sister into their car. It was thanks to that gum that I sat without a fuss while the doctor stitched my forehead.

And the most important of all, it was thanks to that gum that I did not despair when a doctor took me into his arms to see my shocked mom screaming, “Where are my daughters?!”
This invisible me in her eyes understood her state; yet I still cried while chewing that gum.

I have always wanted to say thank you; however, I don’t even know her name or where she is. The only thing I know is… The bow in her blouse made me think of angels wings.

Hopefully this time with this anecdote I can finally say,
“Thank you, my angel with a gum.”

* This is an anecdote I wrote for the “Mcallen Public Library Anecdote Day Contest.”

It will be held on July 5th, 2020 If anybody is interested on participating here is the link.

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