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.

Queen of the jungle

Have you ever driven with four kids? Just to give you an idea
As soon as I start driving, the two-year old starts crying
“Please, teta, teeetaaa!” Somehow I grab the backpack from the backseat
Prepare the bottle while driving with my knee
Yes my knee, and pass it to him stretching my arm to the back.

“Mom! Oh no! I’m dying!”  My sixteen year old screams.
Of course, he means in the game, IN THE GAME!
Then again, by inertia, I turned my head as he leans
He is next to me playing again
“Easy there,” I tell myself, breathe 
Reasons, there’s too many, starting with four.
Soon after, there’s a scream from the backseat

“Dude, chill,” my seven-year old tells my 4-year-old
And he keeps screaming for God knows what 
Yet my seven-year old covers his ears and yells “mom, tell him to stop!”

“Breathe”, I tell myself again while turning off the music
Listen boys, if you all don’t stop it now
Even your dinner will go to the sink
So, do you think they listened? Of course not!
Screaming and yelling, of course my two-year old after finishing his bottle joins the chorus
Inspiring enough to think that this is a jungle. Monkeys, exotic bird and even cicadas
Nothing out of the ordinary… “Breathe,” and finally an idea popped up.
“Guys if you keep at it, there won’t be any nintendo switch for the weekend.”
Silence… Finally no buzzing, no humming nor chirping, for how long? Who knows? let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Lucky Charm

My old torn leopard charm
It’s a bit rough to the touch
Yet soft to the sight
And mellow to the heart.

With a smell of ages upon it’s fur
Covered with a smell of gardenias
To my sensitive nose.

Even though it looks like Chester cheetos
The taste is not exactly the same.

It came like fate
When I was by myself
Bringing hope and love to my life.

At least, that’s the premonition I was told
Although I took it more as a joke
A “what if” was my daily hope
And sure enough, I met my other soul.

Sometimes I wonder, was it part of a majestic plan?
Or maybe just a coincidence in my daily life?
Did this almost insignificant thing
Pulled it’s strings?

And when the night comes
And say good night to it,
those eyes and smile assure me
That my little lucky charm did so.

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