So Close...

So Close...

A Chapter by Adrian X Fuentess

Keep holding on.


I kept repeating myself over and over, I remember. "Just hang on a little longer. You are so close!"

Holding a tarp down while the truck drove at 75mph for what seemed an eternity, it's not an easy task. That was probably the only time I was about to call it quits that week when I was smuggled in to the United States. That time, and  when I couldn’t attend my Grandmother's funeral in Mexico ten years later. That woman raised me as her own child, she was my mother, she did all she could to give me the best. She packed me up and wished me well as I headed to the American Dream to start my independence at fifteen years old.

 I knew my time was up in Mexico. I could feel it. I was getting too old to be taken care of. 

My biological mother, an absentee in most of my life, told me that it was time for me to stop hiding under my Grandma's skirt. "Your uncles are tired of feeding an extra mouth," she said. They probably didn't say such thing, but it didn't make it any less true. I took the bait and packed up. She and I shared the journey towards the soil of freedom.

I had a plan, you see. I was going to get to El Norte and 'sweep up dollar bills', just enough to pay off my debt with the coyote and start me off to live alone and bring my Grandma to live with me. She was a citizen so she used to go back and forth, partly because of the weather and also because of her health issues. But Life doesn’t always, if ever, go your way. At least it didn't happen for me. Throughout these hard times, I knew the hardship was going to be there due to my legal  status in the country. I had less resources and rights to claim. I knew my place in society. I played the cards dealt to me as properly as I could, to my advantage; it is a 'dog eats dog' world out here.

I started working at a restaurant under a fake name and age. This is where my web of lies start. It all gets tangled up and suffocating for years to come. But I had to lie, and keep up with every word I spoke, in order to make it through the day. Some times I didn't have to, I must admit, yet I did it anyways because I loathed my reality. Some of those lies became my truth, and to the day I claim them as such. I've paid the price for the ownership so don't you dare judge me. I might as well be a prey of Life circumstances, but a prey nonetheless. No, I don't want you to think of me as a victim. I know what I've done. I'm just trying to find a way to explain my WHY's.

While I pulled that damn tarp down, scrunched up with other twenty men in the bed of a Toyota, I prayed to God (or anyone that could hear my thoughts) to give me the strength for another five minutes. I really don't know how long we were driven after the truck picked us up from the spot we were hiding from ICE cars and helicopters. I had lost track of time; not that it mattered anyway. The only time that we looked forward to was when we reached our destination. That was the only thought in my mind while I dug my fingers onto that damn tarp. It was cold the whole eight hours of walking, running, waiting, and riding. It was quiet too. We could only hear each other's heartbeats and breathing, afraid that even our own vitals would be loud enough to betray us. "You are so close!" I said once again.

I heard a man cry at some point. A grown a*s man cry. When I say grown man, I mean he was old enough to be my grandfather. He just wanted to let go. Then I prayed not for me, but for this grown man to remember why he decided to ventured to cross the border this way. Every man under that tarp had a reason to leave his family behind. We all had a reason why we held on to that damn tarp. And with that in mind, we kept on holding on.

© 2017 Adrian X Fuentess

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Added on October 15, 2017
Last Updated on October 15, 2017
Tags: illegal immigration, illegal alien, wetback, coyote, american dream, omaha, nebraska, the good life


Adrian X Fuentess
Adrian X Fuentess

Omaha, NE

English is my second language, so i do appreciate some pointers in my grammar. Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave me some feedback and coming back. i will return the favor. more..