No matter your state, a shift will show you the importance of being grateful for any state you’re in. The first and last Mexican prison I tasted was hellish, no other word to describe it. I realized I was immediately sent to prison with no trial. After the metal gates were shut, a very repugnant stench rose from the corner to meet my nostrils in a not so friendly welcome. Over eighteen people shared a space definitely meant for, at most, three people. Every space was taken except the small part around the toilet filled hole which acted king of the room. Before I could balance myself in the heat, I was pushed into that fecal matter left-shoulder in. What was worse, there was no water to at least clean myself and no one to talk to. My broken Spanish could not get through the angry faces which obviously hated having a black monster in their presence.
I was in that hellish prison for a week, spat upon, booted, and sometimes defecated on for lack of space. Standing and sleeping mostly and thinking it not worth it to fight in the heat. It was a blessing any time I could find myself a better spot around the toilet area to sit and sleep. I contracted a skin infection, a day after being in that hell hole just as all the people there. Eating was annoyingly horrid as the food was nothing to write home about. I was fortunate to get under a shower only twice in the entire week. Funny, with time, the stench of the faeces became familiar and not as repulsive as it first was; talking about familiarity breeding acceptance. The only thing I could not get used to was sexual abuse under the shower. Those rash infested ladies were always brutal in their “pounce on and finger”. I feared the hidden traces of sicknesses in their bloodstreams anytime it happened to me but tried to act within reasoning to avoid unnecessary attention. I felt a commotion in the place on the night I turned a week in the hole, opened my eyes to see a hand pulling my dehydrated and lean-struck self from behind out. The curses that followed me needed no translator to be understood.
Alejandro looked at me with a sad face and I could see he was struggling not to make me feel like the garbage in my intolerant perfume. All the prison wardens used their handkerchiefs to cover their nostrils but he stood there looking at me. After a while, he gave them some money and took me home. Not a word was said to me on the drive back. I stayed in my bathroom for over three hours, soaking and scrubbing, wiping and drying only to start all over again. When I finally went back to my room, Alejandro was standing and looking through the window with his back to me. It was the first time I realized there was a window in my room. Of course, one with metal nets that none could pass through. He ordered me to go and eat but I declined and jumped into bed. He went out and brought me food on a tray and practically forced me to eat.
“You can’t stay here any longer, I am afraid Miss Davids. Your life will be in danger if the bosses get to hear what happened.” He paused for a while and continued. “You shouldn’t have taken that girl to the hospital. She made it and cleared your name but no one cared enough to release you from that prison. We had to eliminate her because she would have posed a threat to us. They found out she was a prostitute. In fact, the man who hired her had to be taken out too. He chewed her, you know what I mean?”
I didn’t hear anything after he said that. Naki was chewed by a man like a dog? What was his deal? Chewing for pleasure? I was glad he was dead but feared the number of people out there with his traits. “Would prostitutes ever be safe?”, “Is God right to have given us vaginas?”, “How relative is pleasure to have men seek it in the most annoyingly shocking and diverse ways?”, “What is the thin line between pleasure and pain to have it fall into hurting almost all the time?”, “Will the surviving ever survive in this cruel business?” These thoughts run through my mind until Alejandro snapped his fingers to get my attention. “You will be sent to America before those up there get a wind of this. I am sure they’ll know soon. I am doing this because I care about you. Your flight leaves in four hours and I have your security intact until then. Catch some sleep. I will stay here with you.”
He climbed in beside me and I felt safe and slept. Something woke me up only to see a masked figure holding a gun and getting ready to shoot me. I held Alejandro and pulled him to the floor. He waking and pulling his gun was instant and instinctive. He shot three times and killed the two sent to “liquidate” me. He then helped me up, held my hands and pulled me straight out into another car which pulled outside the house. He asked that I left and told me he sure would come to the US to see me but needed to clear something before. He left me in the hands of a familiarly unfamiliar person. One whom I felt I knew but couldn’t remember where or how I knew him. One I had known had been around me for a long time but had no evidence. One who was to protect me until I reached my destination.
The man kept looking at me from the mirror inside the car and I felt uncomfortable. He must have sensed my discomfort even after riding for over an hour and changing cars twice. “Baby girl you don’t need to look so scared. You know I’ll never hurt you? I will always protect you.” I definitely knew that voice and I wasn’t crazy. It was real, I wasn’t dreaming, God! I thought of how possible it was to have experienced that. I looked at him and started weeping uncontrollably. He stopped the car, hopped in beside me and took me into his arms. “You know what your tears do to me. Baby please stop it”. It was as if those two sentences asked me to intensify my weeping. And so I wept in his arms, arms I perfectly fitted into, arms of…
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © April 10, 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics