graphic by Luke Sweeny / equinox staff

Anita Pandey

Equinox Staff

When the plane took off, she turned to face the entrance, and the exit sign struck her eyes. The doors locked. Griselda turned to look at her husband in order to adjust to her broken home and now her children abandoned in the land she may no returned. That tranquil dawn had hidden a defenseless storm in its womb.

Griselda could no longer see the entrance. It blurred before her. She slammed her head on the back of the seat and turned to look at her husband while his fingers held onto her blouse his handcuff irritated her skin. It dug into her. The metal handcuff was cold to her flesh, but  her blood surged in her veins with heat flash raising waves that she shuddered. Griselda heard her heart drum against her ribs so she brought her hand, covered her mouth, and inhaled vanilla air–– it was from only this morning. The same vanilla extract instead of pouring into the bowl, Daniella had squirted some on Griselda. The girl wanting to wipe it off for her mother, only to have spread the stains on the blouse.

The pair of Victor’s hands weighed on her, so she stooped her shoulders then he took his hands away. Griselda’s throat clogged with bubbling sobs while tears made circles on her navy jean. Victor pulled her arm closer, and she tilted her head on his shoulder. She sighed and drew in a few air particles as the air dampened in her tears.

“Carlos?” She said.

“We’ll bring him back,” Victor said.

“Daniella?” She asked, staring out at the endless sky.

“We’ll bring her back too.”

The sky bent somewhere to let the sun nestle for the night, and the moon would soon glow. The Boeing 373’s wings cutting through the air was gliding away from her babies.

“They’ll come home from School,” she said. “And they won’t find us there. They don’t know we aren’t home. What will they do? Carl–”

“Griselda,” her husband said. His lifting hands up to his chest but only to set it back down on his lap. His inner wrists were facing each other, so she put her hand between those wrists. He loosely held her hand. Then she propped her fingers into the metal cuff, pressing them against his palms and pulled her hand with a gusto that he bent his head down to look at his hands, that he had been avoiding.

“You committed a horrendous crime,” she said.  He nodded and looked out the oval window, clouds roaming under the gold rays of the evening sun. “I was supposed to dress like the witch in Hansel and Gretel this Halloween,” Griselda chuckled.  A woman’s voice came from the intercom somewhere and Griselda whispered, “That bitch. I hope she is infertile.” He sighed. “What?” she said. He nodded.

Griselda leaned back on her seat and closed her eyes, waiting for the plane to touch the soil of her home country. The land, she hadn’t walked on for ten years, and the sun-dried air she had hung her linens with Carlos in her arms. Then, Victor had left her and newborn Carlos to search for a new home for them, so he crossed the invisible line. She had waited every day to hear from him because she knew every dream he dreamed. They involved her somehow, and they always involved Carlos and Daniella.

Griselda loathed the day when she had thought she had been a supportive wife and encouraged him to dream about a small home and a courtyard for the baby and his master’s degree; he didn’t attend any university for it. Instead, he had begun to work and lied to her, sending her money to get stuff for Carlos and herself too. Her husband had left them in a tiny house, wishing to find a feast but ended up falling in a vat of boiling water. And in it, Victor would burn forever––forever in the thought of his babies being away, where it wasn’t safe for them because the detention center was where they would end up. They will be kept in the witch’s cage. And she wasn’t allowed to come back in.

Griselda exhaled stepping down the stair and held her husband’s freed hand. She walked alongside him and exited the plane while she clenched his hand, with sweat got trapped in the strength of her grip. If she knew this would happen, Griselda wouldn’t have sent her kids to school in the morning. They were in School but she knew they wouldn’t return home. They wouldn’t know their way  home from the walled up house and Daniella wouldn’t be able to climb those fences nor would Carlos. But he would stay with his sister; Griselda knew he would because he walked with his little sister toward the entrance after she dropped them off at their school and his arm on her back, ushering her upward the sloped pavement. Griselda glanced back at Boeing 373.

The moon had walked with her, followed her when in the bus ride from the airport. It was able to travel the bus’ speed, and now, it stopped above a house, facing the door. Griselda knocked on the door she had left a decade ago when her mother had been standing at the threshold waving at her. She remembered her broad smile in her crinkled lips; her mother knew she would be reunited with her husband and her son would get his father. Now, Griselda knew different. She knew her mother’s ache behind the smile as she bid her farewell. The door opened ajar, and her father stood in here, widened eyes and gaped.

“Dad?” she said.   

Share and Enjoy !