– an excerpt from the book: “Agave Marias – border crossers, boundary breakers.” by various authors.
Some of us wondered how that wedding could be blessed by God. Was it really His will? The village padre said it was. No one dared ask why. That would just give him a chance to preach to us about the power of faith. And, after all, our good standing in the church means a lot to us. The church provides the major distraction in our tedious lives, giving us religious fiestas and processions, baptisms, weddings, first communions and funerals.
Jaime was an unwanted distraction in the village, too macho and rebellious after spending time in the United States working in construction. He came back with a gun and a high, fat-wheeled, bright red pickup. He loved cruising with music blaring, leaning out of the window, flirting with all the muchachas, making them blush and giggle. But they feared him too. That good-looking Jaime was a real stud, took what he wanted and the day after left their panties hanging in a tree.
Cristina was different. She ignored his advances as though she didn’t even see him. She wasn’t quite fifteen but was already a woman in appearance, with curves and dignity, a bud ready to bloom. She held her head especially high when she passed through the groups of guys in front of the tendejón, the little store where the guys buy cokes, shake them so they fizz and spill over, and then add alcohol. She would ignore their teasing, make her purchase, quickly exit, and go directly home. Jaime always eyed her intently and swore that he would know her lots better before not long.
On Cristina’s fifteenth birthday, when she was waiting for a bus with her godmother, Jaime abducted her at gunpoint and forced her into his big red Ford, which now sported a camper shell. He just left the madrina standing by the highway and said he was taking Christina to a fiesta. He would bring her back that night, and she was not to say anything or she, the madrina, would be sorry.
Jaime brought Cristina back all right, bruised and bleeding, one eye almost closed, hurting in her private parts. She wept softly as she lay huddled in a ball, facing the white washed adobe wall. Her mother stroked her long hair, saying soft, soothing things and pondered as she stroked. What decent boy would want her now that she was no longer a virgin?
Cristina’s father paced back and forth, looking for a solution to the problem. No police report, for sure. He certainly didn’t want Jaime and his family set against them. He knew what a rough bunch they were. No telling what they might do. He had looked forward to marrying Cristina off to someone who had a decent job, once she reached fifteen. His share cropper earnings didn’t stretch very far what with high prices and his large family.
Suddenly a light bulb lit! That’s it, he thought, Jaime and Cristina will get married! Here, in the village church. There’s money in that family, too! She’ll have a real pretty wedding. I’ll go over and speak to Jaime’s father right now.
At this same time, Jaime’s father was thinking that his son was getting too rambunctious for his own good, and he certainly didn’t want his kid to get the upper hand. Jaime probably needs a full-time woman to sleep with. Marriage might just fill the bill.
His father pressured him until Jaime agreed to the marriage. As is customary, the groom’s family, would foot all the costs. This would be a wedding fiesta the village would never forget.
Cristina, still sad and subdued, bruises covered by makeup, was whisked to Guadalajara for the fitting of her wedding gown.
A five-tiered wedding cake was ordered. Cases of tequila were brought in. There was champagne too, to be served in special flutes to toast the novios. And music, a violin trio that played romantic music. Then, of course, a proper band with those powerful, huge speakers, for rocking and rolling until only God knows when. Doors would be open to the entire village.
Calves were cut from the herd for the feast and butchered. Cooking preparations began.
On her wedding day, Cristina looked like a lacy angel. She glided down the aisle on the arm of her father, head held high but with a strangely vacant look in her eyes. At the altar, in a barely audible voice she repeated her wedding vows, “I will love and obey my husband until death do us part.”
She and Jaime did make a handsome couple. Cameras clicked. Camcorders rolled. Villagers gathered with their abrazos and felicidades.
The wedding feast was served in a festooned hall. Conviviality increased in proportion to the flow of tequila. The wedding couple danced the traditional romantic waltz. Jaime squeezed Cristina’s arm and whispered, ” Querida, you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait til I get you in bed after the party.”
The wee hours of the morning arrived and Jaime was still downing drink after drink with his buddies, toasting his entry into real manhood.
Finally, with the cocks crowing, the party broke up and Jaime, rubber-legged but still walking, led his bride to bed, where he fell upon it and passed out.
Cristina went to the bathroom, then stood by the bed where she gazed long and coldly at the drooling, snoring sight before her and envisioned the rest of her life. She lay down beside her husband in all of her white finery Then, with the razor from the bathroom, she slashed both of her wrists deeply and folded her hands in prayer.
Mexconnect features full-length excerpts from the book Agave Marias – border crossers, boundary breakers.
- First Flight by Gloria Marthai
- The Virgin Dialogue by Judy Dykstra-Brown
- The Wedding by Gloria Marthai
- Going for a Mexican Ride by dory jones
- Maid in Mexico by Harriet Hart
- Three Señoras Named Lola by Gloria Marthai
- The Lady Is a Tramp by Nina Discombe
- The Delivery by Harriet Hart