Before the Favela
Sometimes, when the weather were hot enough, Abia would take her siblings hiking up the mountain side. The trees were almost tropic-like up there, and some even bore fruit.
They would sip juice and fry fish all day long, and only start the journey home when first light left the sky.
But with every outing came a responsibility which hindered all the freedoms of childhood. At eleven years old she was half a parent to her brother Daniel, and the twins Ana and Natàlia.
Her father had waltzed in and out of her life until the year Daniel was born. He and the twins had never known him. In thoughts she only allowed herself to think in the secrecy of night, she likened him to the moon. Greeting her with fleeting visits that silently promised departure. Some days he would be there waiting for her when she came home from escuela (school). She would know only thirty seconds before reaching her porch, his rusty second hand Suzuki lent against the crumbling front wall, the smell of tobacco and stale alcohol lingering in the afternoon air. In all her feelings of excitement somewhere Abia felt anxious, unready. He would ask about her school work, her friends. He would eat the dinner that her mother cooked, sleep amongst the blankets and pillows laid out on the downstairs sofa, and he would leave before dawn. Abia, not enough to make him stay.
© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town