"But with the passage of the years Lucho Abril Marroquin was to tell himself that of all the instructive experiences of that morning the most unforgettable had not been either the first or the second accident but what happened afterwards."
The fact that the second accident occurred at all was blamed entirely on him. Even though, he was too young to fully understand. What he did understand, however, was that Maria was gone.
Maria was beautiful. She had eyes that reminded Lucho of the moon at the very last crescent, moments before it disappeared. Her skin was smooth and as delicious as cocoa with cream.
Maria was the princess protected by Papa. She posessed Mamma’s fine aristocratic bones.
Lucho was ordinary at best. He was short, but of good working stock. Lucho looked like his father. He was an Inca without a doubt.
Maria was the model of her mother. She bore the blood of a Spanish queen. Lucho remembers when Papa took him into the city. The women looked different than the village women. Papa told him they were called “Blancos”. “Blancos” because they were white in comparison to the locals. Their skin was the color of cream. Their shoes clicked and made them appear taller. The Blanco women hired the Inca women to do their housework.
Lucho only remembers the day that Maria was taken from them. He was eleven years old and entrusted with her care. Papa gave him explicit instructions:
“You will take Maria into Lima. You will find Senora Martina’s salon. You will ask Senora to find a dress for Maria that will bring out her natural beauty.”
On the way out the door Lucho tripped, spraining his ankle.
Maria was about to turn fifteen. She was shy, quiet and hardly aware of this “natural beauty”. She was about to have her special birthday party. Papa was going to invite some dignitaries. He hoped that important men in town would notice Maria’s good breeding. He was not about to lose this opportunity.
Lucho had to escort Maria into the village. In the village they would catch the makeshift “bus” into Lima. This makeshift bus was an old Daihatsu pick-up truck, fashioned in the bed with Chevrolet bench seats . The operators collected two hundred pesos per rider. Not a bad wage for the village.
The village was an hour from Lima on a good day. The road to Lima was narrow, bumpy and vertical. On one side was the mountain, on the other was sheer cliff. You could not see to the bottom.
Lucho remembers the bouncing ride, the smell of passenger’s pigs . He felt sick.
Suddenly a child was crossing the road. The driver slammed on his brakes. The bus skidded and rolled over losing half of the passengers over the cliff.
Lucho tried to hold onto Maria.
He heard screams.
He felt a burning pain across his face. He woke up in the Hospital.
“You are dead to me”. Said his papa.
Disclaimer: I wasn't going to do this one. I just composed it this evening. I hate to refuse a challenge. I like to write for fun. Just as an exercise of the mind. I do not and will never profess to be a writer of any talent.