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(A situation from different perspectives)

The Mom

You won’t believe who was just here! She was busy checking out so she didn’t see me, and she had a little girl with her. It was Berta. Our Berta! she caught me so off guard that I hid behind these watermelons. I’m so upset! Do you realize it’s been over two months now since Berta quit? She said she was going back to Guatemala because she missed her parents and that it had nothing to do with us. Well, there she was with this little girl! She obviously left us for what she thought was a better job! I can’t believe it. What could be better? Every year she got a two-week paid vacation to Guatemala and all the children’s clothes they had outgrown. This year she was supposed to take all those darling little dresses to her relatives again. Instead she took another job, and — I’m so upset. I can hardly even catch my breath! That little girl with her in the market just now was wearing Annie’s pink velvet dress that she wore to that special screening of “Look Who’s Talking.” How could she do this? We paid her so well, and I never ever yelled at her. All the times she shrunk my good sweaters and turned Stanley’s underwear pink. God, I feel like screaming now! I let her take time off for all her doctor’s appointments, her children’s doctor’s appointments and even her husband’s doctor’s appointments. I always paid her when she took the day off and never said a word when she put lima beans in our lasagna. Then she leaves me and dresses that little girl she had with her in my precious daughter’s clothes and shops at my market! Oh, my God, I just remembered something. Berta was wearing my blue plaid Calvin Klein shorts that I gave her to wear on the plane! This is terrible. Just terrible. How can I ever come back to this market again?

The Housekeeper

Ay yi yi, Mrs. Andrea was here at the market. I go to the check out stand so maybe little chance she see me and little Sarah. I am too shameful, so I hid behind the cashier with the girl. You see, when I left Mrs. Andrea to find a job that is better, I told her I go to Guatemala because I miss my papa and mama and my Manuel. I say I like job with Mrs. Andrea, and I will miss her and her Annie. Now she know I only go a few blocks working with another family. Mrs. Andrea always angry and yelling and say no good when I put lima beans in the lasagna. Is that so bad? And she say I no work enough and go to too many appointments at the clinic and dye Mr. Stanley’s pantalones pink. Ay yi yi, I hope she didn’t see that little Sarah was wearing her Annie’s favorite dress. I no come back to this market.

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You can read more stories by Danna Colman here.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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