My mother was a control freak on top of being very strict. I was allowed to hang out but with a time limit. If she said 8pm it was 8pm. Nothing past that time was acceptable. Not even a minute after.

This time around I was hanging out with my friends and we were making plans to go out to dance at a house party they were invited to. The party would start at around 9 and I wanted to hang out till a little past 11 so I can enjoy the music. I asked mommy if I could go and of course she said yes but that I had to be home at 9pm. It was a weekend and being home at that time wasn’t cool. I was already in my teens so I didn’t understand why she was being so crazy about the time. As far as I was concerned I was an adult- as all teenagers think they are at 15 years of age.

I started whining to her stating my case as to why I feel I should come home a little later. Mommy wasn’t having it. She wasn’t even hearing me. Mind you we are having this conversation as she is looking out the window and I’m downstairs.

“Mommy please! I just want to go and hear music. Hang out a little bit”.

“You can go but you have to be back by 10. That’s it.” She flicked her cigarette keeping that steady non expressive face that lets me know she wasn’t budging..

“At the time you want me to come is when the party starts mommy. I can’t stay till 11? I promise I will be back.”

“I said no. If you keep asking me I’m going to say you can’t go at all. So las 10 o nada!”

Once mommy put the Spanish I knew that the verdict wasn’t moving. I walked away defeated. I will take the curfew. It was better than not going at all. At this time of my life I was not drinking or doing drugs. I didn’t even smoke cigarettes. I really wanted to stay because they were going to play music and that’s all I wanted to hear. All I wanted to do was dance my ass off.

We get there and the music is fantastic. I was getting hyper hearing it and went straight to the dance floor. As always I danced from the minute I got there till it was time to leave. When 10 o’clock came around I decided to not heed my mother’s warning and I stood till 11. In my mind I had it all figured it out. When I got home mom would be asleep around 10 and instead of knocking on the door because I had no keys I would climb unto the 2nd floor. We had the apartment that was on top of the bakery and all I had to do was get on top of the roof of the bakery which had a fire escape. The bathroom window was right there and we usually left the bathroom window open. At 11 I left and walked home as the party was 3 blocks away. I climbed onto the roof and I quietly opened the bathroom window. As I am climbing into the window my mother is sitting on the toilet. Now try to picture this- the toilet is right next to the window, literally inches away. Putting one leg in trying to find the  toilet seat to gain balance guess who I step on? Yep you got it, my mother. She didn’t scream or yell. She just looked at me and said “Very nice. Bien nice que esta!” I knew I was in deep shit. I went straight to my room. I sat on my bed and took out clothes to take a shower. I heard my mother get back to bed. Now I knew I wasn’t going to get away with this one I just didn’t know when I was going to get it. I get up to take a shower and it is there with soap all over my body that she bombarded me with slaps and whips from a leather belt. I laugh at the memory now but my mother was notorious for handing out her beatings. She used whatever was close by. Whether it was the legendary Chancleta, to a stick to a hanger. You see by the time my brother and I reached our teens we were taller than her and she wasn’t trying to allow our height to scare her or intimidate her. She was the boss and made that point at all times.

When I sawthat belt I knew I was done. She hit me till she was tired all the while screaming- “ Yo te dije puneta, I told ju what time to come home. Tu cree que tu te manda?  I still buy your underwear. Did you forget the time? You forgot how to tell time? Aqui tu no paga renta! Me cago yo la madre!!! ” Each syllable she spoke was accentuated by the hit of that leather belt on my naked wet skin. It felt like she was never going to end. When she finally stopped she went back to bed. As fast as it happened was as fast as it finished.

I stood in the shower in pain. I stopped crying because I didn’t want her to come back and hit me again but this time for crying.  I finished taking my shower. I knew the welts were going to be visibly seen the next day. I can feel them rising on my legs as the water hit them. As tender as I could I rinsed the soap off. I walked to my room and just sat at the bed. My brother and I shared a room at the time. He just looked at like I was crazy. I wrapped myself up to go to bed all the while still dancing inside from the music. It was worth it. My soul was happy.  Yo era bien cojonua.


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