Questions that lead to more questions …
Estrellita arrived home from school before her mother returned from Puerto Vallarta. Knowing she would have to face her mother soon, she stood in front of the bathroom mirror rehearsing what she would say. Why had she not been in her bed this morning, her mother would want to know. Why had her bed not been slept in at all? What had she been doing. Where did she spend the night? What was going on with her? Didn’t she know how important these years were, how they would impact the rest of her life?
On and on it would go. Estrellita had answers to these questions. But she knew the answers would only lead to more questions.
“Lita?” It was her mother’s voice. “Are you here?”
She came from the bathroom to the front of the house facing the sea.
“Yes,” she said simply and stood awaiting the lecture.
“I see,” her mother said, coming toward her. “How was school today?”
“The same as always,” Estrellita said.
“Except that you arrived late and didn’t go there from home,” Isabel sat down in a wooden chair and awaited the response. She sighed and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m tired, Lita,” she said. “I’ve had a hard day. I would like you to be honest with me.”
“How can I be honest with you when all you do is tell me what to do all the time?” Estrellita asked.
“Lita, be reasonable,” Isabel said to the girl. “I’m your mother. I am responsible for you. You’ve always been a good girl. What is happening to you? Where did you stay last night? Why didn’t you come home? How can I trust you anymore?”
“Do you expect me to answer all these questions?” Estrellita asked. “You’re like the Grand Inquisitor.”
In other circumstances Isabel might have smiled at her daughter’s expansiveness.
“Lita,” her mother used a more conciliatory tone, “you can tell me what is going on. I will understand. Are you being pressured by others? Are you worried about something? I was your age once, you know. I remember what it was like.”
“You?” her daughter threw back at her. “You saved your family. You are the saint of Sayulita. You can’t possibly understand me.”
With that her daughter ran from the room and slammed her bedroom door.