A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
By Jacquelynn Landaverde
There is– and always has been– one person who knows where I keep my secret place of foods. Of course, I have different hiding spots of many different things, but this is the most important collection. It contains three things: Cassava Chips, Purple Fanta and Limon Flamin Hot Cheetos. I made sure that there is only ever one person who knows where it is in case of an emergency. That person is my best friend, Kamila, who is 1,064 miles away.
So, it was a surprise when I came home from school to find Alejandra sprawled out on the couch with Cheeto fingers and a bottle of my special drink on her lap. One the floor next to the couch, my Family Sized Cassava Chip bag lay along with the wrappers of snack-sized Cheeto bags.
“Aleja!” I screamed. Wide-eyed, she let out a blood-curdling scream as I lunged at her, taking the last bit of my drink that was in her Cheeto clutch. I grimaced at the backwash but tried to let it not show on my face.
“¿Adonde? Where did you find these?” I growled. She scrambled behind the couch, tears falling down her face, “Lo siento, perdon, I am sorry!”
“Brinley,” a stern voice called out. I turned around to find mama standing at the door frame to the kitchen, looking confused. “¿Que paso? What on earth are you doing?” “Mami,” I whined, “she ate it all! She ate all of my snacks,” I complained.
At this, a smile grew on her face, “Mi hija, do not worry about that. We will have plenty of money to buy you anything you want soon enough!” I looked at her like she had gone absolutely insane! “Well, when you were younger, an old best friend of mine, from Venezuela, had the idea that if we have children around the same time, they would get married. At first, the idea sounded crazy, but then I took into account that they come from a family of money. If you marry them, you will inherit their money. Now, the boy– let’s just say that he is not in the best of places right now. She finally reached out to me again, to remind me of our little plan.
“It has been six months since you turned 18, and she just reminded of it! Now, I thought about you and how strong-minded and brilliant you are, and how you are fast to correct if gotten wrong,” she took a deep breath, quickly glancing at my confused face. “The boy– he is a year older than you, a great boy, he really is. I bet he is even chulo, but that is not the point. What I am trying to say is,” she paused, taking my hand, “he needs you. A girl who will set him straight, and use her strong mind against him. Plus, I already agreed to this before you were even thought of.”
“So you are saying…” I trailed off.
You are going to get married,” she squealed.
Leave it to my insane Puerto Rican mother to arrange my own marriage before I was even thought of!