By Esmeralda Santiago
América Gonzalez is a resort housekeeper on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, cleansing up after filthy rich foreigners who do not glance her within the eye. Her alcoholic mom resents her; her married boyfriend, Correa, beats her; and their fourteen-year-old daughter thinks existence will be greater anyplace yet with América. So while América is on the market the opportunity to paintings as alive-in housekeeper and nanny for a kin in Westchester County, long island, she takes it as an indication door to flee has been opened. but whilst América revels within the comparative luxurious of her new existence, bold to care a few guy except Correa, she is confronted with dramatic evidence that it doesn't matter what she does, she cannot break out from her past.
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The road was a dusty path in winter and a treacherous, muddy trail when it rained. Correa had come to the barriada with the contractors improving the roads, stringing electric wires from tall poles, digging up ditches to lay pipes for running water and sewers. Correa was a man, Odilio Pagán a boy, and América a girl who hadn’t seen much. La conquista, the seduction, didn’t take long. She ran off with Correa, and even though eight months later she returned to her mother’s house, she is still Correa’s woman.
She opens all the windows and doors. Rosalinda’s is still closed, and the couple of times América stands in front of it, she hears no sound. She tries the knob. It’s locked. She sways around the living room humming a bolero, dusting everything in sight, spraying glass cleaner and furniture polish, wiping down each surface with long, even strokes. She puts the chairs on top of the table, rolls up the area rug in the living room and drags it out to the porch. She sweeps the room, mops it down, polishes it.
He watches her walk, smiles to himself, follows her. She brings him coffee, toast with butter. When she’s close again, he grabs the waistband of her jeans. ” She tries to loosen his grip. “Sit with me,” he says, pulling her down on his lap. ” “On the chair, then. ” He lets her go, keeps his hand in her waistband until she sits next to him. She pulls the chair back so that she can’t see his face, just the back of his neck, the fraying collar of his shirt, the dark crevice between his skull and ear.
America's Dream by Esmeralda Santiago