It is very common to hear people say phrases that they do not fully understand. Phrases that are created with words that are easy to memorize. And because of the simplicity with which they are written, people do not fully understand the complex meaning the phrases have or the psychological damage can cause when they are unconsciously spread, or when they are repeated irresponsibly.
The night passed slowly, creating a torrent of despair that seemed endless. Lark shuddered in pain as the temperature of her little body rose, altering her ability to fall asleep. Hilda and Manuel remained by her side trying to mitigate her suffering. They gave her medicine to lower the fever, pills to calm the pain, and put cloths dipped in cold water on her forehead. Hilda was a Guadalupana and firmly believed in the Virgin Mary, so while taking care of Lark, her heart overflowed in prayers, begging that the pain would vanish like tears that evaporate when mixed with the wind.
Hilda’s prayers and the medicine took effect on Lark when the little girl fell asleep very early the next morning. Weariness was reflected on Manuel’s face when he went to work. Hilda and Manuel had two children; a three-year-old girl named Maria, and a five-month-old boy named Manuelito. Lark was eleven when she became part of the little family.
Thinking that she could get some rest after taking care of the housework and her other two children, Hilda did not imagine what she would have to face when opening the front door of her house, as she did every day while cleaning the living room. Several people began to walk in front of the open door, looking inquisitively inside full of curiosity, trying to discover what had happened to the little Lark.
“PAIN PURIFIES THE SOUL” repeated the people in the streets, especially those who had been passive witnesses of what happened the night before.
Hilda tried to ignore the people. But she could not hide the anger she felt at hearing the people’s comments, asking herself, “How much purification does an innocent soul, who is free from sin, need?” as she looked up at the sky trying to find an answer. Then, Hilda shot a challenging look at all the people who were walking in front of her house. Then she closed the doors, just at the moment someone shouted, “There lives the Sombreron’s favorite girl.”
With her back leaning on the wooden door, Hilda heard those words that went through her body as if they had been poisonous darts that were driven directly into her heart. Unable to contain the rain of tears that fell from her eyes, she made a firm decision not to allow those words to destroy Lark’s life. People could speak whatever they wanted to say. But Hilda would not allow Lark to be marked with scars on her skin and she would not allow her to be marked with scars on her heart, caused by the lascivious morbidity of a town that was marking her as ” The Sombreron’s favorite girl.”
The rest of the day passed peacefully, as Hilda took refuge in the safety of the garden she had in the backyard of her house. Lark, despite not feeling hungry was encouraged to eat by Hilda, who hand fed her, had finished a plate of chicken soup. Manuel returned around six o’clock in the afternoon carrying several medications in his backpack, “I went to the health center, but the very annoying people told me that they could not receive Lark, because they did not have space and that we would have to continue treating her ourselves.” Manuel said after greeting his wife.
Hilda sighed calmly and with a soft voice said, “Don’t worry, I spoke with Sarita, the neighbor’s daughter who is a nurse and she explained to me how to heal Lark’s feet.”
Somewhat intrigued, Manuel put a serious expression on his face and asked, “Was she here? Did she see or talk to Lark? “
“No,” said Hilda, “She didn’t come, I was in the yard and I heard her talking to the neighbor, so I asked her through the wall that divides the houses.”
From Manuel’s attitude, Hilda could tell that he already knew what the townspeople were saying about Lark. Hilda combed her hair with her fingers and put on a ponytail. Then she grabbed the medicines that were in the backpack and went to the room where Lark was.
The little girl’s face had a deeply accentuated sadness in her wandering gaze, which could easily make even people with hearts of stone feel compassion.
Hilda knew that she had to show courage and fortitude to be able to clean the burns from Lark’s feet without letting herself collapse by the expression of melancholy mixed with the need for protection that her tender gaze emanated at that moment.
“Lark, I am going to heal your feet again. You are going to put them in this bucket with warm water so that the bandages soften, and it does not cost to remove them. It will probably hurt again, but it needs to be done this way. Then I’ll clean the sores, apply burn ointment, and put on new bandages to prevent infection. ” Hilda said trying to show a calm that she did not feel.
Then she asked, “What do you like to do the most, Lark? I want you to think about what you like to do the most while I heal your feet. “
“I like to sing.” The little girl answered.
“Good,” Hilda yelled. “Start singing while I remove your bandages.”
“Cucurucucu Paloma… Cucurucuuuuuuuu…. Lloraba…. Las Piedras Jamás, que van a sabeeeer de Amores…. A, ya, Ahyyy… Paloma…. Ya no le llores……”
Lark closed her eyes, crossed her arms, sighed deeply and then began to sing her favorite song, with a melodious voice that was momentarily cut off with screams of pain that echoed throughout the house, generating shadows of an uncertain future when suddenly colliding with the walls that surrounded them.
TO BE CONTINUE…