Lark went to sleep that midnight with a smile on her lips and joy in her heart. The satisfaction she felt for having won the singing contest made her thoughts race, as she remembered how the audience applauded her with admiration and gave her a standing ovation as a show of respect. Lark stayed awake watching the moon through the window of the truck cab until her fatigue overcame her, forcing her to fall asleep deeply.
The next morning, Hilda went to wake up her children who were still asleep and when she opened the door of the truck, she heard a cry of pain, “Hayyyyyy!”. The expression on Hilda’s face was one of astonishment and her heart began to pound in anguish. Lark was holding on to the wheel, while her head was being pulled by her hair that had been meticulously braided and woven with the door and window handle. So, when Hilda turned the handle, the weight of the door dragged Lark out of the truck.
Hearing the cry of pain, Manuel ran to the truck and held Lark in his arms while Hilda began to untangle her hair from the handles. Lark’s siblings were afraid and began to cry when they saw what was happening.
After Lark was released, Hilda undid her braids and lovingly untangled her hair. Manuel then took them to eat garnachas at a restaurant in the fairgrounds. They all seemed happy. However, Lark was scared, Hilda nervous and Manuel worried. They knew the name of who had been the author of such an unpleasant joke, but neither said anything. They all made an agreement not to comment on the situation through sharing a simple look and without saying a word, they continued eating.
That night when the sales stand closed, everyone slept under the counter where they put more mattresses. The days continued to pass without any setbacks and the tour continued as planned with the variant that in each of the towns, Lark performed several songs at the opening of all the fairs where she was invited to sing. People began to know her as “The Lark of the East”. And wherever she went she was greeted with admiration and respect.
Two months of vacation is a short time, especially when you are having fun. So, Hilda returned to Jutiapa along with her two children. Manuel and Lark continued traveling from town to town. Thus, another three years passed, in which Lark learned to perform artistically on stage, improved her vocals and learned to put on makeup and dress professionally; obtaining several recognitions for her participation and increased her bank account by winning several cash prizes.
Several years had passed since Lark was expelled from school and since then Manuel had not returned to set up a sales booth at the Jutiapa Cattle Fair. During the time that the fair lasted in Jutiapa, they preferred to stay at home, without participating in any of the activities that were carried out in the town. However, that was going to change as the fair committee went to Manuel’s house to ask for Lark to sing on the opening day.
At first Manuel disagreed, “I don’t want Lark to sing on the opening day. Because she risks being offended or mistreated. “
“No, it is not up to us to decide whether or not she sings at the Jutiapa fair. It is a decision that Lark has to make for herself”, Hilda said with uncertainty in her words.
Lark listened to both comments and then responded, “Many years have passed; however, I believe that the people of Jutiapa have not forgotten what happened. I am afraid of being yelled at while I am singing. I don’t want to go through that embarrassment. “
After hearing what Lark said, Hilda approached her and took her by the hands, “I would agree if you said that you don’t want to, that you are not interested in singing at the fair in your town. But I don’t agree with your reasons. You do not have to feel ashamed, nor should you be afraid of what may happen. You cannot show weakness in the face of the events that have not occurred. Nor can you deprive yourself of having that experience and stay locked up at home because you are afraid to face your fears. You should not act cowardly when faced with a situation that puts you in front of your past, because nobody fears nothing that owes nothing.
Hilda’s words dispelled Lark’s doubts. So, she accepted the invitation to sing at the fair of her town, with the firm conviction that nothing would stop her from showing that she was not the helpless and weak girl that everyone pointed out as THE FAVORITE OF THE SOMBRERON, because through the years she had grown strong and earned her place as THE LARK OF THE EAST.
TO BE CONTINUED…