After hearing what Lark said, Manuel stood up, grabbed his hat, and left the house. Hilda approached Lark and hugged her asking, “What does Saul say about your pregnancy?”
With her voice shaking from the nervousness she felt, Lark answered slowly, “He’s happy, he wants us to get married, he wants to rent a house, he wants us to move to live near his parents. I don’t agree with the house he wants to rent, because it’s very close to the Sombrerón’s house and I don’t like that place.”
“Do you want to marry Saul?” Hilda asked.
“Yes, I love him and want to marry him.” Lark answered, letting tears run down her cheeks.
Hilda took off the apron she was wearing and began to wipe Lark’s tears by saying, “Saul cannot force you to live in the same neighborhood where the Sombrerón’s house is, but the wedding will have to be soon, because the whole town will begin murmur of you when your pregnancy begins to notice. And don’t worry about Manuel, I’ll talk to him. And I am sure that in the end he will be happy that you marry Saul. “
That night Manuel returned home at dawn and totally drunk. The next day, Manuel confessed to Hilda that he felt guilty for Lark’s pregnancy, because he had not known how to take good care of her and that on many occasions, he had left her alone with Saul, taking care of her sales position. But Hilda told him that there are situations that cannot be avoided and that no one was to blame for what was happening. Saul arrived that day to talk with Manuel and to ask for Lark’s hand, the wedding took place three days later in the municipality of Jutiapa. Only Saul’s parents and Lark’s family were present.
After the civil marriage, they all went to eat at Manuel’s house. Hilda made three stewed chickens and a strawberry shortcake with cream, which was Lark’s favorite. It was already eleven at night when the celebration ended. Saul’s parents were the first to say goodbye. Lark hugged each of her family members tightly, then went to her room and picked up two suitcases that she already had prepared to take with her. Manuel offered to take their luggage in his truck the next day, but Saul insisted that they could take the luggage at that moment.
When Lark left the house and walked through the front door onto the street, Hilda felt something press on her heart, as if someone were squeezing it tightly and she began to cry as Lark was lost in the distance walking hurriedly on Saul’s arm.
It was almost midnight, the streets of Jutiapa were desolate, dimly lit by the light poles that were very distant from each other. The sound of Lark’s high-heeled shoes echoed like horse hooves echoing in the silence of the night. Saul had promised Lark that they would stay at his parents’ house for only a few weeks and then they would find a house to move to.
To get to the house of Saul’s parents, they had to pass in front of the old house, known as the house of the Sombrerón. As they got closer, Lark’s heart beat stronger, the suitcase she was carrying seemed heavier, her steps slowed down, and the memory of the flames lit as she hung head-on by her feet began to fill her thoughts. Lark staggered when just as she passed the door of the old house, she heard a voice with a raspy intonation that spoke to her, “Congratulations Lark, you have become a very beautiful woman and one day you will be mine.”
Lark, clung tightly to Saul’s arm, who looked at her smiling and asked, “Are you tired? Take off your shoes and give me the suitcase, I can take it with me. I can handle the two suitcases and we are already close to my parents’ house. “
Lark paled. But she did not say anything. She alone thought, “How is it possible that Saul has not heard what I hear?”
Upon arriving at the house, Saul explained that their room was built at the end of the backyard. That they would have more privacy there for as long as they stayed to live with their parents. But there was no electric light in the patio and not in that room either. Saul left the suitcases in the living room and grabbed two candles and a lighter that were on the table. As Lark walked through the courtyard in the shadows, a chill ran through her entire body because she seemed to hear the flowers in the garden cry as they repeated her name.
When they entered the room, Lark tripped on a wooden bench, immediately falling to the floor. Saul walked over to her taking off his clothes. Lark told him that she was tired and that her ankle hurt from the blow she hit with the bench. Saul was staring blankly; his eyes were red and fired with desire. Lark was afraid and begged him not to touch her. Saul, ignoring Lark’s request, lifted her off the ground, holding her tightly by one arm and ripping her dress. Then he began to kiss her sadistically, while Lark wept and pleaded vehemently, “Not like this! Please, I don’t want to. Please, Noooo … “
Lark’s pleas turned into screams of pain, as Saul satiated like a wild animal on his prey.
TO BE CONTINUE…
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