OTONO-18Ana held on tightly to her pencil, as her exam sheet fell to the floor, where she had two questions left to answer, but she couldn’t help but writhe in pain. Her belly had hardened and left her feeling as if a cramp ran through the lower part of her hips, pressing on her back, and causing an increase in the intensity of the pain that she was experiencing; pain that was enveloping her in a terrible and inexplicable way.  Feeling her bones break inside her, she let out a resounding scream that paralyzed all the activity within the classroom.

OTONO-46The teacher quickly approached her. She grabbed her left hand saying, “I think you’re going into labor!” Some of her classmates freaked out, others started joking about the situation, “I think the twins were called History and Math.” “No, I think they were called Question and Answer.” Amid the laughter, jokes and consternation caused by the situation, some students took the opportunity to copy the answers from the exam.

The school principal entered the classroom at that moment. One of the students had warned him of what was happening. Approaching Ana, he told her, “The paramedics are almost here, to take you to the hospital.” Ana didn’t answer, but the expression on her face spoke for her. Little by little Ana felt the pain decrease in intensity. She was gasping for air. Then she turned her gaze to her classmates and yelled at them, “I hope one day you are all pregnant and feel the pain I’m feeling!” Then she began to cry in fear, while a new contraction began to torment her body.

OTONO-04The paramedics arrived and took Ana away. When Susana and Eduardo arrived at the hospital, Ana had already given birth to a boy and a girl. Neither of them had wanted to know the sex of the twins before they were born. Eduardo’s legs trembled as he walked to the bed where Ana was. His heart was beating rapidly. The tears that flowed from his eyes trickled down his cheeks until they fell to the ground. Eduardo had been very afraid that something bad might happen to Ana or to her twins during her delivery. But seeing her rest on the hospital bed, sheltering the twins with her arms, his inner peace returned to his body. Eduardo’s heart was filled with tenderness, love, and instantly his tears were transformed into those of full happiness.

Susana contemplated her great-grandchildren, feeling that her work as Ana’s mother and grandmother was bearing fruit that made her feel satisfied with herself, despite not being able to eliminate the pain she felt inside her heart when remembering her daughter Nora, years back holding her twins in her arms. Susana did not want to remember the past, but her thoughts betrayed her, evoking the images recorded in her mind of Nora and Juan. Susana’s tears could not be defined as sad or happy because both feelings were intertwined within her being causing an undefined emotion that forced her to cry without being able to contain herself.

“Susana, this is not the time to cry. It is time to enjoy life. Come and carry my twins who are also yours, because if for some reason I cannot take care of them, I want you to take care of them as you have taken care of me all my life. I love you as you cannot imagine. GRANDMA SUSANA! That’s how I want my twins to call you. ” Ana said, extending her arms to receive Susana’s hug. As a faint cold wind blew through a window, bristling both women’s skin.

OTONO-45Eduardo finished school before Ana. He was already studying at the university. He worked a few hours every day in the afternoon at a toy store. The little money he earned was given to Susana to help with the expenses of the twins. Eduardo had promised Susana that when he finished college and became a professional, he would look for a good job. Thus, he would pay her all that she was spending on his family. Susana did not mind covering all the expenses, she thought that half of the money that Juan left belonged to Ana.

Eduardo’s parents never looked for him even when the twins were born. Sometimes Eduardo would walk near the house of his parents just to see them from afar, felt dared to approach them, and although his heart and his whole being pushed him to look for them, he didn’t. Every time Eduardo saw his parents, he couldn’t stop crying because his love and respect for them remained intact despite his rejection.

With the arrival of the twins in Ana and Eduardo’s life, things changed a bit. Eduardo worked, studied, and did homework until very late at night. When Ana returned from school, she dedicated herself to helping Susana with her housework. She also totally took care of the twins so that Susana could rest. On many occasions there was no time to prepare food. Caring for the twins they named John and April began to create tension between Ana and Eduardo.

OTONO-43The many tasks to be done did not allow them to have enough free time to have fun or carry out activities together that would help them to release a little accumulated stress. Eduardo and Ana began to have discussions where both raised their voices and sometimes yelled at each other. Susana did not intervene between them; she did not favor either of them. When the young couple calmed down, she advised them and told them that love must always prevail over any difference of opinion or action taken.

OTONO-44Ana and Eduardo frequently argued even over unimportant things. On more than one occasion, Ana’s impulsive nature provoked unexpected reactions from Eduardo, for which they exploded into verbal fights. However, when they both calmed down, they asked each other for forgiveness. Their married life was not an example to follow, because it was not perfect. However, happy moments outweighed arguments, fights, or disagreements because they truly loved each other and wanted to stay together forever. Despite their youth and inexperience, Ana and Eduardo learned to respect each other’s decisions. To understand and support each other in the different tasks to be carried out. To respect silence, sadness, or the need to have time alone without arguing. They learned to support themselves when they felt frustrated, depressed, or insecure about their own goals or objectives that they wanted to achieve.

When Ana finished school, she decided to take time off studying to take care of her twins and take responsibility off from Eduardo so he could dedicate himself to his university studies without so much stress. At first Susana did not agree, but later she understood that it was the best thing for the young couple’s marriage. Also, once Eduardo graduated, the twins would be older so it would be easier to take care of them; facilitating the opportunity for Ana to study a university degree. Ana also had the right to enjoy her twins and to share with them, enjoying her company without limits, like everything Ana did.

OTONO-29By having free time, without the pressure of school. Ana recovered her power of seduction, which helped to keep the couple’s passion burning. Their love strengthened to the point of becoming inseparable. they shared every moment that life allowed them together. Susana was fundamental in the couple’s relationship, since she constantly collaborated in the care of the twins and in advising both separately whenever it was necessary to do so.

Three more years flew by with the speed of a feather swaying on the wind, as time defined where it was going before falling to the ground. Ana’s health had been weakened for more than five days, due to a cold with a persistent cough. It was an autumn morning when Ana was playing with her twins in the park, that she felt an imbalance in her body, for which she almost lost consciousness. A faint headache began to hit her senses. The noise around her bothered her and she realized that she had lost her sense of smell. Ana called her twins and began to walk back to her house, then she lay on the sofa in the living room, where she without realizing fell asleep.

OTONO-42“Ana, Ana”, Susana said to her while she moved her gently, trying to wake her up. “Wake up Ana, you are burning with fever, let’s go, I’m going to take you to the doctor. Eduardo will stay to take care of the twins. “

Ana listened to Susana’s voice, trying to stand up without being able to do so. She looked like she was sedated, even though she hadn’t taken any medicine. In a soft voice, Ana said, “I feel very tired. My whole body hurts. I have congestion and I feel like I am burning. “

Ana was suffering from severe chills. Susana quickly took her to the doctor. After a short wait, the doctor told them, “Ana has SARS. Ana tested positive for COVID-19. Preliminary tests indicate that Ana has a lung infection. “


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