Second by second, the words “HAPPY BOY” resounded in Doll’s brain. She, who was totally absorbed in her own thoughts, had remained motionless, observing without understanding how the women expressed happiness in each of the gestures on their faces. Suddenly, Brisa made Doll react by holding her by her shoulders while she shook her strongly, “Wake up, wake up; you were stunned.”
“I’m sorry. But listening to Dina, all my skin crawled. As if it were a feeling that I should go to Guatemala. That is, I want to go to Guatemala,” said Doll. Then Brisa shouted loudly, while she clapped loudly, “It’s not like it was your birthday, so they take you to Guatemala without knowing you.”
The other two women began to laugh out loud, and between giggles, Thelma said, “We all want to go to Guatemala, but first the guys from Happy Boy will try the merchandise, and if they like the way you work, they take you to Guatemala; if they don’t like it, then no, they do not take you.”
“There are two days left for them to come. So, I have two days for you guys to teach me everything you know. Because in two days I am going to Guatemala.” Doll replied arrogantly.
The rest of the day, the women shared work secrets. Telling jokes and joking. They are waiting for the owner of the place to send them the food. Since the owner gathered in her house all the girls who wanted to work, she then sent them to different places, charging a commission for each girl she recruited for the cleaning job.
Without intending to, Elida settled comfortably into her new identity as Doll. It seemed that the trauma experienced had opened the door to forbidden pleasures. A door that Elida was willing to cross to leave behind her past and dedicate herself to living surprisingly as Doll. Her new friends facilitated this change by including her in an unknown and limitless world where fear, sadness, and pain did not exist for Doll.
Among her new friends, Doll developed a sense of belonging, feeling loved, happy, and part of the family. The routine of getting up early to bathe, around the fountain when the rooster crowded every morning, was for the Doll like a ritual of healing and rebirth to a lifestyle conducive to her youth and her desire to know the world that surrounded her. surrounded without being judged.
Lightly made up, with her hair swept to one side of her face, a gold ribbon tied around her head, and wearing a short white lace dress with a plunging neckline, Doll waited for the boys who would arrive to pick out the girls to take to Guatemala. When the door of the house opened to give way to the boys from HAPPY BOY, the sun’s rays took the opportunity to sneak into the house, momentarily blinding the eyes of Doll that was in front of the door.
Doll closed her eyes, squeezing them tightly. When she was able to open them again, in front of her was Pablo, a thin young man with black hair and brown eyes who was physically handsome. Pablo gently caressed Doll’s face, and when she felt the touch of his hand, she felt an electric current run through her entire body.
“Get all your personal belongings, because we are going to Guatemala.” Said Pablo with a serious but melodious tone of voice. The sound of Pablo’s voice was like a tingling inside Doll’s belly, which she obeyed without saying a word.
While Doll was placing her belongings in a medium-sized bag that Thelma had given her, her friends approached her. Dina was the first to speak: “We saw how you were all silly when Pablo approached you.”
Brisa said, “We’ve all been with Pablo; he likes to try all the merchandise and have fun with all the girls, but Pablo is mean. He’s a beater, and he doesn’t respect any woman.”
“From my own experience, I know that you like Pablo; have fun with him, but don’t fall in love with him like we did because that happened to many of us. Pablo doesn’t know how to love anyone.” Thelma said with concern.
Doll sighed deeply without saying anything. Then all the women went out into the street and got on a public transportation bus. Pablo sat next to Doll, behaving in a gentlemanly way, and making her laugh by telling her jokes. He from time to time put his right hand on Doll’s legs.
When the bus arrived at the Guatemalan border, all the women were given clothes to change into. Some received baskets with fruit, with pupusas, or with bags of water. Thelma approached Doll to tell her, “If you don’t want to use your passport to get through customs, you have to pretend very well that you are selling fruit. So, you can freely walk to the other side without anyone telling you anything.”
With concern, Doll asked, “Which passport? If I don’t have any identification.”
Just at that moment, Brisa arrived, who responded while she applauded loudly, “You carry your passport to cross the border under your dress. And if you don’t want to use it, start selling fruit to cross over to the other side. Because if those Guatemalan policemen catch you, they won’t let you go without giving them your passport. Or do you think they’re going to release you for your pretty face? No way, even if it was your birthday!
The three women began to laugh out loud and immediately went their separate ways, selling the products from their baskets. None of them had any difficulty crossing to the other side of the border, where a minibus was already waiting for them to take them to Jutiapa, where they would immediately begin their cleaning work.
During the trip to Jutiapa, Pablo did not separate from Doll and from time to time he whispered things in her ear while his hands, in an inhibited way, explored the physical beauty of Doll. When they got to Jutiapa, the bus stopped in front of a huge house. The doors to the main entrance were open on both sides. Visibility into the house was blocked by a blue wooden wall that had “WELCOME TO THE HAPPY BOY” written in red letters. When Doll walked to the other side of the wooden wall and saw for the first time the interior of the house, her heart began to beat rapidly in amazement at what she was seeing.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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