Dianita Restrepo

Do you remember what I looked like when I married you, Mario? I was Diana Carolina Restrepo, slender, beautiful, wild. You liked me because I wasn’t as India as the other girls you slept around with. You could see the Spanish in me, you said. The light skin, which I hated, you loved. You would tell me I was tu reina.

But what did that get me? I fell for you, Mario. I left Jaime, who really loved me, for your promises of a good and rich life. Yes, you gave me two kids who I would sacrifice everything for. But you also took them away from me. The allure of the drug cartel was too much for you and dragged you away from the cafetales. It was more money than you could’ve ever imagined and it came easily. All you had to do was smuggle, lie, and kill.

You couldn’t kill me, though, not literally. You lied and snuck me out to protect me and our kids. At least I know you did love us in your own way, though I know you did it because it would’ve been much harder to explain the blood on your hands to them if you’d killed me. You don’t have to explain it to me. I know.

I want to hate you. I want to kill you sometimes, too. But I don’t have the connections you do, unfortunately.

Instead, I’m in exile here. I’ve aged; I see the wrinkles and the circles under my eyes. I saw them a few days after I got here, ten years ago. I’m lucky if I can keep a job because times are tough. But what do you know about honest work and tough times, Mario? I wonder if you’d recognize me; if I snuck back home, would you know it was me? Would they? If we were still together, if none of this had ever happened, you’d probably have already left me, or at least found a younger girl to satisfy you because that’s just the way you were. I should’ve known that, listened to Jaime when he tried to warn me that you were trouble, but I didn’t listen. I never did until you told me to leave, or the kids would get it. We’d all get it. Then I finally listened.

I’m tired now. Tired of the crap, tired of the exile, tired of missing my kids. I don’t miss you, Mario. Not at all. It was a sad realization that the only good that came out of us, was them. Sofia and David. You could go to hell, for all I care! I just want my kids back; I want them to know what really happened, that I didn’t leave, I was forced to leave. I sacrificed my happiness for their lives. That says a hell of a lot more than what you did for us.
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