“In order to get to the end we most start at the beginning.”
On December 17, 1977, I was born, it was at 8:30pm, Jersey City was covered in a blanket of white satin snow.
My parents Martha and Gabriel are immigrants from Cuba; the name given to me was Lazaro Jesus Vazquez, Lazaro being from the orisha Babalu-Aye in the Santeria belief.
More on that later, we must start at the beginning; let’s go to January 7, 1977.
Martha places her left hand into Gabriel’s right hand under the table, looking at his profile, smiling with the thoughts of how handsome he looked in an all white suit, light from the one of two light bulbs bounce off his shirt, like an angel, he lights up the room.
Martha turns her attention to the older lady seated across from her, unlike her angel, the her face looks like a porcelain mask, draped in black fading into the age worn panels of the kitchen walls, Martha don’t care if Maria is Gabriel’s godmother, she scares her, the old lady seems to never blink, just a steady stream of words as Maria and Gabriel talk.
Silence, Martha knows what that means, she never really listens to what they talk about, she practices Santeria, but just in prayer and life, doesn’t like to play with the magic, that’s Gabriel’s job.
Maria shifts, no expression, just a relaxed old soul that has seen much in her time, and once again she is the bearer of news, good or bad, she deliveries the news either way, the shells are tossed between them on the table, she grins.
“Martha, you will give birth to a son, you won’t carry him full term, he will be two months premature, and his name., will never be forgotten.”
Frozen in her seat, Martha had too many thoughts, too many questions, her lips sticking together.
“Maria, what are you talking about? What is going to do in life that his name is never to be forgotten?”
Eyes closed, leaning back into her metal chair, Maria stares at Martha for a second, begins to rub her pale chin with her thumb and closes her eyes.
“His name will be Lazaro, for he will be born in the 12th month on the 17th day of this year, he will leave your leave your womb halfway between 8pm and 9pm. What he is to do in life, is not to be a concern, for everything will be seen and given in due time.”
Her porcelain mask showed life as a smile, lips tightly together, spread across her face. Martha and Gabriel, watched as their messenger raised herself from the metal chair, her 5’3" frame stood before them, raven black hair without a trace of gray, wrinkle free skin, bone white complexion, her soul filled eyes of hazel, made her very striking woman for 68 years old.
Gabriel, let’s go of Martha’s left hand, and reaches into the right pocket of his white linen slacks, as he rises from his seat, taken out twenty five dollars and handing it to Maria. He looks to his right, sees his wife in her silk white blouse, and black skirt he had bought her that morning, sitting there in shock, he laughs to himself, she looks like she just saw a ghost, she will be ok, he will make sure of that. Seeing Maria has picked up her shells.
“Please, let me see you to the door.”
With a nod she accepts, they step into the unlit hallway, silence, only the footsteps of Maria’s black 4inches high heels, and Gabriel’s soft heel white deer skin loafers can be heard.
In a trance like state, still seated Martha begins to pray thru shaking lips.
“Chango, I come to you now, I’m scared, and as your child I ask please, please, why was I chosen to give birth to this child, what will he do that is so important, it don’t feel right, like things have changed, please help me.”
Opening her eyes, she sees Gabriel standing just beyond the darkened opening of the hallway, with his adorable smile and that dimple that shows up on his left cheek.
Leaning against the wall, he closes his eyes, as he slides down the wall, he sees her 5’4", 120lbs., rich, deep brown eyes, her walnut brown hair that flows to the small of her back, twenty years old turning twenty one, god she is his perfection, nine years her senior, a worry smile on the thought of how blessed he is to have her, to say he loves her would be a understatement.
They have been staring at each other for two hours, no words spoken. As Martha closes her eyes, she whispers.
“Gabe, I don’t feel good and I’m dizzy, please, help me into the bedroom.”
Gabriel, moans as he rises to his feet, turns on the hallway light, shaking the numbness from his left leg.
Smiling at him, Martha’s mind drifts off to when they first met on Bregline ave. in West New York, he hasn’t changed, still looks the same.
It’s been two short, but sweet and loving years since they met that cold winters evening.
To be continued………………………… (always wanted to do that lol)
a work in progress, i have a few chapters, wanted feed back