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Why Did It Have to Be Me
The sun was silently rising over the mountains of El Paso, Mexico. Calm and peace seemed to fill the air with an aroma so sweet, you couldn’t help but smile. Even the flourishing mountains were home to much wildlife, yet were equally home to a community that lay right in the heart of El Paso.
If you listened closely, you could hear the community up and ready, starting their routine jobs as they do every day. Suddenly the voice of a teenager rang out over the noise. Singing joyfully to herself, was Sequoyah.
“Good morning mama!” excited because it was her 15th birthday, Sequoyah joyously skipped around the yard, anxious to get started on the preparations for the day.
“Mama”, Sequoyah stopped abruptly and sat down in the chair on the porch, she seemed momentarily confused by something “do I really have to get married today?”
Seneca looked at her daughter, then sighed. “I believe you do”, Seneca hesitated at first then turned away to finish the dishes. Slowly, but calmly Seneca finished “but do you know to who?”
At that Sequoyah looked up. “No mama, I don’t.” puzzled at the thought of trying to find out who she was supposed to marry, she started to fiddle with the hem of her dress.
“Stop fiddling with that thing child, haven’t I taught you better than that?” Surprised at the frustration I her mothers’ voice, Sequoyah dropped her hand to her side,
then realizing that it was not the correct way for a young lady to sit, brought it back up to rest on her lap.
“Sequoyah, do you remember that very handsome young man down the road, the one you used to have a really large crush on?” Seneca turned around to face her daughter, and then moved gracefully over to sit beside her daughter. Sequoyah glanced at her mother, and then looked away, blushing.
“Or maybe still do.” Mumbled Seneca.
Sequoyah turned around facing her mother, then hastily replied “Yes, mama I do, but what does that”, Sequoyah stopped dead in the middle of her sentence; she realized why her mom had brought him up. “Mama! I have to marry him!”
Seneca hesitated, then replied not as reassuring as she had hoped but calm enough. “Sequoyah I know the idea may seem crazy, but we have no other choice, we have to combine our families somehow!” Seneca stood up slowly, and then slumped back down in the chair. “Sequoyah I know how you feel, not getting to pick your husband out, but listen if anything you’re a lucky niña. When I got married, my husband was twelve years older than me. Niña, look at me, please don’t cry, at least he’s only a few years older than you.” Trying desperately now to reassure her, Seneca stood up and walked to the door. “Enrique!” Seneca shouted as her husband appeared over the hill coming home for the day. “Enrique, hurry up, I need you.” Hearing his wife calling for him, Enrique started walking quickly towards his house. When he reached his house, he asked his wife what was wrong, then hurriedly went into the living room to help sooth his daughter.
“Sequoyah”, Enrique voice sounded out over her sobs “please stop crying sweetie, tell me what is wrong, eh, and I’ll try and fix it.” Sequoyah stopped crying but didn’t respond at first, then hastily she replied in a squeaky voice, “Nothings wrong papa, I’m just happy but worried too.” She tried to smile, but broke down into tears again. She had wondered why she hadn’t seen her future fiancé in a while, she thought he had moved.
Enrique glanced at his daughter, relieved to see she really was happy, but also concern because she was worried. “Why are you worried niña?” He asked as he sat by his daughter.
“Because, I ‘m worried he doesn’t like me!” Sequoyah looked at her father for an answer but he was looking at her mother. They seemed to be in deep conversation, parental senses.
“Sequoyah, of course he likes you, you’re a very beautiful girl, a very lucky one too.”
Surprised at hearing her mom speak instead of her dad, Sequoyah jumped then relaxed and smiled.
“Are you sure?” Sequoyah looked at her mom, determined to get an answer from her.
“Yes we’re sure darling, he came to me himself and asked for your hand when you came of age!” Enrique had answered for her mom.
“When?” she demanded as she turned towards her father. Slowly she stood up and moved toward the door, hoping to get a glance of Son jay, then turned back toward her dad, waiting for an answer.
“A few months ago, why does it matter.” Enrique looked confused at first, then his face went blank, rid of any emotion what so ever.
“It doesn’t.” was all she said as she turned and walked outside to start on her chores for the day. A tear of happiness rolling down her cheek.
As the day wore on, Sequoyah was quietly singing to herself, going about her daily chores. There was a rustle in the bushes beside her. She quickly glanced behind her to see if anybody was following her, then decided it was just the wind, turned around and continued down the road towards the river.
When she reached the river, she took a quick look around and wandered over to the edge of the river, stopping a few feet short. Then, a strange noise behind her caught her attention. Jumping up quickly and turning around, she noticed a few imprints in the ground off to the side of the bushes. Curiosity and boredom made it to where she wanted to look, but she knew she shouldn’t.
As she walked over to the mysterious footsteps, she couldn’t help but feel as if someone were watching her. Finally, after what seemed forever, she made it. At first, she didn’t know what they were, but when she looked closer, she could tell they were human footsteps.
And they were fresh.
Uh-oh. This was not good.
This really scared her, and now that she knew what they were, she wished she had never come here.
Scared and worried, Sequoyah jumped up, almost knocking herself off balance, then took off running back towards the river bank. Almost tripping again over the water bucket she had brought, she stopped and took a deep breath then looked around at her surroundings.
Seeing as nobody had come after her, she took another deep breath and plopped down on the soft sand.
Now relaxing a bit, she got on her knees and bent over to fill the water bucket. Then the bushes started rustling again. Sequoyah dropped her bucket and jumped up, not even taking concern that her bucket was floating downstream. Turning quickly around to see what had made the noise.
She wasn’t surprised to see that no one was there, but she didn’t look away, she just sank to her knees and continued watching the trees. After what seemed like a half an hour, the trees started rustling again, and Sequoyah, almost half asleep, quickly looked up to see none other than Son jay, her future husband.
“Man, you should have seen the look on your face!” It was all he could do to stop from laughing. Then noticing the tears on her face, he ran over and knelt down beside her. All he could do was just sit there, too stunned to say anything. After what seemed like forever she stopped crying and just sat there not saying anything.
Sequoyah looked up at Son jay, with a pleading look in her eyes, and broke into tears again. He couldn’t take it any more, not caring who saw them or what happened after, all he wanted was to make her happy, he didn’t mean to make her cry, he was just playing. Looking back at her, he gently placed his hand under her chin, “I’m so sorry Sequoyah, I didn’t mean to scare you, I was only playing. Please stop crying.” Now it felt as if his heart had been ripped out.
Then, without even realizing it, he put his arms around her, not wanting to let her go. Then, looking back into her eyes he whispered very gently, yet with sincerity, “I love you Sequoyah, and nothing would ever make me want to hurt you. Nothing!”
At that, Sequoyah looked away for a moment, then looked back and melted in his arms.
It seemed as if she had drifted off to sleep.
When she woke up the next morning, she found herself in her own bed. Confused, she sat up quickly, almost knocking off the figure at the end of the bed.
The figure moved a bit, then grunted something. She couldn’t understand what it was, but not daring to make whatever it was angry, she slowly maneuvered herself out from under the covers, barely making a sound.
When she was sure the figure wouldn’t jump out and tackle her, she eased over to the closet to get dressed. There was a rustle in the kitchen, after thinking a moment, she decided it was her mother in the kitchen, preparing for the party.
Another movement came from the kitchen, but this time it sounded like chairs being slid across the floor.
She froze. The sudden voices made her paralyzed with fear. She glanced around the room, still dark because she hadn’t thought to turn the light on, trying to focus her eyes on anything that moved in the room. As her eyes scanned the room, there was a movement over in the corner of the room where her bed was. Her eyes dashed in the direction of the movement.
She had forgotten about the mysterious figure on the end of her bed. Only now did she realize the figure was sitting up, stretching. It had the shape of a person, but it was to dark for her to tell.
Then with out warning the figure stood up, looking around it as if it were trying to find something, until its eyes came around to where she stood.
The figure moved.
It gracefully bounded toward her, as if it was normal. When it reached her, it reached its hand above her shoulder, pausing as if trying to figure out what to do next, and flipped the switch that turned the light on.
Light filled the room and momentarily blinded her.
She lifted her hands over her eyes, trying to shield her eyes from the brightness of the room. Slowly she moved her hands from her eyes. When her eyes adjusted to the light, she looked up and gasped.
Her hands started trembling. Realizing her mouth was still open in surprise, she closed her mouth quickly with a silent click.
As gazed upward, she started to slip around the figure standing before her. She still couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
It wasn’t until the figure spoke, she realized the person in front of her was real.
Again she gasped, not out of surprise but out of embarrassment. Standing before her was her future husband, Son jay.
Se hesitated, not knowing what to say. She didn’t have to wait much longer.
“Hey.” Son jay said sarcastically.
“What are you doing here?” She asked. A flicker of hurt crossed his eyes. It only lasted a moment.
“I carried you home after you fell asleep. I wasn’t going to leave you there.” He turned around and glided back over to the bed, straightened the covers, and sat down. He patted the seat next to him.
It took her a moment to realize he was motioning for her to come join him, but when she did, she hurriedly glided over to him, and plopped herself down next to him.
There was a brief silence between them; finally she spoke, shattering the silence around them.
“You didn’t have to scare me like that.” She looked over at him to see he was smiling, trying to hold back his laughter. Amazingly, he was able to keep himself from laughing, till she looked at him with a cold bitterness in her eyes. Jokingly, he nudged her with his hand and said, “Nueve, y que?”
“Well, seeing how you are much stronger than me, I think the chances are a 70-30%.” A broad grin crossed her face. She couldn’t see how this great guy like Son jay could possibly like her. He was tall a lean, a muscular jaw line that had a deadly attraction, his eyes were an icy cold, clear blue; if you looked him straight I the eyes, they looked penetrating, like he could look in your eyes and read your thoughts. She leaned closer to him, enjoying the feeling that was emerging in her. He looked at her and smiled; without warning, he gathered her in his arms, not letting her go and held on to her like it was the last time they would ever see each other. He held her for a while then let her go; he laughed.
“What’s so funny?” She asked wondering what he was laughing at.
“Nothing.” He looked away trying to stop laughing, when he stopped laughing he glanced back at her, and burst out laughing again.
She pushed him and stood up, her hand on her hip and her head cocked to the side, frowning. “I’m being serious. You’re lucky it would be a 70-30% difference, or I’d kick your butt!” She turned around, grinning.
“And who has the 70% chance of winning?” He asked standing up. He had a smirk on his face.
She stood up, face to face with him. “I do.” Was her reply. She stepped a little closer, challenging him.
“Oh, is that so? We’ll just see about that!” He tackled her on the bed, pinning her arms to her sides, laughing the whole time. She couldn’t help but laugh. She tried to use her feet to push him off of her, but that only made it worse. He now had her pinned completely, his head coming down to hers, his breath gently caressing her cheek as he whispered “Now who has the 70% chance?” His smile was a broad as the sun in the evening.
She looked up at him, his deep blue clear eyes gazing down on her; they seemed a bit watery. Was he crying? It looked like it. She really couldn’t tell.
She laughed, and struggled to get out from under him, but he had her pinned.
“Who has the 70% chance? I still think it’s me.” She stuck her tongue out at him, and he started laughing, while he rolled off her.
As he stood, she took in his masculine figure, her eyes running up and down his body.
She was actually enjoying her view.
“Are you okay?” He asked, startling her. He must have seen the way she was looking at him, because was looking at her with an odd expression.
“Ye…yeah, why?” She stuttered. She took her gaze off him and tried to concentrate on something else, but her eyes kept lingering back to him.
“Your looking at me like you want to gobble me up for desert.” He looked at her then smiled.
“What are you thinking?” She had seen his smile, and was wondering what he was thinking.
He didn’t say anything, but he sat back down and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her down on the bed with him. Her head hit the pillow first and she wished he had never caught her looking at him that way. He propped his head on his elbow, and slid extremely close to her. The heat radiating off his body was extremely devastating, she was enveloped in the smell of his perspiration. He looked down at her, gazing with the same devilish smile, his eyes seemed to grow deeper and darker. Slowly his head came towards her; a sudden joy came over her. When he was about to kiss her he stopped, and asked “Are you sure?”
She was shocked. Sure of what? His hand was sliding up and down her back, caressing her and soothing her. He seemed to understand her confusion, because his smile began to fade, but didn’t completely disappear.
As she lay in his arms, she felt as if nothing else could go wrong. Silently, he took what belonged to him. When he finished, he lay beside her, and they drifted off to sleep together, happier than anyone in the world.
She awoke to find she was now alone in her bed. Though she dreaded getting up, she knew she had too.
She didn’t have much time to get ready for the day.
Silently she laughed to her self, recalling the events that had token place the previous night. Oh how she wished time would have stood still, so she could be with him forever and never have to worry about anything.
She could smell a faint hint of eggs being cooked. Remembering how hungry she was, she finally stood, looking around at the room.
She really had to clean this place up.
Quietly she got dressed, and slipped into the kitchen, adjacent to her bedroom.
“Morning mama.” She yawned, stretched and sunk down in the chair beside her. Steam rose from the coffee pot as the whistle sounded, telling her mama the coffee was ready. Silently, Seneca walked over to the pot, using a cotton glove, picked the pot up, walked back over to the table, and sat the pot down in the middle of the table in between the eggs and pancakes.
After she finished making breakfast, Seneca walked back to the table and sat down beside her daughter, looked at Sequoyah and started crying.
“Mama. Mama what’s wrong? Are you ok mama?” Sequoyah asked anxiously.