Time in Willow Creek: 1 year, 4 months, 2 weeks
(translated for your understanding)
I’m sorry for taking long to write back. I cannot lie. I wasn’t happy about what you said to me, and I was angry at you for a little while. Forgive me? I understood you were only looking out for me based your understanding. But, things are different here, and Kevin is not at all like you say. He is kind, hard working, and sweet. He is my friend. My best friend, actually. I know you said I should not associate with him, but I am going to respectfully disagree. Please don’t be mad at me for disobeying you.
The rich people here are not all descendants of aristocracies or recipients of inheritances. People here can be born into poverty and become rich. Everyone has a chance to have a good life, and I now have the same opportunity. I get to do things I never imagined I could do, and I can associate with people I could only dream of associating with at home. If I want to, I can become one of the rich people too, and my attitude does not have to change just like Kevin’s attitude never changed. And, if I do become rich, I will send for you and the kids so we all may have a good life.
Kevin is so helpful and giving. Very smart. Sometimes I can’t believe I am friends with someone like him. Every time I think I am getting used to the way things are here, something wonderful happens and I am in awe again. I told him about my dream, and I was so surprised when he took an interest in helping me get there. I never told you exactly what I wanted to do, but I’m sure you can guess it has something to do with art. I always wanted to have an art gallery with all my paintings for everyone to enjoy. I thought it was impossible. It was one of those things I would think about when my mind wandered. When I told him about it, he seemed to think it wasn’t impossible at all. As a matter of fact, he said it would be very easy to do. He is a businessman and knows all about these things. This is the first time I’m explaining it to anyone outside of the Humphries, and it feels weird but amazing. I can’t believe things are actually happening. He purchased some land and is currently remodeling the building. He’s got the business license already. Oh, mamá, he named the gallery after our family! It’s going to be called Galleria Sepulveda! Imagine! It’s like having a piece of our family all the way across the water. People could actually know who we are. It’s kinda scary but humbling too. The gallery wouldn’t just be all of my work, but mine will always be featured. He wants to curate art from other artists as well. He wanted to make me his business partner so I could profit from sales, but I was illegal and not able to. But, he’s going to make changes as soon as I am permitted.
Speaking of being permitted, I got my green card the other day. I am now an official resident of Willow Creek. I am no longer illegal. This is my permanent home. For all I went through to get it, I should have felt relieved. It should have been a happy day for me, and it was for the first few seconds. All I wanted to do was run into the kitchen and show it to Harriett, but she wasn’t there. She won’t be there anymore. She passed away two weeks ago. I should be happy that I don’t have to walk around in fear, not that I did. I should be glad that I can have real independence now. I should be overjoyed. But, I miss Harriett so much. I feel lost. Like I don’t belong here. I’m not saying the rest of the family makes me feel that way because they all have accepted me. But, Harriett was my friend. She was my teacher. She was like a mother to me, and I loved her. I’ve always known I would have to leave this house and start my own life at some point, but I always imagined that I would be prepared. I don’t feel ready for the world yet, and Harriett isn’t here to guide me. I’m so glad I have Kevin. He can guide me to a certain extent, but he’s not Harriett. He doesn’t know the things she knows and can’t comfort me the way she did. I wish you were here. I need a hug…the kind only a mother can give.
Other less depressing news….I have a job. Well, not a new job. I have been working at the library officially for the last month and a half. I get a paycheck and everything. When Kevin talked to me about the gallery, and I accepted, he invited all of us to the building he wanted to buy so he could explain everything. When he got to the part about me needing a green card, he said it would help my case if I had a job so my employer could sponsor me. Harriett said she would hire me officially. She wanted to hire me before, but she said there wasn’t a budget for another salary. But, she hired me anyway, and everything worked out! It was kinda like what you told us about leaps of faith. The next day she took me to the bank and opened an account in my name. I feel so grown up walking around with a bank card in my pocket.
Thank you so much for sending those pictures! I look at them every day. I showed Kevin, and he said we have a family full of beautiful women. 🙂
Hillary is having a little girl. Her sister bought her the cutest furniture. I think the baby is going to be properly spoiled and oh so adorable. Hillary and Harold have been so much better. I’m not sure what changed. Maybe it’s the baby, but they’ve been nicer to each other and occasionally speak. It’s really nice to watch. Well, that was before, of course. He doesn’t say much of anything anymore. She takes care of him now that Harriett is gone. He breaks my heart. The first few nights after she went, we were all in such terrible shape. He was the worst. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sound of him wailing at night. It was like listening to a wounded animal calling out for death to take it quickly. You know what he’s going through, so I’m sure you can imagine what kind of pain he’s experiencing.
Apart from the tragedy, I am well. I just have so much pain in my heart. I wish it would stop.
I love you, mamá.