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The Woman

By: Tiffany P.

Honorable Mention · High School Writing (2021)

There was a middle-aged lady that lived in the quaint pueblo that was my mother’s hometown. She was lively and talkative, always the most enthusiastic at the get-togethers that were thrown by the neighbors, my mother recalled. She was happily married and had a son who regularly helped her out with house chores and behaved. The picture-perfect life that everyone wished for. You wouldn’t have guessed the wrinkles on her face were from stress, my mother told me, but instead from the memory of many smiles she had shared with others.

Even with the bright presence she radiated, my mother and the rest of the pueblo had found out that her life wasn’t as perfect as they’d thought. Her husband had been constantly abusing her verbally and physically. Yet, that never wavered her personality or love for her son and community. As if the abuse wasn’t enough, later on, she had found out her husband had been cheating on her with another woman. The thin thread that was keeping her sane finally snapped.
It was as if her happiness had run dry and only the shell of the woman was left behind. She still smiled, as my mother described, but there was no heart behind it.

She has long since passed away, from age or sadness, who knows. Her son keeps in contact with my mother and seems in good spirits. When asked about his mom, however, he shifts into a somber mood that shows even through text. “I was a kid back then,” he would say. “There wasn’t much I could do to help mi mama. I knew she was going through a lot, but she still found a way to make sure I was happy. If only there was a way I could’ve done the same for her.”