Mercedes Escobar

Mama was a secondary school graduate with high hopes and a keen intellect when she discovered I was to be born. She had to find work, any work, and so she took the job as maid to the family of the vicious, wealthy, and powerful Señor Escobar. The lavish lifestyle made her hunger for a life she could never have, so she did what many parents do. She made her dreams her child's reality.

I was a beautiful child, with creamy golden skin, dark curls to my waist, piercing eyes. My mother began sending me to the old man at age 11...I would bring him his coffee, his wine, I'd allow him to stroke my hair. At fourteen, I was pregnant, and my mother sprung her well-made trap.

Either Senor Escobar took care of me, or she went to the Policia.

He gave me to his son, a man 15 years my senior, a man wise enough to do his father's bidding, with an enormous empire at stake. Our daughter was born that year, and my mother....disappeared.

I had another daughter two years later, and a life filled with every luxury my mother ever dreamed of. The son, Ramon, was a little man with a huge ego. He used his power to brutalize his employees, his private militia, and his women. He was insanely jealous, his men didn't even dare look at me, and I was careful to never let him see me looking at them.

Then one summer, a Man began to rise through his ranks who I just couldn't stop looking at. A Man who looked back, and then did more than look.

I had to have this Man. I made plans, frantic that I would not be quick enough, not clever enough.

My plans were unnecessary. Some Men have plans of their own.

Perhaps, there is a God after all.