The Spanglish Girl Diaries
Happily Ever After
Season Two Diary No. 19
Series Finale Part 2 of 2
My voice slightly trembling, from the guilt of the pain I was about to cause him, I replied:
“I can’t accept your offer. I’ve worked too hard for the life I have—My career, my house, my freedom—I’m sorry, but I can’t go back to depending on a man.”
I searched his eyes desperately hoping to see understanding in them, but it wasn’t there. Instead I saw disbelief and hurt. His shoulders slumped and he placed his hands over his face, holding them slightly over his mouth, as he contemplated what to say next.
Unable to look me in the eyes, he walked over to the kitchen window and stared outside for a moment. Then, with his back turned to me, he asked, his voice breaking: “So our love is not worth it—I’m not worth it?”
Desperate for Cristiano to understand that this wasn’t about whether or not our love—or he—was of value to me, I neared him to explain, but he stopped me: holding his palms out towards me, he signaled for me not come any closer.
This gesture alone spoke volumes. He was so hurt by me, he wanted nothing to do with me. I listened and stopped moving towards him, accepting that I didn’t deserve to be near him.
I felt like the most evil woman in the world, like an ungrateful bitter cold-hearted bitch. He had just offered me his world, and I turned it down…
He finally mustered the courage to face me. Taking a deep breath first, he then turned, his eyes locking with mine.
By the look of resentment in his eyes, I sensed he was about to give me a piece of his mind, and I braced myself, doing my best not to respond for fear I would hurt him more than I already had.
Looking me dead in the eyes, Cristiano began by first telling me how much he loved me. This I did not expect, but the resentment in his tone warned me not to take it as compliment because he was only sharing this to make me realize the mistake I was making.
He then went on to explain to me what his idea of true love is. His voice stern and cold now, he stated:
“Love for me is not just about the good times; It’s about being there for each other in the bad too—that’s how you know it’s real.”
I felt so small… So ashamed… These were the very words I once used to describe love to him. He was now throwing my own definition of love back in my face, as if to call me out on my hypocrisy…
He then continued,
“It’s realizing that together there is a greater goal, a life of love and companionship, and that’s what makes the sacrifices you make for each other worthwhile.”
I was dying to respond, to plead with him to see my side, but I bit my tongue and continued to listen.
He then went on to finish what he was saying with, “ I don’t expect you to know any better or understand—how could you? You’ve never known true love. The truth, I don’t even think you’re capable of it …”
His last words hit deep—tapping into a history of shame because I had not been able to keep a man. I took offense and out of fear that he was right—that maybe I was incapable of love—I lashed out.
My pride getting the best of me, I stopped caring if he hated me, if I hurt him, and I finally told him my side because no man, not even he, was going to tell me who I was.
My own voice now fierce and stern, I finally spoke, nearly yelling:
“If it was years from now, and I was done with law school, my decision would be different, so don’t tell me I’m not capable of love–I am! And if either one of us is not being fair, it’s you, not me! For starters, you knew all along our plan was never to tie each other down so soon. We made a deal, remember? Three years! But no, you want me today,–now!–in your house–as your wife!”
I stopped to catch my breath. I could see I was starting to get to him because his posture straightened, indicating he was insulted by my words. Not done saying what I needed to, I added: “I know you probably don’t think much of my life, which is why you think you can bribe me with not having to work, because you think I can be bought, but you’re wrong: I’m not for sale.” I emphasized the “for sale” part. I then added, my words laced with a fierceness that made it clear I was speaking from something deeper within me, lessons learned and a self-truth I held no shame for: ” I’d rather be poor and free and happy, than comfortable, but trapped, and miserable, depending on a man for my every need!”
Before I could say another word, in defense of himself, he shouted in return, “I’m offering you a way to help me make this work, not trying to take away your freedom or buy you! And yeah, you’re right, I don’t think much of your life. You’re out here all alone, in this shack! That’s nothing to be proud of! And don’t think for a second I don’t see what this all is, this whole hermit single and proud thing: You’re hiding from life out here. You prefer to be alone because it is safe, not because it’s what you really want!”
Hermit! Shack? I was offended. My life was full of friends and family. I was no hermit. And that he thought of my house as a shack hurt me. I wanted to remind him that at one time he called it cute; said it was just like me, but so caught off guard, hurt and embarrassed, I just stood there stunned, speechless.
He read my thoughts, surely the pain in my eyes gave me away because he added, to soften the blow: “I get it that you’ve been through a lot, that you’re scared, that you don’t want to make the same mistakes twice, but I’m not your ex husband or that guy who left you pregnant—I actually care about you, so why can’t you just let us be and stop dragging us down with your past! Do you not love me?”
Finally frustrated and tired of being misunderstood and shamed, I broke and tears began to fall.
In between cries, I managed to yell back:
“I do love you, but I love me more!
He froze. I even saw him take a step back as if stunned by my response. I continued,
“And yes, my past is very much a part of me, but that is not a bad thing! The mistakes I made were lessons and if you think that me learning from them makes me broken, than so be it! I’d rather be broken, than sorry, and stupid and desperate!”
I could see it was sinking in that I was not going to agree with him. And with my emotions high, the words just kept coming out of me. Like a loca, I continued to shout:
“You say you don’t want to take anything away from me, but let’s be real: Even if you hire a nanny, you and I both know I’m going to be expected to take care of the house, you and the baby–A BABY THAT ISN’T EVEN MINE!!!!”
Although he didn’t reply, the look in his eyes told me it was true.
To draw a real life comparison between the life he was offering me vs. the life I live now, in hopes that he’d finally understand, I next stated–more calmly:
“And you are wrong about me hiding. I’m not hiding. I live a peaceful and complete life. I spend my days working at a job that I love, spending time with my family and friends, studying, writing and traveling. If I don’t want to clean, I don’t. If I don’t feel like cooking, that is ok. And if I want to be out until 1am partying, I can. I spend my money and time how I want and I answer to no one because I make my own way and I love it!”
Wiping tears from my face, I last added:
“Asking me to walk away from my life that I enjoy when I’m not ready is not love Cristiano: That’s desperation, that’s insecurity, that’s selfishness. Real love shouldn’t be this drastic and if it is, it’s not right. I shouldn’t have to change who I am. I shouldn’t have to give up my whole life!”
For the first time since we started arguing, I saw remorse enter his eyes. He then took a deep breath, almost symbolic of the fact that he was finally giving in and moved towards me, with a gentle look on his face.
To my relief, I could tell he finally saw the reality of our situation.
To call for a truce, he reached for me, pulling me to him and held me as he apologized for these things he had said, including calling my house a shack.
Too tired to keep fighting, and now certain it was over, I too called a truce. To show him I was not mad, I wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest as I too apologized for not being able to be the woman he needed. My exact words, “ I really do love you Cristiano. That’s why I’m getting out of the way. Because I know you deserve a woman who can be there for you in all the ways I cannot.”
He pulled away from me slightly, and then with his right hand, forced me to look at him, lifting my chin. As soon as my eyes met his, he replied, “Just promise me one thing?”
Caught off guard, my eyes narrowed in confusion, and I asked what it was. He replied, his voice soft and tender, “Promise me if years from now, we’re both still single, and you’re ready, you’ll give us another chance.”
I felt my heart sink. My intuition told me fate had other plans in store for us, but even so, I agreed and stood on my tiptoes to give him one last kiss. Cristiano, realizing there was nothing left to say, kissed me for what seemed like minutes.
After the kiss, we held each other in silence. Finally breaking the silence, Cristiano took the first step and shared with me that he needed to head back to Chicago. I realized this was it, our final goodbye. And just like that, despite all the promises we had once made, it was over…
I followed him to his truck and we gave each other one last kiss before he got on to his truck, turned on the ignition, and drove away. The last image I have of Cristiano is of him waving goodbye as he drove off, his eyes full of sadness, but also love.
After he was gone, I sat on my porch for a good 30 minutes just thinking. I cried a little, mainly because even though this was what I wanted, I knew I was going to miss him. I’d miss most the way he reached for me and grabbed me, burying me in his embrace whenever I said something mischievous. I’d miss the feel of his hands wrapped around me Sunday mornings. But what I’d miss most was his gaze, the seriousness with which he watched me when he thought I wasn’t aware as if he was thinking about me, trying to figure out his love for me…
Finally, when all of the thoughts I needed to process were done racing through my mind, and when there were no more tears to cry, I stood, dusted myself off, and went inside to make myself a banana split and catch up on my novela, something I’d been wanting to do for weeks, but with my busy study schedule, and Cristiano, had not been able to.
As I sat there watching episode after episode, minutes turned to hours. It was the perfect distraction. By the third episode, I was hooked, and for a few hours more, I got to get lost in the story line, forgetting for a moment about the break up. I realized in that moment this was what being single is all about: Having all the time in the world to dedicate to you, to watch novelas if you really want too… And I realized, I could get used to this…
That night as I lay in bed, I thought about my life and all that I wanted for myself. Once again, that image from a recurring dream, of me in a chic high rise apartment in some big city flashed before me. It’s early morning, everything in my apartment is white. There is no husband or kids. I’m in a suit, I am grabbing my keys and my brief case, and I’m racing out to work. And what strikes me the most is that I look happy, my apartment is peaceful, and I feel bossy, beautiful and accomplished.
The women I see is free and fierce. This makes me smile because I realize I’m already her, minus the chic apartment in a big city…
I fall asleep that night daydreaming about my fabulous single life ahead. First on my list the LSAT; second, get into a good law school; and third, graduate and live happily ever after.
Well, not really, ‘The End,’—As it turned out, this was really only the beginning…
A month before Cristiano and I broke up, my sister Cecilia had invited me to join her in creating a blog. At first I said no, mainly out of fear because my writing had been rejected before. But then, one night, as I was reading through old diary entries, I realized I had something special, something worth writing and sharing…
“I should have know when the lazo broke the marriage was doomed…”
As I sat at my writing desk, re-reading the first line of my series, over and over again, I reminded myself it was now or never.
Finally gathering the courage to do it, I hit publish and posted the first diary of my new series, The Spanglish Girl Diaries.
Almost immediately, I second guessed myself and panicked.
I had Cecilia on the phone and I asked, my voice filled with anxiety, “What have I done? I just aired my dirty laundry to the world!”
She replied, “Well there’s no going back now, you’re officially Spanglish Girl.”
Now feeling even more panicked, I raced to delete the post—but stopped short of doing just that…
Just as my finger neared the delete button, the notifications started to come in.
Only several minutes in, the ad we attached to the diary was starting to gain traction.
The numbers of people liking our blog’s Facebook page kept growing…
Within 30 minutes, we had 100 new likes. Within the next six hours, 500! And by the end of the day, 1000!!!
And within a month, we had 10k page likes and counting…
And from that moment on, I lived happily ever after in my cozy country house, out in the woods of Wisconsin, writing, blogging, studying, going on dates, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and loving my single life…
June 28, 2017
Ladies, how can I ever begin to thank you for reading along…
I can’t even find words worthy of my gratitude for your support, so I’ll just leave it at Gracias!
You made my dream of becoming a writer worthwhile, and I can only hope my words brought you joy—but also, that The Spanglish Girl Diaries inspired you in some way.
As for me, I’m still single and loving every minute of it. In fact, I’ll be leaving to NYC tomorrow for a girls’ weekend to celebrate my 32nd birthday. I can’t believe it, 32!
The plan is to sight see, eat great food, shop and party. I’ll be sure to share my trip with you in a blog soon—which brings me to the future of The Spanglish Girl Diaries: I’ll continue to share moments and adventures from my life with you, but instead of being in story format, it will be blogs written in real-time.
I’m also excited to share that I have been working on a historical romance novela set during the Mexican American war, and I’ve just finished writing The Spanglish Girl Diaries pilot, in hopes that I can pitch the series to be produced into a telenovela. And then there is law school, Latinas for a Better America and a new online Spanglish Girl store, coming very soon!
So as you can see, my life is full and I’m so grateful.
Until I write again, have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend and thank you again for joining me on this journey!
Love Spanglish Girl