You can’t continue to see this woman Drew Jr. It is hard to admit, even to this day, but I cheated on your mother. It was years ago, and we have seen therapy and have decided to stay together, despite what happened. I was teaching still, and she was one of my students. Allowing lust to take place instead of logic we entered rollercoaster where there were no safe ways off, but I ruined men for Clemencia. My father always told me when I was a kid, that it is okay to mess around with Mexican’s but never marry one. “We have to keep our blood pure” he would say, and even though it was wrong, it always stuck in my head, marry a white woman but have fun with the brown ones. Growing up with a racist father that also cheated on my mother was hard, your grandmother was always crying, whenever he came home late, smelling of perfume. He didn’t even try to hide it, he lusted and your grandma suffered for it. I never forgave him for that. You would think that I would never do that to your mother, however it happened, I can regret, attempt to amend, and do everything for Megan that I can, it will never change the fact that she will never trust me fully. In the back of that beautiful red head, she will always question every moment I’m not with her. That is my punishment for my actions, I hurt the woman I love with my lack of will power, my lack of strength, and my lack of respect. Not only for your mother, and myself, but also for Clemencia. I took advantage of her, she idolized me, and I destroyed her. In an even sicker twist, I enjoyed the fact that I destroyed her, she was my demented little secret.
When I met Clemencia she was nineteen and just simply beautiful, sexy, and erotic. It would be lying if I told you I even attempted to stop things for advancing with her. I could tell before it even started that she adored me, that she idolized me, that she could imagine herself in my arms, stroking her hair, telling her everything would be okay. Even though we both knew it was wrong we started an affair. She had a strange power over me, if she called, I answered. It almost didn’t matter what I was doing usually I would drop everything just to be with her. I would jokingly call her my Malinalli, it’s a Hispanic thing, in their lore she was a woman who betrayed her people, and I was the conquistador the one who conquered her people, in this case the female race. I would speak to her in Spanish, she liked that, but she liked other things too, and it would become my greatest regret. I have to be completely honest with you, to have you understand why you can’t be with Clemencia, she knew you were being born, that your mother was in labor, but insisted I come back home for a quick fling. It was wrong of me, I figured I could run there and be back before you were born, but you came faster than I expected. It was easy, I told your mom I forgot something important, I said I needed to get the car seat, so we could take you home. She agreed, and I left, the moment I left that room to seek my own lust was the moment I started to hate myself.
I first realized it needed to end when I woke up to your mom passing me the phone at four in the morning, “Excuse me, honey its for you.” Half-awake I mumbled “Hello?” And Clemencia answers “Drew? That dumb bitch of a wife of yours.” That’s all she could get out between the laughing. I was wide awake now, I told her “I will call her back at an appropriate time and hung up. ” Your mother was so trusting back then, I told her it was a student stuck on a last-minute essay, and she believed me.
Around the time it was almost over, I was standing there dressed, ready to go, and I wanted to tell her it was over. But all I could do was stare at her, sleeping, taking her in. Even after all these years, she still had a power over me. When she woke up and said “Drew? What is it?” All I could reply was “Nothing.”
The last time I saw Clemencia, your mother was out of town, I believe she was at her sisters visiting, I think for Christmas? It’s been awhile, son. But Clemencia and I decided to end it on a good note, one final fling, before we both go back to being good people. So, I had decided to make up a delicious final meal, and apparently, Clemencia decided to shove gummy bears into all of your mother’s expensive makeup, pill bottles and even her slippers. Oh, and this one we found years later, she took out the babushka dolls I had brought back your mom from my trip to Russia and replaced the smallest one with a gummy bear. When your mother questioned me about the gummy bears I had three options, said I did it as a joke, blame it on our maid, or be a man and come clean. Well that wasn’t going to happen, so I blamed the maid, said she was mad cause we forgot to pay her on time, and fired her the next day. Your mother didn’t find out until years later, when we ran into Clemencia at an art showing, I guess your mother saw how we were both acting and put the puzzle pieces together. I remember trying to act suave and pretend she was nothing more to me than an old student of mine, “Ah, Clemencia!” As sincere as I could say, “This is Megan.” Clemencia held out her hand, and could barely muster out “Hello, Megan” Clemencia has a smile on her that you only see a few times in your life, a smile where you knew she despised your mother, it’s a hard smile to pull off, but she pulled it off well. Clemencia booked it out with the children she was teaching, she was gone extremely fast. Your mother waited until we were in the car, she never was one who wanted to make a scene, too much dignity, “Drew… How long have you been cheating on me?” I started off with “I don’t know wh…” She interrupted me, “Don’t even deny it, you wear your guilt like a mask, how long did you cheat on me with this Clemencia lady?” That’s when I came clean, “It was years ago, we broke it off after Drew Jr was born.” Of course, this made her cry, why wouldn’t it make her cry, I her “faithful husband” of so many years destroyed her trust, broke her heart, disrespected her, betrayed her. All that sick joy I felt when I was younger turned into disgust, of myself. I don’t know if you remember the trip I took, where I was gone for about three weeks, it wasn’t a trip, your mother kicked me out. Luckily, she took me back, but it was a lot of work, we had to get major counseling before we could get past it. It took years, but we are finally in a place where we can start to be happy again. Obviously, there are still bad moments, but we work through them.
Drew my boy, I broke Clemencia, I destroyed your mother, and years later all I have to show for it is a little duct tape holding the pieces together. If your mother found out who you are sleeping with, it would snap the little tape pieces holding her together. Please, for your mother’s sake, stop seeing this woman.
Cisneros, Sandra. “Never Marry a Mexican” Woman Hollering Creek and other stories. Vintage Contemporaries. New York. 1991, Page 68-83
Ramos, Sefferino. Personal Lecture, 11-July-2018