Apart of love is wondering where you belong and where you fit in. Sometimes that is looking for love in the places we think are right for us and it could be us looking in the wrong places. What attracts us to someone? Is it in the tone of their voice when we listen to them speak? The feeling of their touch the minute they lay a single hand on you? Is it how their laugh makes you smile? Or is it them introducing you to the most important people in their life? We never truly know what it is that a person may see in us that makes them attracted to us. Because we don’t truly know these things it often leads us to insecurities, depression, self-doubt, and sometimes death. In “Bien Pretty” by Sandra Cisneros, Lupe points out “What kills me is your silence. So certain, so solid. Not a note, nor postcard. Not a phone call, no number I could reach you at. No address I could write to. Neither yes nor no. Just the void. The days raw and wide as this drought-blue sky. Just the nothingness. That’s what hurts” (Cisneros 157). A man that she fell in love with just vanished as if everything they done was meaningless. Lupe was devastated and heartbroken when Flavio left, it took her weeks to pull herself up from this pain.
During the time that Flavio was modeling for Lupe they began telling stories about each other’s lives. “What I liked best about working with Flavio were the stories” (Cisneros 148). How could this poor Mexican man that had very little take so much from her? Lupe began looking at Flavio a different way, she then imagined how “With skin sweet as burnt-milk candy, smooth as river water. He made you bien pretty even if I didn’t always know it. Yes he did” (Cisneros 152). Would that have been love for Lupe or was she just feeling that way because of the time they spent together? Lupe begins to ask herself “What’s happened to me? Flavio was just Flavio, a man I wouldn’t’ve looked at twice before” (Cisneros154). Everything around Lupe would remind her of all the little things of Flavio, In the beginning of the story Lupe points out “I’m to blame. Flavio Munguia was just an ordinary Flavio until he met me… Once you tell a man he’s pretty, there’s no taking it back” (Cisneros 137). Lupe chose to believe that she was the reason for Flavio being the way he was, that she turned him into this man that was selfish.
After the ongoing relationship that Flavio and Lupe had, the truth was finally spoken. Flavio told Lupe that he had to go back to Mexico to take care of things back home. However, never once did he tell Lupe that he had children from another marriage. By the pain that Lupe was in the only words that could come out “I think you better go now. I gotta get my clothes out of the dryer before they get wrinkled” (Cisneros 157). Lupe tried to find peace, but because she was still broken all she could think of was anger and how much she wanted to hurt Flavio for hurting her. All that time you spend getting to know someone, loving their insecurities, and loving their biggest flaws for them to just hurt you and leave. Lupe was blinded by Flavio’s love that she forgot who she was. “ Just the way I use to believe I was pretty. Before Flavio Munguia wore all my prettiness away” (Cisneros 137). Everything Lupe felt had turned away and made her feel less, “ When I look in the mirror, Im ugly. How come I never noticed before?”(Cisneros 160). Lupe was in pain. Flavio made her feel like she was the weak one. She was too busy trying to make him feel special she forgot about her own self-worth. To The Girls Who Need To Love Themselves by Madison Sonnier writer from Thought Catalog, explains “I understand how you must be feeling – desperate for closure, envious of those living a fulfilling single life and loving it, and clueless about where to start on your journey to letting go of the person who haunts you and has consistently failed to give your rare and beautiful heart what it needs.” Lupe regretted two things; not telling Flavio she was in love with him and to ask for forgiveness. Lupe didn’t know what was going to happen next, what she did know was that this would be the last feeling he took from her.
It took weeks before Lupe could pick herself back up, she would avoid going to work, painting, and being out in public. Lupe grabbed everything of Flavio and burned them “ I didn’t expect paper to take so long to burn, but it was a lot of layers” (Cisneros 160-161). Later during that time Lupe sat herself in front of a t.v watching a telenovela show where she was then inspired. She would think of the words from Daniela Romo singing “ Ya no. Es verdad que te adoro, pero mas me adoro yo” (I love you, honey, but I love me more)(Cisneros 163). Lupe was done feeling sorry for herself, she picked herself up and remembered who she was. She took a hold of her life, “ The First Step” by Najwa Zebian states “In order to achieve greatness, you have to be willing to take the right steps towards it” (113). And that is exactly what Lupe chose to do, she chose to take her life back. “Everywhere I go, It’s me and me. Half of me living my life, the other half watching me live it” ( Cisneros 163). Instead of hurting Flavio any way that she could have Lupe guided herself through the pain and turned it into something greater.
We all want to know what it is that makes us feel as much pain when getting hurt. “ Sexology” by Samuel Aun Weor writes “ When human beings are truly in love, they become intuitive, mystical. In such moments they forebode their future, afraid of what might happen to them” (4). Lupe was in love with a man that she didn’t at first even see herself with or even would have noticed him. Even with all the stories they shared with each other, there could have been moments he could have told her the truth. Was it fear of losing her? Or was it that he took advantage of her? We aren’t sure why people don’t always speak up and just really say how they feel. We end up being the ones who are clueless. Lupe could have given up and let Flavio ruin her life, but she chose to become a strong woman and choose her. Love is costful, sometimes that is taking all of someone’s love or worse, someone can go beyond just being depressed but hurting themselves or another. Love is complicated. Love is beyond us. But it does not take away who we are.
Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek and other stories. New York, Vintage, 1991.
“To The Girls Who Need To Learn To Love Themselves First.” Thought Catalog, 25 Dec. 2016, thoughtcatalog.com/madison-sonnier/2016/05/to-the-girls-who-need-to-learn-to-love-themselves-first/.
WEOR, SAMAEL AUN. SEXOLOGY: the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology. GLORIAN PUB, 2016.
Zebian, Najwa. Mind Platter. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018.