Camila Would Rather Forget

Rosa Martinez

Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 20 — Camila Estrada is happy now. After having been dogged by domestic violence for years, again she’s enjoying the company of her family.  It’s like a dream from which she doesn’t want to wake.

The ghost of her former husband still haunts her, but he can’t hurt her anymore. She was released from prison just eight months ago.  His body rests in a grave in the Guantanamo city cemetery.

Many people still don’t look her in the eyes, they judge and blame her.  Yet others greet her as if they’re inviting her back to life.  Her family supports, helps and loves her.  However her two children are still suffering from what happened; firstly because of all the times their mother almost died, and now because their father actually did.  He’s dead and gone; she continues to be the victim.
At her job nobody talks about what happened, but everyone knows she committed murder, that she killed her husband in self-defense. Only her closest friend, Adela, ever asked Camila to tell her how it all happened.

But Camilla would rather forget. She prefers to forget the limp that came from the kick her former husband gave her in her knee, just as she doesn’t want to remember the time her eldest son fought with his own father trying to defend her.  She’d rather forget all the yelling, all the visits by the police and her attempts to escape with the kids.

She’s sure she’ll forget everything, or almost everything that happened.

The problem’s that… things can’t be changed.