- Vol. 06
- Chapter 04
The officers had taken Abuelita once they saw us over the wall. My Abuelita said a bad man built the wall.
I’m scared because they separated us, but we had to leave home because of the people fighting. I knew the man who had taken me away from Abuelita was important because he wore a badge that swung from his neck. His crisp uniform and clean shave either meant he was la policia or a soldier.
“What’s your name, son?”
“Mauricio, sir.” I reached to hold his hand but he swayed it out of the way; it made me feel unsafe.
“Here boy, stay here with the others. Someone will call you if they need you.” He opened the cage door.
The metal thread weaved around the skeleton of a box where all the children stayed. The temperature was so cold I could feel the freeze through the soles of my trainers. Green sponges filled the room where children lay to rest with their silver blankets.
A boy with a ripped shirt approached me, “This bed is free, if you want to stay next to me?” He directed me with his hand.
“Thank you, I’m Mauricio. What’s your name?”
“I’m Eduardo, this is the Hieleras.”
“Hieleras? What do you mean by Ice Box?” I sat on my green sponge and he raised his hands as they began to shake. The cold competed with the fear, battling for Eduardo’s body.
The cage was crammed with other children and the smell was hideous from all of the open toilets. I took my silver blanket and lay on my green patch thinking about Abuelita. I wanted to leave this place; it was freezing and everyone was on edge. The policia were unfriendly and treated me and the other children like we were cattle. I didn’t understand why they were treating us this way. I left my home because it was not safe. The bad man who built the wall took my Abuelita and imprisoned me like I was a criminal.
I was once told that if I joined a gang back home, they would get me into trouble and I would either end up dead or in prison.
Maybe I should have joined the gang.