Family in the Shadows

Chapter Two : Another Day At Work

I could hear him from my bedroom, making calls. My father Diego Mendez, doing the job I can't mention on Career day without someone calling the cops. La policia is one of the words we're not allowed to say in this house, especially not in Spanish. It makes him feel like even the Venezuelan cops can watch his every move. As for his calls, he likes to pretend I can't hear him, but I always can. This time he's asking a poor, naïve woman to donate around $200 for a Breast Cancer charity, an easy lie considering the thousands of commercials and other advertisements about Breast Cancer awareness. As a result of having a con-artist for a dad, I've become an unwilling expert of the tricks and lifestyle. I can't help but listen in on their conversation.

''Oh, of course I will. My mother died of Breast Cancer and I'll do anything to make sure there's more awareness and less deaths.'' She said, sounding like she was near tears.

''Thank you very much. This donation will make a huge difference, with every tragedy comes opportunity after all.'' He said sweetly, smiling a wide and sinister smile.

''That's true, but where there is an opportunity, there's an opportunist.'' I thought.

As soon as the call ended, I saw my dad knock on the door to my room, I told him he could come in and he stared at me for a few minutes quietly, his black hair slightly tousled, his brown eyes looking directly into my same colored eyes, although they looked more like my deceased mom's.

''Que quieres comer esta noche? What do you want to eat tonight for dinner?'' he asked, tired and somewhat impatiently.

'' Empanadas, por favor. Papa, when is this going to stop?''

''You're a smart girl, you know the answer to that.'' He replied coldly, his Venezuelan accent sounding harsher as he spoke. He walked out of my room and shut the door, leaving me alone to cry soundlessly.