“¡Oye! Buenos días.”
“Buenos días to you too, sleepyhead. El desayuno is almost ready.”
“Ay, María, what would I do without you?”
“Go hungry. Eat.”
“Tambien te amo, cariña. Now eat.”
For a few minutes, the only sounds in the small house are clinking forks on plates.
“Savroso como siempre. You are a good cook!”
“Ay, no me digas.”
“Ah, sorry. I gotta walk Daisy. See you after work, sweetheart.”
“Oh, you are not getting away without a proper kiss, you!”
“¡Dios mio! Someone’s in a mood.”
“Well, maybe I am. So what? Aren’t you happy to get a kiss from your girlfriend?”
“Of course I am! See you later, chica.”
“Hasta luego, cariña.”
“Hey, I’m home! I brought tamales–”
Juana pauses. María is nowhere to be seen.
“¿Cariña? Did you go out while I was at work?”
She pokes her head past the dividers that separate the bedroom from the rest of the house.
“Do you have any idea how hard it is? I get that you have problems, but you can’t just sleep all day!”
“No! You will not cariña your way out of it this time! It’s been two months, María! ¡No puedo seguir así! No–”
“¡Juana, me quedé sin medicamentos!”
“Los tomé a todos.”
“María…” Juana trails off. “María, why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“I was afraid.”
“I don’t know. All I know is, I was afraid.”
“María, you need to tell me these things. I can’t help you if I don’t know.”
“But Juana… What if you leave me someday? What if you go out and you don’t come back?”
“María, I will never leave you. Nunca te dejaré, okay? Now let’s eat. I’ll make some mac-n-cheese.
As Juana begins peeling off her tank top to go to bed, María stops her.
“Can you stay up with me? Just a little longer.”
Love isn’t about loving someone in spite of their problems.
It’s about loving them and accepting that they will need your help.
Love takes work. It takes patience and hope, it takes trying and failing, and it takes getting back up again and trying again. It’s not easy. It never has been.
But for love, it’s worth it.