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Know Me

My life has never been easy, nevertheless, I have always been happy, I may not have everything I have wanted in life, but Mom made an effort to give me everything I needed. I have grown up without a father, without luxuries, without many friends, and in a house that is about to fall on us, but what has never been lacking in my life is love and good parenting. My mother has prepared me for the world, this world that is cruel and ruthless, has also warned me of the danger that people represent, honestly, I never believed that her warnings could be given, but I have run into them, now I must decide whether to follow my mother's advice or fix it for myself. 

A bad move in life makes my mother sick, without help and with her in the hospital, I have to try twice as hard to pay the hospital payments, a crazy idea becomes my best solution and since everything easy has its consequences, now I am paying mine. 

Marilí Cook: 18-year-old girl with a heart of gold and admirable humility, her sweetness is impressive, her faith in people is unique, her intelligence is disconcerting, and her wit makes her dangerous for some, she is a passive-aggressive person but with She is not mistaken, she is not the fragile girl that her appearance implies, she is strong and independent, for her freedom is the main thing, she does not like dominance or possessiveness, she is capable of learning quickly and putting into practice what learned, it has the ability to give unexpected twists to situations it is new to or has never been in.

Chapter 1

The stories always begin with an event that is generally fatal or of apparent happiness or of total happiness.  Why not?  But for me luck will start fateful and this apparently has nothing. I am in the waiting room of the Punta Pacífico hospital waiting for any information that will take me out of this state of despair and anguish in which I find myself. My mother, the only person I have in the world, the only one who takes care of me, is in critical condition and I am nowhere to lose her, she taught me to be strong but how to stay on my feet, if everything is about to turn  worse?

"Relatives of Mrs. Cook." To hear that thick voice that makes me tremble more than I do, for some reason they give me some repulse, afraid of what he might say to me, I get up and, pretending to be strong, I approach the short and chubby doctor who demands my presence.

"I am her daughter and her only relative." I make it clear to him when I see him looking behind my back, my appearance of a girl helps me little. "Relax, I'm of legal age, you can tell me anything, I am going to bear." My confidence and the forcefulness with which I speak hide my true fears.

“Come with me.” The man asks not very convinced, without saying anything else I follow him to his office, sitting across from each other separated by his desk, we look at each other, my seriousness is imperturbable and his anguish is palpable, the fact that I am a girl I know makes him doubt. "Miss, are you sure there isn't someone else to accompany you?" I shake my head and scowl. The reality is that I do have someone who can accompany me, but at the moment it is impossible for them to come and keep me company.

"Believe me doctor, there is no one else, you can tell me everything you have to say, don't get carried away by my appearance." 

The doctor sighs and leaning his elbows on the table, he nods, “your mother has a heart murmur, those murmurs are usually nothing to worry about, but unfortunately your mother's murmur encompasses a major heart vein.” The words from him are like cold water falling all over my body. “She has to be operated as soon as possible."

Hearing that makes me close my eyes. How will I pay for that? "How ... how much is the operation?" I look into his eyes, his wavering gaze letting me know it's about a lot.

“Thirty thousand...”

"Damn!" I whisper in disbelief.

“Calm down, we'll take good care of her, you can pay the bill later."

I snort. What the hell am I going to do now? “Thank you. Can I see her?” I ask, getting up.

"Of course, she is asleep but there is no problem with you staying to take care of her." The doctor guides me around the place until I reach a room where they have my mother channeled, she looks so calm, her calm breathing makes my hair stand on end, I have never seen her so calm, not even when she sleeps. "I'll leave you alone, call me if anything happens."

"Thank you, doctor, you are very kind." With a nice smile, I said goodbye. "God, mom,” I whispered, stroking her hair, "why does everything have to happen to us?" I ask as if she could answer me. I have no idea how I will get that money but I have to find a way, lying on the sofa my head starts to plot all the options I have. "Great ... I'll rob a bank!" I say frustrated, “we are well fucked this time mom, well fucked ...”

"You can stop talking to yourself like crazy girl,” her weak voice makes me laugh, I get up from the couch and walk over to her.

"It's clear, Mrs. Cook, you like to do everything in a big way,” I kidded.

“There were many people?” She asks, closing her eyes in horror.

"We were at the mall. What did you expect?” I smile when I see her complain about it. "Hey, calm down, you gave me a scare." I kiss her head.

"What happened to me?"

Her question leaves me serious on the spot. Should I tell her the truth at the risk of worrying about her and doing her more harm? I finally decide to be cautious. “It's nothing serious mom, it will just be an operation and ...”

"Did you say an operation? Marilí, where will we get that? We are not insured!” She puts her hands on her head, my mother always worries about the wrong things, she goes from her illness to thinking about money.

"Mom, calm down, you can't get upset or you'll get worse, I'll talk to my boss or whoever, I'll do it if it's the only way to get what we need. Now I want you to relax, calm down and go back to rest, you need it.” I can't tell her the truth, that would be too risky.

"When and how much is the operation?" I don't say anything, I can't help but look into her worried dark eyes. "How much is the operation?" She asked a little louder.

“Five thousand dollars,” I say in a whisper.

“Five thousand dollars?!” She screams in disbelief. “What is going on with me? Maybe I can get past all of this drama, it's getting upset and my concern is growing.”

"Mrs. Cook.” I hear the doctor's voice. “You shouldn't be upset or I'll have to sedate you." He walks over to her and checks her. “She'll be visiting for a while,” he said, “and I don't think you can get past this operation, your life depends on that.” He smiles at her.

“What?” My mother asks in a bad mood. That Italian has a rather difficult character, I think that is why she has always been able to get ahead. "I have to work to help my daughter." She looks at him threateningly. "I can't stay here, I feel good and I don't think my life is at risk, if I was, I'd be convalescing and I'm not." She lies, the weak tone of her voice giving her away. Mom is a warrior, fighter and risky woman, she can never stay calm on one side, she likes to be active and she likes to live her life, that's why she loves art.

"Easy mom,” I ask her, “I will work for both of us, I am no longer a girl, you also know that my job allows me to pay the rent and keep the cupboard full, I will also be able to pay for the hospital.” I smiled at her, “the university scholarship is serving something." I wink at her, but she won't stop growling and cursing in Italian.

"You should listen to your daughter, your heart won't be able to take it anymore." The doctor insists, "you have a very responsible daughter,” he smiles at her, it amuses me to see how that doctor looks at my mother. She has a white complexion, her black hair and huge, dark and bulging eyes, the vitality that she has infects anyone, but her character alienates as many as she can.

“She's fine, but don't think you'll keep me in bed 24 hours a day. Understood?” The funny doctor shows her the palms of his hands.

"Mamma,” I protested to her letting her bad mood out on the doctor, “I'm sorry doctor, she's usually sweet." I'm lying to get out of trouble.

"I hope to meet that sweetness," he assures. “I'll leave you alone, everything is fine for now Mrs. Cook, if there is any discomfort, please let me know." With that said, he leaves the room.

"Mom, you should be good." I reproach her for the way she is, “no one here is your enemy."

"Fuck everyone!" She snorts and I roll my eyes.

After talking to Mom and calming her down to leave the money to me and forcing her to sleep, I start to do my homework, I am so tired that I don't realize it when I fall asleep. "Fuck, fuck, fuck." I murmur over and over again, "Mom, I have to go, I'm late to campus, and I’ll come after work."

My mother kisses me on the nose, “take care, my girl, and for God's sake eat something." She yells at me, I didn't stay to listen to her. At full speed I run to the elevator, once I get to the ground floor I go to the subway station and of course it is full as always, I don't know what my mother was thinking when she decided to move to Panama, in Italy everything would be much better or, so less, I think so.

When I arrived on campus and with it in my classroom, the class was already starting. I study contemporary art, as a worthy daughter of my mother, I like everything that has to do with art and creation.

"Miss Cook, you are late." Santiago Gómez, my drawing teacher, reprimands me. "If you weren’t as good as you are, you would get out of my class." He dislikes us being late.

"I'm sorry Professor Gomez, I won't let it repeat itself."

"Of course it won't happen again." He affirms. Mentally cursing I go to my seat.

"Skinny you look bad." My friend whispered in my ear.

“You should notice that I did not bathe and I came with the same clothes as yesterday ...What a shame!” I buffed.

"How is your mother?" She asked.

“For now well, I'll tell you during break.” She nods and we focus our attention on the class or we would both get kicked out.

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