Chapter 1 --> A New Life
Even though I’ve wanted this since I was thirteen, the fact that I was finally traveling to the city without my grandma by my side was what was really killing me on the inside. Even after all those times I tried to convince her to move to Tijuana and leave behind the past she refused to. Standing there finally being able to see the bus getting closer to my stop I remember the words she said every time I even brought up anything to do with the city.
“Mija, This little bit of land holds not only my past and present but hopefully my future if I can get them to give me like they use to back in the day, and you don’t have to stay but I sure ain’t leaving”
She always said that. No matter how hard I tried to get her to leave and move to the city with me she never listened. She never gave up on her land, even though anything barely grew on that. I myself didn’t have the heart to leave my grandma alone; after all she had done for me after my parents died. I don’t think I could ever re pay her, nor thank her for it all by leaving her all alone.
But of course everything always doesn’t go as plan. Just two weeks ago I was helping her carry water to water all her plants and now Im on my way to the city without her, she is staying behind in her land forever, because she’s dead. Even though I thought about staying behind and making my grandmas dream come true I just couldn’t. I knew that my life in San Mateo was over. I had nobody and ever since I was young I hated being lonely. Now that I had no one in this world the only thing to do was move to the city and move on. Start over from scratch. Begin a new life in a new place. All this for my grandma so that she could rest in peace knowing that I was finally following my dreams and holding my own.
Chapter 2 --> Piercing Eyes & Droids
“Muchacha, si vas a subir?” said the bus driver as he interrupted my thoughts about the life I had just left behind.
“Yes” I whispered softly too embarrassed to say anything else.
There were a few empty seats in the back and I made my way through the isle, carrying nothing but a simple bag filled with only a couple of changes of clothes and the little bit of money my grandma left behind for me, and of course the rosary she always used to pray with before she went to sleep every night. Just as I started to stare out the window I looked up to see someone get on. But not just anybody. He had a certain look to him that made me feel safe even though he was a complete stranger. As soon as he noticed me staring I could tell he felt awkward and tried to look the other way. I simply starred out the window to pretend nothing had ever happened. But as soon as I was drifting into sleep I felt someone sit next to me. I couldn’t help but open my eyes only to see him there. His presence made me feel something in my stomach and scared me but at the same time made me smile. But before I could turn back to the window he tapped me and said
“Hey, I’m Juan Carlos. You?”
Even his voice was relaxed. I was too focused on him gorgeous smile that it took me a while to answer but I eventually did.
“I I I I’m Melina.” was all I could manage to say after what seemed a lifetime of staring at him.
Just when I thought I had made a total fool of myself there it was again that smile of his.
“That’s a pretty name. Where you headed to?”
I was so mesmerized by his smile that I hadn’t even noticed his eyes. Just as I was looking up to not seem rude there they were staring at me. Not just staring but more like gazing at me. His eyes were gorgeous they were like no other. They were full with energy and comfort. They were a shade of green that only made it harder not to stare at them.
“Tijuana” I said my voice sounding a bit more like me but still a little shyness behind it.
“Really? That’s where I live,” he said with a warm smile and his eyes still gazing into mine.
This little small talk kept going until we arrived in Tijuana a few hours later. I was dreading getting off the bus and letting go of this beautiful human being. While on the bus I learned a lot about him. He was an inspiring writer. He had moved to Tijuana from his hometown when his parents kicked him out for getting droids installed. This was what intrigued me the most. He had droids. I saw many ads for them whenever I went into town. Even though I grandma always said those things would ruin me I always dreamed of getting them installed not only cause I knew everyone had them but because I knew that’s how everyone made the most money. By working at the Droid factories. By connecting themselves to monitors and sensors to be able to control robots and human machines in the United States. He taught me more about them. Through him I found out that’s how he wrote. He wrote memories and sold them online to be able to survive, he also had a side job as he called it but he didn’t talk much about that. I also learned you could connect to people. This was the main reason why his parents kicked him out. They thought he would turn into a sex addict because of the droids, according to them that’s all you could do with droids.
He only got me more interested in the droids. That’s what I didn’t think about while moving to Tijuana, where would I work? From what he told me if I got droids the droid factory wouldn’t think twice about hiring me. Especially since I was young. I could work much faster then the older workers. He also told me where I could find a place to live. He was so nice to me and once it was time to get of the bus and venture out on my own all the comfort and peace I felt with him was gone.
Chapter 3 --> The Real City
As soon as I got off the bus all Juan Carlos told me to do was go down la quinta avenida. Walking down it I felt like I was in a total different world. There was a Robocop standing at every corner. There were sky scrappers everywhere. Every street was full of life. Even though it was close to midnight people were still out and about enjoying all the fun the city had to offer.
What I noticed the most was young teenage girls standing in corners flaunting their droids. They kept making sensual expressions at the older men that were walking by. After watching one of the girls finally get pulled aside by one of the guys and her get in the car I realized what they were. They were droidatudes. These were girls who only got droids to be able to connect with people and have sex of course creating the bad name for the droids. I tried to think of what would happen to that young girl as soon as she got in the car but the thoughts of that made me cringe. This wasn’t just a new city, this was an entire new world.
Before I noticed though I had left the city and was wondering around what seemed nothing until I noticed a house at the end of the block with people outside having a conversation drinking and enjoying the night. It took me a while to walk up and ask for Chelito like Juan Carlos told me to. According to him she was a really nice lady. She had helped him when he first got to Tijuana and he was sure she would do the same for me.
“Esta Doña Chelito?” I asked the four men standing around
“Si, Honey! Algiuen is looking for you” said the man with beer in his hand and the cigarette in the other.
I simply smiled and waited for her to come outside. Chelito came out wearing an apron and wiping her hands on it. Her hair up on a bun to show of her bone structure. My first reaction was to admire her beauty she had a certain in her the reminded me of my abuelita. She had a welcoming smile.
“En que te puedo ayudar muchacha” she said with her smile flashing and blinding me.
“Juan Carlos dijo que usted me ayudaria” I said in a calm voice.
“Ah si! Of course mija” she said smiling like she had known I was already coming
She told the other guys to get out of the way and let me through so I could get settled in. They did as they were told and simply smiled at me. As soon as I walked into the house I could smelled the food. Chelito wasn’t only beautiful and kind and caring but she was a great cook I could smell every spice she had ever used and didn’t want the smells to ever leave.
“Are you hungry mija?” she said as we walked up the steps to find what would be my room.
“Un poco” I said trying to not sound too desperate for some of her food.
Just as I said this we arrived at the end of the hall. She pulled her keys out and opened the room to a small but very pretty and well-decorated room. The walls were painted a gorgeous lavender color. Everything in the room was lavender and white. It smelled like it to. It had a HD Broadcaster. Nothing like the old TV I had back at home. She smiled at how amazed I was. She could tell I wasn’t from the city.
“Y que te trajo a Tijuana?” She said walking over to what seemed a window pressed a few buttons and turned back around.
Just as she did this, a breeze came through the machine and cooled me off. I was to mesmerized that I hadn’t noticed that I was sweating and somehow the machine allowed me to cool down.
“A veces cosas pasan y se necesita un cambio” I said as I put my bag down on the bed.
“A claro, pues bienvenida. Acomoda tus cosas y baja a la cosina para que cenes” she said with a smile on her face. A smile that let me know she understood me.
Even though it took me a while to realize what was going on and where I was I had to realize that this was my home now. I couldn’t go back to San Mateo. I didn’t have anyone there and I had to get use to the idea that I only had myself in this world.
Chapter 4 --> My Droids & The Truth
As soon as I woke up the next morning I could smell the spices again roaming through the house and reaching my room all the way upstairs. It took me a while to realize where I was at but when I did. I went to the bathroom brushed my teeth and got in the shower. Last night while eating dinner with Chelita she told me she would take me to get my droids and that I could pay her later. Not only did this mean I could start working but I had found someone to rely on. Chelito and her husband Don Julio were now my family. They said it themselves last night. Anyone that comes through this house is familia! They also told me they would let me slide with the rent for the room until I got use to working at the factories. All this seemed so surreal. As I was getting dressed I heard Chelito call me down to breakfast so we could go down to get my droids installed.