"You must have good shoes."
"I have good feet."
He spit out a seed and popped another cherry in his mouth. She watched his cheeks swell as his jaw worked. Spit. Eat another cherry.
"Are they sweet?" she asked.
He spit a seed.
He heard her belly growl.
"You will bring a child to light soon," he said.
"I don't know," she replied.
He handed her the bowl.
"Eat," he said.
The cherry juice in Cayetana's mouth was dark and red, like nothing she had ever tasted.
She spit out the seed.
"I have to go now," she said, "it is late."
"Adios," he said.
Cayetana replied in the mother tongue: "Lios emak weye." God go with you. She walked into the night. Funny man. But one thing she knew from experienceall men were funny.
She'd gotten a restless night's sleep with the bellyache she blamed on the stranger's fruit. Now the morning brought increased tumult inside her. Cayetana thought she could make it to the row of outhouses that Tomás had built between the workers' village and the great house where the masters slept. But the child within her had decided it was time to come forth, announcing the news about halfway to the outhouses when the pain dropped Cayetana to her knees and the strange water broke from her and fell into the dust.
Copyright © 2005 by Luis Alberto Urrea
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