What Happened on the Other Side

Maria Gonzalez-Fernandez is the third daughter that her mother had high hopes for. When she returns from a brief and rocky marriage in Canada, her mother shows her only disappointment. But, even with her mother's lack of enthusiasm to have her daughter back, Maria finds solace in her old country, Cuba. While finding herself all over again, love, and happiness, Maria learns that sometimes you don't know what you have until you lose it.


I didn't marry Scott because I loved him, but because he could take me away from here.

My mom, Julia Fernandez-Perez, always believes that her children deserve the best and, I being the youngest of her three girls, am no exception. In La Habana, Cuba life is full of simplicities that include music, art, and food. My mother plays music by her favorite Cuban singer, Celia Cruz, every Sunday afternoon while cleaning her small apartment. The city life outside on the streets become lost in her world of melody and even now, years after Celia died, my mother's routine never varies. 

By the time that Scott and I left Cuba, my two sisters had already gone to the States. Scott sent my mother money every week for three years before I left him, so I know that she had been left in good hands. 

I pass through security at La Habana Jose Marti International airport, before walking through the arrivals' door. The hot, summer breeze dances like licking flames on my pale skin. There are people crowded, in shorts and tank tops, looking for their families or friends and I immediately find my mother at the front, surrounded by my uncles, aunts, cousins, and old friends. My mother's eyes find mine and I see that they are red, this is not what she had planned for me. While everyone rushes up to hug me and kiss me hello, except for my mother, I hear her favorite Celia Cruz song playing in my head, from memory:

Everyone out there that thinks that life is always harsh,
Needs to know that's not the case,
That there are just bad times, and it will all pass.
Everyone out there, that thinks that this will never change,
Needs to know that's not the case,
The bad times will turn, it will all pass.
Ay, there's no need to cry, because life is a carnival, 
It's more beautiful to live singing.

The End

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