Tuesday, July 19, 2011


A view toward San Jose, Costa Rica.

"We're so far away," Selena sighed. "It looks pretty from here."

Miguel rested his hand on her knee. A balmy night breeze whispered against their skin as they sat atop the mountain waiting for their overheated engine to cool down. Miguel listened to the symphony of crickets and boisterous frogs. In the village he only heard donkeys and chickens. He was sick to death of farmyard animals. He snuck his arm around Selena and pulled her closer to him for a kiss. "We can go back if you want to."

Selena leaned into him, relishing the warm feel of his skin against hers. It was easy to imagine that life could always be this perfect: a beautiful view, a wonderful boyfriend. Then the snap and pop of the engine behind her transported her back down the mountain where she was one of three sisters who were charged with cleaning rooms, cooking, and doing laundry at her father's ramshackle guesthouse. They worked morning til night, always scrubbing and scraping the relentless dirt.

Selena looked back down at the city. So pretty at night, from far away. She tilted her head and nuzzled Miguel's neck. "No. Let's keep moving."