My stomach was hurting for days. Mama said it was probably ulcer or maybe my drinking of so much Coke. But I ate and I ate and never drank Coke, and still my stomach hurted. Even if Mama went to the place where herbal plants grow to get a bunch of leaves so that she could squish them and put them in my drink, my stomach didn't stop hurting.
Papa said it was time to call the doctor, so he put on his funny straw hat and went to call the doctor. And when he came back, there was a funny-looking man that followed him into our little house. He had long kinky hair with white stuff in it and when he smiled he had very few teeth. His skin was brown, and his clothes was brown, and his hair was brown. He looked like mud.
Papa said, This is Pachiko.
And I said, Hello Pachiko.
And Pachiko smiled with the very few teeth that he had. Then he touched my stomach. He touched it for a long time, long enough for me to ask why he was touching it.
Then he took his hand off my stomach and looked at me. I wondered why his eyes grew big and his skin turned from the color of tree trunks to the color of Papa's coffee. Then he said to Mama and Papa, "Let's go out," in his funny voice.
They talked outside, but I couldn't hear them. At first their voices were very quiet and then Mama screamed! Then Papa got all angry and started yelling things I didn't understand. Were they getting mad at Pachiko? Was he being a bad doctor?
I did not move from the chair I was sitting on until they came back inside. Pachiko went home already. Only Mama and Papa came in the door.
Pachiko the doctor went home already, but my stomach still hurted.
Mama hugged me immediately. It was scary because she was crying.
Why are you crying, Mama? Did Pachiko do something bad to you? I asked.
She just kept on crying. Papa was smoking a cigarette and staring out the window. That was something he did when he was thinking hard about something, like when it was still months before the harvest and he doesn't know where to get money.
They wanted me to sleep on their bed that night and I was really happy to. I lied down between them and listened to their talking while they thought I was asleep.
They were talking about a bird and how fast it was growing. There was a bird that they needed to get rid of.
Then Mama said something about me going to Trina's house and eating the food her grandma cooked.
You mean Old Lady Gila is a? Papa asked.
Then Mama said probably and she said that Old Lady Gila must have put a stone in my food. But I didn't remember eating any stone.
Papa said something that sounded like Aaaargh, Why my daughter?
Then Mama talked about the bird again. She said that the bird needs to be killed because it will grow big and it will become hungry. And I will be hungry too and people will die. Mama seemed very sad.
Then I heard Papa cry. I wanted to reach to him, to hug him and say, Don't cry Papa, I'm not hungry yet, but I fell asleep before I could.
I had a funny dream that night.
I dreamed I was flying, and then I went into Nino's window. Nino and I are classmates. It was funny because in my dream, before I even knew it, Nino was lying on the floor with a big hole in his chest. And then instead of hands I had claws, and in my claws there is a soft red thing that is shaped like a mango. It was thumping like it was alive.
The most funniest part was that I ate it, gobbled it up like fried rice.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Papa woke me up early today, there was no sun yet.
We're going to the woods, Papa said.
And I got up even though I was very sleepy, washed my face and followed him.
He is carrying his really big gun as we walk. He uses it to shoot animals and scare people, but mostly to scare people. And I ask him why he bringed it but he don't answer. He just keeps on walking, and his face is as sour as an iba fruit. He doesn't even whistle the tune of It's a small World like he always does.
I ask, "Are we going to shoot birds today, Papa?"
He looks at me, and his face is the same as the doctor when he looked at me funny. Then he become serious again and looks at the trees.
He says, "Yes, babe, we are."