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Chapter 2

  • "Life is cruel. You have to work a long time for good things, but one short moment is enough to lose everything that is precious to you ..." - Rita.
  • Rita was born in San Diego, California, US, as the daughter of Valdez family. Her father, Juan Valdez, met her mother, Rosario Flores, while they were both in high school in Mexico, where they were born and lived. After high school, Juan went to study in the US, where he found a good job and obtained a permanent residence permit thanks to the huge help of his employer. It was then that he brought his beloved, Rosario, from Mexico and married her. About three years later, Rita was born, and since then the three of them lived happily together. Of course, life was not completely perfect, especially since as Latinos they often fell victim to racism, even though they were not illegal immigrants, but Juan and Rosario did not care about such things, unless it directly affected their beloved daughter. Sometimes Rita would come home from school crying because some other child made a racist remark and everyone laughed and teased Rita later. Her parents obviously went to the teacher to talk seriously about the situation, which led to special lessons about racism and bullying organized at school. Thanks to this and other situations, every time Rita had a problem, she knew that could count on her mom and dad, so loved them very much.
  • That day, 20th of July 2010, Rita was going with her parents, Juan and Rosario, to visit family in Mexico City. They lived in San Diego, California to be as close to their native Mexico as possible. Now that the holidays has come, Rita has finally been able to visit her grandparents and other family members, both on the mum and dad side, since most of them lived in the same neighborhood. Admittedly, she had visited them with her parents for Christmas a few times, but over the past five years, her father's company had some financial difficulties, which meant that Juan did not have enough money to go anywhere further than work, possibly dropping Rita off at school on the way. As a result, they mainly contacted the family by phone. But now that the trouble was over, there was more money again and the Valdez family could afford going to Mexico, and by car. Rita sat in the backseat, her excitement unable to hide. In hand she was hugging her beloved rag doll, Milagros, which she had received five years ago on Christmas from her mother's mother, who sewed it herself, with the help of another grandmother, the one on father's side. From then on, Rita only parted in Milagros for school. Yes, maybe she was already too big to play with dolls, but Milagros was no ordinary doll but a memento of her family who lived in Mexico.
  • Rita was 10 years old, attended a very good school, where she achieved high academic results. Parents were proud of her. Rita didn't have any big dreams or plans for what she would like to do after school yet, but liked writing poems, short stories and drawing. Sitting in the backseat, Rita talked to her mother about what they would be doing with both grandmas.
  • - My mother will probably want to teach you cooking traditional Mexican dishes. Five years ago you were too small for that, but now you can easily start learning the basics.- Rosario said with a smile.
  • - That's cool.- Rita replied, looking forward to it. She loved cooking, especially learning new recipes.
  • - Eh, how good it is that we can finally afford to visit family... Letters and phone calls are not the same.- Juan spoke up with eyes focused on the road.
  • - You're right. I missed them so much... I can't wait to finally get there.- added Rosario.
  • At the same time, somewhere in Texas, the car skidded, as it later turned out, because of an oil stain on the road, but it was impossible to find out its source as there was no monitoring by the road. Anyway, Juan tried to brake but failed and the car tumbled down the steep slope, for a while it rode on the roof to stop on some tree. The front of the car was almost completely dented, only the rear part did not look so bad.
  • ~~~~~~
  • Fortunately, in a few minutes another car appeared on the road, and a young man behind the wheel noticed the accident from a distance, and quickly alerted the police and the ambulance. Then the man got out of the car and walked down the steep slope to see if he could get someone out. The more the young man wanted to do it when he smelled the gasoline and a bit later saw it leaking, creating a dangerous trickle around the car. Unfortunately, when the man looked closely at the front of the car, it was so crushed that he doubted that anyone survived. Fortunately, the man managed to get into the back seat, so he pulled a little girl out of it. She was definitely not more than 10 years old. The man took her away from the car, struggling to climb back to the street. He laid the girl down on the asphalt knowing that shouldn't have moved her more. While he was waiting for the emergency services, the car exploded, so the man additionally called the fire department, walking for a moment to the back of the car. Then he returned to the girl's body lying in front of his car and kept checking whether she was still breathing, out of the corner of his eye watching a burning car nearby.
  • When the ambulance service and guards appeared, followed by the police, the car had burned for a good five minutes. The man told the policemen what he had seen, while explaining to the paramedics that he had to pull the girl out of the car, otherwise she would have burned down together with the people sitting in front. Then the ambulance took the girl to the hospital, the man continued on his way, the fire brigade put out a burning car and the police continued to look for anything that might help them identify the victims. Of course, the remains of the burned bodies were taken to the morgue for examination.
  • ~~~~~~
  • Rita regained consciousness in the hospital, but could not open her eyes. Everything hurt, she couldn't move her fingers, couldn't feel legs. Suddenly Rita heard the voices of two men above her, presumably doctors.
  • - Unfortunately it looks like the girl will have to be in a wheelchair.- said one of them.
  • - What about her parents?- asked the other.
  • - They died on the spot, father immediately after the front of the car got crushed, and the mother only when the fire broke out, she got fried... The girl will probably be taken to an orphanage in San Diego, California, because according to the parts of the documents found on the scene, she lived there.- replied the first doctor.
  • - No!- Rita shouted suddenly.- I want to see my mom and dad! Where is Milagros ?- she looked around at the bed and did not see her doll.
  • - Calm down. Who is Milagros?- the blond doctor looked at her in surprise.
  • - My doll, Milagros... I was sitting in the car with her.- Rita explained in a panicked voice.
  • - They said that the guy only pulled out the girl, so I guess the rest of the stuff was burned...- the dark-haired doctor began to say to his colleague.
  • Hearing that not only had she lost her parents, was crippled, but also didn't even had Milagros left, Rita fell into a rage.
  • - I won't go to any orphanage, I want to see my mom and dad! I'd rather die, then I'll meet them!- she screamed and then began to rip off all the cables and pipes.
  • - Please, relax, Miss Valdez. Everything will be fine.- one of the doctors, with dark blonde hair, held her. The second, dark haired, plugged her back into everything.
  • Still, she struggled, so the dark-haired doctor called the nurse and asked for some medicine with a strange name. The nurse, a young, terribly skinny woman with blond hair so pale it looked almost gray, brought a syringe filled with a colorless liquid. The blonde doctor was holding Rita all the time, and the dark-haired, having checked the pressure in the syringe, inserted the needle into her muscle. The medicine acted very quickly - after a short while, Rita stopped struggling, and after another five minutes she fell completely asleep.