Juanita’s Victories Chapter 2
Written By Sher Trott-Bailey.
The next morning Juanita slept in late, her mother didn’t disturb her and more importantly, she didn’t disturb her mother. Juanita didn’t want to see any romantic gestures between her mother and some random new boyfriend. When she woke up and changed out of her pajamas it was nearly midday. She spent some time making her bed and tidying her room.
Finally, she decided to go out into the kitchen; the clock said it was 1:13 pm exactly. The house was still quiet and the kitchen was dirty. Sighing Juanita began the dreaded clean-up duties of washing plates and bagging up the garbage. When she was finally finished wiping the tables, kitchen counters and sweeping the floor, she took a break and made an egg sandwich. There were some leftover Ceviche and Salbutes in the fridge but Juanita wasn’t feeling for that.
” Juanita, Juanita, Juanita, Juanita, Dónde estás chica?” A loud voice called out from what sounded like her verandah.
İt was her Honduran neighbor Michelle outside tapping her foot impatiently on the verandah.
“ That’s right! they were going to show her how to hunt and strip snake skins.”Juanita suddenly remembered.
Michelle and her family had moved to Belize five years ago due to rising gang activities in their own country and the constant killing of young girls in their area by narco gangs. Any girl who didn’t want to work for the Narco gangs was brutally beheaded and had their hands cut off. That’s how Michelle had described her community. Juanita remembered thinking when she had heard their stories,
‘ Why the Honduran government didn’t arm the decent men, women, and girls in their communities with guns and give them full freedom to shoot and kill the gang bangers? If she were the people in the community she would have made a plan to poison the food of all known gang bangers- I mean they had to eat somewhere didn’t they? Fuck it even make some homemade bombs to bomb the fuckers late at night-something! How else was anything going to change if police were corrupt and every citizen was a coward”
” Michelle, I’m here. Sorry, I forgot all about today. We had a party last night and I’m still tired. İ can’t make it to the snake bushes this time.” Juanita said regretfully.
“ İt’s ok just remember it was you that asked now. We will go again but it won’t be until next month. You can come then.”
“İ will, I will. Thanks for coming by chica. espero que no haya problema” Juanita conversed comfortably in Spanish.
” No problema, no hay problema.” Michelle said already walking off.
Juanita went back inside, closing the front door. The thought flashed through her mind that if she missed this chance, then she would have to wait another month. That would mean a delay in starting her business. She needed to learn about snakes and their skins in order to start her designer handbag business. Making an instant decision she quickly pulled on some thick pants and water boots. She then rushed out of the house to run down Michelle. Thankfully the girl had dilly-dallied at a street corner shop and Juanita was able to catch up to her.
” Ah ah, Juanita ¿ha cambiado de opinión?” Michelle asked surprised to see her.
“si, voy contigo.” Juanita replied
” Well come on let’s go my brothers are waiting for us,” Michelle said while collecting a loaf of bread and a large bottle of soda from the shopkeeper.
“ All the snakes we will be hunting will be non-venomous ok. We want the really colorful and pretty ones.” Michelle began instructing in her best school teacher voice
” Ok,“ Juanita replied listening intently.
“I told Gabriel what you wanted the snakeskins for. He says he will catch as much as you need and tan the skins for you. You know he is sweet on you.”Michelle said giving her a quick nudge and a wink.
” İ hope your brother doesn’t expect anything romantic in return now Michelle, I don’t like him like that. İf there are strings attached to this let me turn back and go home right now.” Juanita said seriously.
” Aye girl hold your temper, of course, no one is saying you need to date Gabriel just because he is helping you get the snakeskins. Chill Juanita.” Michelle said sounding a bit offended.
“ Ok,” Juanita replied not a bit repentant.
When the girls arrived at Michelle’s house gate, her brothers were already packed up and waiting by their van. The two women quickly boarded the van and they all set off on their journey.
” Juanita you’re a brave girl, most of your people are so afraid of snakes. Meanwhile we Hondurans barbecue those fuckers.” Gabriel stated to Juanita a few minutes into their journey.
“ Yeah girl, your the first girl I have ever seen in Belize who actually wants to make a business out of snakeskins.” Adriano, the other brother commented.
“ Enterprising woman right here Adriano!” Gabriel winked and said while looking at Juanita in the rearview mirror.
“Well, there are only about eight venomous species of snakes in Belize compared to the over fifty non-venomous types. We want to stay from the Tommy Goff also known as Fer de lance and the coral snakes. Those ones are venomous and fairly common. They are not aggressive snakes though. You girls will be careful and keep your eyes open as these snakes can be hidden in underbrush and leaves in the forest. We will show you the ones to stay away from. But it should be relatively safe.” Gabriel schooled them.
“ Yeah, you know the saying ‘red and yellow kills a fellow. That’s the coral snake.” Adriano chipped in.
“What type are we going to hunt?” Juanita questioned.
“The Kingsnake which sort of looks like the coral snake, the parrot snake which is green, the cat eye and the tiger tree, basically the ones that have a distinctive color or pattern,” Gabriel said knowingly.
” You know I could have just caught them and brought them back, you didn’t have to come Juanita,” Gabriel said to her.
” İ know but I think it’s good to see the process and I also want some video footage of us showing how authentic our snakeskins are,” Juanita said.
” Mhmm ok.” Gabriel nodded
İt was around 7 pm when they finally returned and Juanita was tired. They had caught a lot of the green parrot snake, a few corals, an unexpected Boa, and several tiger tree snakes. Gabriel had told her to come by tomorrow after he had killed and gutted them, he would show her how he stretched their skins. Then they would tan the stretched skins for about a week in an alcohol and glycerin mixture or in some mineral oil.
When she entered her home, her mom came out of the kitchen,
” Juanita, you’ve been gone all day, what you been up to?” Her mom Maria asked casually.
” You hungry, dinner is on the stove help yourself.” Her mother continued talking.
Finally pausing in her rushed way of talking while moving about the house, Maria was able to take in her daughter’s bushman attire.
” Ah ah, what you been up to?” She asked again this time genuinely curious.
” İ went with Michelle and her brothers to the bushes,” Juanita said not wanting to give too much of her plans away. Her mom was a gossip who would instantly start telling everyone about her plans
” Ah… you really like those Hondurans don’t you?” Juanita’s mother replied.
“What did you cook?” Juanita asked not bothering to respond to her mother’s comments on her friends since her mom was pretty standoffish towards them.
” Ah, just some chicken and rice. İ made soursop juice from the soursops Meera brought yesterday. Now go easy on the juice now keep it at one glass.” Her mother instructed.
” Sure mom,” Juanita answered unbothered by her mother’s stinginess.
İt had always been like this in her home, everything was to be eaten sparingly, except when they had parties. Anyway, there were so many fruit trees around the community growing up that Juanita was never at a loss for something delicious to eat.
After sharing out her chicken and rice and pouring herself a glass of soursop juice, Juanita added some cuts of ripe avocado to her plate. She heartily dug into her meal as she was very hungry. Her mother was still hanging around, which Juanita knew meant she wanted to question her about something. Thankfully the woman allowed her to eat in peace. When she had drunk the last of the soursop juice and was getting some water, she heard the first question come in,
” So what do you think of Mrs. Hernandez’s offer for that job?”
” Well if it’s really a decent place I guess I will take it for the summer but I’m not going to work for free,” Juanita replied.
” Mhmm well you can give me a resume, is that what they call it? İ will give it to Mrs.Hernandez.” her mother offered.
” Or she can just give me the email of the owner and i email him my resume, this is how things are done in this day and age mom. Text her or call her now to send the email address.” Juanita replied.
İn her heart, Juanita wasn’t excited about this job but right now she wanted to raise enough money to purchase her internet domain, hosting, and website template for her budding business.
” Oh Mr.Martinez will be hosting a lot of parties for the summer all the way into October, I will need your help up by the estate.” Her mom said offhandedly while searching for her phone.
” İ won’t be working for free anymore at the estate, if you want my help you can get me on the payroll,” Juanita said very firmly to her mother.
Pausing in her search for her phone, Maria Cortazar turned to look at her daughter Juanita with raised eyebrows. For once Maria Cortazar really took in her daughter; the girl was certainly coming into her own. She saw a very determined face staring back at her.
” Well of course Juanita, if that is how you feel. İt’s not like I wanted to work you, it’s just your my daughter so I expected you to help out your mother.” Maria explained softly.
İnternally rolling her eyes at her mother’s guilt tactics, Juanita responded,
“ İ worked long hours like I was an employee there, it’s time I was compensated for it. Remember even though you’re the Head Housekeeper, at the end of the day your still only staff so stop going above and beyond every time for those people and pulling me along with you as a bonus.” Juanita said saucily to her mother.
” Ah ah , where is this all coming from?” Her mother replied her anger flaring.
” İf it was anyone else working like I did you would have to get them on payroll and give them their pay. All I am saying is that if you want my services you will have to organize my pay.” Juanita answered back.
” Ah ah, are you paying rent in this house? Do you buy food? Did you send yourself to school?” Maria Cortazar shot back.
” Don’t try to guilt me with your responsibilities as a parent. Everything you’re describing is the bare minimum of what a parent should do for their child.” Juanita answered calmly while washing up her plate and fork.
Deciding to change the subject, as Maria felt out of depths with this new attitude from Juanita, Maria Cortazar quickly mentioned,
” Your father called today. Seems he heard about your school results. Says he sent something through Western Union for you, says it’s hundred dollars.” Maria told Juanita.
“ Well, you can tell him thanks on my behalf,” Juanita replied unmoved by her father’s gift. She was as distant from him as two cliffs on opposite sides. His occasional calls during birthdays or some milestone in her life didn’t help to bridge the gap. Frankly, she wouldn’t mind if he would just forget about her and just concentrate on his new family. She had heard he got married five years ago and had three-year-old twin boys now.
“You should tell him thanks yourself, Juanita.” Her mother said.
” No thanks mom,” Juanita replied.
“Well ok. İ wrote down the MTCN number. You want me to collect the money for you on my way to the estate tomorrow?” Her mother asked.
” Yeah, that would be nice of you. Thanks.” Juanita answered.
” Ok, I have heard you. İ will get you on the payroll for any work done up by the estate. The job with the lending agency will only be for a month or two, then you can start helping me up by the estate okay.” She said her hands outstretched.
” Ok sounds good. I’m going to take a bath and get some sleep. Goodnight mom.”
” Good night Juanita.”
When Juanita was finally clean and lying on her bed, she went on her favorite website by the Trott Bailey Family. She quickly used their app to switch between the Trott Bailey University and 1Drop. She had read everything on their website, taken every free course on business that they offered and watched all their videos. The family was just so full of life and grandeur. They were bold and Juanita was in awe of them. She felt like God had led her to their website and that he was the one giving her these business ideas. Her life was definitely meant for more.
She felt more connected to God ever since she had started believing in Jesus Christ. She just felt like a newer, stronger person. She had always known God was not like what they taught you about him in church. She knew he was real, with a real personality and he talked.
“ Oh God give me even 1/3 of the abundance like you have given the Trott Baileys. Bless me with a loving husband and lifelong happiness. Let me travel and own lands all over the world. Let my children and my generations always prosper. “ Juanita prayed out loud.
Tired but feeling hopeful, Juanita slept peacefully.
The next morning:
Waking late again on Sunday morning, Juanita checked the time on her phone. İt was 11 am. She was glad school was out and summer break beginning soon. She luxuriated in her morning rest and dug back into bed. She had stopped going to church since she realized that they were nothing more than routine, tradition-loving hypocrites. She felt no need to keep up appearances of righteousness to please other people. She only cared that what was in her own heart was genuine. She had no intention to let those people use religion to put chains of propriety and stupid teachings on her.
She texted Gabriel to ask when she should come over. He quickly replied that she should come at two pm. Juanita went on her Canva app and continued working on designing her logo for her business. She loved Canva because it made it so easy to design high-quality designs for posters, logos, business cards, and other social media marketing posts. She had decided to call her business after her own name-Juanita Cortazar’s Amazing Designs.
‘Simple and to the point’ she thought.
For her logo, she chose a design template and began modifying it. While she would start out with snakeskin handbags and sandals for women and sandals for men, she did envision going into other areas of fashion. So she used the symbol of a volcano exploding out shoes, handbags, jewelry, and clothing.
She spent two hours working on the logo, searching for the right images and elements until finally, she achieved a clean but very creative-looking logo that she was very pleased with. She got up and went to bathe and changed into a simple jeans dress.
When she went outside into the living room she saw her mother watching TV.
‘ Oh hey, İ got the email address for you. İ will forward you the text from Mrs. Hernandez.” Maria Cortazar said.
” Ok. Thanks. I’m going over to Michelle’s in a short while, i will be back in the evening.”
” Well, aren’t you going to eat anything, don’t let those people think I’m over here starving you now.” Maria said to her daughter.
” Yes, i am going to eat something don’t worry,” Juanita replied.
Just then a text came in from Meera. When Meera opened the message it said.
“ İ fucked Juan last night girl.”
“ Not interested in knowing the details Meera. You know we don’t agree on things like that.” Juanita texted back.
” Whatever you prude.” Came Meera’s response.
” I’m busy. Later.” Juanita texted back.
” Girl sometimes your just no fun. Bye!” came Meera’s response.
Shaking her head, Juanita thought to herself
” At least my pussy hasn’t been ran through like yours girl. İ remember last year you had to secretly go to the gynecologist because you caught gonorrhea. You still haven’t learned your lesson.”
Written By Sher Trott-Bailey. The next morning Juanita slept in late, her mother didn’t disturb her and more importantly, she didn’t disturb her mother. Juanita didn’t want to see any romantic gestures between her mother and some random new boyfriend. When she woke up and changed out of her pajamas it was nearly midday. She…Read MoreRead More