I was 13 when she fell five steps away from the front door. I slept with my mom in the front bedroom of the red-bricked Craftsman style house. The window was open to let in the cool night breeze when we were awoken by a soft yell, “Leticia!”
My mom woke complaining, “’¿’Ora qué?”
I sat up, rubbed the sleep from eyes, and looked at the clock. 2:15am. I jumped out of bed and ran outside when I heard my mom yelling at my Ita though.
As I helped her lift my grandma I saw she was covered in something red. The acidy smell of tomato hit my nose and realized she had fallen carrying a glass bottle of Clamato. The glass had broken against her left breast. Once we got her inside I saw a deep slice close to the top of the soft skin and realized the red stains were Clamato mixed with blood.
My mom grunted and yelled as we sat her on the bathroom toilet seat. She stomped down the hallway to her bedroom to get dressed, “Qué estaba haciendo, Amá?” she yelled. My mom always lost her temper when we got hurt. The worry was often so mixed with angry we couldn’t tell the difference. All Mom saw was red.
I gently took off Ita’s drenched blouse and bra and wiped what I could away. She held a towel against her boob to slow the bleeding. “I’m stupid, hu?” my Ita slurred. She looked down at herself, pants and silver high heels covered in tomato-y blood, “Tenía que ser la chichi buena.”
My mom walked back and forth from the bedroom to bathroom to yell at my grandma and ask if she was okay. I finally had to urge her, in a steady voice, to get dressed so we could take Ita to Southwestern General, the closest hospital. Once there, the doctor asked what happened. I stood next her while my mom finished filling out paperwork. “I fell doctor, and I have to be honest. I’ve been drinking since three in the afternoon,” my Ita replied her voice too loud for the quite room. The doctor looked at me, and I smiled as I shrugged with my whole body, hands in the air. She left with eight stiches and stern talking to.