It was 1964 and I was in love.

Heartbroken, Angry, and Confused

 

Minerva Morales (pictured here) is a grandmother with a taste for eccentric hairstyles. She has not forgotten a heartbreaking moment in her life half a century ago, which she retells here to granddaughter, Tatiana Cruz.

I was only 19 at the time but I was certain Ernesto and I were going to grow old together. He worked at the mechanics shop a couple of blocks from my house so I would always tell my mother that I was visiting my aunt and cousin that lived that way. In reality, I would go visit Ernesto. At church, we would sit across from each other and make eye contact while our parents were not watching. That summer he asked me to marry him. He said we would leave the country, go to America, and make a family. He said there we would be happy and successful. He told me not to tell my parents because he knew they would stop me from leaving. I agreed and a couple of nights later, I packed a bag with everything. When I showed up at our meeting spot, he was nowhere to be seen. An hour passed and he was still nowhere. I thought it was some sort of joke. After several hours, I really started to worry. We would miss our flight soon. I suppose my parents woke up later that morning. A couple neighbors had spotted me waiting in the middle of the night alone and ratted me out. At 7 a.m. when the sun came up, I was greeted by my father and mother in our car, very angry might I add.

That Sunday at church, Ernesto was nowhere to be found. His parents had no clue where he had disappeared to either. I was heartbroken, angry, and confused.

Seven years later, I was married to your grandfather and your mother was four. We decided the Dominican Republic was no longer for us and it was time to move to America. I remember being at a small bodega in Manhattan with your mom. She was crying and I was trying to calm her down. I carelessly bumped into a man while chasing after your mother. When I looked up at him I almost dropped everything in my hands. I knew it was him. I knew it was Ernesto. Seven years later and he hadn’t changed a bit. I didn’t know what to say. We were both stunned. So I did what he had done to me seven years prior. I took your mother’s hand and I left without a single word. That was the last time I ever saw Ernesto Delgado.

Tatiana Cruz

20 year old Journalism Major at Montclair State University.