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Stay Or Go? by: Joseph Edwards

Day One
Si...Si...archivare Mañana...I will file tomorrow …
¿Dónde? En la estación de policía...Si, entiendo…
Yes, I understand! Tomorrow I will file for an
Order for Protection...Si, Adios. (Hang Up Phone)
Leaving her, breaking out of lockdown...no bueno. But a local domestic violence shelter gave me money for 6 nights at this hotel.
After that...por mi cuenta...I am on my own.
This is Day One...

Day Two
The hotel es barato...cheap...but livable.
Moving to another country to find a better life...I've seen worse.
I was 17 when Papa disowned me,
'No Lesbianas in his house' My mother only gave money
and said 'Nunca volver' Never return.
I fled from my country that night…
In America I began feeling secure in who I was. As a woman.
As a lesbian. I made a few gay friends and soon,
I met Andrea and everything changed. I...I remember the night she Arrived at the doorstep…she was so beautiful.

Day Three
(On the phone…) No...No. Lo siento...Quiero quedarme
Let me stay here... por favor. toy asustada.
Tomorrow I will file the Order. Do I have to use my
real name I am so scared they will deport me (Hangs Up Phone) .
The advocate from the shelter needs these forms filled out tonight.
I really have no idea what to write. Todo era perfecto.
It was beautiful until Andrea started to control the relationship…
Jealousy led to arguments. Sure, we argue...but you know how a couple can argue and then just be back to normal? But it builds up. Those nights she stayed waiting up for you.
I was isolated.
The little voice in my head, it whispered...Put your fear aside.
It wanted me to listen. Calling out, 'We can get out of this', begging to protect me from harm.
I made excuses for the bruises,
and told myself her kisses could heal the broken bones.
Same week, those nights he slapped your face and together you act like nothing has happened. Your voice inside pleads…GET OUT. GO.
Then, It occurs to you. Get out! GO.

Day Four
I began to think of leaving, months ago... but Andrea made it so
I had nowhere to go? No more friends, She never helped me
apply for asylum. She promised...This is what she wanted…
to keep me here indebted to her. She left a message,

Day Five
Tomorrow I must file, press charges, start over.
It sounds easy, but She won't let me go without a fight.
There is a Quichua riddle: Whatever names me, breaks me.
The solution is silence. The advocate told me, 'Puedes Hacerlo' -
You can do this. I should have known better.
I ignored her violence again, and again, a broken record.
Anyone in the nightmare would sound like a broken record.

Day Six
You would tell me what to do…
Stay or go? Things could be better? No durara mucho…
Better- won't last long. Whatever names me, breaks me.
The solution is silence.
(Phone Rings)
Then shelter says my relationship is at the point of
someone being killed within 6 months…Times up… (Into Phone)
I have to go, I have to leave her, there's no other way.
I can't, I won't live like this anymore. I'm a person, For God's sake. All I want is to be treated like one.
Hola I am ready...No more silence…
My name out loud is…
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4/18/2021 9:10:37 PM # 1.0.0.559