Oranges by Angela

1455 words 6 pages
Meet the Author

Angela McEwan-Alvarado was born in Los Angeles and has lived in many locations in the United States, as well as Mexico and Central America. She obtained her master’s degree at UC Irvine and since then has worked as an editor of educative materials and a translator. The story “Oranges” was the result of an exercise for a writer’s workshop in which the author managed to mix images and experiences accumulated throughout her life.

Oranges

Since I remember, boxes of oranges were part of my life. My father worked cutting oranges and my mom had a job in the packing factory, where these golden globes rolled on conveyor belts to be placed in wooden boxes. At home, these same rough boxes served us as a chest of drawers,
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I remember that she was sick for a day, no more, and she died the day after.

Our lives would have continued like always, but there an unexpected coup d’état. The owner of the company sold part of the lands for a neighborhood of homes, and that’s why it was thought that many workers would be dismissed. All the families that had survived on oranges suffered, but there was no remedy. My mother prayed more and turned paler, and my father stopped singing. He walked with his head down and did not put me on his shoulders.

“Oh, if someone was a carpenter we could find work in the construction of these houses” was said. Finally it was decided that we would go to Los Angeles where we had a cousin to see if we could find work. My mother knew how to sew and she could work in a factory. Because we had no money to buy a ticket for the train, my father decided to hid in the train in early morning hours. Once he was in Los Angeles, he could surely find a job that paid well. Then he would send us a ticket for us to move.

The morning that he went there was much mist. He told us that we were not to say goodbye at the train to not attract attention. He put in a piece of bread in his shirt and put on a cap. After kissing me and my mother, he walked rapidly and disappeared in the mist.

My mother and I stayed sitting together in the darkness, trembling from the coldness and nervousness, and tense from the effort to hear the first whistle of the train.

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