In addition, she played the piano… not for nothing Rogaciana, her mother, looked after her like a gold coin. It was said that she was the living image of her mother, and grandmother Altagracia. Her counterpart, Don Lazaro, the father, filled his chest with pride saying, “Prisca has the bearing and beauty of her aunts in England. From my mother-in-law, she takes only good manners.”
And yes, the girl was beautiful and a paragon of virtue, which caused illusions, admiration and envy. Everything around her was a parade. Even the bishop was criticized for having granted her communion before her time and without having attended even a single catechism.
All professional liars, the secret admirers competed every afternoon with great enthusiasm by telling their biggest lies and swearing by holy God to win the love of the Prisca.
For her, all this was beautiful and at the same time sad. Prisca said that she did not know how to manage them so as not to deceive anyone. It happened to poor Athanasius, her lifelong friend, whom she had given pumpkins years ago. He got drunk every day for six months, fattening the musicians of the town and annoying his families with so much serenading that at dawn on the day of San Juan, they saw him leave for La Paz in the mail truck. From that point on, it is only known, according to the godmother of Athanasius, that he married an American prettier than Prisca and they lived in San Francisco.
I met Prisca when I was a teacher in her beloved Miraflores, the town next to the mountain that has a stream near the entrance. She and her three cousins met every day to read aloud and discuss the readings in the library of Aunt Bertha’s house. I was lucky enough to meet them there when I brought a pack of books that had arrived in San Jose. Prisca opened the door for me. At first, she appeared thin and very childish, but I kept an eye on her.
The days went by and it even rained. On one of those cloudy afternoons, I took the children to the stream to catch a big frog to dissect in our biology class. From far away, I saw a girl in the middle of the stream. I swam along with her cousins and what I saw I liked, but nothing more could be done because Dona Rogaciana came to take care of her little creatures. It was then that Athanasius was drunk and presented himself when Prisca least expected it. I only managed to look at her, but I felt something very beautiful and I knew that it was reciprocated.
Her aunt played Cupid. She invited me to read and comment on the book “El Martir del Golgota” during an afternoon of reading. I arrived dressed and perfumed and we sat down in a circle with her cousins and aunt. Prisca began to read. Little by little I went away until I was gone, and I never realized when we were alone, or when she stopped reading and we started talking. I was very lucky to make her laugh that day. That was the key. From that moment on, I wanted to make her laugh the rest of my life.
Everything was like a movie. Soon the village festivities arrived in December. We danced all night and when they played the Pavido Navido, without planning to, we hid behind the marriage post and became sweethearts.
That was almost a year ago. The good thing is that we’re getting married in March of next year. Although we’ve already made a lot of progress, there are still things she needs. She took care of her bridal trousseau and ordered my suit for the wedding from my godparent’s store “La Numero 13” here in San Jose del Cabo. They get everything from a fashion house in Guadalajara. The order takes about two months. One outfit is made and the other is on the way.
My father-in-law already picked out some fat heifers. He will prepare barbecued beef for the three days of celebration. My godmother will also make several kilos of fresh soup and with that a poor salad. We have already solved the matter of the main course, although I am also going to see if Dona Leonor, the pastry cooks as well as the quequi, can make me some two hundred sandwiches de boda to give as a welcome.
The drink worries me. We will have cold beer sent from Mazatlan by boat. Although the weather is fine, with the sea you never know. I trust God that everything will go well. Aunt Bertha gave us the invitations. We are going to print them in Mexico City. At the party, the don Chon Cerecer Orchestra will play. They are the best musicians in all of Baja California.
We are going to marry on March 19, the day of the festivities of the town’s patron saint. We are taking advantage of the coming of the bishop. We will have the party in the Club Circulo Social Josefino room and the next day we will continue the party in Miraflores with the Prisca family.
After a month, we will end the festivities with a flourish by sailing to San Diego, California in the United States to spend our honeymoon.
I think it’s a lot of trouble for a 24-year-old elementary school teacher, but I remember the day I met her and how we became sweethearts. It makes me want to marry her twenty times. I trust in God that very soon he sends us children because the in-laws eagerly want to become grandparents.
I have 20 kids to teach now, so I’m leaving for school.