Not the Swapmeet

Her mom didn't have a car. 

Nor could she drive if she tried.

The way they would travel through and from Wilmington was through the Metro, mostly by bus. Sometimes, they would take the Blue Line to Downtown LA in the maquiladora district where her mother would go to work sewing on Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Raiders patches.

Every Saturday in Paramount, there was a swapmeet.  A place to get cheap stuff, and most importantly for a 13-year old, externally-motivated Araceli, cheap food.

For Araceli, going there with her mom, meant that she might get a hot dog or something.  Finally, something that wasn't divided or shared with her 4 other sisters or little brother.  Eating out was a rare luxury, something Araceli didn't do much throughout her childhood.

One day as they were at the bus stop near their house, instead they got on a different bus.  Which of course put in danger her opportunity to get her hot dog.

"Mom, this doesn't look the way to the swapmeet."  She knew her mom knew her way around the buses, and this was definitely not the way there.

"Araceli, callate!"her mother responded through gritted teeth, while grabbing her stomach.

Not just any other stomach.

"I am having this baby" she told Araceli while focusing and staring doggedly ahead, as the bus plodded its way to Harbor-UCLA from Wilmington.  She'd had 6 already, what was one more?

No frantic screaming, no panicking.  Not in public.

They made it to the entrance of the hospital when she said, "go get help, tell them I'm having a baby!"    She couldn't walk anymore.  Araceli ran frantically to get help.

She found a nurse.

The nurse asked,"Where is she?"

"She cant walk, shes at the entrance," responded Araceli

They got a wheelchair and rushed to the entrance, only to find her mom, walking with both hands on the handrails.

An hour later, the world welcomed Emma arriving by c-section, delivered by Metro bus lines.

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