Phone Call – By Nelson/Roberto

May 1982

Shortly after Eva saw our mother for the last time, my mother urged my grandmother to take the children and move to Costa Rica where they would be safer. In 1980, Mama Chila packed up the family to live with my aunt Vilma who had been in Costa Rica since 1978. Mama Chila brought with her Vilma’s two children Evelyn and Jacqueline. As well as Ana’s two children Eva and Ernesto. I had not been born yet and our father Luis was in Cuba recovering from the bullet wound.

Earlier that year, Vilma had married a man named Eduardo who was the son of her employer. It was not the best arrangement since Eduardo did not treat Vilma well and occasionally threatened to deport her is she ever left him. Mama Chila and Vilma both worked during the day to provide for the children. Eduardo who was not as ambitious and stayed around the house most of the day.

They didn’t hear much from Luis or Ana. Because of the war it was very hard to send messages. Ana wrote occasionally and the messages where usually delved in person by someone who was involved with the revolution. It had been a few months since Ana had last written. Then one day something weird happened. They received a phone call. Ana never called because it was much to dangerous. Mama Chila and Vilma were both out but Eduardo took the call.


Eduardo sits at home watching TV. Its about 3:30 in the afternoon. My aunt Vilma and grandmother Mama Chila have not come home from work yet. Eduardo lazily flips through the channels waiting for the two of them to come so he can eat. Just then the phone rings. He glances over at it wondering if he should bother picking it up. Reluctantly he stands and wonders over to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hello…is this Eduardo?” an agitated voice replies on the other side.

A little surprised by tone of her voice he replies “Yes…who is this?”

“Its Vilma’s sister Mila” She says nervously

“Mila! How are you? We haven’t herd from you in so lo…”

Ana interrupts him “Eduardo I’m sorry but I don’t have much time. Is my mother there its really important.”

Slightly annoyed by being cut off he replies “No they haven’t returned home from work yet but they should be home soon. You should call back later.”

“No there is no time can you give her a message” She is even more nervous now as someone is yelling in the background.

“Yes of course, whats wrong?” Eduardo questions.

“They found us I don’t know how.” she sounds scared now “I have to go. Tell mama chila I love her and…” she pauses slightly “tell her to take care of my kids…”

The phone clicks and Eduardo not knowing what to make of this stands for a second listening to the dial tone. He hangs up the phone, puzzled by what just happened and sits back down to watch TV.


Sometimes I wonder what it must have taken to make that phone call. She must have known when she made the call she would never see her children again. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

That would be the last thing we ever herd from Ana. We never knew what happened to her after that and most likely we never will.

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